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As with the majority of successful internet based businesses, iGaming has seen numerous evolutions over recent years thanks to the opportunities allowed by various technologies.
The likes of 3D, HTML5, and most recently VR have meant the online casino games have seen swift and impressive progression, with various game types now offering instant, smooth, and seamless gameplay.
In the mid-2000s, a new development started to come to life in the iGaming world, Live Dealer titles.
Finding immediate popularity with players, even in their simple beginnings, Live Dealers have become one of the most popular and fast evolving parts of the online casino world.
The Roots of Live Dealer Games
Live Dealer games started as a way to bring a simple version of brick and mortar, dealer based casino games to life in an online environment.
In the early days, all that was on offer were simple Live Blackjack and Live Roulette games, basically providing a limited version of a land based casino game.
Despite the basic nature of these early Live Dealer games, it was swiftly apparent that the hunger was there from players, and they found instant popularity, swiftly leading to further evolutions in the industry.
Going from adding extra games such as Poker to Live Dealer suites, to technological advances creating unique games, smoother gameplay, and 24/7 availability of games (compared to the limited time available in the early days) the world of Live Dealer games is unrecognisable now compared to where it was a decade ago.
The Best Live Dealer Games Providers
As is often the case, the spirit of competition has played a large part in the rapid progression of Live Dealer games. Many software developers saw the opportunities offered by this swiftly growing game type, and leapt to get involved.
Between pure Live Dealer focused developers, and those who have made their name in other parts of the industry before adding Live options to their portfolios, there is a plethora of developers providing live dealer games by this point, let’s take a look at some of the best.
The 2013 Boom
While Live Dealer games have been around for well over 10 years, there was a huge boom in the industry in 2013 thanks to a variety of developers coming into the industry.
Two of the biggest additions in 2013 were Extreme Live Gaming and Ezugi, two developers with a focus on Live Dealer games.
Extreme Live Gaming offers games out of their London studio which are known for fast loading and seamless gameplay.
Video and audio quality is among the best, and Extreme Live offers a range of tournaments for the more competitive players. While their portfolio is not as impressive as others, the slick gameplay appeals to many players.
Ezugi put their focus on innovation from the outset, one of the few developers to offer Live Keno and Live Lottery, as well as creating their own unique live games.
The social aspect is also a big focus here, with social media linked in so you can invite your friends to play and chat with them while you do.
The third big name to enter the market in 2013 was one that already had one of the best reputations in iGaming, NetEnt.
Live Dealer games are not the main focus for NetEnt, and that can show sometimes, but in terms of design and accessible gameplay, they are among the best, as you would expect.
NetEnt’s live games are available at a wide range of online casinos, ad can be played either portrait or landscape or mobile and tablet devices too.
The games tend to be pretty classic in their form, but if you’re looking for traditional Live Dealer games, NetEnt is a great choice.
Authentic Gaming only joined the market in 2015, and as a result has been working hard to play catchup.
Not the top of many people’s lists, partly due to their late arrival, the developer doesn’t offer many unique touches, but there are a few, and they’re nice ones.
Bet on Stats is probably the highlight of the collection, allowing players to bet on hit rate, which is a novel approach.
In 2006, when Live Dealer games were in their embryonic phases, Evolution Gaming launched, rose to the top, and has stayed there ever since.
Staying constantly at the top of the pile, thanks to unique games like Lightning Roulette and Lightning Dice, as well as dealers in multiple languages, and every classic Live game you can think of, Evolution has lived up to its name time and again over its 13 years at the head of the pack in the Live Dealer world.
The likes of Infinite Blackjack, Immersive Roulette, Dual Play Roulette, Deal or No Deal Live, and numerous other unique and top quality games have ensured that Evolution is seen as the best in the eyes of most.
Their Lightning Roulette is still by far the most popular roulette table and a standout among a selection of rather generic live roulette tables.
Why Are Live Dealer Games So Popular?
So, what is it about live dealer games that makes them so immensely popular amongst online casino players?
Firstly, it’s the experience, bringing that land based casino feel to life from the comfort of your own home, while bringing tweaks and additions that would simply not be possible in a brick and mortar casino.
Then there’s the reassurance offered by a live dealer. While it is understood that Random Number Generators (RNGs) are what they claim to be, players still worry.
There is a level of peace of mind given by being able to see the dealer in front of you than RNGs will never be able to replicate, and with security being one of the most important factors for the majority of online gamers, that goes a long way.
It is, therefore, safe to assume that Live Dealer games will continue to stand proud as one of the most popular parts of the live gaming world, and the excitement for what evolution will hit this game type next is palpable throughout the industry.