Online casinos have become a multibillion dollar global phenomenon and over the past two decades operators have spared no expense in making their games as realistic and immersive as possible. A key element of this has been introducing live casino where players are able to connect with a real dealer in a physical location and play a game of blackjack or roulette using real cards, chips and a live video feed. The result is an experience which is indistinguishable from playing in a bricks and mortar casino.
The concept behind a live casino is relatively simple. The croupier or dealer is located in an actual casino studio and the game is streamed to the player’s computer, tablet or mobile device via the internet. The croupier uses real cards, chips and a live roulette wheel while software is used on the player’s end to make wagers and bets. The player can also communicate with the croupier through the live chat option and this brings a social element to the gameplay.
A typical live casino is a room which contains a studio where the dealer is stationed and a control room for the specialised hardware that makes it all work. The specialised hardware is known as a GCU or ‘Game Control Unit’ and it is the heart of the live casino system. The GCU is a piece of equipment which is no larger than a shoe box and it encodes all of the information which is transmitted to the player’s device. Without this vital piece of kit, the live casino wouldn’t be able to exist.
Other important pieces of equipment which are needed in a live casino are specialised cameras which can zoom in on the table and a special card reader which is able to detect symbols printed on the cards. These special components enable the casino to transmit all of the necessary data to the player and this is how they are able to produce such a high-quality gaming experience for their customers.
There are a number of different games which can be played at a live casino and these can vary depending on the operator. However, most will offer the “golden trio” of blackjack, roulette and baccarat (sometimes these can be multiple types of each) as well as poker and wheel of fortune. The portfolio of games can differ between providers as some will have a more limited selection while others may have more unique offerings like speed baccarat or hold em.
The first thing which all live casino players should do before playing any of the games on offer is to ensure that they are at a reputable site. This can be done by examining the site’s licence and registration as well as looking at customer reviews. This will help players to avoid any scams and identify a site which is able to provide a great gaming experience. Once this is done, the player can then choose a game and place their bets.