Live Dealer Games: Best of Both Worlds
They’re live. They’re virtual. These online table games let players interact with real, remotely based dealers from a computer or mobile device. Here’s how it works, and why it might work for you.
Live-dealer online casino games give you the convenience of virtual playing, but with a human dealer, not a software program, to spin the roulette wheel or deal the cards.
If you love to play table games, this is the best of both worlds. The games are livestreamed from a remote studio or casino. You can see the physical playing area and the dealer as you play. Cutting-edge optical camera recognition (OCR) and video streaming technologies capture every nuance and detail related to wheel spinning, card-shuffling, and hands distribution. In each game, your playing decisions will be displayed for the live dealer on a monitor to view and act on. It brings the real casino gaming experience to life on your computer or mobile screen.
But the computer interface is similar to that in other casino games, so you don’t have to do anything different while you play. And with “chat boxes” you can interact with the live dealers and even other players. Feels like the real thing!
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Real Experience in Real Time
Lots of online players prefer a flesh-and-blood dealer. Yes, the game takes place in a virtual casino. But with a live dealer as host, it comes pretty close to delivering the social and physical experience of a land-based gaming hall. In most cases, you can interact with the dealer, too, asking questions or addressing concerns.
In Michigan last week, iGaming provider PointsBet launched live-dealer casino games as part of its platform. Partnering with Evolution, a globally renowned name in the field, PointsBet is helping its customers experience the feel of an authentic casino delivered on a user-friendly platform. The games include Blackjack, Infinite Blackjack, Auto Roulette, European Roulette and Baccarat.
“Online casino products have seen a rapid growth in the U.S.,” said Aaron O’Sullivan, Pointsbet’s VP of online casino revenue, who said live-dealer games offer “the feel of an authentic casino delivered on a user-friendly and approachable platform.”
PointsBet gained access to the Great Lakes State via an exclusive partnership with the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, and has forged partnerships with the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL and their venue, Little Caesars Arena, home of the PointsBet Sports Bar, as well as the Detroit Pistons of the NBA.
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Most Popular Live-Dealer Games
Blackjack is probably the most popular game of all, online and in person. Live-dealer blackjack is similar to the original game, with one difference: the dealer may have to wait a bit longer for all the players to act.
Once each online player has placed a bet, the dealer will give two cards to each, while taking two cards back for himself or herself. Each participant then makes their playing decision—to stand, hit, split, double, or surrender (if available)—and the dealer completes the action. Following the action of all participants, the dealer will flip over his second card to complete the hand.
Infinite Blackjack features a limitless number of players and no waiting for other players to act. Players can place side bets for bonus features. And a “Six Card Charlie” rule (drawing six cards that total 21 or less) gets you paid whether or not the dealer gets 21.
The electric atmosphere of a live casino helps make online roulette more exciting. So with live-dealer roulette at a good online casino, it’s possible to replicate almost all the gameplay effects of a live table.
On your computer or mobile screen, a real croupier will spin a physical wheel. You’ll hear the sound of the ivory ball rattling around the roulette wheel, and then wait with bated breath for the winning number to show up. Instead of depending on random number generators to decide the result, you experience the authentic roulette game over live video-streaming.
In live-dealer online roulette, the players can choose what and how much they want to bet on. Roulette wheels are usually available in single-zero wheels (known as European roulette) and double-zero wheels (American roulette). European roulette will have a lower house edge than American roulette, and is a much more fair game for the player. Choose that every time.
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Live-dealer baccarat in an online casino is similar to the land-based casino game. Baccarat plays well in the live-dealer format, because the dealer’s game actions occur only after you’ve placed your bet.
The difference here is that unlike a physical casino, where the wager positions are restricted to seven seats, you have an unlimited number of betting positions. Live-dealer baccarat also offers a variety of side bets, which lend additional authenticity to your game. In live-dealer baccarat, just like a land-based casino, you may even have baccarat tables where you can try your hand at the Squeeze version where you can touch the cards virtually.
The game of Baccarat is pretty simple, with three betting options: player, banker, or tie. All you need to decide is which bet you want to play. The dealer will control the rest of the game according to set rules, where each hand will either stay or get an additional card. Finally, the winning bets are paid and the next round wagers are placed.
Since the banker bet has a slight advantage over the player bet, you’ll pay a 5 percent commission on all winning bets. While the tie bet is fun, it has a heavy house advantage and should be avoided. But in the end baccarat has one of the lowest house edges of all casino games, so why not take a chance?
The Bottom Line
If you like the thrill and action of a casino, but don’t have the time or proximity to a brick-and-mortar casino, give live-dealer games a try.
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