Live Casino – How to Play
Live casino is an online version of an authentic casino experience. You place your bets with a live dealer, who deals the cards or spins the Roulette wheel just like you were at a real land-based casino. Live casino games give you the real Las Vegas experience without having to leave your home to play.
To enter a live casino, you need to complete three steps to get into the game:
- Open an account with an online casino which offers live dealer games. You can find the top live casinos for real-money gaming above.
- Make a deposit and claim your welcome bonus. Deposits are processed instantly at casinos we have listed at CasinoGames.ca.
- Choose your game and place your bets!
Which Games Can I Play Live?
Live dealer version is offered for most standard table games, but what’s available varies from one online casino to another. All the operators naturally offer Roulette and Blackjack, but there are plenty of other games too.
Here are some popular games you can play at a live online casino:
- Live Roulette (American and French/European)
- Live Blackjack
- Live Baccarat
- Live Caribbean Stud
- Live Double Ball Roulette
- Live Three Card Poker
- Live Casino Hold’em
- Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em
Specifically, Double Ball Roulette doubles the excitement (it’s literally Roulette with two balls). When playing with double balls, you hit more often, and it makes the game more enjoyable. You can find this game for example at Leovegas.
How Do Live Games Work?
Live casino games are filmed at a real-life casino. The action is streamed in real time via a webcam (or several cameras) to your phone or computer. This video streamed is overlayed with a user interface, which allows you to place your bets and make your decisions (like hit/stay on Blackjack) with a tap of your finger or a click of your mouse. The system keeps track of your bets and automatically adds or subtracts money depending on if you win or lose.
Depending on the company the games are usually broadcast from Europe. The games are most often streamed to the world from Latvia or Malta and on some occasions the UK (London). For us gamers the location makes no difference, the gaming companies take advantage of the latest streaming technology to make sure that the games run smoothly, wherever you are in the world.
Casinos almost never have their own live games. Instead, they get the games from companies that specialize in live gaming. Some big-time live game providers you’ll find at our recommended gaming sites include:
- Evolution Gaming: This is the most common live game provider you’ll find at Canada-friendly gambling sites. Evolution’s specialties are great mobile games (especially Roulette) and bigger-than-normal selection of poker games, which includes Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker and Ultimate Texas Holdem.
- Netent: Europe’s biggest casino software company that makes everything from online slot machines to live games. A weird thing about Netent is that they’ve always either leaving or entering the Canadian market. Hopefully when you’re reading this Netent’s tables are open, because its games have a true “high-class casino” feel to them.
- Extreme Live Gaming: Favoured by small-to-mid-size casinos, Extreme Live Gaming offers plenty of specialty games like Reel Roulette (Roulette with symbols from Novomatic’s famous slot games like Dolphin’s Pearl) and Golden Ball, where a lucky player gets to decide when the Roulette ball should be sent into the wheel.
Live gaming is social by nature, so while gambling at the table you can chat (via text or voice) with other players and the croupier. Chatting is not a requirement though, so you can keep to yourself too, as most players do.
Who Plays Live Casino Games?
In one word: Everyone! In recent years live casino gaming has gained amazing popularity. Canadians love the atmosphere live dealers bring to the game. This is especially evident with the stakes we’re placing. High-rollers have shifted their focus to live casino and game providers have done everything they can to cater to these valuable customers.
In a live casino, high limits are the standard. You can place bets up to $5,000 at most casinos, and if you request higher ceilings, you may be granted to play even bigger limits. High-rollers are valued customers for online casinos, so you may get special deposit bonuses, or cashback offers to boost your bankroll.
Even ultra high limits are a possibility. At Evolution Gaming VIP roulette you’ll be able to place bets up to CAD 40.000 per spin! That’s something usual land-based Canadian casinos would have trouble with. But of course, when playing with such enormous stakes, you’ll be required to verify your identity. Something you’d need to do in a brick and mortar casino as well.
That’s not to say you can’t play the live version if you don’t roll as deep. The minimum betting limits start from $1, so you only need a dollar to be dealt in. A couple of Molson’s and few hands of live blackjack don’t sound too shabby on Friday night, doesn’t it? Maybe invite your friends to share the fun also.
Advantages of Live Dealer Games
As already mentioned, the real casino atmosphere can’t be attained by playing regular online casino games. The live dealer brings the casino to your living room, and when you dim some lights and put some music on, you can easily create it.
The dealers also chat with the players. You can type in the chat anything you’d say at a brick and mortar casino, and you’ll get a reply from the dealer or the other players. But just like in real life – remember to behave and treat people as you would like to be addressed. You will hear all the sounds when the dealers deal the cards or spin the roulette. Therefore, you will get your answers spoken to you. This is quite nice as you can spark up a real conversation with the dealers.
Live casinos are also a boon for introverts. If you rather hang by yourself but still like to experience proper casino gaming, you should give live casino games a shot. No need to see anyone, not even communicate with anyone – place your bets and win!
Disadvantages of Live Dealer Games
If you like fast-paced action, then live dealer games are not for you. When playing with a live dealer a spin of the wheel or dealing the cards takes time. When playing regular virtual online blackjack or slots, you’re getting your bets in at a faster tempo.
Another problem might be bonuses. Your typical welcome rewards can’t be used for playing live games. The reason for this limitation is that table games have razor thin house edges, so by giving you a standard bonus for them, the casino would end up losing money for sure. Sometimes you do get live-game specific bonuses though, so not all is lost in this regard.
What are the Most Popular Live Games?
It goes without saying that Roulette and Blackjack are the top two. Both of the games have been the favorites of casino gamblers for hundreds of years, and the popularity continues online.
Number three behind the big two of Blackjack and Roulette is Baccarat. Companies who provide live games understand that Baccarat is the game of choice for high-rollers, which means that even online you can bet five-figure piles of virtual chips per hand.
Questions and Answers
Send your own questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and get an answer from our casino game experts!
Is live gaming suitable for Canadians?
Yes, as long you play at one of our recommended casinos. The thing that separates live gaming from the normal simulated online gambling games is that you need actual, real people to run the games. Many smaller casinos get their live games from companies that don’t necessarily have their tables open 24/7. And since Canada is far from Europe where the game studios are, it’s often the case that the tables are closed when we Canadians are looking to bet a chip or two. Luckily many bigger operators run their games 24/7, so we’ve managed to fill the list above with sites where you can get your game at any time.
Where can I play live casino games?
Nearly every online casino offers live casino nowadays, but you should only play with the best of them. You can find our top recommended live casinos listed on top of this page. When we choose casinos to feature, we look beyond just games and into things like the site’s reputation, how well depositing and cashing out works for Canadian players, etc.
Can I play at an online live casino on my mobile device?
Yes, you can. Online casinos have invested heavily into bringing their games to cell phones and tablets, and you can now play anything anywhere any time.
You can’t download real-money casino apps in Canada. This goes for both Google Play (Android) and Apple App Store (iOS) and even Windows (Windows Mobile). Instead of downloading an app you just play at the casino’s website. The websites are built with the same technology as apps, so the gaming experience on your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy is precisely as good as it would be with an app.
Are live Blackjack (and Baccarat, Roulette) rules the same as in real life?
Yes, live games use the same rules as real-life casinos. So if you’ve ever played at a standard casino, playing at a live online casino comes naturally to you as the games use the same rules as every casino in Canada.
The only exception to this is that there are a couple of specialty games (like Double Ball Roulette), which you can’t find at any brick-and-mortar casino.
Can I play live casino games for free?
You can play pretty much anything else for free at online casinos except for live casino games. The reason for this is simple: live dealers are real people who need their salaries to live, just like everybody else. So, to join the tables, you need to ante-up with real money.
Note that while you can’t play for free, you can still observe for free. Most casinos allow you to check the action for free. Most often you can even see the tables and what’s going on before depositing, so your account balance is zero CAD doesn’t stop you from checking out the action and seeing if it’s to your liking.
Are there Canadian online live casinos?
While casino sites tend to be more international than Canadian, live casino games are available at many Canada-friendly gambling sites. Playing at one of our recommended casinos means that you’ll get to enjoy easy and instant banking, for example. Deposit and withdrawal methods like checks, Interac and bank cards (Visa/Mastercard) guarantee you’ll get your money in and out fast. The customer service of these sites is also available at Canada-friendly times.
What happens if my connection cuts off in the middle of the game?
Your bets would stand as they would at a regular casino if you stood up from the table mid-game. Your balance will update with the outcome of the game.
The best thing to do, of course, is to make sure this won’t happen in the first place. Live casino’s video stream requires a speedier internet connection than regular online gaming. So especially when playing on a mobile device check that you have a 3G/4G connection before playing with high stakes. For desktop gaming, regular broadband is enough.
Can someone see me when I’m playing?
No. Your privacy and identity are safe, and you can play under a nickname. You’re the one who sees the dealer and the game that’s being played. The dealer only knows your screen name and can look at your comments in the chat.
Can I gamble on other games while playing dealer games?
Yes, just open a new browser tab/window and play another game on that one. Live dealer games tend to have a more relaxed pace, so online gamblers often play slots or other fast-paced games on another tab.
All you need to do is to make sure you stay active on the live casino tab as well. A fast-paced game of slots might whisk your thoughts away from the live casino. If you’re inactive for an extended period enough, you’re going to end up losing your seat at the table – just as you would in a brick & mortar casino.
Can I play without a bonus?
Many casinos offer specific live casino bonuses, but you don’t need to accept one. Simply decline any bonuses sent your way, and you’re good to gamble. The declining is done either by checking a box on the deposit screen or by contacting the casino’s customer support. Either way, the option is definitely there as most live casino gamblers play without bonuses.
What is the best online casino for playing live games?
There are quite a few casinos with great action from Evolution Gaming and other major live gaming providers. See the list at the top of this page for my picks for casinos best suited for Canadian gamblers.
If I had to pick just one, it would be Leo Vegas. It’s the number one choice because of their great selection of games (it even has its own special Roulette and Blackjack tables), Canada friendly banking methods and fast cashouts.