Established in 2001

Live Dealer Casinos

Did you know that you can play some of the most popular casino games online just like when you play at your local casino? You’re probably thinking about the online games that look like they were created by cartoon animation technicians, but that’s not what I mean.

What I’m talking about are actual real casino games with real dealers that are being transmitted from cameras like the Web cam on your laptop computer. These games and the places that offer them are often called live dealer casinos.

Many regular online casinos also offer a live dealer casino. The fastest way to find out if a casino offers them is to read one of the reviews found on this site or look under the games being offered at the casino main site where you are considering playing.

How Live Dealer Games Work

Live dealer games have a camera set up focusing on a dealer–usually an attractive young woman–and a playing table. There will be a monitor that the dealer can see that shows who the players are that are playing at her table and what actions the players are taking.

For example, if you’re playing at a blackjack table, the monitor will show your decision to hit, stand, double, surrender, etc. You won’t be able to see the monitor. Usually the only things you can see are the dealer and the playing surface.

The actual play is really just like when you play at a live casino in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Players place a bet, card are dealt (or the wheel is spun in roulette), decisions are made, lost bets are collected and winning bets are paid. The real difference is you don’t have to leave your house to enjoy the action.

Popular Live Dealer Game Variations

Only certain games are available for live dealer play. The most common are blackjack, roulette and baccarat, but you can also find sicbo, 3 card poker and casino holdem.

Here’s a quick overview of these games.

Live Blackjack

Live dealer blackjack is exactly like sitting at a blackjack table in your local casino. You place your bet along with any other players at the table, the dealer deals each player and herself two cards from a shoe, the players decide whether to hit, stand, split, double or surrender (where available), the dealer turns over her down card and bets are collected or paid.

The main difference is that fewer hands per hour are played with a live online dealer; it takes longer for all of the players to act.

Live Roulette

When you play roulette with a live dealer you place your wagers, and then the dealer spins the wheel. If you placed a winning bet the dealer pays you and if you lose she collects your money. Roulette is really a simple game and plays well in a live dealer format.

Live Baccarat

Most casinos that offer live dealer games have baccarat available. I believe this is mainly the same reason real casinos always have baccarat available. Many high rollers play baccarat and they enjoy the live experience.

So the online casinos are trying to replicate the same setting as these players enjoy in a land based casino. Overall they do a good job, and baccarat is such a simple straightforward game, requiring no actual decision making beyond how much to bet and whether to wager on the player, dealer or a tie, it plays very well with a live dealer online.

Live Casino Holdem

Don’t confuse the game of casino holdem with Texas holdem poker. Casino holdem is a table based game like blackjack or Let It Ride, not a traditional poker game like 7 card stud. Casino holdem is also sometimes just called poker in the live dealer game descriptions.

Live Sicbo

Sicbo is not available at very many live dealer casinos, but it is wildly popular in some countries. It’s a dice game where you place a bet or bets and then wait to see if your wagers win on the roll of the dice.

Live 3 Card Poker

3 Card Poker is one of the most popular casino table games, so you’ll occasionally find it offered at a live dealer online casino. It plays just like it does in a land based casino with each player receiving three cards to see if they have a hand that wins.

Before you start playing a live dealer game online, if you aren’t familiar with the rules or haven’t played before, play a few rounds at a non-live dealer table to get used to the game. It will make your gaming experience much better when you do join a live table.

Conclusion

Live dealer casinos are perfect for players who enjoy table games, but they’re not as attractive to slot machine players. If your favorite games include blackjack and roulette, you should probably give a live dealer casino a try.