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What is a live casino?
In simple terms, live gaming sites offer you the chance to feel as if you’re in a land-based casino, without having to leave your home! Real-life dealers are the key to this experience. And you can play games 24/7 with a real dealer or croupier, as well as with other competitors.
Using the most cutting-edge tech, casinos that are live are modern and sleek. Plus, with chat features and dedicated, professional croupiers and dealers, they’re the most realistic gaming experience that you can have without stepping foot in a brick-and-mortar casino.
Live games feature all the classic casino staples that you know and love. Namely, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and poker. But there are many more games available than just those. And, with the most amazing games providers from around the world bringing out more live titles all the time, you’ll be spoilt for choice!
Things to consider when choosing live casinos
So, what should you be looking for in a live gaming casino? Our expert reviewers recommend considering the following, so that you can find the best casino sites UK for you.
✅ Bonus offers
Does the live online casino offer good bonuses? As a new customer, you can pick up some of the best offers around. So, make sure the site has a great sign-up deal, like match deposit bonuses and reload bonuses for existing customers.
Casino bonuses are a great way to snap up bonus cash to play with. And some casinos even have bonuses specifically for live game players. Here at Casino.xyz, our expert reviewers constantly update our lists of trusted and reviewed casinos. So, as well as doing your own homework, check in with us; we’ll keep you posted about which casinos have the best bonuses for live games players.
✅ Manageable terms and conditions
Casino bonuses are great. And they’re a great way to boost your playing power when playing live games. However, the bigger the bonus, the more T&Cs that are attached. So, when you’re looking at a great bonus offer, always look at the terms attached first; to make sure they’re reasonable.
Things like wagering requirements and game weighting will affect how you use your bonus. And will also dictate how and when you can take out your winnings. So, you need to be sure that you can fulfil the requirements, before signing up for a bonus offer.
✅ Varied selection of live dealer games
The top casino sites in the country have the best selection of games. And as a new customer, you should be looking to play at sites that offer you the very best. So look out for casinos that offer tons of games for you to play.
From slots and scratch card games, to classic table games and live versions, a great casino will offer their players a wide choice of games to play. But, if you don’t want the hassle of trawling through every casino site in the UK, then why not consult our lists instead? We only work with leading UK casino sites. So check in with us, to find the best casinos with the greatest catalogues of games.
✅ Professional live dealers
If you’re thinking about trying out live games at a casino, then one of the most important things is making sure that the site uses professional live dealers. The human element that is brought by a real-life dealer is what makes live gaming so much fun. But they need to be professionals, in order to make the experience both fair and fun.
The best casinos in the country employ only experienced, professional dealers and croupiers. They should be courteous, look polished and treat their players well. So, only use trusted UK sites, to ensure you’re playing with best and most professional dealers around.
✅ Licensed in the UK
Another important aspect to consider when finding a new UK live casino is that it’s legit! It’s a shame to say it, but there are lots of dodgy sites around, run by people looking to make some quick cash. And these sites can swallow up your money and leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.
So, to avoid any risk of being taken for a ride, always play at a licensed UK casino. Trusted casinos are all licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). And it’s the UKGC’s job to regulate these sites and keep customers safe.
Spotting a legit casino is easy – simply look for the UKGC logo, which will be clearly displayed on the casino’s website.
Live casino games or classic table games?
So, which is better – classic table games, or their live counterparts? While it ultimately comes down to personal taste, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of live gaming. So that you can make a more informed choice.
Live casinos pros and cons
Here’s our list of the advantages and disadvantages of live games:
- The most realistic gaming experience: feel like you’re in a glitzy, glamorous land-based casino, without leaving your home
- Real dealers add a human touch: watch real-life dealers and interact with them and the other players
- Fair gaming: watch your dealer or croupier deal out your cards in front of your eyes
- A great catalogue of games: with tons of live titles being brought out regularly, you can choose from a wide selection of games to play
- Bonuses specific to live games players: pick up a great offer to boost your spending power
- Human error: computers don’t make mistakes! But people do. So there’s always room for a little human error with live games
- Slower gameplay: waiting for other players or a new dealer can lead to slightly slower-paced games
- No demo versions: this means you can’t ever play live games for free, unlike other casino games that offer a free demo version
- Higher minimum bets: live gaming often has higher minimum bets. So it’s not suitable for low bettors
Popular live dealer games
So, we know that live dealer casino games offer players a unique gambling experience. But which games, specifically, can you play? Let’s take a look at the top live games offered by online casinos in the UK.
First up, we have live dealer blackjack. Probably one of the most popular casino games on the planet, blackjack is a mix of luck and strategy. Also, one of the things that players love about this game, is that you’re trying to beat the dealer, rather than other players. So, with a live version, you get the thrill of going up against a real-life dealer!
Next, we come to live dealer roulette. Known for its beautiful wheel, roulette is a game of fortune. But, with clever betting strategies, there are tons of chances to win big on this classic casino game. Plus, with modern technology and specially-adapted roulette wheels for live gaming, you can have a completely immersive experience with live roulette games. Check out our top rated roulette sites for options on where to play!
Another classic casino game, Hi Lo is super simple and super fun to play. With a game show feel to it, players guess if the next card dealt is higher or lower than the previous one. And with a real dealer placing the cards in front of you, you’ll feel like you’re sitting at a table in a brick-and-mortar casino.
One for dice fans now. Sic Bo is an old Chinese game that became popular in Europe in the 1980s. Guess the outcome of the three dice, in this luck-based game. And place tactical bets, for more chances to scoop a cash prize. Plus, check out the many different versions of the game, in order to get the most out of your live Sic Bo gaming experience.
Finally, we come to one of the most beloved gambling games on the planet: poker. With lots of different versions, there’s a poker variety to suit all tastes. And at a live dealer online casino, you can find every type of poker game available.
Rooted in skill, poker sees you take on your competitors, and outsmart them with your wit and bluffing skills. So, with live poker games starting all day every day, you can get as up-close-and-personal with your competition as possible!
Other live dealer games
Classic table games aren’t the only things on offer at live gaming sites. Other popular titles include game show games, like Mega Wheel and Crazy Time. As well as board games, like Monopoly, which have been turned into a fun live version.
If you want to find live table games, as well as other types of games with live dealers, then check out our lists of trusted online casinos. We’ll tell you where has the best live games. As well as which casinos offer the most extensive catalogues of live titles.
RTP at live casinos
It isn’t only slot machines that have a return to player figure. This type of calculation is used on many different casino games. And live games are no different. The RTP calculation for a classic table game, for example, is a little different to a slot machine. This is because there are more variables involved when you are playing cards or placing various bets.
Blackjack is widely regarded as the highest RTP game. But the overall figure for this game can vary drastically. It all depends on the number of decks in play, when the dealer has to stand or if there is a late surrender etc. Each of these elements, and more, lowers or raises the final RTP figure.
What does RTP mean?
RTP, or return to player, is a calculation that shows how big the house edge is on any game. The house edge is the small side of the percentage. For example, a game with a 97% return to player says that the casino will keep 3% of any money played on that game.
However, this figure does not refer to each bet. It is calculated over a long period and doesn’t reflect your chances of winning. To benefit from an RTP figure you would need to play for a long time and adopt a strict strategy. By this, we mean only doing certain things at specific times during the game. And with some games like blackjack, for example, it all depends on what cards you have and what the dealer is showing.
- RTP for live blackjack: blackjack RTP can vary anywhere from 97% to 99.5%. And this is because there are so many variations of this game available. Most casinos will offer a few choices. So for players looking to maximise the RTP, you can always go for the version that presents the highest figure
- RTP for live roulette: the highest RTP that you’ll find on this game is 98.65%. And to achieve this, you need to play the French variation of the game. The RTP is always pretty decent. But the French version returns half your stake if the ball lands on ‘0’ and you don’t have anything wagered on that number.
- RTP for live baccarat: the top RTP on this classic game is 98.94%. In Baccarat, you can either bet on the dealer, the player or a draw. But the RTP changes for each bet. The best wager you can place is on the dealer winning. And this is when you’ll achieve the top RTP.
Live casinos software providers
All of this amazing casino action is all thanks to the clever and extremely talented designers and software producers. Even live games have an electronic element that needs to work seamlessly with the in-person aspect. For example, you can’t physically move your chips into the game, so a certain amount of coding always goes hand in hand with live games at a casino.
One of the biggest names in the industry is NetEnt. They are well-known for pretty much all aspects of online gambling and they’ve been doing it for a long time. This Swedish outfit was working in the land-based casino sector for many years before changes to the laws hit them hard. But they bounced back and focused on the online side of the business. And this proved to be the best decision they ever made.
They are now responsible for producing some of the best live games as well as slots and video poker too. Playing any game that bears their logo is always a sure-fire hit.
This brand focuses its efforts on the live side of gaming. And they have shown time and time again that they are leaders in the industry. They acquired NetEnt back in 2020 and this has cemented their place as one of the biggest game producers in the world.
As for their live games, they have a whole host of top titles with millions of fans around the globe. They recently released an amazing live craps game and are constantly working to produce exciting game show titles as well. If you’re looking for something that breaks from the norm, then Evo would be a great place to start your search.
Pragmatic isn’t as well established as some of its competitors. But that certainly doesn’t mean they aren’t just as good at producing top games. They have enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame since 2015. And in this short time, they have achieved what many brands have taken 20 years to do.
They now have offices all over the world. And they enjoy full licence status in many of the top gambling jurisdictions.
Other developers worth mentioning
There are plenty of top producers working in this niche. And each one has plenty to offer live gaming fans. If you’re on the hunt for a new way to play, then check out some of these brands.
- Lucky Streak
Live dealers – A key to a great live gaming experience
For some players, the dealer personality is extremely important. If you are going to be playing a game for a while, then it’s understandable that you want to enjoy the company of those around you. For others, this issue is not so important. But it all comes down to personal choice. And the great thing is that live games offer you a ton of choice. Casinos understand that everyone has a preference. So they are always happy to give you several options.
Not all dealers are the same – choose one you like
Before you select a game at your favourite casino, you will notice that the dealer is usually displayed for each table. You may like a particular dealer and enjoy communicating via the chat feature. Or it may be something as simple as the way they manage the game in a subtle way. Either way, you can normally decide whichever dealer you prefer.
We help you find new live casino sites UK 2021
Finding new live casinos can be a tricky task if you don’t know what to look for.
It’s not enough to just spot a site that you like the look of and then throw your money at it. Smart players understand that you need to dig a lot deeper to discover how good a new brand really is.
We’ve spent years meticulously trawling the web for every casino imaginable so that we can evaluate it and bring it to the attention of our readers.
That’s why savvy players come back and visit us time and time again to get the full SP.
Our review system is trusted worldwide and we use it to literally pick a site apart and get down to the true nuts and bolts of the operation. So if you’re on the lookout for something new and indeed special, then you can rest easy knowing that you’ve come to the right place. Check out our new casino list for the latest casino launches in 2021!
You won’t find run-of-the-mill listings here. We bring you the best of the best and we’re proud of it!
Live casino for mobile and tablet
One of the key ingredients at any live site is its mobile functionality. The world’s internet users prefer to access the internet via their phones and tablets. That’s just how it is nowadays, and casinos know it. That’s why they’ve invested millions in new tech to get their sites ready for the mobile gambling revolution.
Top software providers work closely with the biggest names in the business to bring you live action on your phone and tablet. It hasn’t all been plain sailing though. These guys and girls have endured a long and expensive journey to bring us to this point. You could say that all good things come to those who wait!
And now, thanks to the time and dedication of these conscientious tech gurus, we can enjoy a mobile experience that easily rivals the bigger screens of PCs and laptops, for example.
Getting all this amazing tech magic to appear on your mobile devices is usually done in one of two ways. Up first is the browser-based method and secondly, we have the dedicated app option. But how do they compare, and is one better than the other?
Which operating system are you using?
Live games are available to play on both Android and iOS. It doesn’t usually make any difference as the game producers will make sure that all games function perfectly on both operating systems. The only issue that you may occasionally run into is that an app is only available for the Apple system, for example.
Browser based casinos
The easiest and possibly the most cost-effective method is to optimise an existing website to better respond to a smaller screen.
In the bad old days of the internet of yesteryear, a mobile web page was merely a smaller and often illegible, version of the main site that could be found on a PC web browser.
Connecting to tiny pages with little or no responsiveness was tedious, to say the least. Remember having to zoom in on your phone just to read the text? Thankfully, that is no longer the case. A tweak to the coding will now present a web page perfectly on any screen.
It’s a simple and effective fix that automatically reproduces everything on a smaller but usable scale.
So why would you want anything else? The main reason would be for convenience. Logging back onto the best live casino UK via your mobile browser each and every time you want to play a game does create a slight lag in proceedings.
So the solution is to package everything into a handy application and let it live on your phone. Brilliant! Let’s see how that works exactly.
If you love the speed and convenience of having everything at your fingertips, then an app containing all of your online casino live games is definitely the way forward.
Apps exist to make this fast, convenient and effective. With a casino app, it’s no longer necessary to reproduce everything from the main website and squeeze it into a mobile browser.
What you have instead is a clean, crisp, stripped back program that delivers the essential parts of a gaming site. No need for thousands of pictures and logos like they have on the big screen.
This means ultra-fast loading and the most convenient way of playing all the best live games around.
Want to learn more about mobile gaming and which sites to go for? Visit our mobile casino section for more information!
Live casino bonus offers
Live casinos bonus offers
One of the first things to catch your eye when checking out live casinos online is the amazing bonus offers. Most sites will have loads of freebies up on display and this can only be a great thing for players.
Bonuses mean extra playing money, and we all love that!
What you’ll notice is that live sites may not have quite as many options as you might find on say a slot site, for example. The reason for this is simple. Live games often present a much higher RTP. The varied betting possibilities give players a chance to win in so many ways, so it’s a huge gamble for the casino to give away free chips on these games.
That puts live deals in huge demand. And for that reason, we try our hardest to find the very best on the market and bring them straight to your door. Check out our live casino bonus page for more information!
One of the best types of live offer is the deposit match. What this means is that your first deposit will grow far beyond what you actually spend. But how is this possible?
When a casino matches your bonus, they are effectively doubling the amount of playing money you have. If you pay in £100, they’ll give you £100 as well. The difference is that your deposit is free for you to spend how you wish, but the bonus cash is subject to rules.
Reload bonus promotions
And for existing customers, there is a similar deal available to the one above. This is known as a reload bonus and works in the same way. The main difference is in the value of this gift. You probably won’t land 100% on top of your deposit. It may be more like 30%, for example.
Bonuses exclusive for live casinos
The best way to guarantee that you can play live games while enjoying a bonus is to find a deal specifically for live play. These do exist and are fantastic for fans of live casinos. Take a look at the list of sites on this page to see if any of them are offering this top deal right now.
Game weighting and wagering requirements
As we’ve established, there’s no such thing as a free lunch! The bonus money that the casino offers you is usually bound by wagering requirements. And they take a little getting used to.
Firstly, you need to remember that the name of the game is gambling, and that’s what the casino wants you to do with the bonus cash.
A wagering rule, simply put, is the number of times you need to gamble with the money they give you. This number changes from site to site, and can vary greatly. Some deals ask for 5x wagering while others may request 50x.
The casino will stipulate which games you can play while using the promo balance. Not all will contribute 100% towards the wagering rules, and this is called game weighting. For a live bonus, you may find that blackjack is allowed, but baccarat isn’t, for instance.
They may all exclude certain bets on some games like roulette. The odd/even bet is an example of a bet that carries too high a risk for the casino. As a result, they might stop you from betting the whole lot on a 50/50(ish) outcome like this.
Once you have gambled the cash to satisfy the rules, you will hopefully still have some winnings left from the bets you have placed. After that, you will see the money appear in your live balance. And then it’s yours to withdraw or keep playing with.
Withdrawal and deposit options
Another important aspect of any live site is the cash in/out options. There’s no point in having a fantastic new casino account if you can’t get your money there quickly and safely. When playing with any of the big-name brands, such as the sites listed on our pages, you will find a host of options. They all have their own plus points as well as a few downsides as well.
Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular ways to get your money moving.
Debit card (VISA & Mastercard)
In the UK, you won’t have the credit card option but debit cards are very much in use for online deposits and withdrawals. It’s a super-fast payment method and shouldn’t involve any fees either.
Anyone with a bank account will usually have access to a debit card. And this makes this product extremely popular. Deposits are usually instant and withdrawals may take a day or two. In general, this form of payment is considered extremely convenient, secure and pretty fast too.
E-wallets such as Skrill, Neteller and PayPal, among others, are huge in the online gambling payment market. It’s easy to get cash into your account and then send it on to a casino when you want to play. This method is favoured by many for payments in and out of their account.
You don’t normally pay any fees when using this payment option either. But you should check with the casino just in case. You may find small fees attached to Skrill and Neteller products when topping up your funds though. And remember that UK welcome offers usually exclude payments from e-wallets.
Pay by monthly phone bill
If you’re looking to make a small deposit and love the convenience of paying with your phone, then you can make use of this service from companies such as Boku. You’ll find this option available at many sites in the UK and overseas. One thing to keep in mind is that withdrawals can’t go back to your phone credit
Another downside to this option is the payment limits. It is only possible to deposit £10 at a time. And the maximum that you can pay in one day is £30. This may prove to be an issue if you are hoping to collect a welcome bonus. Some sites require a minimum deposit of £20, and this isn’t possible when paying with your phone bill.
The slowest payment option is a bank transfer. It may be an old staple of the banking world but you will be left waiting a few days to see your money moving. However, in recent years, we have started to see a few changes with this product. There are some intermediary companies that are now offering to speed up the bank transfer product. This is great news if this is your preferred method. Although there are certain fees attached to such convenience.
Live casino gaming and security
Your top priority when deciding which casino you would like to use should always be the safety of your data and money. It can be extremely tempting to sign up for an account with a site offering a huge welcome bonus. But you should never be blinded by the huge figures and common sense should always prevail. Only share your money and personal details with a site that you can trust.
Are rigged live casinos just a myth?
Live games are all perfectly safe to play as long as you are using a legal site. Casinos offering their games to players in many of the safe zones in the world are protected by the laws in that jurisdiction. Most countries in Europe along with many other jurisdictions in the world as well as the UK have tough gambling laws. These are in place to ensure your safety. They will also guarantee that any live games you play are all perfectly legal and are not rigged.
Make sure the casino has a UKGC license
Any casino in the UK offering its services to UK players must have a valid licence. And the only place where a licence can be obtained in this area is from the UKGC. The Gambling Commission in the United Kingdom was created to help enforce the gambling laws. There have been a few shakeups to these laws in recent years. So it is important to have a professional body in place to keep everything running smoothly.
When you choose to play at a casino within the UK borders, you should check to see if this licence number is displayed. It must be clearly visible and in general, you only need to scroll down the site’s home page to see it. If you want to, you can cross-reference this licence number with the UKGC register.
Making sure the casino has SSL encryption
This goes for any website and not just casinos. Any data that you transfer between your computer and a site somewhere on the web needs to be encrypted. And this is done to keep your information away from hackers.
One of the simplest ways that a website can achieve this is to apply an SSL certificate. When the certificate has been generated, a small padlock icon will appear next to the web address. This shows that the servers where the website is hosted are transferring the data securely.
A guide to responsible gaming at live casinos
Playing live games should be great fun. And as long as you treat it like a hobby you shouldn’t run into any problems. The main issue is when the financial side of gambling becomes the only important factor for a player. There are certain things you can do to protect yourself and stop this from happening. Like anything, gambling should be done in moderation. It was never intended as a way of life and should be looked at as a form of entertainment.
Never bet money you can’t afford to lose
This may sound like the most obvious advice in the world. However, while playing a game that involves money it can be difficult to lose sight of this. The best thing to do is to know your financial limits. Money that is allocated for essential payments each month should never be touched and used for gambling.
Some players are very lucky and have a huge budget. They are able to make bets that many of us are not in a position to make. But the size of a bet is relative to your personal circumstances. If you have plenty of disposable income, then it is easier for you to enjoy more of the action. But your other financial commitments should always be met before you choose to gamble with any spare money.
Don’t go chasing back your losses
Some games you win and some you lose. And this is just the nature of the beast. Every game is individual and you should not be looking to try and claw back any losses from a previous game. If you are going to enjoy gambling entertainment as a hobby, then learning to let losses go is possibly the most important lesson. Throwing more money at a situation like this will only end up costing you more in the long run. And this type of gambling behaviour can lead to financial problems.
Keep a strict live casino budget
Most of us are not blessed with a bottomless pit of cash that we can dip our hands in whenever we like. For most pastimes, there needs to be a budget in place to make sure that it is sustainable. Your everyday life should not suffer because of money being over-allocated to something like gambling, for example.
If you enjoy gambling, then you should be prepared to set aside a fixed amount of money each month. And when this money is gone, it is gone. You can always play again next month with your freshly allocated funds.
Take regular breaks from gambling
Gambling, like any other form of entertainment, needs to be done in moderation. Spending hours playing computer games or casino games can put enormous stress on your eyes. Watching a slot spin continuously for many hours is not going to be good for your vision!
Taking a break every so often not only gives your body a physical rest but also has another top side effect. In the midst of the action, we can sometimes make hasty decisions. And this can lead to losses which nobody wants. Walking away from something is often the best way to clear your mind and make better decisions. You might decide to change your wagering strategy or you might come to the conclusion that you need to walk away for a while. Either way, give yourself an opportunity to think clearly.
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