One of the benefits to playing online is being able to avoid the hustle and bustle that comes from playing in a live venue. Casino live.
For example, you get to skip lines, not worry about traffic and avoid huge crowds. First world problems you don’t have any choice but to deal with when you visit cities like Las Vegas.
I’ll be honest …it’s nice being able to skip that stuff.
But playing online has its tradeoffs. Like, playing games live.
One of the fun things about playing live games is the social aspect. Chatting with the other players. Chatting with the (cute) dealer. Cheering people on, or booing together when the dealer hits a 6-card 21.
There’s a comradery playing live that was hard to get playing online.
Keyword being was – until a few years ago when casinos introduced live dealer games. These are games run by real people, broadcasted and streamed to your online casino. If you want to know more about them, including how they work and the games you can play, you can find our guide here.
For everyone else – you’ll find a list of the best live online casinos in the table below.
Our List of the Best Live Dealer Casinos for 2017
Here are some things to know before you join one of these casinos:
Just what they sound like.
Live dealer casinos are casino games that run live, just like the ones you’d play in a land based casino. The key difference being that you’re watching a stream instead of sitting across from them in a casino.
That’s the basic idea, anyway.
Now there are 3 types of live dealer casinos – a dealer studio, actual casino and broadcast.
The dealer studio is the most common. The game is streamed from a studio built solely for live dealer games. And this means that everything, from lighting, camera views, zooms, interaction and customization, are all optimized for online play.
Actual casino streams are games recorded live from actual land based casinos. You may be sitting next to a live player actually seated and playing at the casino your game is recorded in. This means you’ll be chatting with people and playing games managed by actual casino managers, employees, dealers and croupiers.
Last is television broadcasted games. These are live dealer games that are cast over both the web and cable TV, giving you the option to play either from your PC or TV.
The rest is very simple. All the action is delivered to you live. You’ll get to watch the dealer shuffle the cards, spin the wheel, deal players cards, pay players, and so on.
There are two types of live dealer casinos – okay casinos and great casinos. Run of the mill or the very best.
Which one would you rather play at?
The more you review these types of casinos, the more you’ll spot these differences that, while seemingly minor, can add up to make a huge difference in the experience you’ll have.
Differences that separate the best from the rest.
Let’s look at some of those now.
Live dealer games are still new. Many live casinos only have 2 or 3 games to play. For example, a common selection might include:
But some casinos (the best) will have a larger variety of games. They’ll have baccarat, blackjack, roulette, sic-bo and casino holdem.
I know, that doesn’t seem like much of a difference – only 2 more games. But the top casinos will also have additional game variations. Those can include European, French, standard or Asian roulette, VIP blackjack, Crazy21 or VIP baccarat. And many others.
And since so many casinos phone it in on the game variety, a casino that puts in a little extra effort to include a game variation or two will stand out like a sore thumb.
This is important, too, although for different reasons.
For some players the goal will be to find cheaper live games. Because one of the downsides to these games are the slightly higher than normal stakes (for online casinos). The standard being $3-$5, which is on par for a brick and mortar casino.
However, if you do some shopping around you can find games for as low as.10,.50 and $1, depending on your game of choice.
Here are some examples to show you what I mean:
Live casino games
Since you’re playing for larger sums of money -even at lower stakes- it makes sense to raise the limits. To let you cash out more money per day/week/month.
That’s something the best casinos let you do.
For example, I’m looking at two casinos right now – one that will let you cash out $30,000 per month (not bad) and another that will let you cash out $99,999 per DAY.
These numbers are regarding their high limit tables. That might mean you need to be a high limit player or be a part of their (high limit) VIP to get those sorts of limits.
(That’s much easier to do online than offline. You can read our high roller page to learn more about that.)
Your mileage will vary, of course. But, the point is, the best live casinos will have increased cash out limits to accommodate both their higher table stakes AND their higher limit players.
One thing you’ll notice – and maybe disappointed by – is the lack of cultural or ethnic diversity at the ‘okay’ live dealer casinos.
It’s often some white women from the United Kingdom.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a bad thing. Not at all. But it certainly doesn’t reflect the diversity found in a brick and mortar casino.
If you join one of the best casinos, though, you’ll find a larger range of dealer types to choose from. Some of your choices may include:
Technically speaking, you could stream and play any table game a land based casino offers. But, as of now, only a handful of options are readily available.
There are many variations, too. For example:
Asian, European, American dealers
European, American, French roulette
Playboy themed/dressed dealers
What games and variations you can play will simply depend on the casino you play at. And this will depend on where you live.
The best way to get this across is by example. So, below, what you’ll find are the top 7 online casinos offering live dealer games. Those casinos include:
Here are the details we were able to dig up on each casino and their live dealer games.
5Dimes – This is only one of two sites that offer live dealer games. Here’s what games and stakes you can play:
Baccarat – You can wager $5 to $250.
Blackjack – You can wager $5 to $500. They have a 7-seat multiplayer setup and use a 6-deck shoe.
Roulette – You can wager $5 to $500. They use an American wheel (0, 00).
You can play all their games from your browser. They use over-sized playing cards (easier to see) and the girls speak fluid English.
Their most popular game is blackjack, which, from what I understand is due to their insertion policies. The worst is 60 percent, which favors card counters.
This would be great if it weren’t for the fact that 5Dimes doesn’t like card counters. According to their terms and conditions:
Professional card counters are prohibited. If you are found to be a professional card counter playing in our Live Dealer, your account is subject to immediate closure and all winnings will be forfeited.
The bottom line, though, is they offer a decent selection of games and stakes. And despite not streaming in HD and catering to LOTS of traffic, the video quality is good and reports suggest you shouldn’t have to wait (long) for a table.
BetOnline – Here are the live dealer games and stakes you can play at BetOnline:
Baccarat – Betting limits vary from $5 to $500. For Punto Banco rules they vary from $5 to $100.
Blackjack – This is a 7-seat game with an 8-deck shoe. The betting limits vary from $10 to $5,000. Blackjack pays 3:2 and dealer stands on hard/soft 17. You can split pairs, double down, double after splitting, take insurance and surrender.
Roulette – They use a European (0) wheel. Betting limits range from $5 to $500.
What’s neat here is one of their features is a multi-gaming interface that allows you to play 3 games at once. There’s also a dual video presentation that allows you to get a full view of the action while playing roulette.
Another thing – all the dealers and floor staff are women. And the dealers wear skimpy outfits and are reportedly flirty with players.
William Hill – Here you’ll find 4 live dealer games:
Both normal and high limit options are available. If you play the high stakes blackjack you can bet up to $20,000 (per seat).
You can play the live dealer games in both the download and no download casino. There is full audio available so you can hear all the sounds that come from the game – except for the other players (but you can chat in the chat box).
And one of the unique things about William Hill’s live dealer games is they have both men and women dealers.
888 – The 888 Casino works with a couple different software companies, which allows them to offer these games and variations:
Baccarat – Play standard, VIP, premium (uses a squeeze card and has 14 seats) and super.
Blackjack – Play standard, VIP, blackjack and Crazy21.
Roulette – Play standard, VIP, European, French and Asian roulette.
888 makes it clear on their website that you can play their live dealer games from your mobile device, too. You just need to get their app first.
Ladbrokes – You can play the following live dealer games at Ladbrokes:
Baccarat – Play for limits of $1 to $5,000.
Blackjack – Play for $5 to $5,000.
Roulette – Play European and French Gold. The French Gold allows French bets, but also higher betting limits. Play for $.50 to $100,000.
Sic Bo – Play for limits ranging from $1 to $5,000.
If these limits aren’t high enough, you can play even higher once you get approval from management.
The roulette minimum bet is easily the smallest bet I’ve seen for live dealer games.
They have 40+ tables, so despite dealing with large amounts of traffic, wait times are kept to a minimum.
Bet365 – You have two choices here – Asian or European women dealers.
You can play the following games with Asian dealers:
You can play the following games with European dealers:
There are two types of roulette – standard and live. The difference between the two is that with one the dealers will speak to the players while you play. But since there are no microphones (yet), the dealers or other players can’t hear you. But you can still chat via the chat box.
You can play via your phone or tablet once you download their mobile app.
TitanBet – The games they offer via the Playtech platform include:
Baccarat – Play standard and pairs side bet. The minimum bet is $5 and max is $500.
Blackjack – Seats 7 players. The bets are $5 to $500. Blackjack pays 3:2 and dealer stands on 17.
Portomaso casino live
Roulette – They use a single 0 wheel. The minimum bet is $1 and the max is $1,000 (on non-VIP tables).
You can play in your browser or via their download. Unfortunately, they do not yet have a mobile app for their live dealer games.
It’s common sense, I know. But it bears repeating…
If you want the best experience – the safest and most enjoyable experience – you need to find the best casinos.
One caveat though – that’s going to be different for everyone.
I know I pointed out many things above. Like, the best casinos will have tons of dealers or games to choose from. That they’ll have the best equipment and tech.
The best casino is ultimately going to be whatever casino has the games you want to play, at stakes you can afford, with bonuses and perks to keep you incentivized to come back time and time again.
That’s only something you can determine.
We hope the advice on this page got you one step closer to figuring that out.
We receive a lot of questions about live dealer games. We thought it’d be a good idea to answer those here.
Can you count cards at live dealer blackjack?
That depends on a couple of things.
One, does the casino allow it? Chances are they don’t – most casinos, live or offline, don’t care much for advantage players. But I suggest you read the casino’s terms and conditions – or our casino reviews – to be sure.
Two, do you know when the dealer shuffles? You’ll notice many casinos state that their dealers shuffle often – around 50% penetration – which makes it difficult to get an accurate count.
There are some exceptions, like 5Dimes. However, they make it very clear they don’t want card counters. Doing so risks your account and winnings.
What are so advantages to live dealer games?
Here are some of the best things about these games:
Relatively minimum expenses
Realism (human dealers + real equipment)
As you can see, you get a mix of perks from both offline and online casino gambling.
What are some disadvantages to live dealer games?
The biggest downside are the minimum stakes – they mirror that of a live dealer casino. For blackjack that means playing $5 per hand instead of the $1 per hand most online players are used to. The exception is roulette – at some (live dealer) casinos you can play for as little as $.50 or $1.
All other negatives I can think of – few games, no live chatting with players, no mobile app, etc. – is more or less a result of the industry being new. Many, if not all of these other complaints will be taken care of with time, I’m betting.
Can I still have a deposit/reload bonus or VIP perks if I play live dealer games?
Yes. Some casinos will have live dealer specific bonuses. One casino that does (or did) is 888.
But if they don’t have a live dealer bonus you can (usually) just participate in one of their other promos. Just be sure to read their terms and conditions since many of the most common live dealer games are also games casinos handicap or prohibit in their terms from being played to clear offers.
Can I play on my phone or tablet?
At some casinos, yes. Some will have an app, whereas others you can play from your phone or tablet’s browser, assuming the screen size doesn’t get in your way. If you stick to the larger, better funded casinos, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a mobile compatible option.
However, some casinos are still working on becoming mobile compatible. The best way to know who offers what is to read our casino reviews.
Do I need special software or connection to play live dealer games?
Since live dealer games are streamed, you should have some form of high speed broadband. Players on dial-up or other slower connections may have issues.