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Nick Mariano

Nick serves as a Senior Editor at Casino City and is also an integral part of the Online Casino City content team. He has written about fantasy sports, sports betting and iGaming for five years. Alongside working at Casino City, he is currently a lead fantasy sports columnist for RotoBaller, having written for FantasyPros and as well.

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Top 10 favorite Live Dealer casino games

10 Feb 2020

By Nick Mariano
Hitting the live dealer tables is often my first agenda item once I step into a casino. Seeking out the right table like a hawk, whether that means sniffing out certain games, stakes, crowd levels or comfortable seating.

Recently, playing live dealer games online has become more exciting as advancing technologies have helped close the gap between the screen and in-person play, perhaps even surpassing it in some cases. My career and hobbies have allowed me to play many of these games, learning what I like (and don’t like) along the way.

Here, we look at the top 10 of my favorite online live dealer games to play.

Let’s get spinning:

10. Live Speed Blackjack
Live Speed Blackjack is traditional blackjack with a timely twist, as players are dealt additional cards in the order they signal to Hit, Double Down, or Split. I’m not saying I get annoyed by slow play, but I do enjoy an added layer rather than the cards being solely determined by the seating chart.

Todd Haushalter, Chief Product Officer at Evolution, describes it well: “Compared to our standard Live Blackjack game, Speed Blackjack is about 30–40% faster. I must say, it feels really good as a player because it is the game you know and love, but you have more control and there’s much less waiting time.”

9. Live Side Bet City
Live Side Bet City scratches that retro-gaming itch that I’d get from firing up old consoles or stepping into an arcade. The game itself is based around three-, five- and seven-card hands for poker, but the theme is all sorts of 1980s.

Being able to bet on a win in any of those three hands, as well as an “All Lose” option, only to let the game unfold with no further decisions to be made creates a streamlined experience. Throw in copious amounts of neon lighting and I’m drawn into the game.

8. Live Duo Roulette International
Live Duo Roulette International is one of Authentic Gaming’s available avenues with which online players can gamble on two live roulette tables at once. Not from a live dealer studio, but from the actual Casino International Batumi in Georgia.

While you have to keep a closer eye on that bankroll with multiple games running, I love the easy interface and the dueling sounds of chips moving around. It reminds me of watching NFL RedZone, as pace of play and constant engagement is key for me.

7. Live Lightning Dice
It can be difficult to create an appealing dice game for online players, as so much of the fun (for me) is derived from the actual throw. Still, the player not clogging up the table or studio does allow Evolution to upgrade the environment and create an enticing product.

We go back to Evolution’s Todd Haushalter for more: “We went out of our way to keep the game simple but highly visual with a giant Lightning Tower where dice come tumbling down to make it possible to win big money.”

6. Live Football Studio
Live Football Studio allows me to stay “in the game” even when playing a different game, combining a simple card game with live football commentary, goal celebrations and more. In line with the sporting theme, players may bet on a Home Win, Away Win or a Draw, and then one card is dealt to each side. The high card wins, with the presenter hosting with sports commentator flair.

Shorter attention spans are often a negative attribute associated with younger generations, but combining elements of gaming with live sports action on one screen keeps me present. I’m not looking away from the casino to glance at a score, as that’s constantly coming to me in real time from the presenter.

5. Live Quantum Blackjack
Blackjack was the first casino table game that I ever played live, and I fell for its straightforward action and reliance on quick math. You could play one-on-one with the dealer, or find a full table stacked with socialization - no matter the mood, this classic was there for me. And now, there’s change to the game itself I can believe in.

Quantum Blackjack has an RNG engine selecting up to three cards out of a 52-card deck (dealt from an eight-deck shoe) and applying a multiplier to them. If you win with any of those cards in your hand, then your winnings are enhanced by the respective multiplier involved. With three 10x cards possible, a 1,000x win is within reach.

4. Live Resorts Atlantic City Roulette
We’ve all taken different paths to reach the gambling universe. As someone who grew up in New York, heading to Atlantic City was my first real foray into a large casino. My friends and I would bounce around and see what we liked, what we didn’t, and where our “lucky table” resided.

Resorts Casino Hotel was one such stop along the way, with our first stop at any venue being the roulette table. Thanks to Evolution’s Dual Play initiative, which installs a camera above the real-life table in popular casinos across the world, I can log on and step into some nostalgic gambling with just a few clicks.

If you’re like me and countless others, you played MONOPOLY at least once growing up. Perhaps you lost a friendship or two over it, but it’s a classic board game of worldwide recognition. Well, Evolution helps combine that nostalgic experience with their popular Dream Catcher format - a Wheel of Fortune-style game, offering instant wins and the namesake Bonus Round.

There are four sections of the wheel that trigger rolls of the dice on an augmented-reality, 3D Bonus board of MONOPOLY. You’ll join Mr. MONOPOLY himself as the token who steps around the board, collecting prizes and multipliers while passing GO, dealing with houses, hotels and jail, as well as the Chance and Community Chest cards.

2. Live Spread-Bet Roulette
Live Spread-Bet Roulette provides an exciting twist on the traditional roulette game, combining two wheels into one innovative product. A normal European Roulette wheel spins on the outside, with a golden inner ring of the same numbers (0-36) that spins independently in the opposite direction of the outer wheel.

The enhanced gameplay from a wider range of outcomes and a wrinkle on a classic game supply a thrill, as you can’t simply track where the ball lands and determine whether you won or not. No, you must see where it landed and then reference the larger wheel graphic that displays both sets of numbers.

And while it’s not for me, the 0-1 bet awards 400-to-1 and the 68-72 range sits at 80-to-1, meaning those wanting to play above the typical 35-to-1 ceiling of traditional roulette have an avenue.

1. Deal or No Deal Live
Evolution brought one of the most popular television game shows to the live dealer realm with flair, as firing this up brings me back to my younger days. Whether you want to play the game yourself or simply observe, as if it were a television show, then your gaming appetite is satisfied.

No, you won’t get Howie Mandel in the studio, but the online version of Deal or No Deal does bring its own enhancements to the format. I enjoy the three-reel bank vault spin, which qualifies one for the game and sets the amount of money in the biggest prize briefcase by 75x-500x. Once qualified and within the bank vault, you’ll face a ticking clock and the Top-Up Wheel, which can increase the amount of money in any of the briefcases by 5x-50x the bet. This all ensures no game is quite alike.

And then we game show experience takes over, with players dueling their own luck and the banker’s offers for a lofty payout.

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