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Best Live Dealer Casino Sites

Live casino online games may seem still like a relatively new phenomenon, but they have been around for about ten years now. The concept of a live casino is fairly easy to understand – instead of using a computer program, the casino play takes place in a TV studio that is made out to resemble a real-world casino.

Players make their choices via an interface on their desktop PC, laptop or mobile device, and the action is beamed back to them via a live video feed. The wins and losses and payouts are all calculated by computer software.

Here are some of the best live casino gaming options for you, if you are a UK online casino player:

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Live casino bonuses

There are many types of bonuses available, if you sign up at an online casino, whether you do so with the intention of playing live casino games or not, you’ll receive a bonus. Some sites may even offer you a live casino bonus, but generally, bonuses cannot be redeemed on live casino games. It pays to hunt around for the best live casino bonus, and here are some guidelines you can follow in order to help you secure the very best deal that you can.

Welcome bonus

If you’ve played at an online casino before, then you may be aware of the concept of a welcome bonus. This type of bonus is available upon your very first deposit once you have signed up to become a member of a brand new online casino.

Such bonuses are usually in the form of ‘a 200% bonus up to £50’. In this example, for your first deposit at the site, the online casino will double the value of your first deposit and add it to your bonus account as bonus money, up to a limit of £50. So, if you were to deposit £30, you would receive back £50, and not £60 (£30 x 2) as you might expect.

Bonus cash is not ‘free money’. You can never withdraw bonus cash as it is designed for wagering purposes only. You are usually free to withdraw any winnings made with your bonus, though, once you have met wagering expectations.

Wagering expectations or requirements are usually along the lines of ’35x bonus + deposit’. This means that in order to be able to withdraw your bonus winnings, you need to make wagers of the value of thirty-five times your bonus and your deposit. If you deposited £20 and received a £20 bonus (total £40), then your wagering is 35 times that amount = £1,500. Be aware that this is the amount you are expected to wager, not spend. You can play 150 hands of live casino online blackjack at £10 per hand. You would not lose every single hand, and indeed there’s a chance you’ll come out with more money than what you started with.

Other factors to consider when grabbing yourself a live casino bonus are time limits and game contributions. You are typically given a time limit by which you must have met your wagering requirements. Also, if a game has a less than 100% contribution towards wagering, then this must be factored in as well. Say if video poker has a 10% contribution, then for every £10 wagered on video poker, only £1 (10% of £10) will contribute towards your wagering.

Reload bonuses

A reload bonus works in exactly the same way as a welcome bonus, except that is awarded to you after you have made your first deposit at your new live casino online site. You may get a reload bonus on a handful of deposits made after your first deposit, or you may get a bonus on a weekly, daily or monthly basis.

Free / no deposit bonuses

You do not have to make a deposit at some sites in order to commence your experience with them. Some sites may offer you a free or no deposit bonus, for which no deposit has to be made. This is, in effect, free bonus money. It works in the same way as a welcome bonus, except that no deposit has to be made.

Free or no deposit bonuses tend to be small and come with high wagering expectations.

Here is a list of some of the best casino bonuses you can find if you are looking for a live casino bonus:

What you need to look out for in a good live casino site

Not all live casinos are the same. Here are some things you need to look out for to give yourself the chance of a decent online live casino experience.

A licensed and regulated online live casino

If you live in the UK, then any slots, casino, live casino, bingo or sports book site MUST have a proper United Kingdom Gambling Commission licence, Legally, any gambling site that accepts UK residents as customers needs to have a UKGC licence.

A UKGC licence for a live casino site is a mark that the site is operating legally and treats its customers fairly. You should ascertain whether any site you are thinking of signing up for has a legitimate UKGC licence. This is easy to do – just look at the bottom of the site’s home page for the ‘Gaming Commission’ logo. You can also check with the UKGC themselves.

A variety of live casino games from different software providers

When it comes to live casinos, there are three main software providersEvolution Gaming, NetEnt and Extreme Live Gaming. It is better for you as a player if you can find an online casino that has access to at least two of these live casino providers. Unlike RNG or software-based games, the spaces at live casino tables are limited, and if a live casino site has a smaller number of games or providers, then you may find it difficult to find space at a table.

The main games you need to look out for are blackjack, roulette, baccarat and casino. A decent mix of games and a large number of tables is your best bet for a decent live casino experience.

Decent bonuses and fair wagering requirements

Ongoing bonuses are always a good sign that an online live casino site is in a good state of health. A decent online casino site will always have a decent array of reload bonuses and free spin offers.

Such offers should have decent wagering requirements too. A good yardstick to measure wagering by is 40 x deposit + bonus. Anything less than 40x is a very good deal, while anything above 40x should get you thinking about going elsewhere for a more worthwhile bonus.

How to play at an online live casino

Once you have completed your sign up at an online casino, made a deposit and acquired any bonus that is coming to you, then you are ready to enter the live casino realm! Here is how to do just that:

  • Choose which game you would like to play. The usual options are blackjack, European roulette, American roulette, baccarat or casino poker. Some sites may have additional games such as three card poker.
  • Find a live casino room for your game and enter it. The live dealer or croupier should welcome you to the room.
  • Check to see if there are any seats available. If there are not, try a different room.
  • Sit down at the table. Wait until the next available betting round, or watch the play for a short while so you feel confident in that you know what you are doing.
  • Use the software interface to select how many chips you want to bet. With some games, your virtual chips may appear on the table. No ‘real’ chips are involved.
  • If you are playing a card game such as blackjack or baccarat, then wait until it is your turn. This works just as in a real-world casino in that the dealer or croupier will take on one player at a time. If you are playing roulette, just wait until the ball has landed in a slot upon the wheel.
  • At the end of the turn, you will have won or lost. Your chips will be removed (if you lost) or added to your account (if you won). You are free to start on another betting round if you want.
  • At any time you can get up from the table and leave with your winnings.

The most popular live casino games

There are four main online casino games. Here are brief details about all of them.

Roulette

Roulette Online IconRoulette is the most popular casino game in the world. There are three main types of roulette – American, European and French. Generally, only American and European roulette is played as a live casino game. French roulette can involve a secondary betting table which would make each round too long.

European roulette uses a wheel with numbers 1 to 36 and 0. American roulette uses a wheel with an extra ’00’ added. You are less likely to win with American roulette as you are with European.

In each version, you can make ‘inside’ bets on numbers and groups of numbers, or ‘outside’ bets on factors of the wheel, such as red/black or odd/even. Each specific bet has its own payout, which is standard across all forms of roulette played anywhere in the world.

Blackjack

Blackjack IconBlackjack is played as a card game in more casinos than any other. It is a very simple game to play. The object of the game is to beat the dealer by scoring more points than them, as long as you do not score over twenty-one points, in which case you bust. You are dealt two cards, and can add to them (‘hit’) as many times as you want until you are satisfied with your hand (‘stand’) or have bust.

As with casino blackjack, when it is the dealer’s turn they MUST score at least seventeen, even if they have already scored more than the players’ total.

If you win a hand of blackjack, you win back double your stake. You also receive a bonus payout if you score a blackjack itself, which is any two-card total of twenty-one.

Baccarat

Baccarat OnlineBaccarat is also known as Punto Banco and is the casino game favoured by James Bond. It is similar to blackjack, as it is the player (‘punto’) against the dealer or bank {‘banco’). A player though can bet on the player’s hand, or the banker’s hand.

The point of baccarat is to score as close to nine as possible. The dealer and the player each receive two cards, and the total is the final digit of the two cards added together. For example, if a player is dealt a 9 and a 7, the total is 6, as 6 is the last digit of 16. Face cards in baccarat have no value, and an ace is worth 1.

Once the deal has been made the player has the option of receiving one more card. You cannot bust in baccarat, though. If you have a 7 and an 8 (score 5, not 15) and are dealt a 6, your score is now down to 1 (not 21).

When the player has finished their turn it is time for the dealer to act. The dealer can only do a specific number of things, depending upon what the player’s hand is worth, and what the banker has. At the end of the hand, either the player or the banker is declared the winner (or it could be a tie) and bets are paid out accordingly.

Casino poker

Video Poker IconGenerally, casino poker means Texas Hold ’em poker. This is not the type of game where you play at a table with other players, but a ‘heads up’ game with you against the dealer.

Play starts with the player placing their bet. The player and the dealer receive two cards each, face down. Three cards are placed face up in the centre of the table. A player then decides to fold (give in) or play (double their bet). If the player plays then the dealer deals two more face-up cards in the middle of the table. The player must make their best poker hand from their own two cards and the five ‘community’ cards.

The dealer will then turn over their two ‘hole’ cards. They must score at least a pair of fours in order to ‘qualify’. If not, then the player wins automatically. If the dealer cannot beat the player, then the player wins and receives back double his final bet. If the dealer beats the player, then the player will lose his stake.

Real money live casino

Is it possible to win real money when playing live casino online?

With blackjack, roulette and baccarat, winning money is purely down to luck and nothing more. If you play well and are lucky, then you will end up with more than what you started with. If you are unlucky, then you will end up with less than what you started with.

Casino poker is different in that you need to play well in order to be able to make any money while playing it.

Is it safe to play for real money?

As long as you play at a live casino that has proper UKGC licensing, then your money is safe, as are your identity details, and your financial information.

What is meant by RTP?

RTP means ‘return-to-player’ and is the expected return to the player in terms of money over an extended period of play. For example, if you play a game with an RTP of 99% and begin with £100, then after several hands or plays you should have £99 left. However, casino games are streaky and this is seldom what happens. RTP is best used as a comparison tool – the closer a game’s RTP is to 100%, the better chance a player has of coming out on top.

Some live casino RTPs:

  • Blackjack 99.4%;
  • European roulette 97.3%;
  • American roulette 94.7%;
  • baccarat/punto banco 98.9%;
  • casino poker 97.9%.
  • Not all types of games (except roulette) have the same RTPs though, as some have different rules to others.

Conclusion

We have all have dreamed of playing and winning big at a real-world casino, but very few of us actually get to do that. Indeed, not everyone gets the chance of playing at a real-world casino at all.

While playing at alive casino is not exactly the same as playing at a real-world casino, it is the closest that you will get online. You also get to play via the comfort of your own sofa, if you so wish!

Why not sign up with one of our recommended casinos today and begin your live casino online career?