Live croupier casinos give us the opportunity to bet real money on hand-dealt table games, without having set foot in a land-based gaming venue. But what options are available, and how exactly do they work? We’ll answer those questions and show you where Australian gamblers can find the best live dealer games online.
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What is a live dealer casino?
In the not-so-distant past, there were two ways to play real money casino games: go to a land-based casino, or sign up at a gambling website and install a 100% digital gaming platform. While playing online is extremely convenient, especially with the advent of Flash casinos and mobile apps, some punters miss the unique vibe of brick-and-mortar gambling establishments.
The idea of the live casino site is to bridge the gap between those two worlds. Whereas standard Internet games are fully computerised and powered by random number generators (RNGs), live dealer tables are run by real people, in real time, using authentic casino equipment.
These games are filmed in large studios, laid out much like traditional casino floors, and streamed in High Definition to the World Wide Web. Those video feeds are then coupled with easy-to-use online betting interfaces, thus allowing you to play real-time games via the ‘Live Dealer’ section at our top-ranked casino sites.
The thing that most separates live croupier games from their virtual counterparts is the interactive element. The vast majority of live casino tables cater for multiple players at a time, just like land-based games, which helps alleviate that feeling of isolation some folks get during long sessions playing against RNGs. Most games also feature live chat, so you can talk with the dealer and spice things up with a bit of banter.
Some people find the rate of play in live dealer casinos to be a little slow compared to regular Internet gambling. The reason for that is simple: the cards are dealt by hand, not computers, and there are usually more players per table. Indeed, this may suit grinders who want to play fewer hands per hour, as well as those who simply prefer the more relaxed pace of a traditional casino game.
Casino games at live dealer sites
Just about every live croupier casino on the Net offers blackjack, roulette and baccarat – the world’s three most popular table games. Those are the staples, but some operators offer a little bit more choice.
Here are all the basic categories we have seen at AustralianCasinoSite.com’s trusted live dealer casino sites to date:
- Live baccarat
- Live blackjack
- Live casino hold’em
- Live French roulette
- Live European roulette
- Live keno
- Live lottery
- Live three card poker
That might seem like a modest list, but remember that live online casinos are still a fairly new thing. As this technology grows and becomes more and more popular, so too will the range of games available at the best Australian live dealer sites.
Best live croupier providers for Australians
Just as they source their online pokies and digital table games from software companies like Net Entertainment and BetSoft, real money casinos rely on specialist developers for their live dealer options. The companies which provide our top-rated Internet casinos with LD games rank among the industry’s leaders, with excellent track records for innovation, game variety and technical quality.
As Europe’s largest live dealer developer, Evolution Gaming boasts an extremely diverse range of real-time casino games for Australian players. Blackjack, baccarat, casino holdem and three card poker are all on the menu, but these guys specialise in the devil’s wheel – notably Immersive Roulette Live, which won ‘Game of the Year’ at the 2014 EGR Operator Awards. Evolution is also a trend-setter in mobile live dealer games, which are now available on iOS, Android and Windows devices.
Ezugi is another leading European developer of live dealer casino games for the Australian markets, with a catalogue that covers the classics (real money blackjack, roulette and baccarat) while offering a few fresh options as well. Live Keno and Live Lottery are two of the quirkier titles, with games running every five minutes for those who can’t wait until the weekend for the big lotto jackpot draw. Also keep an eye out for the new Hybrid Blackjack, which will combine the live shoe with a digital deck to accommodate hundreds of players per table.
It should come as no surprise that the king of real money pokies is also one of the top live casino developers. Microgaming is the most trusted name in the online gambling world, and its real-time tables offer the same kind of quality and class that we’ve come to expect from the UK brand’s virtual casino games.
MG’s live dealer roulette, blackjack and baccarat releases all feature crisp graphics, smooth gameplay, and generous betting options to suit recreational players and hi-stakes gamblers alike. The more hedonistic punters out there will love the Playboy Live tables, which feature sexy, bunny-eared croupiers and a luxuriant, 1960s-style club vibe.
Note: As of September 2017, Microgaming live dealer titles are no longer available to players from Australia.
Can I play free live casino games online?
At the moment, live dealer games are only available for real cash play. This might seem a little odd at first, considering every other kind of online casino game (except progressive jackpot pokies) can be played in practice mode. When you think about it, though, the reason is pretty simple.
It takes a lot of people to run a successful live dealer table. Besides the croupier, there’s also the adjudicator, the directors and producers, the camera crew, the audio operators, the lighting department, the IT team – a whole heap of executive and technical staff. These guys aren’t volunteers and need to be paid, so it simply isn’t cost-effective to run live casino games which don’t generate any cashflow.
If you want to play live dealer games but aren’t sure whether you can afford it, you need not worry. Australian live casinos offer very flexible table limits, with most real money baccarat, roulette and 21 games starting as low as $1 per hand – much more manageable than your standard $5+ tables at a live venue casino.