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What Are Live Casino Games?

While video games in casinos can be fun on their own, nothing quite beats the thrill of live games whether it’s in-casino or in the comfort of your home, there’s something quite exciting about playing with and against other people.

If you’re angling for the joys inherent in live blackjack, baccarat, roulette, Texas Holdem, this is the one guide you need to maximize your enjoyment of each of these top live casino games.

We take an in-depth look at what each on is and the best strategies for upping your chances of winning, as well as the top spots to play them.

Live Blackjack

live blackjackAmong the live games available to play, Blackjack is one of the most popular. It has a long rich history that goes back to the 1600s with a game called Twenty One. The object of that game was similar – reach 21 without going over.

It was similar to modern blackjack in that the aces were valued at either 1 or 11 depending on the situation. Via later references discovered, it appears that the game later migrated over to France where it became one of the more popular live dealer games in casinos in that country.

What’s Blackjack?

The name blackjack came about from a bonus payout to gamblers in the United States when the game was first introduced there. That payout was ten-to-one if a player got an ace of spades, specifically, and any of the two black jacks in a deck.

Eventually, live dealer casinos would pull out the bonus, but the name, as you know, remained. Today, the term blackjack is any hand of an ace plus a ten or face card with no more regard to the suit or colour.

How do You Win at Blackjack?

how do you win at blackjackThere are three ways that you can win at blackjack live games. The first is to get 21 points on your first two dealt cards without the dealer doing the same. This, of course, is the “blackjack”, although it is also called the “natural” in some circles.

The second way is to score higher than the dealer without reaching beyond 21 points. Lastly, you can win if the dealer keeps drawing cards and exceeds the 21 point limit themselves. In this case, they are said to be busted and lose out regardless of what point total you’ve accumulated.

There are different blackjack strategies you can resort to, whether you play live blackjack or not.

Strategy 1: Play the best tables

One way to win at blackjack live games is to pick the “right” table to play in. Look for tables where the payout on a table is at 3-2. It also helps if there are added rules like the dealer standing on a soft 17, doubling after a pair is split, or even double downing on any two cards.

Lastly, you should also check how many decks are being played one or two decks are the best with the best chances of winning.

Strategy 2: Have a strategy card

have a strategy card at blackjackThese are plastic laminated cards that help guide a player through live dealer games on the right decision to make whatever hand is played out to you. Many of these are casino-legal, surprisingly enough and can be purchased from many reputable sellers.

Decorum, however, dictates that you don’t place these on the table as you play. That’s ok as you can easily palm them and use them as a guide.

Strategy 3: Never get insurance

Finally, avoid the insurance bet like the plague, no matter how much money you wagered on your hand – you ultimately end up losing more.

The insurance was set up for the house more than you, the player. It might pay out 2-1 in live games but your odds of winning are far worse.

Live Roulette

live rouletteAnother equally popular option among the live games is roulette. Nearly every casino whether online or actual has a roulette table somewhere. The game itself can be traced all the way back to 1796 in Paris where the game was popular.

The earliest games had red for the single zero portion and black for the doubles. It tended to cause a lot of confusion until the green was finally introduced to the machine. It’s popular today because it is fast-paced and exciting.

What’s Roulette?

As can be expected, the name “roulette” is French in origin and means “little wheel”. This is an obvious reference to the main roulette wheel used to make bets and play. There are essentially two types of wheel used in live dealer casinos.

The double zero wheel is more popular in the Americas, while elsewhere, the single zero wheel is used. The Venetian casino in Las Vegas was the first to introduce the triple zero wheel in 2016. Lastly, all the numbers on a roulette wheel add up to 666 – often called the number of the Beast.

How Do You Win at Roulette?

how do you win at rouletteThere is a betting table upon which you place your chips to signify a bet in live dealer games. The payout for the bets depends on the odds of the ball landing within the cup of a particular betting range. For example, betting on a single number – called a straight – pays out higher but is harder to achieve when you play.

On the other hand, bets on wider criteria pay out lower but have smaller odds against you – as is the case in better either red or black, or odd or even. It’s really all a game of chance more than anything else with little skill involved.

Strategy 1: The Martingale

The core of this strategy is doubling your bets when you lose with the sole aim of making up for what you lost and maybe making a small profit. Always bet small and focus of higher odds wagers like black or red, even or odd, and so on.

When you win, keep the winnings and keep making the same small bet you started out with. When you lose double the bet you made on the same thing. When you win after a loss, keep the winnings and go back to your original small bet. It’s a safe, conservative way to play.

Strategy 2: The D’Alembert

The D’Alembert at rouletteIf the Martingale isn’t safe enough for you, this strategy is even better. The same basic rules apply. Only play the minimum on the lowest odds bets. When you lose, you just increase your wager by one.

When you win, you decrease it by one up to the minimum. It won’t win you big but it’s an excellent strategy if you want to avoid going broke. You play until your wins equal you losses which should mathematically place you in a safe spot when the rules above are applied.

Avoid the Fallacy

The Gambler’s fallacy is when you think that the likelihood of an outcome popping out is affected by previous outcomes. It’s the thinking when you expect a black to “finally” turn up after so many instances of “red”. If you play with this fallacy, you risk losing a lot.

If you’re curious of more roulette strategies, refer to our detailed article on the topic for more insights!

Live Baccarat

live baccaratFew live games can make claim to stardom as Baccarat. It quickly became gamblers’ favourite around the globe.

It remains one of the most popular live dealer games today due to the relative ease with which it can be learned and played. All the best casinos in the world whether online or live offer Baccarat tables for patrons in great numbers owing to the popularity of the game.

What’s Baccarat?

It’s one of the oldest card games in the world with live games being played as far back as 500 years in medieval Italy. Its original name – baccarat – comes from the Italian word for “zero”. This is in reference to all tens and face cards being worth zero.

The “t” was added by the French and is the name widely used today. Today, there is only one dealer and the game is played against the house who is also the banker. Back in the day, there were four different dealers and all players could be the banker.

How Do You Win at Baccarat?

how do you win at baccaratIn some ways, live games of Baccarat are close to blackjack. For one, play is based on two cards dealt to the player and dealer. For another, the way to win is to come close to a number value–”9” in the case of Baccarat.

Tens, face cards, and aces are all valued at 0, while the rest of the cards follow their face value. If the first deal is in excess of 9, 10 is immediately subtracted. A “9” is a winning hand and called a natural, while the next most valuable hand is a ten and an 8 which is known as a natural 8.

Strategy 1: Avoid pattern thinking

A rookie mistake in these live dealer games is looking for patterns that you can track. They simply don’t exist. In fact, tables will happily provide you with a record of the results for particular games as well as the outcomes.

It’s a trick to have your mind think that the odds are in your favour. The odds are always the same and akin to a coin toss. Keep in mind that each result is an isolated event. The better way to go is to really just have fun while you play – it’s a very beginner-friendly game overall.

Strategy 2: Bet smart

bet smart on baccaratMost people assume that the banker bet is the worse of the bests you can make. That’s because it’s taxed 5% by the house. Statistically, however, it’s proven to be a safer way to go because it has a much lower house edge.

The numbers might vary but the banker bet has – on average – a 1% advantage over the player bet. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but this percentage means steady games the longer you play at the table.

Strategy 3: Don’t bet on the Tie

This is simply the worst bet you can make in Baccarat. The payout table for this is illusory, it only ever really pays off 9% of the time. Again, the payout might seem attractive and certainly lucrative if you win, the odds are very, very slim to begin with.

These are only the basic outlines for baccarat. Read our guide on baccarat strategies for more ideas on how to win at the game!

Live Texas Holdem

live texas holdemArguably the most popular variation of the game of poker, Texas Holdem is also the most popular among live dealer games out there. It’s experienced quite a boom in popularity in recent years. You can even play Texas Holdem via apps on a smartphone or online.

The live dealer version remains the best way to enjoy the thrill and excitement of the game, however, and every casino – from the smallest to the biggest – will feature many Texas Holdem tables.

What’s Texas Holdem?

Robstown in Texas is universally accepted to be the origins of the live games going back to as early as the 1900s. It started to spread throughout the state in the 1960s with it being featured at the California Club where it later came to bigger name casinos. It was then that the modern “aces high” rule was first implemented. It became popular in the 2000s when it received exposure on television and the Internet – most particularly through the efforts of the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour.

How Do You Win at Texas Holdem?

how do you win at texas holdemThe way to win live games is to form the highest possible hand from five community cards and two dealt cards. There are several rounds of betting where a number of community cards are revealed – three at first, then two more one at a time over two rounds of betting.

At any time, a player can increase their bet, stand on a bet, go all in, or tap out – called folding. As many studies have indicated these past few years, there are a lot of strategies to winning live dealer games that can be considered.

Strategy 1: Understand the starting hands

Winning when it comes to Texas Holdem begins with understanding the strength of starting hands. There are many, many permutations to take into account and each one has associated smart starting moves to increase your chances of winning.

Fortunately, due to the popularity of Texas Holdem, you can readily download charts for review and reference online.

Strategy 2: Control your feelings

A lot can be learned from the way you behave in live games. The excitement you might possibly show when you take a peek at your starting hand can very well clue your opponents in on how they should respond. It’s called a “poker face” for a reason – you want to adopt a stance that doesn’t give anything away to your opponent.

Controlling your emotions in live games also means tempering how much you bet and how often you bet. The biggest losers in Texas Holdem are those who charge and keep on charging into the fray without thinking about how they’re betting.

If you feel like you’d rather play video poker, we have a detailed guide on how to win at video poker as well! Or maybe you prefer free slots to get you started? You’re more than welcome to browse our selection!