Time To Shuffle Up And Deal At A Live Online Casino
Online gambling is growing at a rate nobody would have guessed at twenty years ago. The end is not in sight yet with new casinos opening their virtual doors almost every couple of months. So what’s new in the field then? Well the latest niche is the live casino online. “Why?” I hear you say “What’s with the new format”.
Well every pot needs a stir now and again and casinos are no different. Although the live dealer set up is an expensive stir for any brand to commit too. But as with all good businesses the market research was done and low and behold there’s room this. Cynics amongst the gambling fraternity have always questioned whether the outcomes of online casino games were truly random.
Despite all the safeguards in place against fraud, there are some that just don’t believe the seed numbers for the RNG’s are safe. They are entered by a human after all. There are also some that just don’t except the maths behind it all. These hardened non-believers have to see the cards shuffled in somebodies hands. They trust their eyes more than assurances from somebody they have never met.
Fine agreed, but not all of us have a casino round the corner where we can just pop in, hang around for a seat, and watch a pretty croupier drop in the ball. So there’s a part of the market that needs catering too.
The next big chunk comes from those that are getting a bit bored with the whole detachment of the online gambling scene. A lot of these people cut their teeth in real casinos awakening the joy of gambling and they miss that atmosphere. There is something special about watching a dealer work the cards in a room full excited punters. And of course there are those that have never been to and want to taste a bit of the flavour of a real live casino.
Real Dealers Just Like It Used To Be
The scene is set just like the top class casinos around the world. Green baize covered tables, with smart well-dressed dealers serving up the action. Roulette wheels are the same as would be found in the Bellagio or any other renowned venue, fully certified and authentic in every way. Depending on the house rules for the game blackjack and baccarat are played with standard shoes containing anywhere from 1 to 8 decks. Shuffled and loaded in front of your very eyes using the same protocols keeping hands in sight at all times.
The main difference is the obvious fact that no chips are placed on the tables. All betting is done via an interface with very intuitive functions. All bets and the layout will be recognizable with the brand. There are a couple of ways that casinos set out the rooms, one is the single table private room set up. The other is a multi-room main floor style. Both give a genuine atmosphere you can feel like a VIP with your own private dealer in seclusion. Or out on the main floor with all the hustle and bustle with cards flying and balls bouncing. And the cherry on the top is you can wear what you like, eat, drink, smoke and have as many gambling guides at your fingertips as you like.
What Goes Into The Live Dealer Casino
A considerable financial commitment is required to set up a live dealer room. First, premises are needed for the studio and back up facilities. If a main room set up is used this needs to be quite large as it’s not just tables that need to fit in. Or a building with many rooms or the ability to partition off space if a private room set up is wanted. A lot of camera equipment and operators take up a fair amount of space also. An area for the tech team with all their hardware needed to transmit the games, and somewhere for a software engineer to oversee all the running of the games. Then of course there’s the need for a lot of staff, dealers, camera crew pit bosses etc. The wage bill for a live casino is way bigger relative to an ordinary online casino.
All the action is fed via state of the art live streaming video hardware. This is all converted into data using some very trick software called optical character recognition or OCR. This data is then fed into the usual gaming software allowing you to interact via the console on your screen, and place your bets. There is a live chat function where you can talk to the dealer and the other players at the table if you wish. Run in real time with the same rules and protocols you would get in a brick and mortar casino, the games are as close to being there as you can get.
Because the games are run in real time and with a lot of players betting the dealer interaction is just the same waiting for the betting action to cease before carrying on with maybe a prompt or two to hurry it along. This all adds to the atmosphere and before long you forget you are in your living room and start to believe you could be in Monty Carlo. The amount of investment needed to set this in motion limits the number of games available unfortunately. Unlike a standard online casino where it’s just a case of adding to the software, live dealer action requires an increase in all aspects for it to grow. As it stands now only the most popular casino games are catered for, but watch this space as they say because it is sure to grow.
So What Live Casino Games Can You Play?
Roulette is probably the oldest casino game still played in an unchanged state. The wheel is the same design as it was when invented over a century ago. An exciting game for the inexperience and the long term player alike. The anticipation is just enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. Watching the ball physically bounce around the red and black slots is mesmerizing.
Playing live with a croupier and other players at the table is the way the game should be played. Even if you only place the simple bets like odd or even it just doesn’t get boring. Once you start to get the hang of the more complex bets with the higher odds, interest gets peaked further. It is and always will be a very interactive way to gamble. The game is offered at every live dealer set up. The best ones have more than one version. European or French roulette is the most popular and the oldest with only the single 0 on the wheel offers the best odds too.
The American style wheel with the 00 slot is becoming more popular it does have a few more bets available but the house odds are increased at lot. The advantage over a true brick and mortar affair is that you will be able to play for stakes well within your budget. Most live dealer casinos will have tables that range from a 25p stake all the way up to £5000.
Blackjack is the most popular card game played in every single casino in the world. It is also probably the one with the most variations available too. The basic rules are the same whichever variant you play, draw cards to get as close to 21 without going over and beat the dealer. The main differences come in the rules on how you can bet on your hand. This is where you must familiarize yourself with the house rules.
The most significant rule however is how many decks are played with. This number can range from 1 to 8 in the shoe. The more decks in the shoe the higher the house percentage gets. This also makes it much harder for advantage players, counting cards becomes much more complicated with over 400 cards in play. Doubling down is allowed at some games and not others. If allowed it’s only on your two card starting hand. You may double your initial bet and receive only one more card. This is a great bet if you’re dealt ten or eleven you can’t bust and you stand a good chance of getting a very good hand.
Most casinos allow you to split a pair into two hands, there will be different house rules about splitting aces and re-splitting if the hand pairs again. Back-betting is starting to be allowed at some games, this is when you wager on somebody else’s hand. Back-betting will have a host of house rules attached that would need to be looked into. Surrender bets, insurance and ‘taking even money’ are also found and will all have different rules in each casino.
Baccarat is becoming more popular the rules are a bit convoluted and are explained on our games page. The fact that you can bet on either hand and you have no decisions to make after the bet is placed makes it a very simple game to play. There are no real differences between casinos where baccarat is concern.