Your 2016 Guide To Live Dealer Casino 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 with entertaining dealers. Although 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, the introduction of live dealer games – online casino games that feature real human dealers interacting with cards and tables via a video stream – has helped online gambling to become more social. Our experts have vetted these games on hundreds of sites to present the shortlist here, and our overall top live dealer casino for 2016 is .
We've found the best live dealer casinos that offer players:
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How We Rate Our List Of Best Live Dealer Casinos
You might be wondering what makes a live dealer site one to trust, versus one to avoid. When compiling our lists of recommended and blacklisted casinos, we put each live dealer casino to the test, measuring its performance against a benchmark of criteria that we believe ensures our users the best online gambling experience. This isn't just in terms of enjoyment alone, though we do of course take the games themselves into consideration. The live dealer casinos that make it onto our top rated list have all scored highly on the following important attributes:
- Online Safety - We look at the encryption certificate and software of all the live dealer casinos tested to make sure the standard is up to scratch.
- Payouts - We expect to be able to withdraw our winnings without having to endure long waiting times. Fast pay outs are a measure of a good live dealer casino in our eyes.
- Customer Responsiveness - We try out all the different ways to contact a live dealer casinos customer services team, to make sure they're responding as quickly as they claim to be.
- Mobile Accessibility - The best live dealer casinos offer a responsive, bug-free and secure mobile gaming experience. Either as an app or a dedicated mobile casino.
- Game Variety - A great live dealer casino needs to offer the same vast selection of casino favourites catered for in land casinos, plus a few variations that make use of the online platform.
- Bonuses & Offers - We double check the T&C's of all the bonuses being offered to make sure the redemption conditions are fair and straightforward.
Don't get left behind on the old sites and tables, find out why everyone's talking about live dealers and see if it's for you.
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.
In virtually all live dealer games,
you'll be able to interact with the dealer to ask questions
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 real 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 Real 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 real dealer games is that they offer a social aspect that's missing in most standard online casino games. In virtually all live dealer games including Baccarat, Roulette, Casino Hold'em and Blackjack, 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 Real 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!
Live Dealer FAQWhat live dealer games are available?
You might be used to perusing the tables at your local bricks and mortar casino, and the good news is that most of the games available there will also be available at a live dealer casino online. The most popular live dealer games are blackjack and roulette, but you can also find more diverse casino games like baccarat and casino hold'em at many casinos.What live games are popular?
Blackjack and roulette are the most popular live dealer games for a variety of reasons, and chief amongst these is their simplicity. Both are really easy to learn and even a beginner can pick up the key elements in no time. Another reason why these are so popular is the small house edge, which means players can get a lot of play for their money. You can spend a great deal of time enjoying interactions with a real-life dealer, for a minimal outlay.Do I need certain software to play?
The best live casinos around will include live dealer casino games as part of their standard casino lobby, so you can just click a tab and load up your favourite games in live casino format.Can I demo live dealer games?
A growing number of sites will offer demos of live casino games, though these are not available everywhere. Still, you can generally find somewhere to get a feel for live dealer games without risking a penny of your own money. Even on sites without live dealer demos, you can play automated versions of the same casino games for free, as a way to ‘try before you buy'Are live dealer games rigged?
Live dealer games are tested by independent bodies to ensure everything is fair and above board, as is the case with all other online casino games at reputable sites.Any good online casino will display its accreditation on-site, so you can see it has willingly subjected itself to independent testing under the terms of its online gaming licence.Can I play on a mobile or tablet?
As mobile devices become more sophisticated, a growing number of sites have brought live dealer casino games to their mobile versions. In fact, some have launched standalone mobile or tablet specific apps for their standard casino games, and standalone live dealer offerings might not be that far away. Keep in mind that screen size can be more key to the live dealer experience than on regular casino games. If you can't really see the dealer then you won't get the full experience.Do I need a fast internet connection?
Due to the live streaming element of live dealer casino games, your internet casino connection ought to at least be of a reasonable speed so you are not frustrated by slow speeds hindering your interaction with the dealer. Any good fibre optic broadband should do the trick, while if you are playing on a mobile or tablet then a 4G or 4G connection will often be sufficient to get the best live dealer casino experience.
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Online live dealer games are about as close as you can get to experiencing a real-life casino from the comfort of your own home but there's a dark side too. Some live dealer casinos are not safe or trustworthy and hackers can access your private information easily. Keep away from these Blacklisted casinos for a good time.