Play Online Casino Games with Live Dealers
A lot of the reasons to visit a live casino in Indiana are social. Sure, that big win at the tables is important. You also get an evening of entertainment, sat with other gamblers and interacting with the dealers.
Online casinos can now recreate this with their live dealer rooms. These allow you to see a real game, streamed in real time – and to bet via your computer or mobile device. You can interact with the dealers or other players while you gamble.
While you’ll never truly recreate that live casino experience – these games are a lot more social and entertaining than the old software-based table games.
If Indiana’s online gambling is ever extended to include casino gaming, I expect to see live dealer table games here too. This guide takes the games available in states like NJ and PA – and shows you how they work. Live dealer table games are hugely popular around the world, once you experience them, the old player vs software games will start to feel out of date!
Live Dealer vs Standard Online Gaming
It was not too long ago that you needed to download a dedicated software package to enjoy casino games on your computer. These days, games are available via apps or in your browser window.
Blackjack was the earliest casino game to appear online. A simple software version was released by MicroGaming back in 1994. Fast forward to today and you can see a dealer in real time dealing the cards – and bet remotely via by clicking or dragging and dropping chips.
Live dealer table games work either with individual players deciding on their own hands, or one too many.
For blackjack, the tables have 7 seats. You’ll be dealt your own hand (sometimes you can take 2 spots) and decide on your own actions.
Games like Ultimate Texas Hold’em have one-to-many format. The dealer will deal a single ‘player hand’. Many players will then bet on the outcome. Hands are played all the way to the end to accommodate players that decide on different actions.
To keep the action moving along, live dealer games are timed. You will usually have 15 seconds to decide on your action or place your initial bet.
When you are at a 7-seat blackjack table, this can slow things down – especially on those hands where each player makes multiple decisions.
If you disconnect, then live dealer casinos won’t wait for you to return. Your hand may be folded, or you may simply miss the next bet, depending on the game.
Live Dealer Game Types
The most popular table games are spread in live dealer rooms. You will usually find a choice of tables with different dealers – some are high limit and others for $1 bets and up. The stakes do start higher than the table games. After all, the overhead of the dealer needs to be balanced somehow.
Here is a list of the most popular Live Dealer games:
- Blackjack: This is the most popular game at live dealer casinos (just as it is in live casinos)
- Baccarat: This high-roller favorite is played one to many
- Roulette: There are variations with dealers and with a live though automatic wheel
- Ultimate Texas Hold’em: This is one of several casino poker variations which appear in live dealer rooms. Others include Casino Hold’em, 3-Card Poker or Caribbean Stud.
I have explained how each of these games operate in live dealer casinos below:
Live Dealer Blackjack
When you see the lobby of a live dealer casino, blackjack will immediately stand out as the most popular game. Many tables have identical rules, with the main division being the stake levels. Expect minimum bets at $1 to $2, and maximums going into the $100’s.
These games have 7 seats and your first task is to find an open spot at the right stake level for you. If you join part-way through a hand, you’ll need to wait for the next one to begin.
This starts with a line of chips across the screen. You need to drag and drop chips of your chosen denomination onto the betting surface. If you make a mistake you can click an ‘undo’ arrow. You can place chips separately on side bet squares. These bets (for example perfect pairs) vary by casino.
Cards used in live dealer rooms are bigger than the normal casino cards. Each player is dealt two. With the dealer checking for blackjack before the players act.
You’ll see your options overlaid on the table, and need to choose whether to hit, stand, split or double before a 10 to 15 second time limit (also shown) expires.
This repeats for all the actions for all players, before the dealer reveals her cards and hits / stands according to the rules.
Software automatically pays winning bets while the dealer removes all the cards.
You’ll see the chips appear once again – this time with the option to rebet the same stake – or double the stake you bet last time. Note that there are (rarer) variations of blackjack which are played one to many.
These allow many people to bet on the same hand – which is played to completion.
Live Dealer Roulette
Roulette works really well in live dealer rooms. It comes in several variations – with the US wheel (using the two zero pockets) as a default.
While this is a hugely popular option, there are fewer tables operating than for blackjack. This is because a lot of people can bet on the same spin without affecting each other.
You’ll see the chip denominations on your screen and click on the one you want to use.
The regular roulette betting surface allows you to place bets on numbers, two numbers, corners or the outside bets like black / red and 1/3rds. Again, you’ll be timed. If you don’t get your bets on before the countdown completes, then the spin will happen without you.
You can undo any mistakes, or clear all of your bets to start again. After you set your pattern, you can repeat it on each spin of the wheel with a single click.
The live dealer croupier will then spin the wheel and start the ball rolling. When this stops, a plastic dolly will be placed on the felt in the studio – just like in a live casino.
There may be 1000’s of chips from different players present, though these are ‘virtual’ so the felt in the studio will be clear.
Winning bets are then paid automatically via the software. At some casinos you will see a list of winners (along with how much they won) scroll up the side of your screen.
There are some variations of live dealer roulette available:
- Auto-Roulette: These games are also found in live casinos. They are roulette tables which spin automatically. These are great options at times when the dealt games are not operating.
- Immersive Roulette: While this name is a trademark of Evolution Gaming (who run live dealer studios outside of the US), the concept is popular. This is a regular roulette game with a live dealer, with slow motion replays and special effects on top.
- High Limit Roulette: Live dealer casinos will often have special tables for players that want to bet $100+ per spin.
Live Dealer Baccarat:
With one of the lowest house-edge scores of any casino game – and easy one-to-many game play, Baccarat is a natural fit for live dealer casinos.
There are only 3 options for the main bets. These are Player, Banker or Tie. Experienced players avoid the tie bet. While the payouts are bigger, the house-edge is much larger than the other two. You can also find optional side-bets at some live dealer casinos.
Your only decision in live dealer Baccarat is how to place your bet and how much to wager. You do this by clicking on the chip denomination at which point, the dealer will complete the hand.
As with the other games, bets are settled automatically, and you can ‘rebet’ if you want to repeat for the next hand.
Baccarat tables have high-roller options. The ability for many players to bet on the same hands means that the smallest stakes are not prohibitive.
Live Dealer Ultimate Texas Hold’em
This popular casino poker variant is already available at states which have regulated Indiana online casinos. Like the many other casino poker card games, it works well in a one-to-many format.
The dealer will play a single hand against a ‘player’. If you fold, the hand still plays to the end. This gives people who wish to bet differently the chance to do so.
Live dealer Ultimate Texas Hold’em starts with placing two identical bets.
One is the Ante, the other the Blind Bet.
Next you are dealt 2 cards, which are shared with all players. You are given a chance to check (wait for the next betting round) or bet 4 units equal to your ante. If you bet, then you won’t perform any more actions until the hand is over.
The dealer now deals a 3-card flop. You can now bet 2 units – or check once again. The final round comes after the turn and river are dealt.
Your hand is the best 5 card hand from the 7 cards total. You now choose between folding and betting just 1 unit.
When all the betting is completed, the dealer reveals her own two cards. If you beat the dealer, you’ll get paid based on the rank of hand you made.
The blind bet only pays is the dealer qualifies with at least a pair. Many casinos also offer a jackpot side-bet to go with the main action.
You’ll see a list of winners scrolling up the screen after each hand. The chips appear on your screen, and you get to rebet, or choose different stakes.
Social Elements of Live Dealer
Regular table games are enjoyable, though there is no social element or interaction. When you play at a live dealer casino in Indiana, you’ll get a text chat feed.
This is visible to the dealer, and to the other players. While some players always use it to complain about bad beats, most people are fun.
Dealers will be working, not chatting via text, they can and do respond to your messages.
Seeing the cards cut and dealt in real time and sharing the experience (for example when the dealer busts in Blackjack), makes for an entertaining atmosphere at times.
Traditional Casino Table Games
The old software games worked as fast as you wanted to play them. If you did not act, then the game would effectively pause, waiting for your return – making time out issues difficult.
If you disconnect half-way through a hand, then the games will (usually) recreate the state when you are able to log back on.
Another factor with the software-based games is that you get a lot more choice. It is not possible for casinos to have a live dealer for each of the many blackjack variations or types of casino poker – there are simply too many possible games.
While live dealer games do have side bets, the choice of these is smaller than for software-based casino games.
Pros and Cons of Live Dealer Casinos
After reading about how these games work, I’m sure you can see why they are so popular in other states. When they do arrive in Indiana, you’ll need to consider both the benefits and the drawbacks.
Here are the key benefits:
- Social: You’ll be playing alongside many other people and can interact with them and with the dealers.
- Fair: Seeing the card shuffled and dealt right in front of you means any doubts about the fairness of the software-based games will disappear.
- Choice of Games: There are many tables to choose from. Switching tables or game is as easy as clicking your mouse.
Some minor drawbacks to consider:
- Time Out Risk: Unlike software-based games, live dealers will not wait for you to reconnect. You’ll need a stable internet connection before you play.
- Slower Gaming: Waiting for other to act (especially with Blackjack games) does slow down the action a little.
- Mobile Phones: You can enjoy these games on tablets, though the format is not ideal for smaller screened smartphones.
Wrapping Up: Live Dealer Games in Indiana
Many people hope that the expansion of gaming in Indiana to include online sports betting is just the start. Online casinos are already operating in other states and could come to Indiana if the sports betting launch goes well.
If so, then you’ll have a huge choice of online slots, table games and now live dealer casino games.
The format is well established internationally. It is already running on other regulated states. You’ll find the most popular table games running throughout the days and evenings. Out of hours, limited roulette options run.
Adding a social element to your casino gaming makes a huge difference. This alone explains why live dealer table games are fast becoming the go-to for online casino gamblers. By seeing those cards dealt (or balls spinning) in real-time, you can be sure your games are fair.