The live dealer casino scene is one of the fastest-growing segments of the iGaming industry. It is one of the most interactive and immersive casino experiences, creating the look and feel of playing in an atmospheric land-based casino, all from an online setting. The format has proven particularly popular among those who do not live within proximity to a bricks-and-mortar casino, giving players the same level of social engagement from the comfort of their own home.
Introducing Live Casino games
Live casino games consist of some of the most popular authentic table games. Live dealers manage games like blackjack and roulette with consummate ease and professionalism. Live casinos also increasingly contain gameshow-style games presented by live hosts, including wheel-based games inspired by iconic shows like Wheel of Fortune.
Live casino games are also being included in promotions and initiatives. One of the most interesting of these is ‘Casino Races’, which rewards players who rack up points and move up the real-time race leaderboard by playing the latest live dealer casino games online. Those at the top of the leaderboard can win free spins and instant cash prizes. These ‘Races’ benefit low-rollers as much as high-rollers, as any wager or bankroll level can win providing players meet the minimum bet for each ‘Race’.
The action at a live dealer casino table flows just as seamlessly as in a land-based casino, which is why most players remain oblivious to the level of technology required to operate and maintain such a slick and intuitive gaming experience.
If you’re intrigued by the lengths online casino operators go to in order to power live dealer casino games with professionally trained dealers, read on as we explain the nuts and bolts of running a live dealer studio.
The primary components of a live dealer casino studio
First and foremost, a live casino studio needs to offer high-definition (HD) quality streaming – regardless of what device or screen size used by players. HD streams ensure there is no distortion to what is seen on-screen, thereby providing a view of the action that’s comparable with being sat or stood on a casino floor. Arguably, live casino cameras offer an even better view of the action than a land-based casino. In live dealer roulette, there are multiple HD camera angles you can choose from – including a top-down overview of the roulette wheel.
Then comes the clever bit. Each live casino table has its own game control unit (GCU). This shoebox-sized device encodes the video stream from the table to users, ensuring low latency and seamless interaction between the dealer and the players. The GCU works in tandem with optical character recognition (OCR) technology to ensure players are kept fully up to speed with the game. OCR technology automatically captures the game data and overlays this data on-screen, and players can use this data to make more informed betting decisions. For example, OCR technology captures the value of cards dealt to each player. It then relays those values on-screen in real time, enabling players to make decisions on whether to hit or stand.
Each live casino dealer relies on their monitor to keep up with the action that’s unfolding online. The monitor will show what each player would like to do at the table, e.g. hit or stand in a game of blackjack. This helps to maintain a steady game flow and enables dealers to pinpoint players who may be taking longer than others and require assistance with placing their wagers.
To facilitate those interactions between the dealer and the players, most live casino studios operate real-time live chat functionality. These chat boxes are overlaid on-screen for players to write and send messages to the dealer, or even talk with the other players at the table. All of this helps to create that inclusive and immersive casino gaming experience. Players can now experience this without having to leave the confines of their own home, which will certainly apply pressure on land-based casinos to differentiate themselves and provide innovative ways to entice customers back to land-based establishments in the months and years ahead.