Live casinos are a rapidly growing sector of the online casino market and live casino games are becoming more and more the first choice for online casino game players offering as they do the chance to interact with live dealers and other players in a more realistic casino environment.
How Live Casinos Operate
Live online casinos such as Paddy Power and Betfair Casino, stream their video footage of popular card and table games such as Roulette, Baccarat and Blackjack directly from the floors of real world casinos or else they will broadcast from a studio setting - either way at any reputable casino you can expect to find professionally trained and regulated dealers and croupiers offering the exact same experience as you'd find in any real world casino. You may find there are some differences between real and studio based casinos and it's a matter of preference which you prefer. Real world based casinos may be as busy and noisy or as quiet and deserted as real world casinos can be while studio based casinos may offer a more "TV show" type quality with the dealers/croupiers almost doubling as cheerful TV presenters and the whole experience packaged in a friendly community vibe. It's quite possible you may yourself warming to certain dealers/croupiers more than others and just as in real world casinos these dealers/croupiers will take breaks with other delears and croupiers to take over.
At the best live casinos you should find useful options such as being able to zoom in on the dealer/croupier and cards/tables and you should expect to be able to mute any sound for those times when you decide you want to play in peace and quiet. Stats will be provided by any decent casino allowing you to see the results of the last few hands dealt or last few winning Roulette numbers etc.
What You Need To Play at Live Casinos
Greater uptake of ever faster broadband speeds and ever more powerful home computers means that live video footage is now routinely "broadcast" direct to people's computers mostly without any lags or glitches. If your computer is getting on a bit, you are on dial up or you routinely suffer from a poor internet connection due to your location then you may not be able to enjoy live casinos as much as broadband users but, generally, most people nowadays find playing at online live casinos is a trouble free experience. If you can watch TV or video online on websites such as YouTube you should have no problem with live casinos.
Games Available At Live Casinos
Typically online casinos will offer at least three of the most popular of casino games: Blackjack, Baccarat and Roulette. The exact versions of these games on offer will vary depending on which casino you choose to play at and the casino software they use to power their games.
Live Blackjack - This card game is as popular as ever with casino game players and playing it at a live casino is as similar to a real world casino experience as it's possible to get. During play the dealer will interact with players, greet new players, congratulate winners and many will provide useful information about the current game. Good casinos will allow you to see plenty of stats about previous hands and you should be able to see what other players are choosing to do be it hitting, standing etc.
Because they are live, games of live Blackjack are divided into timed rounds so you'll have to make your descisions quite quickly once the dealer has dealt the cards - the screenshot to the left shows the timer ticking down to zero from and the dealer at Paddy Power Casino waiting for players to place their bets. Any chips you've placed on the table when the timer reaches zero will count as your bet. It's important to remain calm and when you feel it necessary take regular breaks from the action as a bet made in haste might very well be repented at leisure.
Live Baccarat - Baccarat's simplicity may help explain it's enduring popularity as choosing to bet on either the player, dealer or a tie is about as complicated as this game gets. Playing Baccarat live with real dealers helps bring this ancient game of Kings and aristocrats right into the 21st Century and live Baccarat is becoming more popular than ever with online casino fans.
In the screenshot on the right you can see the Baccarat table at Paddy Power Casino with three clearly defined areas in which to place your chips depending on if you want to wager on the banker, player or tie. As with live Blackjack you should find that most good casinos will offer professional and friendly dealers who will make your games of Baccarat an enjoyable experience. You'll also be up against a clock when it's your turn to make a descision so keep calm and don't get flustered or lose your head when the time comes to make a wager.
Live Roulette - Everyone knows how to play Roulette we reckon and while not everyone has tried live Roulette yet we predict this game is going to become huge as more and more casinos start to offer live roulette options to their visitors. Playing live Roulette can be a thrilling experience as a good live croupier can really add to the sense of anticipation and excitement in between spins of the wheel - it's certainly a lot more engaging than simply pressing a button every few seconds on your traditional roulette wheel simulations which are, after all, nothing but fancy graphics to hide a RNG (random number generator) algorithm. When playing live Roulette you'll get a time limit in between spins in which to place your bets but don't be distracted by the croupiers chat or any fancy graphics - place your bets with a clear head.
The screenshot above shows the Roulette table at Paddy Power Casino and if you click to view the bigger version you'll see they offer a standard Roulette table with one Zero pocket.
Playing Live Casino Games For Free
One thing we recommend is taking advantage of casinos that let you try out their live games totally free of charge, such as Betfair Casino, as this way you can spend some time trying out what's on offer and finding a quality casino that offers an enjoyable gaming experience. Some live casinos can be overly noisy or badly presented and the atmosphere at online casinos really does vary just as it does in real world casinos so there's no point wasting your money on something you don't enjoy. You may find you prefer the casinos that stream their video live from a real world casino or you may enjoy the "TV show" type studio based casinos more - either way playing for free means you're getting at least some entertainment for zero outlay or risk.
Different online casinos will open their virtual doors to players at different times so you may only be able to play your favourite casino games during certain times of the day or night depending on how they are set up to broadcast but there are also casinos that operate 24 hours a day 365 days of the year, such as the Betfair Live Casino. Studio based casinos such as Paddy Power Casino will tell you their "show times" on their website which lets you know the start and end times of their broadcasts during which you'll be able to play.
Live Casino Etiquette
When playing at a live casino the casinos want you to enjoy yourself of course and interaction with the real dealers and/or other players is usually welcome but it's important to remember you are dealing with real people and therefore play and act in a responsible manner just as you would be expected to do so at a real world casino.
If you've never experienced playing at a live casino before then we can confidently predict you'll enjoy the atmosphere and excitement of live casino games - and with casinos such as Paddy Power and Betfair allowing you to try their live games for free there's no excuse not to join in the action!
Use Live Casino Resources
This live online casinos site has more indepth information with quality reviews and screenshots of live casino games, also features information on free live casinos.