Live Casinos

You’ll find that we cover live casinos in every one of our online casinos reviews. That’s because this is a popular product at online casinos and most players are keen on knowing how good a particular live casino offer is. Here we will tell you everything you need to know about live casinos and how to choose one that suits you.

Live Casino providers

No online casino would amount to anything without its games and those are provided by a variety of game developers. 

There are dozens of them, some better known, some as of yet unknown. We have put together a list of some of the best game developers currently around. We introduce the developers in as much detail as we were able to collect and will give you examples of their work and, of course, where to find their games.

Many casinos work with a number of developers these days, which means with most developers it won’t be too difficult to find their games. But we also realized that not every developer works with just anyone, and so some are more difficult to locate around the net.

Hopefully we’ll be able to add more developers over time, though for now the best known ones have been covered by us.

What are live casinos?

First of all we should answer the question what live casinos even are. After all, you’re at an online casino, not a brick-and-mortar old-fashioned kind of casino, which is most certainly the epitome of live. And you usually don’t expect anything to be truly ‘live’ here, do you?

In fact, the first online casinos were all exclusively steered by computers and programs. Nobody even thought of live dealers being an option back then. The divide between online and land-based casinos was clear. But in 2003 Playtech decided to try something new and so they offered the very first live games. Back then that was Blackjack, because it’s easy enough.

Considering that neither Internet speeds nor technologies were quite there yet, the venture didn’t take off. Players weren’t interested in live streaming just yet and the technology was still too expensive for live tables to be feasible.

But the idea caught on with Microgaming and Evolution Gaming, both of whom decided to keep pursuing the technology and as Internet speeds became faster and players were able to connect via broadband instead of dial-up, live casinos gained in popularity.

Now there’s hardly an online casino that doesn’t offer live tables with live dealers, even if sometimes you only find three different games. The player demand is there and if you want to know which live casinos are best, you’re in the right place.

Whilst live casinos don’t quite offer the same atmosphere that brick-and-mortar casinos have, you do get to face a real life dealer and will share the table with other real life players.

How do they work?

Usually online casinos reserve a separate section for live casino games. That means you won’t accidentally take a seat at a table without knowing what you’re getting yourself into. Plus, live casino games can never be played just for fun like most other casino games. If you take a seat, you really should place a bet, but even that is not required right away.

Of course, your seat at the table is only virtual, but the table is quite real, located either in an actual land-based casino or in a dedicated studio – the latter is more common nowadays. There is a live dealer and you’ll be able to see him or her. They are highly trained, of course, because you are playing for real here and not against a computer.

The table is filmed, often from multiple angles (usually with Roulette), but you will also see a partially computer-generated overlay to give you a better view of the game and allow for easier interaction when choosing your moves and placing your bets.

Dealers will either deal the cards as they would in a normal casino, or spin the Roulette wheel. They can see your actions on a separate computer screen and react accordingly, determining wins and losses.

Whilst computers play still a big part in this interaction, you will have other players at the table and there is an actual person on the other end, guiding the game. Nowadays video streaming is so fast and advanced that the lag is less than a second and therefore negligible.

What games are on offer?

Live casino games are always and only table games. There’s no such thing as a live casino slot, just in case you were wondering.

Among the most popular choices are Roulette, Blackjack and Baccarat. We have separate articles on all three games and their live versions for you. You’re welcome to read in-depths about these games there.

Since Casino Poker is also quite popular and in lieu of having an actual Poker network, you will find Texas Hold’em, 3 Card Poker and Casino Hold’em quite often as part of the live casino offer as well.

More extensive live casinos may also include Sic Bo and Craps, but those are usually quite rare and not even often found among the table game section of online casinos.

Interacting with the dealers

Part of the fun and appeal of playing at live casinos online are the interactions not just with the dealers, but often with other players as well.

You’ll find that dealers are always young, attractive women and, less frequently, men, who are engaging, polite and certainly charming. You’re not simply playing against a computer as with most online casino games and the action feels closer to visiting a land-based casino.

Additionally, dealers won’t just state the facts of the game back to you, but will welcome you to a table and congratulate you on your wins.

The most advanced live casinos have proper chat features that allow you to talk to the dealer and to other players as well, making the social experience part of the fun of playing here. Whilst the overall pace is a lot slower than when you play normal casino games, the atmosphere is definitely very different and players usually don’t mind a more relaxed gambling environment.

By the way, abusing dealers in any way, shape or form is not tolerated at any live casinos. Dealers are just doing their jobs and they are always friendly and professional. It behooves players to behave accordingly. If abuse is detected on a player’s part, they will not only be kicked off the table (regardless of the stage in the game, perhaps forfeiting winnings), but in severe cases their IP addresses will be blocked from accessing this or perhaps all other live casinos of that provider.

If you were abusive towards a dealer in a brick-and-mortar casino, you’d be kicked out as well. So be polite and enjoy the game.

Live casino promotions and bonuses

Given the increasing popularity of live casinos, many online casinos have now added special live casino promotions to their offers. Indeed, quite a few of the big online casinos such as bet365 or 888, among others, even include special sign-up promotions for live casino players.

In such cases the bonus you receive is meant to be used on live tables and wagering requirements are quite different to your normal casino bonus. We’ve seen live casino bonuses where gambling at live tables counts 100% towards completing wagering requirements.

Normal casino bonuses can often be used for live games as well, but sometimes they don’t count towards playthrough requirements at all or only 5 to 10%.

Such welcome bonuses aside, many online casinos have dedicated promotions for live casino players. Those can be regularly recurring promotions or simply a new offer valid for a limited time. You’ll find such promotions at Mr. Green, Leo Vegas, Guts, Betsson and many other casinos. In our reviews we will make sure to mention such bonuses and promotions as well.

Playing mobile

Mobile gambling is becoming increasingly popular and there are very few online casinos that don’t have a mobile optimized platform available. Functionality differs between casinos, though, and not all of them will also offer live gambling via their mobile sites.

Yet you will find that more often than not you will get a few live tables even via mobile, especially with the bigger and better online casinos. For some it is simply a matter of pride to include as many games for mobile players as possible.

As it stands, mobile gambling and live gambling are the two areas where casinos can expect the best growth, so it seems only natural that it should be possible to play live games on the go as well.

Quality will vary as well, of course, not just the availability of different tables. And you will still need a stable Internet connection and a good smartphone or tablet. Considering the screen size of some mobile devices, however, the experience of playing a live casino mobile may not be superb.

Choosing your live casino

We will make sure to list all our preferred online casinos for you and as it is, almost all of them also feature at least some live games, only very few don’t have a live casino section yet. In our reviews we’ll always mention just how many live games are available and what kind they are.

We will also mention whether special live casino promotions are available, which is not always the case.

So, when it comes to choosing the best live casino for yourself, we will try to make recommendations, but here are a few things to consider:

  • Which providers are used?
  • How many live games are available?
  • What are they?

Reputation of a casino Live casino bonuses and offers Wagering requirements for live casino games You may or may not have a preference for a particular live casino provider, so we’ll let you know what to expect with a given casino. That also includes which games are available and how many tables you might be able to join. A casino with only three tables may not have room for you when you like to play, so one that offers more tables might be the better option.

It always matters how reputable a casino is, no matter what product you’re looking for. So that’s something to keep in mind. And it is certainly an advantage, if a casino has live casino offers and bonuses available, because they do mean more fun for you.

Last but not least, when using such a bonus, you’ll want to keep wagering requirements in mind and how much live casino games may or may not contribute. If you have any questions or thoughts on the matter, you’re welcome to share them with us.