Live Dealer Casinos
Live dealer casinos are subsections of online casinos that offer games ran by human dealers. These games are recorded live from a casino somewhere in the world and delivered via feed to your casino.
These games have been increasing in popularity over the last few years. More and more casinos are offering them, and some are taking it a step further and coming out with software that lets you play them from your phone and tablet.
I think the demand for these games will only continue to rise, too. They give players the best of both worlds. On one hand, you get to virtually sit down next to your fellow players and play across from a real person. It feels like your inside a casino. On the other hand, you get the realism without having to deal with traveling to another state or country, let alone having to worry about room and board, meals, entertainment, traffic, crowds and all that other stuff. You can lounge around and play blackjack in your underwear, and even pretend you’re doing it in a brick and mortar casino. The dealer or your tablemates won’t be any the wiser — but you just might have to explain yourself to your significant other.
What Games Can You Play?
You can play pretty much any game that is semi-popular and requires a human to operate it in a brick and mortar casino. This includes:
Most casinos will only have 2-3 games, usually blackjack, roulette and baccarat. Only a handful of casinos, like Bet365, will have a larger variety than that with games like Sic Bo, Casino Hold’em and Three Card Poker being on offer.
Speaking of variety, there are a couple of variations that you can choose from, depending on the casino you play at. One option is a Euro or Asian woman dealer. The only (major) difference here is the ethnicity of the person dealing the cards. So if you have a thing for Asian chicks you might want to find a casino that offers this option.
Another variation to choose from is classic or 3D view. From my experience this is only available with live roulette games. The difference between the two views is that one is setup in a live casino environment where the other is filmed in a studio with a backdrop. The 3D version is slightly less realistic in regards to it’s surroundings, but still a live dealer game nonetheless.
The stakes for these games will depend on where you play. They can vary from $5 to $10,000 or more. Keep in mind, too, that these are live games, so they’re going to mirror what you can find in a brick and mortar casino. That means if you’re on a budget you might not go as far on $25 or $50 as you would playing a standard online casino game with a table minimum of $1.
What Casinos Do We Recommend?
There are a few casinos we recommend for live dealer games. As it holds true for nearly anything in online gaming, the best options will exist outside the USA. Here are our top picks:
- Jackpot Paradise Live Casino Games – Choose from roulette, blackjack and baccarat, as well as variations like multi-player roulette, multi-player baccarat.
- Mr.Green – Choose from Euro roulette, blackjack, baccarat and casino hold’em as well as Three Card Poker.
- Vegas Paradise – Choose from blackjack, roulette, baccarat and London roulette. The London roulette variation appears to be a higher class game, with men as the croupiers instead of women.
Secondary casinos and sportsbooks options include:
- EuroGrand – US players are not accepted here. Everyone else will be able to play roulette, blackjack, casino hold’em and baccarat. Their roulette game has two variations, too; the classic or 3D view.
- William Hill – William Hill offers live French and European roulette, blackjack, casino hold’em and baccarat. US players are not accepted.
- Ladbrokes – Ladbrokes runs blackjack, roulette, baccarat and casino hold’em games. They’re one of the few live dealer casinos that lets you play (blackjack and roulette) games on your tablet. US players are not accepted.
The list of live dealer casinos above are your better options for where to play. Chances are that with an account at a couple of these, you won’t need an account anywhere else. However, if you choose to play at a casino that we haven’t reviewed or listed here, you must do your due diligence before signing up. That includes researching the company, how they treat players and how well they process payments. If anything, send us an email and we’ll let you know if we’ve heard anything — good or bad — about the casinos you’re considering.
8 Facts About Live Dealer Games
Below are 8 facts about live dealer games that didn’t quite fit into one of our sections above.
1. Live dealer promotions exist.
Many, if not all casinos offer promotions for their live dealer games. These are separate from the standard promotions they offer for their traditional casino. A couple of examples include a $150 deposit bonus at Bet365 and the opportunity to win up to $1200 every day by playing live blackjack at 888 Casino.
2. You cannot play for free.
Unfortunately, you’re not able to play live dealer games for free like you can the traditional video casino games. There are a couple of reasons why. One, these games are like brick and mortar games; there are only so many seats available, and the casinos prefer to fill those seats with paying customers. Two, the overhead to run these games is significantly higher than the other online games.
3. You can play live games from your browser, download and mobile device.
Players with all devices, including Windows, Mac and Linux PCs, as well as iOS (Apple) and Android phones and tablets will be able to play live dealer games. Some casinos only have their games available in their Flash instant play casino, while others are in the download. After talking to the support at Bet365 I was assured that you could play from your phone, too. Then there are casinos like BetFred (that we don’t recommend on the site) that offers live mobile games as well.
4. Americans cannot play – yet.
At this time there aren’t any worthwhile casinos that accept US customers and have live dealer games. With the legal landscape always changing in the US we don’t think this will always be the case, though.
5. You need a high speed internet connection.
Sorry, but dial-up isn’t going to cut it here. And other options like satellite or mobile (USB / dongle) isn’t the most reliable either. Your best bet is to have a hard-wired, high speed connection.
6. You can chat with the dealers.
Part of the experience of brick and mortar casinos is being able to chat up the pretty dealers. You can do that online, too. It enhances your experience even more.
7. Many casinos use the same dealers.
I’ve noticed that live dealer casinos rotate a small group of dealers, and some even have designated dealers for specific games. This is neat because maybe you find one dealer more attractive than another, or with more personality. You can then figure out (or maybe ask) what their schedule is like, and plan to play at those times.
8. You can get in trouble for counting cards.
This is important, so pay attention. I haven’t checked every site’s terms and conditions, but I have checked the terms for 5Dimes. They make it very clear that if you’re caught counting cards in their live blackjack games they reserve the right to suspend/terminate your account. Basic strategy is probably ok because the casino will still retain a 1-3 percent edge. However, trying your hand at the Uston Advanced Count or the Hi/Lo System probably isn’t the best idea unless you don’t care that you’ll have to find another casino to play at.