Bettors who enjoy the real money online casino experience but miss the personal touch can enjoy Live Dealer games. Live dealer games involve real-life dealers at physical tables, live-streaming to players through an online casino app or website. Real money live dealer games are available in Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, but the rest of the US can enjoy live dealer games at social casinos highlighted below.
Best Live Dealer Casinos in February 2024
Your state doesn’t have access to real money online casinos yet, which is where most of the live dealer action happens. But you can play live dealer games at some social casinos like High5 Games and BetRivers.net. Use the links below to start playing for free:
Terms and conditions apply. Gambling is for entertainment purposes only. Stay safe and ensure success when you gamble responsibly. Gambling problem? Call or text 1-800-GAMBLER for confidential support. Visit SAMHSA’s National Helpline website for resources that include treatment center locator, anonymous chat, and more.
What Is A Live Dealer Casino Online?
Live dealer casino games are a good substitute for in-person casino games at brick-and-mortar casinos. Live dealer games are unique because a real dealer is on the other side of the screen. Bettors log in to their online casino accounts, then pick a live dealer game to get into. Once they enter the game, they’ll see a real dealer dealing real cards and spinning a roulette wheel live.
The Live Dealer Doesn’t See You
While you’re looking at a person, the live dealer is looking at an information screen. It’s a fancy screen that shows the dealer information about who’s placed bets, which players still need to place bets, and who’s ready for the bets to close. The dealer can lock bets in, so the live game can continue seamlessly once the wheel spins or the cards are drawn. Gamblers can talk to the dealer, too. A live chat option lets users interact with the dealer like they would at a real casino.
Cards & Wheels Are Monitored
Gamblers may wonder how dealers can input real-time blackjack or roulette information. However, dealers don’t have to worry about any of that. Cameras track blackjack cards, roulette wheels, and tables.
The cameras send the card’s information to the computer, which acts as the engine for the live dealer game. Those cameras tell the computer the dealer just laid an ace of spades on the table. Then the computer can transmit that information to users. This chain of information spreads instantly. So, gamblers feel like they’re playing at a real casino, and dealers can do their jobs normally.
With the rise of facial recognition technology, it shouldn’t be surprising that there are cameras that can read playing cards. Matching card symbols and numbers to game values is a mathematical equation that computers can solve. It can all be done without burdening the player or the dealer. They’re free to focus on the game while the cards, cameras, and computers run the show.
Type Of Live Dealer Games
A few casino games stand out as live dealer favorites:
- Live Dealer Blackjack
- Live Dealer Poker
- Live Dealer Roulette
- Live Dealer Baccarat
- Live Dealer Craps
Here’s an overview of the most popular choices for online casino goers.
Live Dealer Blackjack
Virtually every live dealer casino will include live real-money blackjack options. Since players have mostly binary choices in blackjack (don’t give us a hard time about splitting sevens), it’s easy to offer in a live casino. Live dealer blackjack is available at most live dealer casinos. This is one of those games that uses cameras to capture card images and transmit them to players. Players can make bets and decisions like they would at a real blackjack table. This will be one of the most seamless games for players moving online, with top casino bonuses to help you get started.
Live Dealer Roulette
The most significant difference between roulette at a casino and roulette online is the camera angles players can watch the wheel spin. Live dealer roulette will let players watch the wheel spin from multiple angles. Live dealer roulette is available in every live dealer sportsbook, too. Roulette numbers are left to chance. (Don’t believe the hype about hot numbers, as if proverbial lightning is expected to strike twice.) Roulette is rarely unavailable since little skill is required beyond managing the money on the board and player winnings.
Live Dealer Baccarat
For players who don’t know, baccarat is fancy blackjack. Players bet on whether their cards or the dealer’s cards will add up closer to nine. The extra step of deciding whether to wager on the dealer makes the live chat important. However, that required interaction lends itself to a more human interaction that may make players feel like they’re playing with a real person. Players who want the full social experience should find the peak hours to have a table with other players. That’ll likely be in the evening when everyone’s home from work.
Live Dealer Craps
Live Dealer Craps is the newest addition to the Live Dealer casino games. Initially only available at legal Pennsylvania online casinos, New Jersey and Michigan players can expect to see Live Dealer Craps any day now. The two best online casinos for Live Dealer Craps in Pennsylvania include BetMGM Casino and BetRivers Casino, which offer great bonus codes on top of access to this innovative new game.
Live Dealer Poker
Live dealer poker won’t be entirely foreign for online casino players. It’s like a real poker table with a few improvements for the socially anxious player. Live chat remains available so the player and dealer can communicate. However, the dealer is as realistic as online poker will get. Players still can’t see each other to read body language the way they would at a poker table. Live dealer poker strategy will still resemble online poker strategy more than in-person poker. While blackjack is one of the easiest games to transition online, online poker is one of the trickiest.
Live Dealer Providers at US Online Casinos
Evolution Gaming is the premier live dealer provider in the world. It was the first to enter the US market all the way back in 2018, when New Jersey was the only state offering real money online casinos with live dealers. But long before that, Evolution Gaming was providing live dealers to players in Europe and beyond, and their team has been innovating ever since. By the time these games came to the US, they were basically perfected. Players can expect reliable, smooth streams, seamless betting, and great dealer interactions.
The reason live dealer games are so popular and prominent is because of the impacts made by Evolution Gaming. And as players ourselves, we’re always looking forward to what they might come out with yet.
Ezugi is a sister brand of Evolution Gaming, so it didn’t offer much of a variety in terms of who’s offering live dealer games. But it did offer a nice variety of games, with the online casinos offering both Ezugi and Evolution Gaming live dealers boasting the biggest selection. The more tables an online casino offers, the less wait times and the more opportunities to discover something new.
Ezugi is most prominent in New Jersey, but it’s also a common sight in Pennsylvania. Online casinos don’t typically label their games with the company providing it, but you’ll see the logo once you get the game going. For all intents and purposes, though, there’s no real difference in quality regarding Ezugi vs. Evolution – both offer excellent, reliable live dealer action.
In October 2023, Authentic Gaming live dealer games entered the US online casino market in partnership with Light & Wonder, a popular game maker responsible for classics like the 88 Fortunes slot and Coin Combo slots. The initial launch at BetRivers Casino Michigan marked the first live dealer company to enter the market after Evolution Gaming (and its sister brand Ezugi) since August 2018, when live dealers first went live in New Jersey.
Authentic Gaming and Light & Wonder live dealers went live on day one with Stadium Blackjack, Premium Live Roulette, All Michigan Roulette, Premium Baccarat, and Power Blackjack (the Authentic Gaming version of Infinite Blackjack).
Playtech live dealer studios went live in Pennslyvania in December 2023 after becoming available in Michigan and New Jersey. The company offers a few unique games, including a live dealer game show called Adventures Beyond Wonderland (ABW). While Playtech is best known for its online slots, its entry into the live dealer space offers a nice option to players in search of high-quality variety.
New Live Dealer Companies
As mentioned in the Authentic Gaming description, live dealer providers are few and far between. Live dealer games have several cost-prohibitive features, including setting up a studio in the state where the player is located. That means these companies have a different live dealer studio for each state they’re located in, which requires a full production team and the dealers themselves.
Still, it’s not hard to imagine more live dealer companies entering the US market, especially as more legal online casino states join the fray. We also expect online casinos to launch proprietary live dealer games sometime in the future.
How To Play Real Dealer Games Online
Registering For Online Casino Accounts
Players must understand something important about registering at one of the best online casinos with multi-product brands like DraftKings. Players with daily fantasy or sportsbook accounts still have to create online casino accounts. Online casinos for real money may be available in your state, but they’re not available in every state where DraftKings does business. The online casino is separate from the sportsbook and daily fantasy sports accounts.
New casino players can enter their emails and personal information through a signup process similar to sportsbooks. Players with existing DraftKings accounts will have their information pulled to create new online casino accounts.
Once players are signed up, they’ll have a list of deposit options, including:
- PlayPlus Card
- Online Banking
- Credit/Debit Cards
- Wire Transfers
- Cash Deposit (at partnering land-based casino cage)
Withdrawal options are more limited:
- PlayPlus Card is the best option for the fastest payout online casino play.
- Online Banking
- Cash Withdrawal (at partnering land-based casino cage)
Whichever way players move money, they have convenient options at DraftKings’ online casino. After depositing, players can navigate to the live dealer sections of the casinos, where they can choose a game or a lobby and begin playing.
How to Deposit & Cash Out When Playing Live Dealer Games
Players may be wondering how they can manage their bankrolls in the heat of a live dealer game. However, there are two ways to move money in and out of player accounts.
First, players can deposit money before the game and withdraw money after the game. Players can go to their accounts to move money where it needs to go. Second, players can select the deposit option during the live dealer game. It offers a convenient way for players to refill their coffers mid-game.
Online deposit options are the most popular ways to fund player accounts mid-game. That includes debit and credit cards. However, wire and bank transfers are popular options for bettors who manage their bankrolls outside live dealer games.
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Live Dealer Casinos FAQs
Yes. As long as users play at regulated real dealer casinos, players should feel secure playing at a real dealer online casino. Regulated online casino companies are often experienced with online gaming. Many also offer online sportsbooks. That not only forces these companies to comply with the state gaming authority’s regulations. It also means these companies have already created the infrastructure to support safe online gaming.
Most online casinos use similar security methods as their sportsbooks. End-to-end encryption keeps hackers from looking at players’ screens and pulling bank information from players. The state gaming authority also regulates these companies to ensure they’re secure enough to let players deposit money. Players should stick to legit companies and feel as safe as anyone can gambling online.
Yes, live dealer games function the same as real-life casino games at physical tables. Live dealer games bring retail casino gaming to players digitally, ideal for those who don’t like playing digital table games.
If the online casino is legit, so are their live dealer casino games. The trick is finding legitimate online casinos with live dealer games and avoiding scam and unregulated sites. It would be easy for a charismatic live dealer to goad players into placing larger and larger bets. Professional live dealers wouldn’t do that. It would also be easy for unsavory live dealers to add legitimacy to a website that siphons social security numbers.
The only three companies that provide live dealer games to legal real money online casinos in the US are Evolution Gaming, Ezugi, and Authentic Gaming (in partnership with Light & Wonder). All live dealer games, even those exclusive to that specific online casino, are provided by one of these three companies, the most prominent of which being Evolution Gaming.
No. United States online casino regulations are strict. It’s part of internet betting being a new industry. States are legalizing it individually and doing so cautiously to ensure they don’t end up on the wrong side of history. However, offshore online casinos aren’t subject to the same regulations. At best, that means player information is less secure. At worst, it means offshore sportsbooks can hack players with impunity.