Online live dealer gambling rocketed into our living rooms in 2006, but it rapidly fizzled because of grainy, blurry, jerky video that crawled over the Internet due to the time’s lousy streaming technology.
So when gamblers flooded online casinos in the last decade, the software did all the dealing.
Cut to twelve years later…
Streaming technology and high definition video have caught up to online gambling. Now you can sit down at a real casino game table on a real casino’s gaming floor. You can play with other people. Possibly best of all, a living, breathing, talking person shuffles and deals the cards.
Which is better? Playing the software or a live dealer?
The definitive answer is: It depends.
Live Dealer Games Are More Secure
Software casino games are based on random number generators (RNGs). For this reason, they are called RNG software. They are as random as it is mathematically possible to be.
But disreputable online casinos can always monkey with the software or the payout tables. Which is why it is imperative that you play at the casinos with the best reputations.
While live dealers can and sometimes do cheat, live online games offer an additional layer of security you don’t have when gambling onsite or with online software: Everything an online dealer does is recorded. Cheating dealers get caught and money is returned to the gamblers. For this reason, most gambling pros consider live dealer online games as the safest games to play.
Software Games Offer More Variety
The standard rule for gambling is to pick the table with the best return to player (RTP).
Take roulette, for example. With a low RTP of 94.7%, American roulette offers you the golden opportunity to make the casino rich. On the other hand European roulette, with an RTP of 97.3%, is a game you might beat. Playing French roulette with La Partage rules jumps the RTP all the way to 98.5 %. That’s a game you can beat.
If you shop around, you eventually will find the RNG software table games that have the most advantageous rules and highest RTP’s. It may take some looking, but you will find them. It’s harder to find the most advantageous live table games at online casinos. It’s possible of course, but because there are fewer tables and casinos to choose from it’s more difficult.
Live Dealer GamesAre More Social
RNG software games do not greet you by name or talk to you. You don’t interact with other people. You’re as welcome as any other string of numbers coming through the wires. Most live dealer games allow you to talk to the dealer or ask questions through a chat function. If the dealer has time, he or she will respond by talking with you directly.
You also can see what other players are saying to the dealer. Additionally, if you’re good at the tech you can use other programs to create a real-time chat and video conferencing with the other players. If you’re there for the fun of social interaction, then live dealer online gambling is as close as you can get to the real thing.
Online Gambling Software Games Have Lower Betting Minimums
As a general rule, you will find that live dealer online games have lower betting minimums than live on-site games. That’s good.
However, the betting minimums for online software games are even lower – as low as $1 per game. You’re not going to win a fortune in those lower minimum games, but you’re going to have the same amount of fun at a considerably lower cost.
Live Dealer Games Are More Fun
Let’s face it. Deal after deal of software blackjack becomes boring pretty fast.
Live dealer games offer much more variety in gameplay and interaction. Remember also that online casinos use their best-looking male and female dealers to host the game, so you always have something more interesting to look at than a bunch of cards.
You Don’t Tip Software
Nearly every live online live dealer casino game has a function to leave a tip to the dealer. This seems only fair. When you play at a brick-and-mortar casino, it’s traditional to tip the dealer, and when you play online live dealer casino games the live dealer is the main reason you’re there.
Keep in mind, however, that the entire tip may not go to the dealer. The online casino may skim a bit off the top or swipe it outright. You don’t know.
Software, however, doesn’t need a tip. Not yet, anyway.
Live Dealer Games Offer Tools to Help You
Unlike software or onsite casino games, live dealer games offer some important tools, such as outcome histories, that may help you win.
In roulette, for instance, you may bet based on patterns on the table, so you play at a table and write out the numbers as they’re dealt. Many live dealer casinos have a function that expands this and lets you see all the previous outcomes at a table.
You Don’t Control Live Dealer Games
With online live dealer casino games, the dealer controls the game.
You typically have 15 to 20 seconds to think over your bets or game strategy. You must have your game strategy down cold or you’ll make mistakes.
If you need more time, stick to the software games.