Lights, camera, action – a guide to live casino

Online casinos have opened our eyes to a whole world of possibilities. The accessibility to play at home or on-the-go, through a portable device. The convenience to play at any time of day, as games are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and almost instantly. The vast array of gaming options, variations and promotions to entice new players and keep current customers loyal. But then there’s live casino – to help bridge the gap between land-based establishments and online casino gaming. Keep reading as we give you a quick run-down of what live casino is and what you can expect.

What is live casino?

First things first, live casino is exactly that. It mirrors the authenticity of playing at a brick-and-mortar casino, but of course, you’re playing at an online casino. Rather than the computerised graphics that you can expect to find when playing online Blackjack, Roulette, or other casino games, with live casino, what you see is what you get.

Games are filmed through high-definition cameras, which stream the action in real-time, directly to your chosen device. Games are run by professional, human dealers and all the dedicated equipment will be laid out before your very eyes. If you’re playing Roulette, you’ll see the betting table and the dealer stood behind the wheel. The dealer will move the chips to your chosen bets, and spin the wheel, the same way they would at a land-based casino.

What technology is involved in live casino?

As you’d expect, there’s an awful lot of technology involved in ensuring that live casino games run as smoothly and authentically as possible. It all might sound rather complicated, to a beginner. Of course, you don’t need to know about this, in order to play the games themselves – but it’s always interesting to have a bit more of an understanding, or a behind-the-scenes view of things.

While the cameras are incredibly important, and there will be multiple cameras at once, filming different shots and angles, there is something that’s even more important. It’s known as the Game Control Unit, or GCU, and it’s a small device, even smaller than a shoebox. The aim of the GCU is to encode the video that is being broadcast – without it, the games cannot run. Live casino games also employ the use of Optical Camera Recognition, or OCR, and this is what captures any key movement of the game, which then uses a video link to broadcast games to the players. For example, it could pick up the shuffling and dealing of a deck of cards – it’s what makes the gaming experience more life-like, as though players are at a brick-and-mortar casino.

What are the advantages of live casino?

  • Play your favourite casino games in real-time, against human dealers and alongside real players
  • Play games at any time and from anywhere – no waiting around for the casino to open, or worrying about travel time and links
  • Instant access – there are a whole host of different live casino lobbies, and you won’t be left waiting around for games to start. Simply find your game of choice and get playing
  • The ability to socialise – a live chat function allows you to converse with the dealer and fellow players, again all streamed in real-time
  • Promotions – much like online casinos, there will be offers and bonuses awarded to players, specifically for the live casino section of the site/app. Be sure to take advantage of promotions, but always remember to read the accompanying terms and conditions

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