Live-dealer online games have found more fans during Covid shutdowns. But they were popular even before the pandemic. For some players, these games are perfect for the stay-at-home era. They provide both a live and an online experience that’s convenient and in many cases, instantly available, 24/7.
What Are Live Dealer Online Games?
Live-dealer games are hosted in real time by real people. They broadcast from actual casinos or remote studios. Live-dealer blackjack, baccarat, roulette, etc. are no different from the games you’d play on a casino floor. But you occupy a virtual seat, and communicate with your dealer via online chat. Every card swipes over an electronic scanner that transmits it onto your screen.
One of the biggest players in the sp is Evolution Gaming, which began in Europe and now has live-dealer online games in New Jersey, Pennsylvania West Virginia and Michigan. Here’s a New Jersey studio in action.
Why Players Like Live Dealer Online Games
A growing number of players prefer live-dealer games to those powered by a random number generator (RNG). For some, watching a dealer draw the cards in real time gives them greater confidence in the integrity of the game. Some like the personal touch of seeing and chatting live with a dealer. And needless to add, most of our daily activities, including entertainment, have migrated online, at least in some form. So live-dealer games fill a void for people who crave more personal contact.
While early generations of live-dealer games weren’t suited to tablets or mobile devices—only desktop computers were powerful enough to receive the data—that’s all changed now. Thanks to improved technologies, live-dealer games play as well on a palm-sized screen as on a tablet or laptop. In fact, game-makers optimize their games for mobile devices. Designers even lay out the broadcast studios in a narrow way, to better fit a cellphone’s portrait view.
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Mattias Stetz, chief operating officer of Rush Street Interactive (RSI), which offers live casino games at PlaySugarhouse.com and BetRivers.com, says the result is “as close as you can get online to a real brick-and-mortar casino experience, yet it’s the ultimate in convenience. The games run in real time. Payouts are calculated in seconds. So players online or on mobile devices feel as if they’re sitting in a real casino while in the comfort of their home.”
Check out live dealer games at PlaySugarHouse.com.
RNG Is Still Strong
Enhanced connectivity via 4G, 5G and related technologies will propel the market even further, providing more bandwidth for super-fast downloads and more reliable connectivity. Your live game could be compromised if your internet or wifi connection is iffy.
RNG games are still popular, especially in the case of blackjack, which is usually limited to eight players per online game. “In some cases, you have to queue up for a (live-dealer) game, whereas RNG blackjack is always available,” says Ed Andrewes, CEO of Resorts Digital Gaming in Atlantic City. RNG players “can take their time and play at their own pace—they’re not waiting to draw a card or holding up other players at the table as they make a decision.” Not all live dealer games are available 24/7—at the Golden Nugget Studio in AC, for example, dealers are only on duty from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. ET. That’s another reason RNG games will stick around.
Sign up to play live dealer games at ResortsCasino.com.
For more on the most popular live dealer games, click here.
Are Live Hosted Slots Next?
Blackjack is the most popular live-dealer game in the United States, followed by baccarat, roulette and specialty games like three-card poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’em (meanwhile, roulette is tops in Europe). Todd Haushalter of Evolution Gaming says the company is adding “more rich game-show concepts.”
The use of the term “game show” is a clue to the games’ direction. Evolution doesn’t call its live-game hosts dealers, but presenters. And like Vanna White, a winning personality is as vital to their success as letter-turning (or card-dealing) skills.
“There’s a lot more game show content being worked on for the live environment,” says (is this supposed to be Haushalter?), who points to Evolution’s “Crazy Time,” released in Europe in 2020, as a prime example.
“It’s basically a game show with a presenter and a spinning wheel that has 100 different values on it. Where the wheel stops, that’s what you get paid out.” He envisions a trend in which online games like blackjack or live bingo could become more animated, with game-show bells and whistles that have made “Wheel of Fortune” a perennial hit, on TV, online and on the casino floor. (Play “DreamCatcher,” the spinning-wheel game that prefigured “Crazy Time,” at BetMGM.com).
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Evolution recently bought the world’s biggest online slot company, NetEnt, so expect the worlds of slots and live casino to more closely converge in the near future.
Live dealer online games are also available at: