A few decades ago, online casinos were offering digital gambling games only, and we loved them.
Playing Roulette, Blackjack or Poker against the software was the pinnacle of the technological reach in the industry of online gambling. It allowed the players to enjoy their favourite entertainment straight from the casino floor without having to travel to a nearest brick and mortar casino. It was all available at home.
To gamblers from the past century, this would have certainly sounded surreal, but to us, it starts to seem outdated. Almost as if RNG-powered casino games were a pathway to a new dimension – the era of live casino games.
Don’t get us wrong – virtual Blackjack, Roulette and other RNG-operated games are still here, alive and kicking. They still have their audience, but live dealer casino has brought so much excitement to the remote gambler that many consider it a revolutionary event. From a technological standpoint, it is. Through exploring the possibilities of live streaming and well-executed camerawork, casino software developers have found a way to produce the most diverse and experience-led live content. The concept was widely accepted with positive feedback, and we can witness it evolving in front of our eyes.
Live Casino Games in a Nutshell
Live casino encompasses all the games that are taking place either in controlled environments, meaning in dedicated studios, or on actual casino floors and are streamed in real-time directly to the players’ screen. These games are handled by professional dealers and play out exactly as they would in land-based casinos, except that players observe and participate remotely. The dealers keep up with the gameplay by following the proceedings on a computer screen.
By becoming a registered member in a live dealer casino, a player can load a game of choice and join the table, place bets and collect them, even interact with the dealer and other participants via an integrated live chat facility. When games like live Blackjack and live roulette started appearing in web-based casinos, they were seen as groundbreaking. Fast forward several years, and we’ve already reached new a new milestone in the development of live casino products. They have now stepped away from traditional gameplay and started implementing new and exciting features and elements devised to entice players even more.
The Traditional Way
The live casino games sector started with merely transferring the games as they came to the live dealer platform. Carefully positioned cameras would capture all the action at the table and provide a nice wide shot of the studio and the dealer, creating an authentic atmosphere typical of casino establishments. Traditional live dealer games usually have a straightforward appearance – elegantly dressed croupiers sitting at a gambling table with the recognisable green felt surface. Sometimes, you can see other tables in the background, as you would at a brick and mortar casino.
A good example would be Evolution Gaming’s Live Blackjack, a product that largely contributed to the brand becoming a force to be reckoned with in the live casino business. Played with eight decks of cards, the game features standard blackjack rules. It accommodates seven seats and allows some side bets for additional excitement. Playtech’s European Live Roulette is another excellent example of a classic casino game in a live dealer arrangement, often described as the perfect choice for conventional players. The studio environment is as close to a casino floor as possible, with a real betting table and other croupiers at work in the background.
Embracing the Novelty
With more and more live casino software providers following suit and releasing their versions of traditional card games, dice and Roulette with live dealers, some developers have sensed the time has come to push the boundaries. Before the market becomes saturated with games that look too similar to one another, visionary developers such as Evolution Gaming and Playtech have released certain games that do not fall under your conventional casino game category.
Products such as Lightning Roulette, Quantum Blackjack, Lightning Dice, Monopoly Live and Deal or No Deal Live have redefined the live casino sector. Their success sends the message that games that are fundamentally different in format to traditional casino games can also provide an immersive, engaging game experience over the camera to the players at home.
Evolution Gaming seems particularly focused on game shows, a trend that started in 2017 with the release of the first of its kind, Live Dream Catcher, which was a runaway success. This encouraged the team to rely even more on the appeal of TV game shows and produce games in a studio setting that would have the look-and-feel of a TV set. They feature bubbly and charismatic hosts that would be enjoyable to watch and interact with.
In April 2019, Monopoly Live was launched, a game partly based on the money wheel concept, complete with an extravagant studio, RNG-based multiplier elements and a branding obtained from the owner of Monopoly. Evolution Gaming went even further and decided to offer a live dealer game of dice with a twist. The team built an exceptionally complex dice tower for Lightning Dice – because why would the dealer simply roll the dice manually or use an automatic dice shaker?
Playtech’s take on innovation is perhaps a bit more subtle, but still notable. The company recently launched Quantum Roulette which comes with a highly detailed, immersive studio and visuals. Derived from Single Zero Roulette, Quantum Roulette features a Quantum Boost Multiplier enhancer and multipliers on Straight Up positions in every round that go as high from 50x to 500x. Quantum Blackjack followed, advertised as the first multiplier-based live blackjack game. The innovation department announced more exciting projects in the future, determined to make live casino history.
Bottom Line: Standard vs Avant-garde
Which ones are better, traditional or innovative live casino games? It is a question that cannot be simply answered directly, pointing fingers. This is a timeless tale of confronting the old with the new, with each carrying their charms and benefits. Table games have certainly stood the test of time for a reason, and live casino will not be the end of conventional parlour-style games. On the other hand, innovative live dealer titles, in which the creativity of the developers really shines, reportedly attract players who have not been spending much time at the tables and rather choose to play slots. It’s all about preferences. While some are guided by nostalgia and original charm, others pursue new thrills.
In conclusion, there is no right or answer here. Both of these categories of live dealer games will keep their respective audiences happy in the times to come, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.