Live Online Casinos
If you’re reading this, you probably don’t need to be told about the conveniences of online gambling. You can be at your desk, on a couch, up in bed, just about anywhere and access your favourite slots and table games with ease. But until recently, those who enjoy gambling for the social aspects were left unsatisfied. Luckily, that’s changed with the advent of live casino games, which bring real dealers right to your computer screen. Interested? Check out the live dealer games at these recommended Canadian casinos:
Top-rated live casinos
Royal Vegas offer $1200 welcome bonus and great live dealer gamesRoyal Vegas Review
Spin Palace with a welcome of $1000 new players bonus and top live gamesSpin Palace Review
All Slots offer bonus of $500 on top of games with great live dealer actionAll Slots Review
888 live casino with a special welcome bonus of $1500 and top live gaming betting options888 Casino Review
Platinum Play offers an innovative 1500 free bets for new players + a top live casinoPlatinum Play Review
Euro Palace with up to $500 welcome bonus and great live gamesEuroPalace Review
Live dealer casinos in action
Live dealer casinos take advantage of ever-improving video streaming technologies that allow real dealers to connect in real-time to your computer screen via live web cams. At Royal Vegas, for example, a group of attractive, young females work a series of tables set up in a large television studio converted into a casino floor, to add ambience to the interactivity. In addition to presenting live action as it unfolds, the dealer will talk you through the game and results, and in some cases even interact with players.
Like casinos in Vegas, online casinos are always open, which means live games should be available 24/7. And since most online casinos serve players around the world, including those of us in Canada, this is a realistic expectation.
Live casino table and card games
The variety of live games differs from casino to casino, although live roulette, live blackjack and live baccarat are generally considered staples these days. Some casinos also have live poker and/or live Hold’em poker (including tournaments), as well as live craps games.
For card games like live blackjack, the dealer uses extra-large cards that make it easier for you to see the numbers and symbols. Other than that, it’s the standard game you’d find at any land-based casino, and just like a land-based casino, you’ll need to find a spot at the table. Luckily, preferred brands for live dealer action like Bet365, have lots of tables running at once, so you won’t have to wait long, if at all.
Live roulette features a standard roulette wheel, spun in real-time by the croupier. The roulette game options vary between casinos, but expect to find standards like French, European and American roulette as well as more exotic variations like Vegas Roulette, Slingshot, Immersive Roulette or Speed Roulette, at top Playtech casinos like William Hill.
Live baccarat is one of the central games at any live casino, and a popular choice amongst players. It generally comes in the standard format, or as Punto Banco. Many casinos, such as those running on Playtech software, will also have VIP live baccarat, a version called Prestige Baccarat, and even Progressive Baccarat. Microgaming of course has Playboy Baccarat as well.
Live craps is a little harder to find online, but when you do, you’re in for a treat! It’s probably the best way to recreate the thrill of the standard craps table, though you’ll have to bring your own crowd to cheer you on!
Live poker, live Hold’em and live tournaments are a few other options you may encounter along the way, although live poker is far more likely to be found at a poker site than at an online casino, while Casino Hold’em and various tournaments are more ubiquitous.
Live games at our recommended Canadian casinos
Play long enough, and you’ll find that pretty much all of our recommended Microgaming casinos use the same live dealer casino setup, including the dealers themselves. For example, Royal Vegas, Platinum Play, Euro Palace and others which run on Microgaming software, all offer three basic live dealer casino games — blackjack, roulette and baccarat. Gamblers at these establishments can select their game type with their choice of dealer, whether it’s a “generic” gentleman or a special Playboy Bunny dealer they prefer.
Other sites and software providers offer up a little more variety. For instance, at Casino.com, a Playtech stronghold, the live casino hosts the aforementioned three table games, plus six others including Casino Hold’em. At Mr. Green, there are an impressive nine different games offered, including four types of roulette and two casino poker tables. Betfair, Bet365, Ladbrokes, and Unibet also have impressive live casinos, which we recommend checking out at your leisure.
How to play live games
Reading up on live casino games is all nice and good, but if you’re new to this format, you may be stressing on what to do next. Relax! Playing live casino games is super easy and intuitive.
- Just click to the ‘Live Casino’ section from the relevant navigation tab at your chosen online casino
- Select the live casino game you’d like to play
- Wager like you would while playing any other game
As for using your welcome bonus, most online casinos will let you use your first deposit welcome bonus at the live casino, but you’ll need to check on an individual basis if live games count towards clearing your bonus. Since many online casinos have invested heavily in their live casino offering, they want you to play there, and as such, will often offer a special welcome bonus (as well as other promotions), exclusive for use in live play.
Many casinos will also have special live VIP programs or VIP-only live tournaments and games. These are another great incentive to get you to go live!
Free play, however, is less frequently offered for live casino games. So if you want to try them out, rather than relying on the casino’s practice mode, using your bonus money may be your best bet.
Live mobile casino
If the prospect of playing live casino games from your desktop wasn’t exceptional enough, let us introduce you to live mobile games. Thanks to some pretty awesome technology, and a decent internet connection, you can play live games on the go.
Available for iOS and Android devices as well as Windows (and if you can believe it, in many cases Blackberry), mobile live casino games are all of the awesomeness you read above, simply adjusted to the small screen of your iPhone, iPad, Nokia, Samsung or any other handheld device you prefer.
How you’ll be able to access live mobile games depends on the format being used by your casino of choice. Some are available via an app, which you’ll need to download direct from the casino website or the applicable app store. Other online casinos have a mobile version of their Flash offering, which you can instantly access from your mobile’s web-browser.
Why go live?
The obvious pro here is that live dealer casinos allow you to interact with real human beings, for an added element of fun. Dealers are trained not only to flip the cards in the right order, but also to provide a welcoming environment to make sure you enjoy yourself, whether you’re winning or not.
Live dealer casinos are also great for learning how to play, if you’re new to a game. Casinos instruct their dealers to be as helpful as possible. If, for example, you’ve never played online blackjack before and would prefer to find out how from a person familiar with the game, sitting with a live blackjack dealer is perfect for the job.
On the marginal side, one con here is that some live casinos will require better software than the standard casino game. For most gamblers, this won’t be an issue, as the technology probably isn’t too advanced for whatever computer you might be using.
Live casinos have gone from a rare jewel to a regular staple at our recommended online casinos. And if you’re not taking advantage of them yet, you should in the near future!
Playing with a live dealer is a much more intimate experience than what you’ll get playing against the computer. The dealers are wonderfully personable and can prove quite helpful for new players. Plus, if you want to add some sociability to your play, you can often interact a bit with other players. To get started with a taste of the live action, we definitely recommend picking a casino from the list posted above, and see for yourself why so many Canadians are moving to live casino fun.