Newest Live Casinos in the UK
– How to Spot the Best Live Casinos
– How to Play Live Dealer Games
– Popular Live Dealer Games
– Live Casino Developers
– Live Casino Studios – Behind the Scenes
– Where are Live Casino Studios Based?
– What Cameras are Used to Record Live Dealer Games?
– The Technological Resources of Live Casinos
– How Do Live Dealers Operate?
Live Casinos are as close to the real thing as you are going to get, but also offer several advantages over land based casinos. Live casino sites have more betting options, tables with lower buy ins, tables without limits, and you can wager from the comfort of your own home. All you really need is a fast internet connection, and you can get started wagering on truly random games as they happen. We at New Casinos believe that Live Casinos are as close to the authentic casino experience, as you will get from the comfort of your own home. In live casino games a real person deals real cards or spins a real wheel and players interact with the game via their computer. The popularity of live casinos really only took off in the last five years and the most popular are the table games like the Live Roulette, Live Blackjack, Live Poker and Live Baccarat. We want to make sure that you are getting the most out of the live casino experience.
The purpose of this guide is to do exactly that, give facts and guidance about live casinos. We want to show you what to look out for when choosing a new site, how it differs from the regular gameplay, and give you a quick rundown on the terminology used in live games. But, first of all we will present you a list with the best Casino Sites that have a large live dealer games section.
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How to Spot the Best Live Casinos
First of all you have to focus on the portfolio of the live casino section, the number of games offered and the number of developers. I this case the more games, and variation of them, an online casino offers the better. The same goes for the makers of the games, the more the better, but here we would like to recommend live casino games from Evolution Gaming and NetEnt, since they are the driving force in this industry.
How to Play Live Dealer Games
Usually running flash and HTML 5 and you will be able to run straight out of your browser, just click and go. They will often require a faster internet connection, and they aren’t as flashy, but then you can run them on any personal computer and sometimes on some mobile devices. Some Live Casinos will require that you download a software before you can play, while this can be a bit of an inconvenience you will likely experience stable gameplay, better graphics, and the game won’t demand as fast an internet connection.
Dealers and Virtual Control Panel
A real dealer, normally a very attractive woman or handsome man, is placed in front of a webcam that is then streamed to a server. The online casino game is laid out exactly how it would be if you walked into a brick and mortar casino. The main difference, apart from being thousands of miles from where the game is happening, is that you interact with the game via a virtual control panel that is superimposed on top of the screen. All the information, including what you need to know about the other players is displayed in a similar way. There are also virtual tip boxes, that allow you to tip the dealer, and you can bring up game instructions, in game, which is very helpful for new players, or if you need to brush up on the rules.
This function is underutilized by some live casino player, but if used correctly it can add a whole new dimension to live casinos. Bluffing via a messenger application is a completely different ball game to maintaining a steady poker face. Some people say that it can’t be done, that no one will take you seriously, and that it only good for socialising, but we think that there is definitely and advantage to be gained by implementing a solid strategy in the player chat.
You can weed out the experienced players from the newbies. This is evident in how they talk, the terminology they use, and the confidence they exude. Ask questions to help pick them out, and by doing so you also come across as knowledgeable if they are tricky question, and an amateur if they are obvious ones. It might be to your advantage to play the fool in the group chat, or your strategy could be to be very truthful about the quality of you hand, build up trust, and then throw a hail marry of a bluff for a big win. Regardless of how you play, the player chat is a very exciting element of live casino play that you won’t find on your regular online table game.
Buy Ins and Maximums
Live Casinos don’t require the same financial commitment as going out to a land based one. To further cater to players who just want to play some games without sinking 100s, Live Dealer Casinos offer much lower buy ins. You can play games where bets are only a couple of Euros. You won’t win big, but you won’t lose much either. These games are great for players that are still learning, and they don’t want to bet a lot on experience they don’t have.
On the flip side, online casinos also offer live games that have no maximums. If you are high roller with more money than you know what to do with and ultimate confidence, you are taken care off. Between the penny tables and the no limit games there are all kinds of betting brackets that you can slide into. Choose a table that agrees with your bank roll, and you will get more enjoyment out of your live casino experience. To check the minimum and maximum in a game there is normally a button that you can hover over down the bottom of the screen, and it will mostly likely be stated in the lobby or before you join the game.
Talk to the Live Dealer
You can talk to the dealer in some games. If you can do it, you might need to tag you chat with something like pitboss, or dealer, so they know that the message is addressed to them. Sometimes they will reply with audio and other times they will type a response, or a member of the customer service will type a response. If other players are talking to the dealer, you will need to wait your turn.
Popular Live Dealer Games
As mentioned before, the most common games on live casinos are table games like Poker, Blackjack, Baccarat, Craps, Pai Gow, Roulette, Dices, Live Lottery and Live Wheel games. Bingo is sometimes played live, but it is not that common to find a game with a live video stream. Live lotteries are played at scheduled times throughout the day, you can choose your numbers before or live bet on the next number chosen. Poker and blackjack are by far the most common, both in online and offline casinos and they probably translate the best to the live casino format. It is very easy to record and stream a live game of poker, and the player is given the option to zoom in, so you can see exactly what is happening.
The main difference, in the games offered, between Live Casinos and land based ones, is the amount of variations that you can play. It is not uncommon to see up to ten variations of poker, how often do you see that in a land based casino? The games are also much faster than playing alongside players in a land based casino. Everyone can enter what they want to do into their own panel at the same time, and there are less distractions. Better yet, you never have to wait for a table. If they are all full, you can just go to another lobby or casino, but it rarely ever happens.
Live Casino Developers
It is just a few well know casino game developers, like NetEnt and Evolution Gaming, that make live casino software, some of them made inside at the most legendary land based casinos. But in recent years we have seen more developers entering the market, some of them you have never heard of and specialise only in making dealer games. Here comes a list of the developers:
Lead operators are currently pulling in about 50% of their revenue via their Mobile Casinos, but do not expect to find that many casinos that offer Live Dealer Games. The fact is that it is really hard to squeeze all the graphics in the tiny screens offered. But there are a few exceptions, we would like to make a special reference to NetEnt, that has recently made a breakthrough in the Live Casino field. ‘NetEnt Live’ is a new and totally innovative brand that develops high quality live casino games for mobile devices. They are produced having in mind the players’ needs meaning that they offer a unique user experience and a user-friendly interface. Their high technology systems allow for a perfect view of live HD images, giving players the ability to live a true live casino experience whether they are on the go.
Live Casino Studios – Behind the Scenes
You’ve already read our guide on how to play live casino games, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the basic process of getting involved. Beyond this, though, how are live casino games made and how do they operate? How do dealers interact with players? How are key details kept track of during each game (such as cards dealt)?
The studios from which these live casinos operate usually feature a minimum of three rooms, though in the case of Evolution Gaming or Microgaming, more space will be available. One or more rooms will be set-up as the live studios themselves, in which the dealer, table, and paraphernalia is housed, whereas another will be dedicated to the software operators (and the director, who controls which camera feeds are displayed on-screen at any one time). An analyst room is another key element of a live casino studio, in which they view and process activity within the games. Any fraudulent or unfair behaviour will be detected immediately, and any players taking part in such unethical activity will face the consequences.
In some cases, an operator may offer live casino games from an authentic land-based casino. Evolution Gaming, for example, specialises in this, with locations in Murcia and Belgium, with multiple sites paying to broadcast their live feeds to their customers. Their Ruleta En Vivo is a prime example of these services, enabling Spanish casinos to stream real-time roulette throughout the country, incorporating various blue-screen options to customise the studio’s aesthetic.
Where are Live Casino Studios Based?
Some of today’s biggest providers of online casino software offer live games, including Microgaming, Evolution Gaming and Playtech, but operate from various locations across the planet. Evolution Gaming operate out of one of the biggest live dealer studios in Riga, Latvia (as does Playtech), while Playtech Asia (an offshoot of the core Playtech brand) streams games from Manilla, in the Philippines. Microgaming broadcasts out of a studio in Toronto, Canada, Vuetec from Dublin, Ireland, and NetPlay TV from London, England. Visionary iGaming streams from studios in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Just a little tip. Find out the location of the casino studio, because it is a good indication of its reliability. You need to consider things like the reliability of their internet and power in the countries that they are found in. For example, a casino studio in Manila is more likely to go offline than one in Budapest. Then make sure you join a table that speaks your language. You don’t have to, but it is just good manners. Most of the big online casinos will offer tables in several languages. There are also some minor differences between the studios.
What Cameras are Used to Record Live Dealer Games?
Live casinos depend on various technological tools to present their games to players. Multiple cameras may be used in specific games – live roulette, for example, usually incorporates three cameras to capture the wheel, the table, and the dealer throughout. This is an incredibly fast-paced game, and players will expect to have a clear sight of the action as it unfolds. Multiple cameras allow for picture-in-picture displays, so players can see the dealer, the table, or other elements of the studio together on-screen at the same time.
In other games, such as blacjack or baccarat, two cameras may be used instead (one for a medium shot of the dealer and table, another for a close up of the cards on the table). Setting the cameras up to capture the dealer’s hand movements, show the cards with the utmost clarity, and keep presenters face-on to the viewer takes time, but getting the coverage right is key to sustain the quality of the customer’s experience.
Optical Camera Recognition plays a major role, recording the tiniest details (shuffling cards, wheel spinning, dealing hands etc.) in the live studio to be streamed to players without fail. This is the same kind of image-capturing technology found at car parks, to record number plates with enough accuracy for future reference. Every live casino will utilise this for the most effective experience, and minimise the risk of any potential oversights.
The Technological Resources of Live Casinos
After all, showing every action taking place in the studio as the game unfolds is critical to maintain players’ trust – any blind spots or missed steps may lead them to question the operator’s integrity. Players tend to grow attached to their favourite land-based casinos, and a live online version is no different; the best live casino operators understand this, and invest in only the best services.
Some brands may even create their own tools to enhance the quality of their video streaming. NetEnt, one of the biggest software developers in the online casino sector, utilises its unique Chroma Key technology to maximise players’ experience: this technology integrates live HD picture into the video streaming, enabling individual operators to incorporate their own branding into the image. Not only does this reinforce the business name and logo from the start of the game to its end, it helps to differentiate that site from others broadcasting the same video stream.
Another technological feature that’s vital in live casino games is the game control unit (GCU) – this encodes the studio’s action for it to be broadcast live, transferring every moment into high-quality video. Every table has its own GCU, and it’s around the size of a shoebox; without these digitising a game’s information as it unfolds, live casinos would be unable to operate. In card-based games, such as blackjack or poker, cards contain microchips or barcodes which are scanned as they are dealt; this enables the GCU keep track of which cards are at play and which players they belong to. This is vital to help the system avoid mistakes or oversights in even the busiest game with numerous players.
Last but not least, a monitor is indispensable for games’ dealers, as it displays which players are online and lets them keep track of which bets have been placed; the dealer and players can engage in live chats throughout games too, creating a social atmosphere central to the true casino experience. During the course of a game, a dealer and their players can build a friendly rapport, making the experience as fun and entertaining as it can be.
How Do Live Dealers Operate?
Dealers at live online casinos behave just as they do at brick-and-mortar venues. They will greet players, wear a smile, and cultivate a fun, lively atmosphere throughout the game, all whilst performing their duties. Said responsibilities depend on the game currently underway: roulette, of course, is played differently to the likes of baccarat or poker, and dealers receive thorough training in each. Dealers will wait for players to make their moves and decide how to proceed, and can engage with them through live chat software. At some casinos, players may be able to tip their dealer to compliment their work and show appreciation.
What does it take to be a dealer? Essentially the same as it does in land-based venues. Dealers will need strong numerical skills and be able to interact with players in a friendly manner, regardless of the game being played and the number of people taking part. They’re expected to dress smartly, maintain a well-groomed appearance, and keep a lighthearted attitude despite long shifts at the table. Furthermore, in the event of a player becoming disgruntled or questioning the fairness of a specific outcome or decision, dealers are expected to say cool; even if customers start to become abusive or possibly aggressive, dealers must handle the situation diplomatically. In most cases, the website will not tolerate such behaviour from members, and eject or ban them from the game.
In rare cases, technical malfunctions can lead to frustrated players despite being out of the dealer’s control. Given that online live casino games are often available 24 hours a day, dealers will have to be prepared to work set shifts, which may vary from time to time. This could mean hosting games through the night, which obviously has personal implications for their lifestyle, though different brands will manage dealers’ working patterns in their own way.
Dealers’ pay will vary from one country to another – those working in London or Spain, for example, may well enjoy higher rates than dealers based at studios in the Philippines. This will, of course, vary from one brand and studio to another. The live casino is here to stay. As we’ve seen, immense effort and creative thinking goes into streaming these games through online casinos around the world, incorporating the latest technology for maximum effect.