When you visit any casino site, be it a venue that accepts Bitcoin or not, you’ll usually find a live casino games section. Activate any of these games, and you’ll get transported to a casino gaming experience provided by human dealers. After all, the appeal of live casinos lies in their sense of exclusivity, and that would be hard to achieve without an elegant host dealing your cards or spinning the roulette wheel.
Like all well-established technologies today, the tech behind a live casino had humble beginnings. Let’s find out: What is a live casino, how does it work, and what can you expect from one?
Live Casino Basics
Live casinos are online games with a real dealer streaming either from a brick-and-mortar casino or a casino set. You communicate with a dealer via the chat function, use an intuitive interface to provide gaming input, and observe what is happening at the casino table thanks to an in-studio camera. Some venues – for example, a select few used for gambling with ETH – employ unique virtual reality software to give players a truly immersive experience.
What makes online live casino games so popular is their ability to provide the authentic feeling of playing at a casino, wherever you are. You can access these casino games from your desktop, laptop, or smartphone, from the comfort of your house or a vacation spot. There are no excessive and distracting crowds from real casinos, or waiting times to find a free table.
Live Casino History
The idea of having an interactive casino experience online was always in the works, ever since internet casinos started showing up. First tries at making a live gambling site go back to the late 1990s. However, technology had to progress sufficiently to accommodate the complexities of this type of entertainment.
The first live casinos were established in 2006 when fast internet connections were becoming commonplace. However, these casinos would not uncover their true potential until the advent of HTML5 in the 2010s.
One software company that quickly gained the upper hand in the global business of live casinos was Evolution. This game provider catered to its player base with its game design and signed agreements with heavy-hitter casinos for streaming rights. Their interactive casino games even got worldwide awards in 2010.
Today, you can find the list of Evolution gambling games everywhere. However, other gambling companies have since achieved equally great success in this field too. Pragmatic Play is successfully fighting Evolution’s monopoly over live casinos with its lineup of inventive and high-quality live iGames.
Live Casino Software Providers
Only a handful of game providers make games compatible with live casinos. Evolution Gaming continues to be the most sought-after live-dealer game provider. It focuses on live roulette, blackjack, Hold ’em and 3 Card Poker, and baccarat.
Playtech is another long-lasting game provider that succeeded in profiting from live casinos. Its software focuses on Hold ’em Bitcoin poker, blackjack, baccarat, and roulette. What’s more, this gaming company is one of the rare software publishers with a live version of Sic Bo.
As mentioned, Pragmatic Play has around 80 HTML5 games developed and published to date. They work with live dealers for blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and a few more niche games.
Microgaming is one of the internet gambling giants that, besides offering classic slot games and table games to hundreds of online casinos, has games with live dealers. It has roulette, baccarat, and blackjack in its vast iGaming catalog.
Global Gaming Labs is the newest game provider with its hands in live casino games. Until recently, this company was the only one with live dealer games for the US market. GGL makes roulette, baccarat, and blackjack games.
Games With Live Dealers
Not all types of gambling games can be played in live casinos. Popularity remains the main factor in enlisting a specific game into a casino’s live offer. And since that requires training new dealers, only a handful of casino games make the final cut.
Blackjack is a game suitable for live casino dealers and has the biggest player base.
When playing blackjack online – be it Bitcoin blackjack or regular – every user places a bet before the dealer deals two cards to all players and takes two cards for themselves. Then, every player selects whether to hit, stand, double, split, or surrender. The dealer adheres to each player’s chosen course of action. Once all players have made their choices, the dealer flips over their second card and finishes their hand.
Your online live casino experience will depend on the strength of your internet connection. This can make a game of blackjack flow slower than when playing inside the actual casino premises. And since everyone is playing from the comfort of their homes, pressure from the other participants is absent, further slowing down the game.
Baccarat is a fast-paced live game where the dealer completes all actions once each player places a wager. Once a player puts a bet on a banker, player, or tie, the dealer then deals out two hands with two cards each.
Every hand gets another card or stays as it is. In the next step of a live casino play, the players with winning wagers get paid out, and the new round begins with placing bets.
Roulette is another trendy game with real dealers in live casinos. Here, users place their bets on the outcome of the wheel spinning. In American Roulette, the wheels have two zeros, but there is only one zero on a roulette wheel used for French and European roulette.
Players decide how much and where they place their bets as a part of their live casino betting action by clicking the chips icon, selecting the amount to gamble, and selecting a square in a roulette field to place a bet.
Once the dealer spins the wheel and drops the ball, players whose choice of field ended up being where the ball landed get paid out. Afterward, the dealers accept the next round of bets.
Hold ’em Poker
Hold ’em poker played live is the same as the one a player would play in person – directly against a dealer. There are a couple of poker versions played on live casino sites.
The game starts with each player placing an ante wager, and receiving two hole cards. Then, the dealer reveals the flop – the three cards on the table. After this action, each player can place an additional bet.
Once every player has decided whether to place an additional wager, the dealer reveals the last two board cards, and the players reveal their hands to declare the winner. The player’s winning amount depends on the strength of their winning hand. Bet sizing depends on which alternative of the game is being played.
3 Card Poker
Those who know the answer to “What is a live casino?” are probably familiar with this live casino poker option. 3 Card Poker is well-known at online and real-time casinos alike. In it, the player competes against the dealer with a three-card hand. If they win, they get the payout amount that depends on the winning hand’s strength.
Sic Bo, a game that originated from the Asian markets, can now be played with a live dealer. Players place their bets on the most likely outcome of a dice roll; this can be a Bitcoin dice game, too. Afterward, the result is shown, and players get a payout based on how close they were to the winning combination.
Benefits of Live Dealer Games
Playing a game through live stream in a casino brings joy to many punters. There are many reasons why they prefer to play in live casinos instead of the purely animated games hosted on a casino site.
- The player-dealer synergy: There is a unique interaction with players since the dealers are there for them. Since these dealers tend to put in extra effort, the experience sometimes surpasses playing dealers in brick-and-mortar casinos.
- Cameras: The majority of live games are conducted inside professional studios. Online live casinos use several cameras per one gambling table. They are often employed dynamically, with carefully placed shots from several table corners, and, of course, a focus on the dealer. They enhance the action on the table at the right moment. Users can also decide which camera they want to use for better visibility.
- Face-to-face interaction: Playing on an online Bitcoin betting site is nice, but it pales in comparison to playing against a live dealer. You can see the moves and actions a dealer makes – something missing from Bitcoin slots or any other non-live games.
- You’re not alone: Playing in an online casino with a live dealer and other players fosters human interaction. With the chatbox, you can contact the dealer if you have any questions or start a conversation with the other participating players. It makes the game more interesting.
- Game variety: Live games are now so advanced that you can find any option that you would in a physical venue. Your online play can focus on anything from American roulette, over blackjack and poker, to Sic Bo. Just find a reputable live internet casino to do so.
- The best graphics possible: No amount of pixels and polygons in a classic game can compare to HD video streaming. Game providers use studio cameras to make players feel as close to being at an actual casino as possible.
- Open for business 24/7: Unlike their land-based casino counterparts, you can play against live dealers in casinos on the internet at any time. Software providers and the filming crew work in shifts.
- Play safely in your PJs: You don’t have to think about proper dressing etiquette when playing on a live casino website. Even more importantly, thanks to the site’s protection and encryption measures, you can relax from the comfort of your home, with or without a camera, and not worry about possible user data leaks.
- Enough time to think: Since live games don’t rely on a random number generator, players can actually strategize. All the action is visible on the screen, so tactical shifts can turn events in their favor. You can also join the game as a spectator, watch others play, learn from their moves, and build your own strategy before deciding to participate in an online live casino event.
Live Casino Building Blocks
In live casinos, the game providers are still the ones providing the underlying technology. Therefore, your experience depends on the software quality. Here are all the fundamental ingredients used to create a game with a live dealer:
Cameras represent the player’s eyes, which is why software companies use high-definition and mobile cameras to track every card or wheel move. The video is streamed directly to the users’ homes. Game providers also use slo-mo cameras to mark important gaming moments and, sometimes, even virtual reality cameras for total immersion.
Optical Character Recognition
Live casino tech is easy to understand. First off, an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) system turns every live dealer’s move into data. It is the essential live casino technology that allows players to enjoy live events, be they at Dogecoin casinos or elsewhere.
Game Control Unit
This technology is the beating heart of any live casino. The Game Control Unit encodes the broadcast to provide a high-quality live casino stream under compression with minimal loss to video fidelity. GCU and OCR work in unison.
Live dealers have several monitors to see how many players have entered the game, track their bets, take action, and kick-out players who break the rules. It helps dealers operate the game, just as the user’s monitor allows them to manage the site and live streams.
Hopefully, we managed to show you how live casinos function. Their popularity has been consistently growing for a reason: An interactive game with live dealers easily outmatches computer games, especially if you mix the live casino and mobile experience. And with the ongoing pandemic, more new and veteran players have turned to live games than ever before.
What does live casino mean?
A live casino is an online venue that offers streaming for any game that uses dealers. Both the players and the dealer can have their cameras on.
What is the difference between an online and live casino?
Games posted on a gambling site without a live dealer are online games, while live casino games must include a live dealer as the game’s arbiter.
Is a live casino really live?
Yes, since the game is being streamed in real-time.
How does a live casino work?
The easiest way to figure this out is to give it a try. Now that you can answer the question: “What is a live casino?” you can create an account on an online casino site and look for the “Live Casino” section. From there, select the game you want to play. When the stream starts, use the interface to place bets and give game commands.