Live casinos are the leading development in the online casino industry. It’s incredibly easy to see why. They make the online casino experience feel so much like the traditional land-based casino experience that even players who were skeptical about online casinos become fans.
The only reason that live casinos are possible is thanks to advances in technology. Some of the core technologies have been around since the early days of the internet, while others are at the forefront of recent developments.
Online casino fans around the world have made it clear that they love live casino games. In countries that don’t have their own online casino industry, offshore casinos have stepped in to fill the gap. This is the case in Indonesia, where gambling legislation has prevented local online casinos from being opened. Luckily for Indonesian players, there are plenty of internationally licensed online casinos that are happy to provide great live casino options.
This article will explain what live casinos are for those who may not be aware of this aspect of online casinos. Then we’ll take a deeper look at the technologies that make these casino games possible.
Live casinos are also typically known as live dealer casinos. Live dealer casino games are almost entirely table games. The most popular among these are blackjack, roulette and baccarat. Most online casinos that offer live dealer games will offer multiple options for each game, with different styles, betting limits and more. The fact that most dealers are attractive young women also appeals to many players of course!
What sets live dealer casino games apart is that they feature a live dealer. Players can interact with the dealer and the cards that they are dealing in real time. There is sometimes a chat feature that also allows players at the same table to interact with one another.
These games are appealing to players because they feel more transparent than games where the dealer is simply a program. Even though online casinos are typically quite open about the odds and return to player (RTP) rate of all of their games, it can be hard to trust that computer code is entirely fair and random. When the dealer is a real person, those fears are relaxed.
So how do online casinos make these games work?
The first and most important technology in live casino games is Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. OCR is used in tons of different ways, many of which you may come across in your daily life. It is the software that makes it possible for text in photographs or documents to be read as text by computers. For example, it is what lets an airport scanner extract information from your passport, or a program automatically subtitle a television broadcast.
In live casino games, OCR software “reads” the cards that the dealer is dealing. The cards are scanned by the software and converted from an image to data. It is the card data that players can then interact with. What the players choose to do with the card that they see is then sent as data back to the dealer who can place the card or provide results of the action accordingly.
Since this needs to happen immediately for games to progress in real time, the next piece of technology is nearly as important.
The streaming technology used by live casinos is very similar technology to what is used when people go live on social media platforms such as Facebook, Discord, YouTube or Twitch. When streaming a live game, the dealer is being filmed by one or more cameras that record both them and the cards. The dealer also has a monitor which allows them to see exactly what the players are seeing. This helps them make sure that everything they are doing stays within the frame of the shot.
The monitor also allows the dealer to see the players who are online and what they are entering into the chat. This allows them to communicate with one another. All of this requires a lot of processing power to be streamed without any lag. For this reason, most online casinos that have live dealer games have an entire room dedicated to the servers needed to run the games.
As you can imagine, running all this technology and hiring dealers, camera operators and the IT staff necessary to keep everything operating smoothly is very expensive. It is considerably more expensive for the casinos than offering regular online casino games. This illustrates just how popular live casino games are that casinos choose to offer them to their players.