Imagine waking up from a dead sleep, slipping into your clothes, and walking straight from your bedroom into a fully-functioning casino complete with real-live dealers, felt-top tables and real cards. It can be done, any time of the day and any day of the week. All you need is a computer with a Webcam and the ability to embrace new online casino gambling technology. Live dealer casinos are beginning to take the Web casino world by storm, earning the praise of gamblers who enjoy the experience that walking into a brick and mortar casino gives them. Instead of computer graphics and impersonal pre-recorded dealer voices, players can log into a live dealer casino and interact with real people dealing real cards in their favorite table games.
The dealers—usually women— are streamed live via a camera and Internet connection as they stand behind tables dealing the cards that have been shuffled the same way they are in real life casinos. These women then deal the cards while talking with the players who are logged into their table. Having a real person there means they can give feedback to players and answer questions about the game or even about themselves, letting players a world away connect with a new friend. You can find out what country a dealer is from, their favorite television shows or food, or get them to give you an inside tip on how to improve your game.
Instead of being an anonymous person isolated in a computer game, gamblers can place bets and see how their playing style compares to other players from around the world. The game is played in real-time, with the dealer speaking into her microphone and players typing their questions or observations into a chat box. While players cannot talk to each other this way, the dealers can respond quickly to more than one player “sitting” at her table, which brings players one step closer to making them feel they are truly in a real casino while sitting on their own couches.
Although traditional online casinos strive to keep their software’s payout percentages and card frequencies exactly the same as they would appear in real life, many gamblers still do not trust the random number generators present in computer software. Live casino play means even the biggest detractors of online gambling must now admit that the cards that come up are being played exactly the same as they would be in a Las Vegas casino.
Currently the games available in live dealer casinos are blackjack, roulette, Sic Bo and baccarat. Many live dealer casinos offer multiple tables of all four games, while some are just starting out with one or two types of games. The most popular of these games is, of course, blackjack, since it has long been known to be the table game with the best odds for a player to win at. Most live dealer casinos are played in addition to a more traditional online casino so that players can choose how they want to play the games. Also, many casinos allow players to practice at a live dealer table with play money so that they can get used to the software and controls before pushing in their real money chips. Live dealer casinos are available around the world, although players from the United States may have to search quite a bit before locating a casino that accepts them. U.S.-friendly live dealer casinos do exist, though.
Some players may feel there are a few drawbacks to playing a live dealer game. For example, because the game is played in real-time with more than one player, the speed of each hand is much slower than when playing solo on quick handed computer dealer. Another issue is that players with older machines or slower internet connections may have problems connecting to the casino or may experience a lag in the feed during game play. Once you get the hang of it, however, you may find the extra technical knowledge needed to join a live dealer casino is worth learning.