There has not been any innovation that has taken the casino world by storm quite like the innovation that is a Live Dealer online casino. Not every casino offers a Live Casino. But don’t worry if you stick with us here at Bonus Ninja, we’ll tell you where you can play the best Live Casino games.
There’s a lot to look into when choosing which casino go to when picking your Live Casino, we’ll cover it all and help you choose the best one for you.
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The History of Live Casino
Over the last two decade there has been exponential growth in the online casino industry. One of the biggest reasons for this growth is the addition of Live Casinos, they have completely revolutionised online casinos.
You can’t think of the birth of Live Casino without talking about the start of online casinos. The first online casino was launched by Microgaming in 1995 on its Gaming Club website. The first online casino only offered play for free games.
In 1996 Cryptologic found a way to offer real money transfers allowing for bets with cold hard cash!
The first ever Live Casino was introduced in 1998 by Planet Poker, at the time it was still relatively limited due to unreliable internet connections and pixilated streaming video.
Since then Live Casinos have grown from strength to strength.
These days Live Casinos boast HD streaming technology, an interactive chat interface, professional croupiers and special dedicated high roller tables.
In the last few years, the Live Casino experience is even available to play on the go from your mobile.
Many Live Casinos are now available 24/7 so you can enjoy the brick and mortar experience round the clock from the comfort of your couch.
Live Casino games
As of yet, not every game is available to play in a Live Casino. For example, there are a couple of casino games that aren’t currently available to play in the Live Casino such as Craps and Keno. That’s not to say they won’t join the fold soon, but for whatever reason there are only a handful of games you can currently play.
Not to worry though, there are plenty of reasons you may enjoy playing at a Live Casino. And every day new games are added to online casino’s Live Dealer collection. Here are a few:
If you are a fan of Roulette, you are going to love playing Roulette in the Live Casino. Possibly the most popular game at Live Casinos. The game is easy and complex at the same time.
Most games in a Live Casino follow the same rules and pace as they would in a brick and mortar casino.
When you play Live Roulette, you’ll place your bet and watch the wheel spin in real time.
The first thing you’ll want to do when playing any casino game is familiarise yourself with the rules of the game.
At a Live Roulette table, you’ll find two parts: the wheel and the betting table. The wheel has numbered segments running from 1 to 36 which are red or black. In a game of American Roulette, you’ll find two green coloured segments labelled 0 and 00. In European Roulette there is only a single green zero.
There are several different bets you can place when playing a game of Live Roulette. Each of the bets will offer different payouts.
Outside bets are the easiest to hit but have the worst payouts. They include: betting on black or red, odd or even, low or high (for a 1 to 1 payout) and columns (for a two to 1 payout).
Inside bets include: a six-line bet (paying out 5 to 1), a bet on four numbers (paying out 8 to 1), a street bet – on three numbers (paying out 11 to 1), a split bet – on two numbers (paying out 17 to 1) and a straight bet – on a single number (paying out 35 to 1).
Playing the Game
Once the bets are placed the game is pretty much in the hands of the croupier. With Live Roulette you’ll be able to watch all the action happen in real time. The wheel will be spun, and the croupier will throw the marble in the opposite direction. The marble will spin around the wheel until it eventually comes to rest in one of the numbered segments.
Winning players will automatically be payed-out in relation to the relevant payout and initial bet.
Some people believe that the “house always wins” means that casino games are rigged towards the casino. Believe it or not this isn’t actually the case. All that the expression means is that the chances of winning a game are slightly more skewed towards the casino. This may seem unfair, but it wouldn’t be in a casino’s best interest to operate if they can’t make at least a small profit.
Roulette is actually one of the easiest games to illustrate a house edge to players. Take the bet on black or red as an example, you might think your chances are 50/50; but they are actually a little less. Why? Because of the infamous 0 (or double zero in American Roulette). The segments are numbered 1 to 36, half are red, half are black. Then there is a zero that is green. So, there is actually a 48.6% chance of hitting red, a 48.6% chance of hitting red and a 2.7% chance of hitting green. If the ball lands on zero, neither the players who bet on red or black will win. That’s the house edge.
Blackjack is probably the casino table game that allows for the most skill. Don’t get us wrong there is a lot of luck involved, but you can actually employ a fair amount of strategy if you are planning to stay at the table for a while.
Nothing gets quite as close to a physical casino as a Live Blackjack. When you play Live Blackjack, you will take a seat at a virtual table. The most common table configuration for Live Blackjack is seven seats. You can even interact with the croupier and other players at the table using the live chat function.
One of the other major differences with playing in a Live Casino as opposed to regular online casino blackjack is the pace of the game. Since it is live you can expect it to be little slower.
There are a variety of Blackjack games available to play in a Live Casino. They can vary in terms of the number of packs in play and small differences in working out your score. It’s also noteworthy to look into the table limits, make sure that the table you choose has a minimum and maximum limit per hand that works for you.
When you start playing a game at any Live Casino it’s a good idea to choose a video quality that works for the streaming ability available to you.
When playing Live Blackjack, you’ll be playing at “physical” tables, they may be virtual, but they are real in terms of the numbers of players allowed at a table.
The first actual action you need to take is to place your first bet. Keep in mind it must meet the minimum and maximum table bets.
Unlike a few other Live Casino table games, the bets on Blackjack are quite limited. That doesn’t mean there isn’t strategy involved, because there is. It just means that there are fewer options of bets you can place when playing each hand.
When a dealer receives an Ace, you’ll have the opportunity to take insurance as a side bet on the hand. You’ll need to pay half of your initial bet. It may seem like a smart strategy, but most blackjack strategists would advise against taking insurance unless you are fully aware that a disproportional number of tens and face cards have already been revealed.
After the first set of cards have been revealed you’ll have a few options to play. You’ll have three options: you can stand, hit, double split or surrender.
The most common options are to stand or hit. If you stand, you stick with your given cards and don’t take another card. If you hit, you allow the croupier to give you another card. You are actually welcome to hit until you break (hit more than 21). That’s not to say it’s a good idea to go all the way to 21. The minute you break, you lose.
Before you “hit” you can choose to “double”. If you do, you’ll also need to double your bet. You’ll receive one more bet.
If you are dealt two cards of the same value, you can “split” your cards. If you do, you will essentially play two separate boxes. Each represents a separate hand. Your cards will then be split into two separate piles, each representing a separate hand.
We already touched on the House Edge for Roulette, but it’s important to note it applies to every Live Casino game.
Blackjack holds one of the lowest house edges of any Live Casino games. So, what does it entail? Essentially the house edge gives you a relatively accurate idea of the advantage of the casino versus the advantage of a player.
It’s important to keep in mind that a house edge is decided over thousands of games. Just because you see a house edge, doesn’t mean that that is the be all and end all. It is actually worked out over several thousands of games.
Blackjack is generally the Live Casino game that offers the lowest house edge out of any casino game. Across most versions of the game, the house edge is generally 0.05%! That’s pretty much as good as you’ll get.
When Live Casinos joined the fray, basically the only games you could play were Blackjack and Roulette. They are both great games, but let’s face it… variety is the spice of life! Baccarat joined the Live Casino offering a little over a decade ago, giving Live Casino a whole new flavour.
This is one of those games that has been around for a really long time. Some say it has been around since the 1400s and has its roots in Italy.
How to play
To play Live Baccarat the first thing you need to do is place your bet. There are two main options, you can bet on the Player (pays out 1 to 1) or on the Banker (paying out 1 to 1 minus a 5% commission). It’s important to note that the dealer isn’t actually the banker. You can also place a bet on a tie (where the banker and player score the same), if the game results in a tie, punters who bet on player or banker will not win, if you bet on the tie you will be paid out 8 to 1.
Another bet is a pair to the player or a pair to the banker. Hit this one for a payout of 11 to one.
The object of the game is to get as close to nine without going over. Two cards are dealt to the player box, and two cards are dealt to the banker. If either the banker or a player is dealt an eight or a nine (known as a natural), no more cards will be dealt.
If you go over a nine, the first digit is dropped to give you the new face value of your cards. Say for example the banker is dealt an 8 and a 5, the total would be 14. Take away the first digit and you are left with the score of 4 for the hand. If the hand’s score equals zero (for example if you receive a 6 and a four), the score will be zero, which is known as baccarat.
Depending on certain pre-determined rules, a third card might be dealt.
Live Baccarat has an incredibly low house edge of only 1.06%, this makes it one of the most lucrative games in any casino, physical, online or live dealer. The low house edge should tell you that placing a bet on the banker isn’t actually your best bet as you’ll need to pay a 5% commission.
The safest bet you can play is on the player.
Live Dragon Tiger
This one was only released in 2018 and in its very short life span has already garnered a huge following. It’s one of those games that anyone can play!
You place your bet on Dragon or Tiger. When the game is in play the dealers take two cards from the 8 decks in play. One card is placed in the Dragon field and one is placed in the Tiger field. Whichever is higher, wins.
Dragon Tiger is really unique because there is no house edge. Besides betting on Tiger or Dragon you can also bet on the tie. It’s only a side bet, and probably not the safest bet to place, but it can offer the player great rewards if it is hit, paying out 11 to 1.
The first Live Casino Game Show fixture was launched in 2017. Most of the Game Show Live Casino games have been release by Evolution gaming, the Live Casino giant.
These games pretty much come down to luck, but they are fun and simple to understand, and a great place to start to dip your toe into Live Casino games.
This one was the first ever Live Casino Game Show reiteration. Open the game and you’ll be greeted by a huge colourful, wheel or fortune type wheel. The game offers an HD multi-camera studio to bring you into the action.
The first thing you’ll need to do is place your bet, you need to bet on where you think the wheel will stop. Different numbers offer different payouts based on the likelihood of hitting the number.
Even more than other Live Casino games, the dealers in Dream Catcher interact with the players to offer you an immersive experience and make you feel like you are actually taking part in a televised game show.
Crazy Time is crazy fun! Enter the game and you’ll find a super bright and colourful studio offering a game that is jam packed with four bonus games and the option to activate plenty of multipliers.
It’s a sort of wheel of fortune, where you place your bets on 1, 2, 5 or ten, and then wait for the Live Dealer to spin a giant money wheel.
The only place that strategy enters the game a little is when you enter the bonus games where you will be able to make decisions that affect the outcome of the game.
This special game was created by melding Hasbro’s popular game with Dream Catcher. The money wheel is the same as Dream Catcher but with a few additions including “CHANCE” and “2 ROLLS”. Hit them for instant cash prizes, multipliers and entry into the bonus game.
If you manage to claim a spot in the 3D bonus game, you’ll join Mr. Monopoly himself as you join an AR world on a monopoly board, offering you the chance to claim multipliers and prizes.
Mega Ball is a sort of live lottery game. To play you simply need to choose your number and decide how many games you would like to play (up to 200).
When the game starts, dealers will choose from a drum of 51 numbered balls. So, what is the Mega Ball? It’s there to multiply your winnings and add to the excitement.
This unique game combines a love of sport with a love of casino. Similar to Live Dragon Tiger but with a special football theme. In this game the cards can be “home” or “away”, so delegated to teams of a football match.
Besides the designation of possible bets this one is the same as the original game.
Lightning games were introduced to the world in 2018, starting with Lightning Roulette. The idea with Lightning Games is to use the classic game play of table games with the excitement and fun of a game show.
All are filmed at dedicated Evolution studios with gold and black art deco theme that scream decadence.
Even though it was only released very recently this game has quickly become the most popular version of Roulette in the world!
The base game is exactly the same as European Roulette. The game is fast paced and features special lucky numbers; that give you the chance to win up 500 times on a straight up bet.
So how does it work? Multipliers of 50x, 100x, 200x, 300x, 400x or 500x are assigned to up to 5 randomly selected numbers on the wheel.
Lightning Dice offers massive payouts and entertaining gameplay. You can place a bet or bets on any of the 16 spots, running from 3 to 18. Each spot has a different payout ranging from 5 times to 150 times your bet.
Just like Lightning Roulette, before the game starts up to three spots can be randomly designated for a special bonus as high as 1,000 times your bet!
Three regular, six-sided dice are thrown into the dynamic lightning tower. It’s hypnotising to watch as the three values are revealed.
Again, the game play of the base game is the same as traditional baccarat. You can place your bets on the Player, Banker, Tie or a side bet.
In each round of the game there is the possibility of drawing up to five Lightning cards which can multiply your winnings between two and eight times. To put that into context a winning tie bet can result in 262,144 times your bet!
Reasons to choose a Live Casino
There are several reasons you might want to play at a Live Casino. One of the best reasons is that it offers the best of both worlds. You get all the fun of a physical casino without having the leave the comfort of your own home.
Any quality casino worth its salt will offer you the option to play at a Live Casino.
Not all brick and mortar casinos offer all casino game. When you play online there are many more games available to you. Live Casinos offering you games that aren’t available in any other format, such as lightning games and live dealer game show games.
In the last few years, you can actually play most Live Casino games right on your mobile giving you the option of playing anywhere that you find yourself.
One of the best things about playing Live Casino is that you get to choose how much you want to interact with the dealer and other players. Consider yourself a bit of a recluse? No worries you can play the game and easily ignore everyone else. A bit of a social butterfly? You can chat to the dealer and other players at the table to enhance the fun of the game.
There are also a few reasons that might help get you excited about joining a new casino, such as:
Welcome Bonus and other rewards
The first thing you should look at when joining a new casino is what’s on offer both to new and established customers. Welcome Bonuses are a huge part of this. Casinos in Canada offer a great variety of rewards for their new players.
Generally speaking, you won’t be able to use your new player casino bonus in a Live Casino. But keep in mine you can use a welcome bonus to build your bank roll and THEN use that in a Live Casino. So, it is still very must worth your wild to embrace a Welcome Bonus.
Online Casinos offer more payment options that most online businesses. In general, they have helped pave the way in terms of many online technologies.
For example, Bitcoin may only have been around for a few years, but in that time it has had a massive impact on online casino. More than most online retailers, casinos tend to accept Bitcoin as a payment method and even regularly offer special bonuses for players wanting to use this payment method.
Why can't you play Live Casino for free?
One of the regular complaints from punters about playing Live Casino is that it isn’t available to play for free. We can understand why this may be confusing as almost every other casino game is available without needing to take a financial risk. So, what gives? Simply put, a Live Casino can only offer games for Real Money because each game played has a real cost. To run a Live Casino, you need to pay not only for the licences of the game but also for the human resource cost.
You have to pay for the time of the dealers, the studio time, camera men, electricity costs and so on. When looking at a slot, for example, all the costs are spent before the game is even played. With Live Casino the costs are ongoing.
For this reason, it just isn’t feasible to offer the game for free. Real people cost real money.
Frequently asked questions
Q1. What languages can I use in a Live Casino?
Live Casinos take place in real time with real dealers. So, it’s obviously unrealistic to offer a Live Casino interface in every language on the planet. Generally speaking, Live Casinos are presented in English. Often Live Dealers can speak many languages so you might get lucky and find a dealer who can speak your language.
You’ll also find dedicated table in a variety of languages including Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Greek, Swedish Greek and Japanese.
Even if you can’t find your chosen language, the basic interface will be provided in your chosen language regardless of if you can communicate with the Live Dealer.
Q2. Can I use my bonus at Live Casino tables?
Generally speaking, no. There are a lot of unpredictable aspects in a Live Casino and a very low house edge on most games. For this reason, most casinos won’t allow you to play your bonus through in a Live Casino. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it; it simply means that you need to play in the Live Casino on your own financial steam.
Q3. Can other players see me at a Live Casino table?
Nope, the camera only goes one way onto the table. Even when you communicate with the dealer and other players at the table, they will only be able to see your username. For this reason, it is strongly suggested if you want to protect your identity it might be a good idea to not use your real name as your username.
Q4. Is it safe to play at a Live Casino?
Yes, it is. In fact, the security levels are pretty much two-fold. On the one side there are only a handful of providers, each of them goes to serious lengths to ensure compliancy and customer security. On top of that casinos need to ensure that they have met certain rules and regulations in terms of their jurisdiction. Not every casino is necessarily regulated within Canada but to do business a casino must meet regulations within their registered jurisdiction. One of the things that is included within this is to use SSL encryption technology ensuring that your personal and financial information is protected.
Q5. Do I need to download any software to play at a Live Casino?
It completely depends on the casino. Generally speaking, you don’t need to download any software, but a few casinos might require you to. Which ever you prefer, you’ll find the right casino for you.
Nothing will get you as close to a brick and mortar casino as an online Live Casino. Enjoy all the excitement of playing with real Live Dealers right from the comfort of your couch. You can even interact with players at the same table and the dealers themselves via Live Chat.
Live Casinos really are the best of both worlds offering you plenty to get excited about. On top of that Live Casinos offer you plenty of game options that may not be available to play at physical casinos. What’s not to love?