Interview: What is Live Dealer and how can you get the most from it?

live dealer blonde girl croupier
Live Dealer casino is one of the fastest growing gaming formats online, delivering a real casino experience

Every now and then, the team at Gamingslots takes a break from the world of video slots and go and have a look at other casino products on the market. Our interest has recently been drawn to the interesting and unique world of Live Dealer casino. We decided to contact one of the leading experts in Live Dealer, Neil Walker, and find out what there is to know about this fairly new form of online gambling.

What is a Live Dealer casino and how does it differ from normal online casino play?

Live Dealer or Live Casino is an online gaming product where you play tables games using real cards, tables, and Roulette wheels that are operated by real dealers/croupiers. It’s as close to being in a real bricks-and-mortar casino as you can get, without actually leaving your home.
The tables are located either in purpose-built studios or in land-based casinos. Clever bits of technology bring together the live experience with the online world, so you can play at the tables on your computer or mobile device from anywhere you like.

The amount of games now available through live dealer are quite staggering and I expect the list to continue to grow for a while. All suppliers offer at least Blackjack, Roulette and Baccarat. Then you’ll find several offering Casino Hold’em, 3 Card Poker. There are also a limited number of operators offering Keno, Lottery and Bet on Numbers but these are not technically tables games.
Normal online casino games like slots and table games are played against a computer with Random Number Generator (RNG) technologies being used to determine the outcome of spin or turn of a card. With a live casinos, there is no computer involvement in the playing of the game or determining the outcome. The actions you see on screen are real.

live dealer blackjack table
A live dealer on a blackjack table at BetVictor with other tables clearly visible in the background


What are some common mistakes made by players when they first start playing Live Dealer?

It can be a bit intimidating the first time you play at a live casino. It’s new and you don’t necessarily know what the etiquette is for playing.

It’s quite straightforward really. You can see the dealers and tables. The dealers can’t see or hear you. The only way you can interact with the dealer is through the chat facility.You can type in questions or comments and they answer verbally – new players can be tempted to chat too much, potentially leading to them being more distracted then they might normally be. The reverse is also true, when a player feels intimidated and doesn’t ask a simple question that may effect their game. An example might be a question about a particular feature of a game that may have benefited them.

Another common mistake is not knowing the rules of the game. New players should read the rules of the game before playing, to avoid disappointment. A lot of providers will have the same basic set of playing rules, but some also have variations on top. As an example, one supplier in live blackjack may allow you to double your hand at any time. Others restrict you to only doubling when your hand value is 9, 10 or 11.

Another common mistake is not understanding the different playing strategies for games. Most have them, so new players should do some research. A good example of this is Blackjack side bets, which is something I have noticed growing in popularity online. I have actually have a dedicated Blackjack side bets page on my website to explain in more detail what this is and where it is available.

Be vigilant when it comes to Bonuses. They are generally not worth taking for live casinos in my experience as the wagering requirements are so high on table games. Quite often a welcome bonus excludes live games completely. The special Live Casino bonuses are better, but they tend to be small. I personally prefer cash back when I’m playing so will hunt out those places that offer that, although they but can be difficult to find.

live dealer roulette table
A roulette croupier possibly waiting for new players to arrive at her table


Is there a way to spot a good Live Dealer Casino from a bad one?

In my experience, there aren’t any bad live casinos, in terms of the third-party solutions being provided. They all have something different to offer. I’ve played at every single one I could find online, so I am in a good position to comment. The best online casinos offering Live Dealer are generally the ones who have invested in their own dedicated environments with the suppliers. You get a more personalized experience playing at these tables and they have on-table promotions where you can win extra cash while playing.

If you really don’t know where to start then stick to the casinos you trust and play there if they have a live casino. Alternatively, you can use sites like my Live casino comparer one to get recommendations on good places to play Live Dealer, based on your interests.

Can you gain anything from the Live Dealer croupiers to assist your game?

The dealers can and will chat with you. I’ve seen some that commentate while they are dealing and make suggestions. Generally, I wouldn’t advocate following their advice.

The dealers are mostly Students working part-time. While they are trained to a high level, most don’t even play. Look online for playing strategies and hints and tips. These will serve you better. For example, I have written a useful guide to live 3 card poker, which is far more insightful than anything you will gain from a croupier, I can assure you.

live dealer 3 card poker
A Live Dealer invites players to come and play 3 card poker at her table


What signs should you look for when your Live Dealer play might be getting a bit out of hand?

No.1 is Chasing losses and No.2 is boredom, these are both bad situations in Live Dealer. Also playing for long periods of time, without a break, is not recommended. Playing loose can be good, but if you’re normally a tight player and you start playing loose then I’d read that as a warning sign and take a break.

Always play with money you can afford to lose and play to a budget. If you’re breaking either of those, then it’s a good time to stop and think about what you’re doing.
Gambling and especially playing table games should be fun. If you’re not having fun, then you really should be doing something else.

Is there any logic from slots play that could be applied to Live Dealer play?

I play a bit of slots as well as table games, and I adopt the same strategy for placing my bet amounts depending on the game.

If I’m playing Blackjack and I hit a losing run, I’ll try and reduce my bet size and if I’m winning I’ll increase it. The key is, I set myself limits, both winning and losing so I can keep in control.
Tiredness, due to long sessions has the same effect in Live Dealer as it does when playing slots. It leads to impaired judgment and I would encourage you not to play when feeling tired or you are lacking concentration.

As with slots, Live Dealer can be a lot of fun when you get an unexpected win and that is part of the draw for me. I treat it as a source of entertainment, rather than a hobby I want to profit from.

About this interview: Neil Walker is an experienced gambler who has been playing Live Dealer casino for over 6 years. He has earned a reputation as being one of the few specialists in the Live Dealer industry. Over the past few years, Neil has built up a portfolio of information portals about playing Live Dealer, some of which are referenced in this article.

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