As a way to bridge the gap between the virtual world and the land-based casino experience, live dealer games have fulfilled a purpose and they have become increasingly more alluring. In doing so, they have stood the test of time.
But what is the significance of live dealer games and how have they evolved? We will attempt to frame this topic in the wider context of their online environment and explain how they have continued to shape the igaming industry. This guide will also make some predictions on the future of live dealer games, so read on to find out more.
Tracing the roots
To trace the roots of live dealers, we have to take the story back to 1994, and that was when the first online casino was introduced. At the time, the internet was a new-fangled concept, with renowned gaming developer Microgaming laying claim to producing the first piece of online gambling software in the year that the Free Trade and Processing Act passed. Indeed, the Free Trade and Processing Act paved the way for organizations to apply for gaming licenses so they could operate.
The initial online gambling sites that emerged were rather basic in terms of interface and design. Internet connections weren’t the most reliable and they were just about fast enough to download short, low-resolution video clips. By 1998, a poker website known as Planet Poker became a trailblazer for live dealer games that players could engage with on their platform, and after a slow initial start, it began to take off and it showed that live dealer games could work.
While Microgaming was the online gambling pioneer, Evolution proved to be the mastermind behind live dealer games, and the live casino experience heralded the rise of a multitude of games, including blackjack and craps which we will discuss later on.
Moreover, the live casino experience has fostered a greater sense of camaraderie on the online casino floor. As opposed to having an RNG (random number generator) installed for games, dealing with a human dealer has inevitably added a greater level of authenticity. Players therefore feel more relaxed in the comfort of their own homes, and the advancements have been spectacular.
Despite taking this for granted, the technological changes that live dealer games have witnessed have been nothing short of extraordinary. HTML5 and web development were fundamental to the rise, as often players had to install plug-ins to enjoy the games. Since then, live dealer games load very quickly so they can fit all different types of screens.
Indeed, the proliferation of mobile phones has been central to this. With more players owning an iOS or Android device, this has arguably in some cases trumped the online experience, and live dealer developers have had to think more about making games as smooth as possible for mobile users. Many operators will now have a dedicated mobile app, and players on the move want to have the same high-quality experience as they would playing on a desktop.
Evolution, who have been trailblazers in the realm of live dealer games, have created titles using the best lighting and sound effects to create a certain type of ambiance that will be appreciated by all players.
However, they have faced stiff competition in recent years from the likes of Playtech. They have expanded their footprint and they launched a live dealer studio in Riga, Latvia in 2017. This was the world’s largest next-generation studio at the time and it was equipped with the latest tools to make live dealer games as immersive as possible.
But it’s not just the base technological elements that have raised the bar. Other concepts such as VR (Virtual Reality) have seeped into live dealer games in recent years, but it is still in the nascent stages.
More tech is now at the disposal of the leading casinos in the world. Now, it is easy to facilitate high-definition streaming from a live studio to a player’s home, and cutting-edge technology has made it easier to facilitate greater levels of interaction. With live dealer games streamed in HD, this has negated the possibility of more lags or interruptions during gaming sessions.
A customized experience
While it may be possible to contend that live dealer games have blurred the lines between online and brick-and-mortar style of establishment, the need to provide value and customize the player experience has been the priority of the industry.
Live dealer casinos have had to appeal to a broader target audience, and as such, they have needed to tailor their games to the exacting demands of their players. Essentially, live dealer games have been an extension of a site’s product, but they have had to recalibrate and find new ways of engaging with players.
Improved gaming choices
One of the most significant developments has been the range of live dealer titles that have surfaced. In the early years, these were more restrictive, but these have now incorporated a greater range of table games, such as roulette and blackjack.
But within this, among the other interactive features that have been incorporated in titles, includes a live chat so players can talk to the dealer, and with real-time betting, this has added a more communal feel to games.
Live casino games today
The scope and range of live casino games will certainly catch the eyes of players today. Indeed, operators will work tirelessly with the leading gaming developers to produce some of the best titles that will heighten the experience for those players who want to deviate away from perhaps just playing slots.
Yes, some of the best Canadian mobile casinos will be well-versed in supplying live dealer games. This includes Hell Spin, which has a plethora of roulette and blackjack titles in its roster complete with big drops & wins, so players can scoop more money if they are successful.
There have also been suggestions more recently that some operators will go down the hybrid route, and offer products that imitate live dealer games as a way of saving costs.
The rise of mobile gambling has shifted the goalposts and live dealer games have been adept at leveraging themselves in such a way to appeal to gamblers.
Live dealer games have propelled the igaming industry into the stratosphere, and if we are to take a glimpse into the future, it will be fascinating to see how the embedding of new technological trends will shape the nature of online casinos moving forward.