Once a clunky, slow and painful experience, live casino is fast becoming the go to attraction of online casinos.
With much better live casino games, a bigger choice of live dealer games and game-shows, plus enhancements and spin offs to casino games and slots themselves, playing at an online live casino nowadays is pretty close, in terms of enjoyment, to playing at the real thing.
Check out our selection of operators offering the best live casinos available, as things stand.
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Pretty much any table game that you’d find in a real land based casino can be found in live casino format online. Obviously the most popular games being roulette and blackjack are very well catered for, not only as traditional games but in souped-up versions of them too.
Wins can be massive as well – mainly due to the multipliers and the number of people that can play at any one time.
You’ll also find craps and baccarat, Sic Bo, Casino Hold’em, Mega Wheels and game show style casino games such as Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt Live (as well as other spin offs of existing popular online slots games).
Some online casinos offer bigger and better live casino sections than others. Lucky for you we’ve broken down the very best live casinos for UK players in a concise article.
Smartly dressed good looking guys and girls are your hosts, or live dealers. They stand or sit behind the tables as you’d expect in a real casino, and they communicate with you whilst you’re at the table.
There is lots of high tech magic going on behind the scenes that assists the croupier/dealer in knowing who’s at the table with them, how many players are ‘sat’ there, whose turn it is to bet, how much each player has bet, who’s just won, who’s just lost, etc.
Effectively, the screen setup is augmented reality (AR). The table is real, the cards are real, the dealer is real, the sounds are real, but your chips are virtually displayed, as is the user interface.
An onscreen ‘control panel’ allows you to make bet decisions and communicate with the live dealer.
All cards that get slipped out of the deck are scanned face down allowing the system to advise you on your hand. This also allows the system to calculate your hand in order for you to be able to make a quicker decision as to what you want to do next.
In the case of online roulette, cameras are carefully positioned in key angles to ensure that nothing is out of site from you at any time.
As tech improves generally, and broadband speeds increase around the world, a new kind of game has emerged in the live casino arena. The ‘game-show’. These types of games tend to be hybrid spin offs of popular slots titles, like Sweet Bonanza CandyLand which is a spin off of Sweet Bonanza Slot. Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt Live which is an expansion on the popular slot Gonzo’s Quest.
Crazy Time Live and Monopoly Live are two more examples of popular game show live casino games.
These game show type games are mega popular. You’ll often find up to 50,000+ players in one room. This makes for some interesting pots and some very big wins indeed.
Read more about these types of games in our article on the most popular live casino game shows in 2023.
One of the most popular live casino games without contention is live roulette, and if you’re not sure where to head once you hit the casino lobby, roulette is always a good one to get you warmed up and settled in.
You’ll find a large selection of live dealer casino games in the roulette section of most casinos. Clearly a favourite amongst players. Live dealers await you here at the tables 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
Choose from the regular variation of the game or go for a modified version of it like Lightning Roulette, powered by Evolution Gaming, or Quantum Roulette. Both these games are enhanced versions of roulette offering massive multipliers for potential big wins.
Most casino lobbies offer roulette table games with high stakes options and lower stakes options meaning players with varying budgets can find a level that suits them.
Quite possibly the most popular casino table game, live blackjack is also extremely well provided for in the online world. As with roulette, this live casino game comes in loads of different shapes, sizes and variations to keep your interest piqued.
This experience is as close to being in a real casino as you’re going to get. It’s a more intimate affair than roulette and you can make your money go a lot further, especially when other players are at the table helping to bust the dealer.
As a player you’ll be assisted with options available to you at all times like insurance, side bets, splitting, doubling down, backing other players at the table. So you’ll never miss an opportunity to cash in more than you otherwise would have done.
What’s more, the system will calculate your hand for you, leaving you with the sole decision of whether you want to hit or stand. All cards dealt by the live dealer are scanned face down as they come out of the deck eliminating any potential discrepancies.
You’ll find high stakes and low stakes live blackjack tables available as well.
Weighing in behind roulette and blackjack is live baccarat. Another popular casino game that involves you beating the house.
Although traditionally a slow paced casino game, Evolution Gaming has released a version of Lightning Baccarat which introduces RNG (random number generator) tech into the game. Lightning cards are injected into the pack which carry huge multipliers. This adds not only excitement to the game but the potential for some huge wins if you get lucky.
To give you an example of the kinds of multipliers you can see from live Lightning Baccarat:
If you’re lucky enough to get dealt 3 matching Lightning Cards, you’re looking at a return of 512x your stake. (8 x 8 x 8). A ten pound bet will return more than £5,000.
But it doesn’t stop there. If you get dealt a tied winning bet with 6 matching Lightning Cards the multiplier becomes over 250,000x. (Capped at €500k plus your bet.)
So the big question, what’s the difference between online live casino and real life casinos? It’s like anything virtual vs. real. Despite the advances that have been made in live casino game technology and the ingenuity of the game designers and software developers behind everything, online live casino is simply not the real thing.
The sounds, sites, people, smells – free drinks! – the mingling and making table buddies over an all night session are all missing from the online version.
However, online live casino is as close to the real thing that you’re going to get. And what’s still there is the rush, the increased heart rate, the desire to beat the house. And of course these are real money casinos meaning that if you win, you win real cash.
The money is anything but virtual and ultimately that’s what it’s all about.
Be careful that you never spend too long gambling and always gamble responsibly. This is a highly addictive past time that needs to be kept fun and under control.
Despite how good live casino is these days, and it’s improving all the time, we feel that it still has some way to go. For example, more could be done within the studios to give off more of a realistic atmosphere whether that be more sound effects or waitresses walking around, for example.
It should be easier to have some form of chat with your compadres ‘sat next to you’ at a table or playing alongside you in a game-show. The whole thing feels a little bit solitary to us and by no means beats the buzz of being in a real casino lobby.
For a complete breakdown of the best live casinos in the UK check out our dedicated article on the best UK live casinos in 2023.