Live Dealer Games
While online gambling has grown tremendously in the last decade, there has been one notable area in which it has struggled to compete with live casinos. While online casinos couldn't be beat when it came to convenience, bonuses or the number of games they offer, they struggled to give players the same kinds of social experiences that they enjoyed in brick-and-mortar casino venues.
Recently, though, a few innovations have been made by online casino developers to close this gap. One of the most important ways in which online gambling has become more social is through the introduction of live dealer games – casino games that can be played through an online casino site, but which feature real human dealers interacting with cards and tables that players can monitor through streaming video. These games have bridged the gap between live and online casinos, allowing you to get a true casino experience from your home computer.
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How Live Dealer Games Work
At first glance, a typical live dealer game will look similar to the standard online casino games you know and love. On the player's end, many of the game functions are handled through an interface that includes your chips, a table layout, and buttons for placing bets and making other actions that are part of the game. In fact, if you covered the area of the screen that displayed the live dealer and the physical table the dealer was using, you might not even be able to tell that the game you were playing was in any way different than a typical online casino game.
But that area of the screen is what live dealer games are all about. There, you'll be able to see a human being managing the game you're playing, just like a dealer would in a live casino. If you're playing roulette, they'll spin the wheel for you; if you're playing blackjack, they'll be responsible for dealing out the cards. The dealer will also see exactly what actions you've requested, and will react accordingly right in front of your eyes. The dealer will be located either on a set owned by the online casino, or in some cases, in an actual casino venue. In either case, the table is real, and so are all the elements of the game that they use to determine the results of each spin or hand.
It's worth noting that live dealer games are a relatively new innovation, and haven't yet been implemented at all online casinos. If your online casino has live dealers, that fact should be displayed prominently on their front page, as it's definitely a feature they'll want to advertise. The range of games that are available with live dealers is also somewhat limited, though they're probably the games you'd expect. Online blackjack is a popular live dealer choice, as is live casino roulette. Other games you might find at some live dealer casinos include baccarat and sic bo.
Advantages of Live Dealer Games
There are several things about live dealer games that make them popular among online gamblers. Many players enjoy the fact that these games utilize actual gambling devices rather than using a random number generator. While we'd like to remind everyone that RNG-based games provide fair and random results, many players like the idea of using a more traditional way of determining winners and losers. And while it's very unlikely this would happen, using physical equipment allows for at least the chance of errors or biases that give players the chance to play at an advantage. For instance, when playing roulette online live, you might be able to find a biased wheel that allows you do win – highly improbable, but it's a tantalizing prospect.
Another big advantage to live dealer games is that they offer a social aspect that's missing in most standard online casino games. In virtually all live dealer games, you'll be able to interact with the dealer to ask questions, and probably to chat a bit if you're so inclined. How far the social aspects go beyond that will vary from casino to casino, but some games are truly multiplayer-oriented with full chat features that allow the table to root for each other in real time. Others even work like television shows, "broadcasting" for certain hours of the day with the dealers acting as live hosts.
The Disadvantages of Live Dealers
As much fun as live dealer casino games can be, we do have to point out that there are a few disadvantages as well. For one, the pace of play will be somewhat slower than the typical online casino game, as you'll have to wait for the dealer to take the time to deal out the cards or spin the wheel – there won't be a turbo option that makes the game go faster. Of course, some players will enjoy this relaxed pace of play, but others might find it a bit on the slow side. Another downside is the fact that your betting limits might be more limited in live dealer games than in the rest of the online casino. This is understandable: since live dealer casino games cost more money to operate, it's not feasible to allow especially small bets on them, so expect to have to spend at least a few dollars, pounds or euros in order to play.
Finally, live dealer online casino games do require a broadband internet connection to play reliably, thanks to the streaming video that is essential to making these games work. While this shouldn't be a problem for most of our readers, it is something to keep in mind if you have a particularly slow connection, or if you have to use a dial-up connection.
Live dealer online casino games are the most exciting new form of internet gambling to come along in years. If you've been longing for a way to make your online casino play feel just a bit more like the games you remember playing in a brick-and-mortar casino, we suggest that you try a live dealer game today!