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How live casinos work
The basics of live gaming casinos are easy. You can play classic table games, like blackjack, roulette, baccarat and even poker with a real life dealer. And the best casino sites UK use some of the most advanced, cutting-edge tech to make the experience as close to being in a land-based casino as possible. A real dealer or croupier, real tables and real cards. But with the comfort of never having to leave your home!
Plus, with the popularity of live gaming on the rise, and advancements in the tech these operators use, it means that live experiences are getting better all the time. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) means that the cameras can recognise card values. And chat functions let you speak to your dealer directly. And it’s this attention to detail that makes live gambling fun, safe and super exciting,
Live casino games vs. standard table games
If you love classic casino games, then you’ve probably already tried your hand at online table games. Roulette, blackjack and baccarat are casino staples. And with leading software developers bringing out incredible versions of these games, you can find fantastic variations on all your favourites; all with crisp graphics and seamless gameplay.
So why would you want to switch to live versions? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of live dealer casino games vs. classic online table games:
Pros of live gaming
First, let’s start with the benefits of live gaming. These include:
- Unique gaming experience: being able to chat with your croupier, and see them deal the cards, gives you all the thrills of being in a brick-and-mortar casino. The chat function also adds the human element that you might feel you’re missing from playing computerised games
- 100% fair gameplay: some people are suspicious of the software that digital games use. Even though RNGs produce random numbers and cards in online games, there’s something nice about seeing your cards dealt by a real person from a real deck. This peace of mind is why a lot of people prefer live versions of card games
- Instant access to games: unlike at a land-based casino, you don’t have to worry about waiting for a seat to free up at the table. And, with live gaming being so popular, it means that there’s a game starting almost every minute of the day. So you can play live games whenever you want
- Incredible game selection: casinos are bringing out new and exciting live versions of their games all the time. With classic table games, as well as game show games and other offerings, their arsenal of live games is growing every day!
- Specific bonuses for live players: some casinos actually offer bonuses for live games players. Pick up an offer and boost your bankroll with a cool bonus, just for playing on live games
Cons of live gaming
Now let’s take a look at the possible downside of playing live games:
- Slower gameplay: while the human touch is one of the best perks of playing live games with a real dealer and other players, it can also lead to slower gameplay. Waiting for other players to make a move, or for a new croupier to deal the cards isn’t as fast as playing digital versions
- Technical issues: with lots of high-end tech running the show, there’s always the chance that something can go wrong. Technical issues can be a pain, but don’t happen very often. And with staff on hand 24/7, any problems should be sorted out in a jiffy!
- No free play option: with most games at an online casino, you can find a demo version to play for free. This is a great way to try out new games without spending any money. However, live games don’t allow you to ‘try before you buy’, so you always have to deposit in order to play
- Higher minimum bets: some games let you play with pennies. But with live games, the minimum bets are set higher. Something to consider if you’re a low bettor
Types of live casino games
There are tons of live versions of classic games at the best live dealer sites. They are usually table games, as these lend themselves to the live experience more than others. We can’t imagine what live slots would look like!
Some of the most popular live games include:
So, let’s take a look at some of the most popular live games in a little more detail:
Live dealer roulette
One of the most popular casino games on the planet is roulette. With its distinctive wheel and plenty of chances to win, roulette has been enjoyed by gamblers for literally centuries. And now, with live roulette, you can enjoy all the thrills of watching that wheel spin in real time with a real dealer.
Online live casino UK sites will have many versions that you can play. Of course, you’ll find the classic European game on most sites. But check out live roulette variations like American Roulette, Mini Roulette, Lightning Roulette and No Zero Roulette for a new and exciting experience.
Live dealer blackjack
Go head to head with the dealer in a game of live blackjack. Probably the other most popular casino game around, blackjack is so much fun to play. And because you are playing against the dealer, rather than other players, this game lends itself to live gaming especially well.
Live dealer Sic Bo
If dice games are more your thing, then check out live Sic Bo. This classic game of luck combines everything we love from a casino game.
Like roulette, Sic Bo is completely luck based, but you can be clever with your bets. Use combo bets to spread your chips. Or go all out and bet on a single outcome. Lots of fun to play, and with a live dealer, the experience is even more exciting.
Live dealer Hi-Lo
Another classic card game, Hi Lo is super easy and fun to play. Guess if the next card dealt will be higher or lower than the previous one. It doesn’t get more simple than that. This game is so popular that it spawned its own game show in the UK. And with a live version, you can feel like a contestant on The Price is Right!
Live dealer Baccarat
The beautiful game of baccarat is perfect for the live gaming experience. The lush green table and wooden paddles are all here. Try your hand at one of the amazing live dealer casinos on our lists, like Speed Baccarat, Baccarat Squeeze or even Progressive Baccarat, where you can win huge cash prizes.
More live dealer games
It’s not just the classic table games you can find at live casinos. Check out game show games, like Deal or No Deal, Mega Ball and Crazy Time. Even classic board games like Monopoly have been given the live treatment!
What to think about when selecting a live online casino
So, what should you look for in your next live gaming experience? Our experts recommend taking the following into consideration. So that you can get the most out of live gambling at an online casino:
Great selection of live games
If you want to play live games, then you want a casino that offers a great selection. Make sure the site you’re on has a wide variety of all the classics, like blackjack, roulette and baccarat. As well game show games.
UK sites work with some of the best games providers in the world. So also look for casinos that have a great catalogue, from providers such as Evolution Gaming, Playtech and Microgaming.
Specialised bonus offers
Some casinos offer specific bonuses for their live players. Check out their no deposit, deposit and reload bonuses, to pick up some extra cash to play with.
As with all bonuses, make sure you read and understand the T&Cs before signing up. And check our lists of trusted and reviewed casinos. We’ll keep you posted about online casinos in the UK, and their special bonuses for live games customers.
Reasonable bonus requirements
Another thing to consider is that the bonus you’re offered has reasonable bonus requirements. Make sure to look at the wagering requirements and game weighting attached, to see how these will affect your bonus. We recommend not taking on any bonus that has huge wagering and low game weighting. You can also check out our list of no wagering casino sites!
English speaking live dealers
If you play at a UK site, then you will have dealers that speak English. However, if you play at casino sites overseas, then you might find yourself faced with a language barrier. We recommend only playing at UK sites for many reasons. One of which is to guarantee that you don’t have any language problems which may interfere with your gameplay.
Another reason for playing at UK sites, is that they are all licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). All top casino sites in the country must be registered with the UKGC as a legal requirement. And it’s the UKGC’s job to regulate these sites and keep them safe for their customers. Always look for the UKGC logo on the site you’re on, to make sure it’s a legitimate and fully-licensed casino.
Mobile live casinos
For many years, the only way to access all the casino action was with a PC or laptop. But, that wasn’t exactly convenient when you wanted to play while out and about.
Thankfully, the coding geniuses from some of the top software companies created a solution that changed the industry for the better. It’s now possible to get all your favourite games, including live ones, right there on your phone wherever you may be.
All of the games that you were previously enjoying on a larger screen have been optimised and tweaked so that they adapt perfectly to the vast array of screen sizes on the market. And this also includes the amazing live games as well.
Obviously, your internet connection will greatly influence the quality of gaming that you can enjoy. So before you start, always ensure that you have a strong data signal.
And it’s not just the games that migrate seamlessly. Now, you will find all of your data and account details there in the palm of your hand. Game history and payment options etc., are also ready and waiting for you.
You don’t need to do anything special to take advantage of this incredibly powerful tech. In fact, you can simply log in to your casino account while on your mobile internet browser and get cracking! Although some sites aren’t content with a mere mobile version of their live games, so they have created dedicated apps that enhance the experience even further.
Let’s take a look at how the two ways to play on your mobile affect your experience.
Mobile web browser
Firstly, we have the standard browser format. But just because it is the simplest way to recreate the gambling action, that shouldn’t put you off.
Remember the days when you tried to load a website on your mobile and it was so small that you couldn’t even read it? Luckily, they don’t really exist in the gambling world anymore!
In order to make the jump to the smaller screens, a process called ‘mobile optimisation’ was necessary. The coders at the software companies went back to the drawing board and made a few changes. As a result the full webpage simply adapts to the device you are using and everything is visible and legible. It’s the same, but smaller!
There may be one or two changes here and there. For example, a full webpage may list all the games available as soon as you land on the full site. But the mobile version may have a dropdown list to save space. You get the idea.
Mobile casino app
Mobile optimisation is only one way to get the best live gaming action on your mobile. It may be the simplest method from a techy standpoint, but is it the best?
Some brands say no! And for that reason, they create apps that a user can download. What are the advantages? Well let’s have a look and see.
For sheer convenience, you can’t beat a little icon sitting right there on your phone. All you need to do is click on it and, voila!, you’re away.
Secondly, app designers have the ability to not only tweak the site from an aesthetic point of view. Dedicated applications are like a whole new website for them to play around with and create the ultimate user experience.
Optimising a web page requires settings to change as the device is recognised, and this can potentially cause a delay. It’s tiny, but these things matter to some people! Apps, on the other hand, function in a more efficient way.
The settings of an application will specifically match your operating system, such as Android, for example. This means that as soon as you click on the app, it knows exactly how to react and produce your best results in lightning-quick speed.
In conclusion, you could argue that a casino app is the better option for live play from a very technical point of view. However, as long as your device is fairly modern and your internet connection is solid, you should have a great experience either way.
For more information, visit our mobile casino section, to find the best mobile sites on the market.
New live casino sites in the UK 2021
New live sites are appearing all the time but are they all worth playing? Not necessarily! The best way to know if a site deserves your attention is to see if they appear on a review site like ours.
We take the time to go through a brand’s credentials to ensure that they meet the grade. Players don’t have time to go through every last detail on each of the hundreds of sites around today. But fortunately for you, we do!
There are loads of different areas that make up a great new site and we go through everything with a fine tooth comb. If a casino appears on our site, then you know that we have given it a thorough evaluation.
The sheer volume of new sites may seem a little overwhelming for players, although it does mean that your custom is becoming more and more valuable by the day. And this means that they will bend over backwards to draw you towards their site.
This is great for us as gamblers. Not only does it increase the quality of the casinos out there, but also the deals they offer. You can land an awesome bonus for signing up to a new site and we’ll show you how. Have a look at our new casino sites recommendations for the latest bonuses.
Live casino bonuses
When looking through all of the live casinos online you’ll notice that the majority have an amazing welcome bonus up for grabs.
It can take hours to research them all and make a decision and that’s why we create our quick site listings. Now you can see all the best deals posted next to each other, which means you can compare them easily.
You have probably noticed that not all casinos offer a deal on their live games. The vast majority will only have a freebie that can be used on slots and RNG games. Therefore, it’s hard to know what deals can and can’t be used in the live arena.
We will go through the details of all these welcome offers and give you a breakdown of the most important info so you can get straight to the action.
The most popular of these offers is the deposit bonus. To cut a long story short, you deposit some money and the casino will match it. Players love this bonus because it can double or triple your stack instantly.
If you’re looking for the latest offers available in the live gaming world, have a look at our live casino bonus page.
Wagering and game weighting
When making your decision as to which live dealer online casino offer you would prefer, you need to check the T&Cs.
It’s important to remember that the casino isn’t offering up free cash for you to withdraw. It’s there for you to play with and there are certain rules that apply.
The most prominent of these is the wagering requirements.
Money that enters your account as part of a welcome bonus will land in your bonus balance. This is generally separate from your live balance so as to avoid confusion.
Funds that are in your bonus balance will have to satisfy the wagering rules before you can withdraw them. The way you do this is very simple; you gamble! There will be a specific number of times that you need to play with the bonus cash and this is specified before you accept the deal.
Let’s say you deposit £20, for example, at a casino that offers a 100% deposit bonus. As a result, you now have £20 in your live balance and a further £20 in your bonus balance.
If there is a 20x wagering requirement, then you will have to play the £20 of bonus cash 20 times to complete your side of the bargain.
After that, any money that’s left will arrive in your live balance. It’s pretty simple really, but remember that there may be a limit on the winnings that you can receive.
Live casino deposit & withdrawal
Getting your money in and out of a casino should be a nice, easy process.
There are many ways in which you can complete the transaction and a top casino brand will always offer plenty of options.
Some of the most popular methods are:
- Debit/credit cards: Card payments using Mastercard och VISA is seen as one of the safest methods around. Many people trust this type of payment because they have full control over the account. Moreover, It’s a safe process that can have your cash in play within minutes. Withdrawals can be sent back in the same way
- E-wallets: perhaps the most popular way to move your money around in 2021. With an e-wallet, you get to send and receive money by simply logging into your account when prompted by the vendor. It’s fast, safe and you have full control of your finances. Casinos love this method for both deposits and withdrawals. Examples of e-wallets are Paypal, Neteller and Skrill.
- Direct bank transfer: not the fastest but possibly the most secure. The banking protocols in place mean that bank transfers meet extremely high safety requirements. It may take a few days to get money in and out of your casino account though, so be aware of this before selecting this option
- Pay by phone: small deposits but fast turnaround. Paying with credit from your phone can get cash into your gaming balance in seconds, but remember that you can only transfer £10 max. The kicker with this method is that you can’t use it for withdrawals so you will need a bank account if you want to collect your winnings
Here are some frequently asked questions that our readers send us about UK live casino sites.