These days, the best online casinos are always mentioning their Live Dealer games. It’s touted as the biggest revolution in online casino gaming since…well, casinos went online in the late 90s. You can call it a revolution because the technology involved is nothing short of spectacular. But more than revolutionizing the field, what the Live Dealer games actually do, is create a welcome regression into the real of the real and tangible. They, in essence, re-humanize the online casino.
Live Dealer casinos are a commingling of the real with the digital. They take the excitement of brick and mortar casinos, and deliver it over the internet to players all over the world who might not be in the market for a trip to Las Vegas. They go a step further by creating a perfect environment. This is the perfect casino where the dealers are beautiful, and the floor is not littered with drunk or belligerent players. This experience can be brought anywhere, in fact, since players can log in not only from Macs and PCs, but from their smartphones as well. The ability to play on a mobile device or tablet, with the touch interface, goes a long way toward reintroducing the missing human element in the games.
Your day just got that much better since you can now enjoy mobile casino games. Grab your iPhone, your iPad or your Android (among others) and have a great time playing the games you love to enjoy. Each game offers something unique and fun for your enjoyment.
So how do the Live Dealer Casinos operate? As I’ve mentioned, this is not some extremely advanced computer graphics interface. These are actual real casinos set up in a controlled environment such as a studio, with multiple video cameras installed around the room. There is at least one camera per table, which provides players with a live feed showing the dealers or croupiers in the thick of the action. The interface allows interaction between players and dealers. Thus players can place bets in real time, talk to the dealer and ask questions.
What goes on behind the scenes is actually quite ingenuous and interesting. In order to play at a Live Casino, you have to go through a licensee. This means signing up at one of the online casinos that offer Live Dealer games. Generally speaking, casinos that offer Live Dealer games are usually the largest and most well respected. Casinos such as PaddyPower, for instance, are the calibers we’re talking about. The online casino, in turn, must invest in an infrastructure to support Live Dealer games.
The infrastructure comes in the form of third party software that the online casino must license. These software companies offer the interface and code that allow Live Dealer games to function without a hitch. There are several of these third party software companies, and they each have their own platform. The biggest names in this field are Evolution gaming and Entwine Tech. Some of these platforms are actually developed by companies such as Microgaming and Playtech, who cut their teeth by developing some of the best traditional online casino platforms in the industry.
The companies developing these platforms understand that there is an optimal way of doing things. This is why the top online casino platforms might look different, but function in very similar ways. This holds true in Live Dealer games as well. Although some of the surface details that allow the placement of bets might have their own feel, the Live Dealer casinos look very similar to one another.
With the name of the game being Live Dealer, the most important aspect of the interface is…you guessed correctly, the dealer. The dealer takes center stage in the live feed interface. This is true across the board with the various platforms. This is, of course, the whole point of having Live Dealer games. A smaller portion of the screen is then set aside for useful data. This includes not only betting history, but also betting instructions, advice, house rules and other tidbits of information. There is the chat window that allows players to interact with the dealer or croupier, as well as with the other players present at the table. Some of the platforms go so far as allowing players to see what the other players have wagered.
Depending on which casino players sign up with, and consequently, which platform they use for Live Dealer games, they will get to play at one of three basic flavors of Live Dealer casinos. The three types are brick and mortar casino, studio, and television broadcast.
The first type, the brick and mortar casino is very special among these options. When I say brick and mortar, what I mean is that the live view is of an actual operating casino—complete with players seated at the tables. This doesn’t just approximate the experience of playing at a casino. This actually is the experience of playing at a casino, in a very literal sense. This is a very engrossing experience, to say the least.
More often than not, however, Live Dealer casinos operate inside of a studio. This is the idyllic casino experience. Pure in the sense that all you have is the perfect idealized essence of the casino experience, distilled and perfectly controlled. The dealers are always beautiful; the lighting is always perfect; there are multiple cameras to take advantage of and their angles are always spot-on. The real draw to this type of casino is the personal attention you get from the dealer. These are the best platforms to use, as they are truly optimized for remote playing, with a perfectly developed user interface. And they look amazing.
There is one more version of Live Casino. The television broadcast. These existed on cable television, and they merely got ported over to online broadcasting. These games have more of a produced look and feel, like a television show more than anything. They aren’t as interactive as the other versions.
Most players who sign up with the better online casinos will get to enjoy the studio flavor of Live Dealer games. The question, most people have is, “which games are available?” It’s obvious that it isn’t practical to offer every type of game there is. Slot machines, for example would be absurd, as the graphical interface is more suited for the computer platforms. In general, the games on offer are Blackjack , Baccarat , and Roulette . Some Live Dealer casinos offer Sicbo. Three or four games does not seem like a lot in a world of online casinos that offer over 300 different games.
Quality wins over quantity in this case. These are the old faithfuls of the casino industry. But there are other reason that there are so few games offered. For instance, since this is Live Dealer, each game needs an actual live dealer. But for each dealer, there needs to be lighting, cameras (or even camera operators), and so on, making each game a production by itself. Put this in contrast with software that runs on RNGs (random number generators), which need to be designed once, and then run on their own until the end of time. The cost of operating a Live Dealer casino is quite high compared to a software platform. Time will tell if this niche in online gambling will take enough of a foothold to make the operational costs small enough that casinos will be able to offer more games.
I mentioned earlier in the article that studio based Live Dealer casinos are idealized. Production values such as controlled environment and lighting, as well as high quality cameras go a long way to perfecting the experience. But in the end it all comes down to the actual dealers. These casinos offer certified dealers who are experts in their field. They come trained with extremely high standards of professionalism. On top of the skill of the dealers, it appears that looks take a very high priority in the hiring process at these Live Dealer casinos. The dealers are often extremely beautiful (with a smattering of good looking men as well). The studios are based in either Latvia or the Philippines, and depending on the user IP (which tells the software where in the world the player is located) players are directed to either the European or Asian casino.
Live Dealer casinos are still a new thing in the well established online casino industry. They use extremely advanced technology to allow players to escape the computerized casino realm, and return to the analog world. As an experience they are well beyond what any computer software can offer. Instead of playing against a random number generator, they employ real life random chance. The real world is where people belong and it is refreshing to see the trend going in this direction. No matter how advanced a graphics rendering engine might be, it cannot replace the real and tangible. If you’re tired of staring at the same old computer generated screen when playing Blackjack or Roulette, I recommend trying out Live Dealer games on one of the best platforms out there.