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Live Casinos – Let Me Tell You A Story…
Let me tell you a story about how I came across Live Casinos for the first time.
It was back in June 2013, and I’d managed to get myself a ticket for the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference, an event dedicated to the world of online gambling and casinos. It was my first time at an affiliate
conference, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But being in Amsterdam, I was sure it would be good fun, if nothing else.
Excited to be there, I remember wandering through the exhibits, between the bright stands and displays, trying to take it all in. There were bright colours everywhere, an infectious buzz about the place, a true feast for all the senses. It was a bit like being at the Rio Carnival, especially with all the scantily clad girls in every direction, with eye-catching looks and casinos to promote. I don’t believe in heaven, but if it existed, I thought, it would probably look something like this.
I passed by one stand and this girl with jet-black hair caught my attention. Her stand was offering free drinks. In a moment of weakness, I thought ‘why not?’. I was there for work, but surely I’m allowed a few ‘perks’?
Looking over, I could see that familiar green baize, contrasted against the bright red shine of her lips as she looked over to me and smiled. Now, I’m telling you – any guy in my situation would have done the exact same thing. She was stunning. Without dwelling too long in the moment, I grabbed a complimentary drink and, shoulders back, made my way to her with confidence.
As I drew closer, I could see she was dealing blackjack hands, in an open game for delegates like me. Now, I can play blackjack pretty well, and I’ve got the basic strategy down as well as some simple card counting techniques I like to use to give me an edge.
This was my in-road – at least I knew I wouldn’t make a fool of myself. I made my way over to the table and motioned to one of the free seats.
She accepted, and I waited to get dealt in on the next hand. I was one-step closer to her smile, and maybe the chance to work my magic. As the game started up and we got chatting, I could see some of the other guys at the table rolling their eyes. We all knew what was going on, but I didn’t care what they thought, and she seemed open enough to my chat.
She told me her name was Kate. She was from the Baltic States, and worked for a casino as a live dealer. Now remember, this was back in 2003, and while I was already comfortable with online gambling and casinos, the Live Dealer thing was a little newer to me.
I was doubly intrigued – here’s a beautiful girl, working in my industry, in a job I knew very little about. I was keen to hear more. She said she was glad to be playing face to face for a change, and that most of her work was done remotely. She told me there was a team of live dealers just like here, working for great money running Live Casino games online. She worked with groups of other girls, including a couple of her friends, Magda and Sara who had also got jobs with the same casino company. Looking around us, every single girl there was easily a 9 or 10, and they all worked for this same live casino.
I asked her how they found out about the job and the opportunity. Turns out there were companies out there who were quickly hiring the best looking girls they could find from Eastern Europe and beyond, running live casino games online for players across the world. I was immediately taken with the idea – and I must admit, thought about whether I could get into that business myself.
I knew it existed, but I had no idea of the scale. Turns out, these companies had dozens of stunning women running their games, hosting players from around the world with a live feed straight to the game. She told me Magda often ran roulette games, while Sara was a blackjack dealer like Kate. She said it was actually a very fun job, and a lot of the girls would work together then go out on the town after their shift to party.
I can’t remember if I was up or down at the blackjack table at this point, but I know my mind was racing. I knew I had to get more involved in live casinos when I got home, if only to see more girls like this in action. After the game finished up, I asked Kate if she’d like to maybe meet up later for a drink to chat about things further. I can’t say I was totally focused on the job, but I’m glad she accepted.
That night once the main exhibits had started to wrap up, it was clear there was more of a party vibe in the air. Come on, we were in Amsterdam after all! Kate turned up for that drink, and we got chatting away from the table. I think we clicked, and she told me she was going to check out the city with Magda and Sara, and invited me along. ‘Jackpot’.
And the rest…well, let’s just say, the rest is history. We had a good time together, and we checked out everything the city had to offer. But it wasn’t till we finally parted company (the next day) that I started really processing everything she had told me.
A little hazy and dull from the night before, I knew that I had to do a lot more research into this live casino thing…if not to help with my business, then to help me find other girls like Kate. I don’t know what she’s up to know, but I’d love to get the chance to meet her again someday.
When I finally got back, true to myself, I started finding out a lot more about these live casinos and how they work. I became a dedicated player, and was consistently impressed by the quality of the games and the nice girls they’d found to run them. This, I thought, was surely the future of online gambling. And now, so many years down the line, it’s still going strong.
10 Live Casino Facts You Might Find Interesting
When I started to play more live casino games, I realised there was more to this than meets the eye. Here are some interesting facts I learned along the way.
1. Live casino games are hosted in studios, filled with dozens of knock-out girls. This isn’t a one-time occasional thing that you sometimes find. It’s a major part of the online gambling industry, and there are massive studios located throughout Europe and elsewhere that are full of girls, just like Kate, Magda and Sara.
2. Most live dealer games are broadcast from Eastern Europe. When Kate told me she came from the Baltic States, that was no surprise. A lot of these games were being broadcast from Eastern Europe, which is home to some of the world’s most stunning women anyway, in case you hadn’t noticed.
3. There are actually three rooms supporting most live dealer games. When you play live, you just see the dealer. But there’s so much more that’s going on behind the scenes. Usually, there are actually three rooms in play – the studio room, where the dealing takes place is obviously the main room. But there is also a software room, where someone is sitting overseeing the game software that handles bets and payouts, as well as an analysts room, where the pit boss keeps an eye on everything that’s going on.
4. There are separate bonuses for live dealer games. Live dealer games offer their own bonuses, usually different from those you’ll find in virtual games. They tend to be less generous because the game is more expensive to run, but they are still useful for players who want to get the most out of their live casino experience.
5. Live dealer games are mostly hosted by a handful of providers. While there are live casino games all over the industry, they are actually run by just a handful of third party providers. These are the companies that employ people like Kate, and run the games that they license out to casinos.
6. They play just like a casino, for a more realistic experience. The games run just as they would in a live casino. If you’ve never been to a land-based casino, a live dealer game is really as close to the real thing as you can get, and the rules and pace are slightly adjusted from virtual games to take account of this.
7. Thousands of players can be playing at any one time. You might not realise just how many others are playing a live dealer game at the same time as you. In some games, it can run into the thousands, e.g. blackjack, where other players can login and bet on your hands. I’m sure with my skills, I’ve made a few thousand players a lot of money. If only they could share my skills with the ladies…
8. Live Dealer is still a growing market. Lots of people are still just learning about live casinos for the first time. Most gamblers don’t even know they exist. I know I’d rather play a live dealer game with a hot girl than sit in my bedroom in the dark spinning virtual roulette. My prediction: loads more players will switch to live dealer games in the years ahead. You can take that one for free.
9. There are loads of live dealer games. I was focusing on blackjack, but there are actually tons of different live dealer games. Anything you’ll find in a land-based casino can be run as a live dealer game, so there’s actually loads of different games (and girls) to choose from.
10. You can sometimes hook-up with live casino girls…but only if you play your cards right, like me. 😉
The Big Providers
So I mentioned earlier that there are a handful of big games providers offering these live dealer games. I can’t tell you exactly who Kate worked for (I don’t want her to get in any trouble), but I can let you know it’s one of the big guys below. These are the providers for much of the industry, and each run their own studio and recruit their own live dealers to provide these games. I’ve included a few pictures along the way should help you make up your mind.
Microgaming – one of the biggest providers of casino games in the market. As well as live dealer games, they also offer a huge range of slots and other classic table games, which has made them one of the market leaders. I love playing Microgaming games because they are always executed to a high quality standard. Microgaming offers a range of live games, covering blackjack, poker, baccarat, roulette and a few others.
NetEnt – NetEnt are another big name in the world of online gambling, and you’ll find games from these guys all over the place. Again, they are well executed with great graphics and robust technology behind the scenes. The video feeds on their games are crystal clear, and they have some great looking dealers to boot. Well worth checking out live dealer games from their live division, NetEnt Live.
Playtech – The originators of the third party licensing model that exists in the gaming industry, Playtech are no strangers to live games either. I enjoy their live roulette feeds above the others, because I like the angle and the focus of the game. It’s up to you though, you might prefer other versions, but I’d definitely recommend checking out their live roulette games.
Basic Strategy for Live Dealer Blackjack
Basic strategy is where it’s at in blackjack. If you don’t know your basic strategy in a virtual game, you’ll be equally stumped in a live game. Plus you don’t want to look lame in front of these girls. Trust me.
Get your brain into gear and start learning basic strategy charts if you don’t know them already. You need to know when to stand, when to hit and how to bet on each hand. Charts can show you how you should be thinking, but I always prefer to memorise them, as well as getting to know the reasoning. If you can work out the maths in your head as you play, all the better.
A good tip I picked up is the Thorp method for card counting – this actually works better in live dealer games, because you’re not playing against a random number generator. Instead, you can see the cards in the shoe, so you know this type of strategy will be effective. Start a running tally in your head at zero. When a card is drawn with a number 2-6 it is +1 point, 7-9 is zero points, and anything ten or more is -1 point.
Add up these points for all the cards you see, and keep adding and subtracting to the count as more cards come out. When the points tally is negative, you should be cautiously, because the dealer has a better chance of landing blackjack, or an otherwise strong hand. When the tally is positive, be more aggressive in your bets and in your play – there are fewer good cards remaining for the dealer.
Remember that many games are played with multiple decks in the shoe. So if it’s a six deck game, you want to always apply 1/6th of your total count – so get your tally for each hand then divide it by six to work out your true count. This isn’t failsafe, but it’s the strategy I use along with basic strategy to get ahead in blackjack.
Sometimes it feels bad beating a pretty live dealer hand after hand. But trust me, it’s feels a lot better than the other way around.
Roulette Strategy for Live Dealer Roulette
Roulette takes on a new dimension for me when it’s a live dealer game. I enjoy it more because I can see the ball spinning, as well as chancing my luck with the dealer. From a strategy point of view, this is where I like to build in hedged positions. With roulette, it’s always just a game of chance, whether there’s a live dealer or not. So the more numbers you cover, the better the chance you have of landing a win on a single spin.
Of course that comes at a price. If you cover too many numbers or combinations, you slash your odds too much. And nobody wants to play roulette for tiny odds, it just isn’t worth it. One thing I like to do is to cover a combination bet, so like a dozen and a colour, then maybe add in a couple of singles every other spin to give me a potential upside. Hit one of the singles and happy days, you’re quids in. But you want to bet more heavily on the more common bets, i.e. those that cover more numbers.
That way you can be sure of winning at least 1:1 in most spins, with 36x upside available. You won’t win with every spin of course, but it’s a good strategy for getting the most from your live dealer roulette.
The Live Gambling Market
Since my time at the affiliate conference, live dealing has exploded into a much bigger deal than it was at the time. Hell, Kate’s probably run off her feet with the sheer number of people now logging on to play these games, particularly in the UK and Canada.
In the UK, gambling participation rates have risen every year since 2010, with table games leading the charge until very recently (now overtaken by slots, which generates slightly more revenue for the industry).
Canada is already a more developed gambling market that the UK, with live dealer games already accounting for a significantly higher proportion of the online table games market.
Live Dealer vs. Virtual Games
Live dealer games are usually available as virtual games in the same casino. So it will be up to you whether you want to play on your own, or whether you want to play with a pretty dealer at the table. I know which I would rather choose if I was in your shoes.
The games themselves have some differences, and there are other reasons you would want to play live dealer over virtual versions. But how do they compare across some of the biggest, most popular games?
Blackjack: This is a toss-up between the computer generated cards of virtual games, or playing with actual cards as they are dealt from a shoe. I prefer playing live versions, because you can put card counting strategies to work in a way that isn’t possible in a virtual game. In virtual games, it’s like the deck is shuffled between every round, so counting your way through the cards becomes impossible.
Roulette: Same applies here as with blackjack. With virtual roulette, it’s basically just a random number generator behind the scenes, determining the result. I prefer to go with using real life hardware, so I can see it’s an open, transparent game.
Poker: With poker, live dealer games are just a lot more entertaining. There’s someone there to call out the action, and to react to big wins or bad beats in a way that just doesn’t feel the same through text based chat. Similar points apply with real cards versus randomly generated cards too, so I for one prefer to go live whenever I have the time.
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Top 5 Live Casino Videos
Godwin’s View: Why I Recommend Live Casinos
Ever since that fateful trip to Amsterdam, I must admit I’ve developed something of a passion for live casinos, and live dealer games. If you’re anything like me, the human connection makes the game a lot more interesting, especially when she’s good looking. There is a better ambience to a live game than to a virtual one, because you can see someone else smiling, dealing and reacting to big wins or unlucky hands along the way. It’s the kind of experience that make Las Vegas such a popular place for people to go and gamble when they could easily do it at home.
Sure it’s fun to play roulette or blackjack at a regular online casino. But when you introduce the live dealer, the game starts to feel a whole lot more realistic. I like the realism of live dealer games, so that’s why I often prefer them to virtual games, although I do still play both types.
Of course, you can’t chat to girls when you’re playing a virtual game. If anything, that’s probably harming your chances with girls, sitting on your backside playing casino games on your own. With a pretty live dealer, you get the chance to chat to her, and get a bit of human interaction as you’re playing through. And trust me, that definitely helps make the games a whole lot more exciting.
One thing I like is that you can see it’s an open game. If the girl isn’t dealing the cards correctly, or you think something is amiss in the game, you can query it with the pit boss. You’re not usually able to do that in an online casino, so it’s quite a good feature of the live environment. If you were playing a virtual game, you probably would never even know that something wasn’t right in your game – so live dealer games are naturally more transparent.
And if you hit a winning streak, you might feel extra lucky and ask for her number. No guarantees, mind, but you’ll never get that lucky playing a virtual game.