What is a live casino?
Live casinos are a relatively new addition to the online gaming platform and were developed as a way to further bring the casino atmosphere into the player’s home.
Online casinos have already made huge leaps in creating casino games on an accessible platform for players around the world, but the live casino takes this one step further. Instead of playing against a virtual element, live casinos bring real dealers and real people to the Internet.
The feeling of a real casino environment
The supplier of the live casino will set up a studio complete with tables and dealers to emulate a real casino environment as closely as possible. The area will be covered by a number of cameras which will then stream video of the action directly to the player’s device.
Players who are part of that specific live game will be able to watch the dealer shuffle, deal, roll, drop the dice etc. – all in real time, as if they were in the casino themselves. In addition to this, the player can converse with the dealer through a live chat function that adds to the authenticity of the overall game.
There are a number of games available for play at a live casino, and these include Roulette, Blackjack and Baccarat. These are the standard games, but there are more being added all the time with a number of casinos now offering various forms of poker as well.
Overall, these games serve to bring the real casino even more into a player’s home, allowing players’ access to games that previously they may have been unable to access.
Finding the right live casino for you
When choosing a live casino, it is very important that players are aware of what to look for in order to play at a trustworthy casino. Firstly, it is important to see whether the casino holds a license. The online gaming world is not as well-regulated as that of its land based cousins, and as such there are still a large number of fraudulent online casinos just waiting to take the unsuspecting player’s money. With this in mind, it is important to know that many casinos are licensed and registered with a governing body that has jurisdiction over the area that the casino operates in.
Having this license requires the casino to abide by a specific set of rules and regulations which will greatly benefit the player if things go wrong. Among these rules are things such as gaming fairness and also a certain amount of culpability by the casino if there should be any issues with monetary transactions.
Essentially, a licensed casino provides a safe environment for players who know that their money is not going to be stolen from them. Casinos that are licensed should display the authority that has awarded them this license at the bottom of their main page, so that it is easy for players to find.
Gaming fairness rules?
Having a license will also mean that the casino is operating under gaming fairness rules. This means that all games will be audited by a third-party company to ensure that the random number generators are working efficiently and in an unbiased manner. This gives comfort to players that the games are not rigged. Usually a casino that follows these protocols will also have a link to the certificates detailing their gaming fairness, and these can be found next to the license at the bottom of the main page.
Following on from the safety is also security. Players will be giving a lot of important private data to the casino in terms of banking details, and it is necessary for the casino to have a safe environment for players to input this. With this in mind, casinos usually have a firewall protection in place such as an SSL encryption which prevents unwanted third parties gaining access to any of this data.
For other monetary transactions, it is also important that players check out which providers are being used for deposits and withdrawals. If a casino is using well-known companies such as PayPal, Visa and Skrill, it can be assumed that the transactions will all happen in a safe and timely manner. Casinos that use companies no one has heard of are best to be avoided.
The Game Library
With all the safety and security issues out of the way, the player can then check things such as the game library. Not all casinos offer the same games, as there are multiple different gaming software providers out there and they all have different games to their names. Some casinos will use just one provider, while others will be working alongside multiple names. These casinos can obviously offer a wider range of games to their players.
It is important to check this out, especially if a player has a certain game in mind to play – then there is no point signing up to a casino which does not offer it. In this vein, players can look at the game providers as well to see who the casino uses, as well-known gaming providers also have high standards proving to the player that everything will be operated above board.
Lastly, players should look at and compare the different welcome bonuses and promotions each casino offers. Different casinos have varying offers and players can shop around to find the one that suits them. In addition, some casinos offer loyalty programs, which will award the player with bonuses throughout their time at the casino rather than just a one off welcome reward.
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Live Casino Bonus
With so much competition, almost every casino will offer a bonus of some kind. Usually this comes in the form of a welcome bonus which is awarded to the player after they have signed up and registered their account. These bonuses can come in a number of different forms.
Match deposit bonus
The most common live casino welcome bonus is the match deposit bonus. This entails the player making a first deposit into their account. The casino will then match this deposit at a varying percent. Usually this is 100%, though some casinos will offer only 50% while others will be as much as 400%. All these will vary between casinos, so players can have a look and see what best suits them.
No deposit bonus
One less commonly found bonus is the no deposit bonus. This does not require any money being deposited by the player – just a simply account registration will do. The casino will then award the player with a cash amount directly into their account. This is usually not too much and is between 10.00 to 20.00, though again it can be more or less. The bonus can then be used on the games in the same way that real money deposited by the player can be used to play.
Both bonuses can be used on games within the casino and simply help the player to have more money with which to play. This enables them to have more fun and potentially to trial out more games without fear of losing a significant portion of their own bankroll.
It should be noted though that all bonuses come with wagering requirements. These requirements will vary between casinos, but essentially the player will need to wager the bonus money a specific number of times through before any winnings made from this can be withdrawn.
Usually these wagering requirements can be anywhere from 25 times through to 50 times. The lower the amount of wagering times, the more likely a player will actually succeed and be able to withdraw the bonus wins.
It should also be noted that some of these bonuses come with a time limit and that the wagering requirements must be met within a specific time frame. Failure to do so can result in the player losing the bonus and any winnings they may have accrued during that time.
Mobile live casino
For a long time the live casino platform was exclusive only to desktops. Whilst the software was in place, the hardware was not up to standards, with mobile phones and other portable devices not being able to cope with the high levels streaming that would be required by the device to cope with the games. However, now the mobile providers have improved their products to such a degree that now these live games can be played on a mobile phone or a tablet.
There are two different ways to access a live casino via a mobile device. The first is to simply use a browser window and access the casino site in the same way that a player would on a desktop device. Depending on the mobile device, all the games should work – most of these games tend to run on Flash software.
HTML5 – Android and iOS
The second option is through an app. Many casinos are now developing their own apps using HTML5 programming so that they are compatible on all devices. This means that no matter if the player is using an Android or iOS device, they will still be able to play all the games.
To get the app, players can go to their respective app store or simply go to the casino’s website directly and download the app from there.
These apps tend not to have all the games that are available via the casino’s desktop site as yet, but nevertheless do have a goodly number of games to enjoy. The setup is usually similar to that of the desktop site and players can sign in interchangeably between the two different options. For the most part, the games will run smoothly as long as the player has a good Internet connection.
With this in mind, the live games are memory heavy when streaming and will require a very fast Internet speed. They will also drain the battery of the device, so it is important that players make sure they are fully charged and are able to recharge so as to avoid getting cut off mid game.
Live casino suppliers
There are a number of different live casino suppliers that are particularly noteworthy in the industry.
The most notable of these is Evolution Gaming. Most suppliers are all-rounders’ when it comes to games, and will offer something from every genre. Evolution Gaming, on the other hand, almost solely focuses on live games and it shows.
They are a relatively recent company to the industry, but have shown in a remarkably short amount of time that they are serious contenders. Their live games are top quality, offering players a large number of options and styles to choose from. Dealers are all friendly, chatty and professional, all of which provides an excellent and realistic gaming platform.
NetEnt is another company that has made successful inroads into the live casino world. Known more for its excellent slots, NetEnt has been successful in creating great live games in recent years.
Their library is not as comprehensive as that of Evolution Gaming, but they do present a well-formatted environment conducive to that of a real casino. They offer innovative designs that are all finished in a sophisticated manner.
Microgaming is well known as the software giant and has long been considered the forefather of the industry. As with NetEnt, they are better known for their progressive slot games, but do offer a number of great live games as well. They were rather late to the live gaming world, however, with their first game released in 2006.
Since then they have improved the design, though some may consider it still lacking, and introduced a number of interesting themed live options including the Playboy bunny suit.
Lastly there is Playtech. This company was founded on the aim of being the best in the industry and with this in mind they have strived to reach that goal. Their live game collection is probably the most comprehensive around and added to this is their newly released games complete with augmented reality software, further pushing the envelope on what is possible when it comes to live games.
With so much on offer and with increased accessibility, live games are the perfect way to enjoy the casino ambience from the comfort of one’s home.