Casino live dealer is a hot new trend in the online casino industry. Live casinos are online platforms where players can play in a live-streamed game that gives the feeling of the land-based casino environment and also provides visibility of the game result. Certain games have live dealers, where players can interact with the live dealers and at times other players.
As technology and products improve, more and more players are being drawn to live casinos due to the very fact that they can play from the comfort of their own home. Players are able to track the progress of their game during play. You can also start your game as soon as you are ready, you don’t have to wait for a table to free up like you would in a brick and mortar casino.
Live dealer games are now becoming increasingly popular with the majority of players preferring this option to the random number generated online casino table games. RNG based games have, in some people’s eyes, been too opaque when it comes to the result generation, which makes it uneasy for some gamers to participate. You can also enjoy a much more realistic gaming experience with live dealer. All croupiers are managed by pit-bosses and you can actually chat to the croupier and other players. You can also enjoy looking at different camera angles on your game as well as take part in single or multiplayer options. These are just some of the reasons why live dealer gambling is going from strength to strength.
In this article we will review some of the best live dealer products out there, outlining our opinion of the strengths and weaknesses of each.
Background – Evolution Gaming has been a big name in the live dealer sector for a while now and their reputation is well deserved. They hold multiple licenses allowing them to offer their live deal products in multiple territories and have a good offering for players. They have over 3,000 dealers, 300 tables and 24 x 365 live broadcasts. A pretty impressive line up when you consider that all 35 + of their games are also optimized for Android and iOS products. Their “Immersive Roulette” is pretty leading edge with players having the ability for live editing and slow-motion replay through High Definition Video.
Evolution backed Casinos – Evolution Gaming provides custom live casino games to a variety of well-known top-tier online casinos, such as Leo Vegas, Casumo, Mr Green, Royal Panda, and some UK big hitters like William Hill, Unibet, Pokerstars and BetVictor. It’s clear that Evolution Gaming’s name is a trusted one.
Benefits – The quality of their games is impressive and even when you enter full-screen mode, the games are still great to look at because of the TV quality of their streaming. This is a real bonus for Evolution and one that is really popular in the gaming community. The player has the opportunity to control the stream speeds and viewing options. This also means as a player you can select from multiple camera angles to get the best view of the table (or the croupier if you’re that way inclined). The streaming on Evolution Gaming Live Games also does cater for those that do have slower connection speeds and those who don’t want to go through a lot of data. Although nowadays most players have everything in place to ensure their connection speed is fast. The studio ambience that is available on the products is a nice touch. Most games have additional betting options above and beyond the standard live dealer game offerings particularly on games like Baccarat and Blackjack; or even Roulette where you have double ball options. The last feature to point out is the multi-table view allowing you to run 4 live dealer games simultaneously which is pretty awesome really.
Drawbacks – The only obvious negative aspect that stands out is the fact that there is no free-play or demo option; this is not surprising when you consider the costs associated with running a live dealer table. A slightly larger game variety would also be welcomed but Evolution’s selection is actually bigger than most. Other than that, Evolution Gaming has a truly fantastic selection of games that have become live casino game favourites!
Background – Lucky Streak was started a little while back in 2015. The software provider is slowly gaining traction and popularity and is still adding more live games to its repertoire but they currently offer live blackjack, live baccarat and live European roulette. They certainly don’t have the array of games that Evolution does, however, the Lucky Streak philosophy focuses on personalization for the player as well as rewards. They aim to engage with each and every player and therefore encourage player loyalty plus provide the most advanced live casino experience.
Where to play Lucky Streak live games – For a new software provider, Lucky Streak provides its games to a variety of casinos, but the most famed one is undoubtedly Spirit Casinos, which it has had long-term, stable ties with.
Features – The live dealers stream from a studio in Lithuania and speak both English and Russian. The dealers are what Lucky Streak is famed for and they are known to be friendly and pretty much experts in online behaviour. They are all well trained/experienced in gaming and the online experiences of the user. The tables operate all day, every day so no matter where you are in the world, you can play a live table game from Lucky Streak. The stream also comes in quality options of high, medium and low so you can adjust it based on your Internet connection.
Drawbacks – Lucky Streak does not come without its drawbacks. As previously mentioned, the game selection is a small one, and the platform is not exactly polished as it has some minor glitches and misspellings.
Net Entertainment – ‘Net Ent Live’
Background – NetEnt is just one of those names that will pop up again and again in the online casino industry. They offer almost every genre of game available and their reputation is an established and award-winning one too. In the past, they have been pioneering and will continue to strive towards this. NetEnt slot games are an absolute must for online casinos – in fact all of the online games are really attractive for online casinos because of their ability to be customized. This is something that is a huge benefit for any product in the online gaming industry especially live dealing.
NetEnt Live game casinos – NetEnt currently provides some of the very best online casinos with their fantastic live casino games. Casinos supplied by NetEnt include Leo Vegas, 888 and Mr. Green.
Features – Like all NetEnt games, the interface is crisp and clear, with everything in order and the games very easy to navigate. There are several games to choose from which include versions of baccarat, poker and roulette. There is the option for both dealer operated games and non-dealer. No matter which you choose, you are guaranteed great graphics and superb sound effects, which really make you feel like you, are in the actual casino. Something that a lot of these online casinos haven’t got to grips with yet. There is also free play on offer too – although the games are limited – which is another great asset to NetEnt.
Drawbacks – While NetEnt is one of the top brands, there are a couple of drawbacks when it comes to their live casino games. Mostly in the fact that even though there are several games, they are all quite similar, so the variety isn’t as diverse as you would expect or like.
Microgaming – ‘Live Dealer’
Microgaming – With over 850 casino games available, Microgaming is considered a king in the online casino industry. Microgaming is a tried and tested name that millions of players around the world have come to love. Over 700 brands use their software with millions of bets being placed every single day. They use big names from the entertainment industry including Jurassic Park, Playboy and Jungle Jim to name a few and they have over 35 multiplayer games in their portfolio. This is one of the big players in online casino games.
Microgaming Live casinos – Microgaming provides its impressive software to a wide range of popular casinos, which include Royal Vegas, Platinum Play and Dublinbet.
Features – There are a huge selection of live games on offer from Microgaming, which include blackjack, roulette, baccarat and poker, all which allow for you to play alongside other enthusiastic players. The games come with many customizable options such as stream quality settings; language settings and the games can be played concurrently. On top of this, there are 11 different language options to choose from, making these games accessible to a wide variety of different players.
Drawbacks – Like any other software provider, Microgaming isn’t perfect. Some of the possible disadvantages that we’ve picked up on are the fact that some of the dealers can be quite robotic, as well as the fact that there aren’t any free play options with the games. There is also a reduction in numbers of licensees, which says something about the product and the things that aren’t right.
Playtech – ‘Playtech Live Casino’
Background – Playtech is another online casino behemoth. The company has a reputation for producing innovative products and content that are actually practical opposed to cloud 9 products. Playtech’s live casino software comes with two play options: instant play and downloadable software. The company is dedicated to responsible gambling and safeguarding data. It delivers more than 600 games some of which are branded i.e. Top Gun, The Flintstones and Batman. Their casino line is on offer to players anywhere and on any device. As with Microgaming, Playtech is another one of the big boys in the online casino software sector.
Casinos with Playtech live casino games – Playtech provides their exciting live games to a variety of well-known online casinos. Bet365, EuroGrand, William Hill, Paddy Power, Betfair, Tropez and Ladbrokes are some of your options when choosing somewhere to Playtech’s famed live casino games.
Features – Most other software providers can only boast about a handful or so of games, whilst Playtech offers multiple versions of blackjack, roulette, baccarat, Dragon Tiger, Sic Bo, 3 Card Brag, Casino Hold‘Em and Hi-Lo. The branded entertainment options are a huge boost to this supplier, which results in real dedication from its players. The dual platform offering a variety of European and Asian dealer games is also a fabulous benefit and pretty unique at the moment. The variety of studio ambiences only adds to this. A really solid company with an amazing product range.
Drawbacks – Playtech does seem to have it all but there are a few minor drawbacks. The worst of which is the occasional audio and video glitches on the games’ mobile version. However, knowing Playtech these will not be around for long. This is one innovative company.
Extreme Live Gaming
Background – Established in 2013, and now under the Novomatic flag, Extreme Live Gaming is a provider that specializes in live gaming. The company prioritizes on bringing the player into the game. Extreme Live have taken online gambling one step further by customizing the whole customer experience whether it is language, the uniforms of the dealers or promotional activities. They absolutely aim to differentiate their product from the rest and offer customers the chance to feedback so they can continue to improve.
Extreme Live Gaming Casino – Extreme Live Gaming games are stocked with a vast number of online casinos including BetVictor, Mr Green, Leo Vegas and Betsson.
Features – Based in London, the live games are streamed out of ELG’s UK studios which have been designed to look just like a luxurious brick and mortar casino, giving you that authentic feel. The games run fluidly with no glitches to speak of even on the mobile version. The good video quality is because they use low latency streamers to make it a priority channel. ELG focuses its efforts and energies on the 3 most popular live games, and there are a few variants of each. The games that ELG offer are: roulette, baccarat and blackjack.
Drawbacks – With ELG’s focus being on live gaming, you’d think there’d at least be a live poker game on offer. Other than the rather small game catalogue, another obvious drawback of ELG is, like many other software providers, does not have a free play option.
When it comes to live dealer games and live-dealer providers you really are spoilt for choice and it’s highly likely that your favourite online casino already offers one of the above solutions. One thing I noticed is that a lot of the providers offer both male and female croupiers even though the public stereotype is that of a young pretty lady with a massive bust wearing a low cut top. You also have providers like Yggdrasil offering a virtual live dealer which is a hybrid between RNG and live dealer, although a lot more the former if you just want to see a more visual offering of the standard online casino house games. The choice really is yours and hopefully, some of the above discussion will help you to make a good one. As with most things, it will depend on what you want from your live dealing experience. For me a live dealer experience comes down to x things: i) UI – you’re going to be looking at the screen for 100% of the experience so its got to be good and slick; ii) views – if you’re trying to recreate the land-based casino experience you need to give the users the ability take a different view on the table, the flip, the studio, etc…; iv) speed and availability – when you want to play, you don’t want to spend 5 minutes waiting for a seat to come available, likewise you don’t want to wait 5minutes for the game round to complete; and v) selection of croupiers – as mentioned above days have moved on where it’s just scantily clad young girls, now you will want a decent selection of croupiers who are also interesting to watch and interact with. Taking that into account, at this moment in time for me there is only that really excels, and that is Evolution’s offering.
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