The term online casino is used to describe any type of internet casino game. But there are two big distinctions when it comes to online gambling tables:
1. Regular online casino table
2. Live dealer casino table
Knowing the differences between these types of tables is key to making sure you have the best internet gambling experience.
I’m going to discuss all the major differences between regular and live dealer casino tables. But let’s first start with a general description of what constitutes a regular and live dealer table.
What Is a Regular Online Casino Table?
A regular internet casino table is generated completely through software. This means that you don’t interact with the dealer or other players during the game.
Other characteristics of a regular online table include the following:
- Chips and cards appear instantly when you place bets and choose the deal button.
- No dealer. Or at most a computer-generated dealer that doesn’t move.
- Sharp graphics in modern table games to create a more realistic experience.
Regarding the latter point, graphics are constantly improving for regular internet casino tables. But the graphics will never completely recreate land-based casinos.
What Is a Live Dealer Casino Table?
Live dealer casinos were launched in the mid-2000s as a way to give online gamblers a more authentic experience.
These are called live-dealer casinos because the action is being streamed directly from a land based casino to your internet capable device. You also get the pleasure of interacting with a real dealer and chatting with fellow players.
Here are few other characteristics of live dealer gaming:
- Elegant casino atmosphere.
- Cards graphically generated on top of real cards, so you can see them better.
- Chat box function to communicate with dealer and other players.
- Regular game buttons (e.g. deal, bet), just like a normal online casino table.
The key thing here is that live-dealer tables make it feel like you’re actually in a brick and mortar casino. And you can also enjoy the advantage of playing through your smartphone, tablet, or PC.
Main Differences Between Live Dealer & Online Casino Tables
Live Dealer Tables Let You Interact with the Dealer
The best thing about live-dealer casino tables is that you can actually interact with the dealer.
Each of these tables has a chat box, where you can send messages to the dealer. They then have the option to answer your question or comment.
This creates a fun dynamic that you just don’t get with regular internet casino tables.
An added bonus is that you can also see what other players are typing to the dealer. You can then respond to these comments, just like you would with fellow players sitting at a land based casino.
Regular Online Casino Tables Don’t Require Tips
Many gamblers are aware that dealers at brick and mortar casinos rely on tips for part of their salary.
Some live-dealer casinos also include this aspect by giving you the option to tip dealers. You simply select the tip option and enter how much you’d like to give the dealer.
Regular internet casino tables, on the other hand, don’t have this option. The obvious reason is that the software is dealing the game.
Furthermore, an online casino doesn’t need to pay the software a salary. They also don’t need to rely on players helping out with a salary in the form of tips.
Live Dealer Tables Can Turn the Experience into a Party
Some live-dealer casino tables feature two dealers. The reason is so the dealers can have back and forth exchanges and create more overall entertainment.
For example, you may see a male and female dealer having lengthy conversations while the game is happening.
Sure, it’s unnecessary for two people to deal a baccarat or blackjack game. But the value is in creating more talking points so that the players can be entertained and get more involved in the conversation.
This creates a party like atmosphere that’s similar to what you’d see at a land-based casino party pit or poolside blackjack table.
You Control the Game at Regular Online Casino Tables
Live-dealer gaming has many characteristics of regular online casinos, including the game options and how you’re playing through a mobile device or PC. But there’s still a human dealer controlling the action at live casinos.
This means you move at the pace of the dealer and table – not the other way around. In contrast, regular casinos put you in the driver’s seat regarding how fast the game moves.
If you want to pause the gambling action to watch YouTube videos, then this is also a possibility at regular tables.
That said, online multi-taskers should pick regular online tables any time that they’re going to be distracted with other things.
Live Dealer Tables Have a Time Limit on Decisions & Bets
Live-dealer casinos are much like land-based venues in that they try to keep the game moving quickly. More rounds means more profits for the casino.
Most live-dealer tables force you to act within 15 to 20 seconds. These tables will either feature a running clock or traffic lights (green, yellow & red) to indicate how much time you have to place bets and make decisions.
While this is normally a reasonable amount of time, it does pressure you to make decisions on the casino’s terms. In other words, you don’t have much time to post on social media or read online articles in between rounds.
This is why you want to set aside time where you can completely focus on live-dealer sessions. Otherwise, you risk running over the time limit when you try to multitask.
Online Casino Tables Generate Cards & Chips Automatically
Regular online casino tables make full use of their software based games by automatically generating chips and cards.
For example, your cards will instantly appear when you choose the deal option. Or your chips will quickly appear on the roulette table when you select the desired bet section.
This is nice for anybody who wants to cut out wait times involved with the dealer shuffling and dealing cards. You also don’t have to worry about handling your own chips or transporting them around the casino afterward.
A Live Casino Dealer Actually Deals the Game
Some players don’t like the fake feeling of chips and cards appearing instantly out of thin air. This is when live dealer tables are nice because the dealers actually handle the games.
The dealers pull cards out of the shoe and deal them to each player, or spin the roulette ball around the wheel manually. This creates a more authentic experience, like the one you’ll find in brick and mortar casinos.
Of course, live dealer tables create animated cards on top of the real cards that are dealt. But this is only done for the sake of helping you see the card values and suits better.
Stakes are Lower at Regular Online Casino Tables
The nice thing about live-dealer tables is that you can get close to the land based casino experience without making minimum bets worth between $10 and $25.
But you still need to wager at least $5 per hand/turn in order to play at live dealer casinos.
These sites require a reasonable minimum bet because they have to pay dealer salaries, purchase live streaming equipment, and rent/own a large building to house the operation.
If you want to play for the lowest stakes possible, then you need to head for regular online casino tables.
You’ll bet between $1 and $3 per turn at the average regular table. Low rollers can stretch their bankroll quite far at this rate.
Regular internet casino tables can charge cheaper minimum bets because the tables, dealer, and cyber establishment are all computer generated.
This isn’t to say that regular online casinos don’t have expenses. But the cost to run games isn’t nearly as expensive as with live-dealer tables.
Live Dealer Game Selection Is More Limited
Live dealer casinos usually only offer the most popular table games, including baccarat, blackjack, and roulette.
Some live dealer operations have other games like Caribbean stud and PaiGow poker. But the majority only have the classics.
While many players enjoy these games, you don’t get as large of a selection as you will at regular online casinos. Here’s a list of the many options you have with standard casino tables:
- Caribbean Hold’em
- Caribbean Stud
- Let ‘Em Ride
- Pai Gow Poker
- Pirate 21
- Red Dog
- Spanish 21
- Super 7
- Three-card Poker
- Three-card Rummy
- Zoom Roulette
The reason regular internet casinos can offer so many games is because they don’t have to pay dealers. This means the less popular games like Pontoon and Red Dog can remain empty for hours without having to pay a dealer to run them.
More Online Casinos Have Regular Tables
Almost every online casino has regular table games. These options are cheaper to license and run than live-dealer gaming.
This means that you can always count on your favorite internet casino having standard tables.
More and more online casinos are licensing live dealer gaming. But you’ll still find many internet casinos that don’t have this option.
Casino Atmosphere Is Better at Live Dealer Tables
Online casino software companies have done a good job at improving graphics on regular tables over the years. This makes it feel more like you’re in a regular land-based casino.
But no matter how much software providers improve graphics on regular tables, they’ll never match the brick-and-mortar experience.
Some live-dealer outfits operate inside unique casinos, such as Fitzwilliam Casino & Card Club in Dublin. Others set up studios, which feature nice backgrounds to look at while you’re playing.
Live Dealer Tables Can Have Limited Seats
The average land-based casino table only has seven available seats. The same is true among many live-dealer tables, where seats are limited to seven players.
You can join a waiting list when you see a live dealer table that’s full. You’ll be able to play whenever a seat opens up.
In some cases, live-dealer casinos have unlimited seats, allowing you to get in on the action any time. But you still have to look out for the tables that only allow seven players at once.
Regular online casino tables are different, though, because the same table can potentially be accessed by thousands of gamblers. This means you never have to worry about finding an open seat.
When I first started playing live-dealer casino games in the late 2000s, my initial reaction was that these are way better than regular tables. But I eventually realized that both live-dealer and regular online casino games have their pros and cons.
Live-dealer gaming is great for those who want an authentic experience and the ability to interact with the dealer. It’s also nice to look at a real casino atmosphere when playing.
Regular online casino tables are nice because you can control the game flow. You’ll also have access to more table games and be able to play for cheaper stakes.
Personally, I like to mix my play between both regular and live-dealer tables. But you may find that one style suits you better than the other.