Live dealer casinos are one of the fastest-growing areas of the global iGaming industry. Designed to offer an authentic land-based gaming experience from the comfort of your own home, these games are heavily reliant on various innovations to change the way we consume our favorite table and slot titles on PCs, smartphones and tablet devices. This subsector is described by oddschecker as an immersive real-time experience, relying on live video uplinks to connect players to human dealers in casino-style studios that you can interact with in real time too.
If you’re keen to learn more about the specifics in powering a live casino, we’ve put together an eye-opening guide that will explain how each piece of technology acts as a fragment of the overall jigsaw to keep games flowing naturally and with the utmost accuracy.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology is arguably the heartbeat of a live dealer casino studio. The technology, which has often been used to digitise hard-copy documentation, is now being used to turn decks of cards into readable data. OCR cameras are installed near the dealer’s shoe or card holder, enabling the dealer to show every card dealt to the OCR camera as it’s moved into position on the table. The cameras then quickly and accurately display the value of the cards dealt to each player, overlaid on-screen to make it possible for players to react and make in-game decisions.
Game Control Units (GCUs)
Aside from the OCR cameras, the GCU is equally the most influential piece of technology for a live casino studio. Every single live dealer casino table has a GCU installed beneath it. The unit is small enough to be housed out of sight of the players, but, despite its modest size, it’s built to pack a punch. The responsibility of a GCU is to encode the video broadcast to all the active players at the table. The GCU ensures the quality and security of the live stream, protecting the integrity of all live casino games and subsequently the reputation of the live casinos themselves.
It almost goes without saying, but the range of cameras available at a live casino table ensure players can get the best possible view as the action unfolds. These HD-quality cameras are designed to be small and nimble enough for use across a live casino studio, which houses dozens of tables on its casino floorspace. Some live casino games will offer a multi-angle view of the table. For instance, live roulette tables have at least three camera views for players to choose from – one wide-angled view of the table and roulette wheel, one view exclusively of the roulette wheel, and one view exclusively of the betting table. It’s all designed to empower live casino players to enjoy their favourite games, their way.
The studio monitors are life-savers for the trained live casino dealers and gameshow hosts. Using the monitors, the dealers and hosts can see how quickly the betting action is progressing between the active players. The monitor is designed to prompt the dealers to take action when needed and to offer guidance and support to those taking longer than usual to place their bets. The studio monitor indicates which players win during every hand or spin. This helps them to discard losing hands and bets too.
Live chat facility
One of the number-one reasons why people visit land-based casinos is for the social experience. It’s the chance to sit down and chew the fat with like-minded strangers and wind down after a busy day at work. Live dealer casinos have created their own digital version of this with their live chat facilities. Live chat boxes are placed in the bottom right-hand corner of most live casino screens, encouraging players to send messages to their dealer or even the other active players at their table. The messages are distributed in real time, with your dealer able to see your comments almost instantly via their studio monitor.
With elements of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) already fused into some of the latest live casino game releases, one can only imagine the next step for live dealer gaming. One thing’s for sure: it will require you to don a VR headset to play in a completely virtual world.