The Differences Between Online and Live Casino Explained


One of the most significant developments in the gaming world in recent years has been the rapid movement of “bricks and mortar” casino gaming into the digital realm. Online casinos, which are hosted by thousands of reputable operators and platforms, are now worth an estimated $37 billion worldwide, completely eclipsing the revenues of land-based gambling Meccas like Las Vegas and Macau.

Whilst this shift is well-documented, one development that has been afforded comparatively little attention is a recent shift that is happening within the online gaming sector. The rise of the so-called “live casino”, which allows people to play card and table games with real-life dealers via live streaming technology, is one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative sub-sectors of the gaming industry.

This new technology allows players to combine the atmosphere of a real-life casino with the convenience of being able to play from anywhere in the world via a PC, smartphone, or tablet. If you’re wondering what the difference actually is between live casino and online casino gaming, read this handy explainer to find out.

How Are They Different? 

The most significant difference when playing a live casino online is that you’re playing with real people in real time. Live casino games such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and poker require you to join a live-streaming network, where you’ll be playing with a real dealer just like in a bricks-and-mortar casino, using real cards, real chips, and real roulette wheels.

In many online casino games, you’ll also be sharing a table with other real players who have joined the same network or lobby, and you may be able to communicate with them via a live chat function. Just like a real casino, you’ll be able to see their hands once they’ve played them and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Unlike in a real casino, no-one else is able to see you, so you don’t need to worry about getting dressed up in a tux for your live casino experience. Live casinos offer more sociability than standard online casino gaming, allowing for a more authentic casino experience.

How Are They the Same?

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While the gaming experience between online and live casinos differs greatly, there are many fundamental elements that remain the same. First of all, the ways that players wager money and cash-out remain unchanged, and the account that you use for both remains the same.

Also, casinos that offer bonuses such as free bets and matched deposits will allow users to use those same bonuses on live casino games. You may need a stronger internet connection to play live casino games more smoothly, given the reliance on streaming video, but your gaming experience should be the same as an online casino whether you’re playing on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

The costs of playing live casino versus online casino games are virtually identical, meaning that you’ll not have to spend any extra to enjoy the full live casino experience. Of course, there are some games that aren’t available on live casino that you can play on a standard online casino, namely slots, but this is simply because a live-stream slot machine game wouldn’t really add anything to the gameplay.

Now that you know the difference, it’s time to start playing. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys sociability and an authentic, real-life casino experience, then live casino is definitely for you. If you prefer to play in perfect solitude, then online casinos are probably more up your alley.