In this article, we explain all about what Live Casino games are and how to play them using Ethereum (ETH). We run through the different types of games and what sets them apart from regular online slots and table games, discussing why betting on Live games with Ethereum is superior to betting with Bitcoin. We also talk about who makes these types of games and answer some common questions related to betting on Live Casino using Ethereum.
Live dealer games explained
Found in many different types of gambling websites, a Live Casino is a game mode that attempts to recreate the experience and feel of real casino action by providing a live video of a dealer or croupier. This usually involves a video feed of a real person dealing real cards or else dropping a ball in a real roulette wheel.
Cameras are placed so that the player can see their cards and have a full awareness of what is going on in an attempt to mirror the actual experience as closely as possible. Most of the time, Live dealer games are table games but occasionally live versions of a lottery or keno-type game can be found as well.
Though the idea was around for a while even before the advent of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, only in the last few years (with the development of faster computers and internet speeds) has the idea of Live games really managed to take off.
Crisp, hi-def video and quick response times can make playing Live games almost seem like the real thing: a complete casino experience from the comfort of one’s own home. Some of the more popular and commonly found Live dealer games include:
- Poker (Casino Hold’Em, Three Card Stud)
- Wheel-based games
In addition, the more popular card games (like Blackjack and Baccarat) frequently have VIP Live versions, which are high stakes tables, for those who consider themselves to be “high rollers.” The dynamics of these games work the same as their physical or digital counterparts, although there is definitely more emphasis on the timeliness of placing bets.
After all, you can’t take forever placing a bet in a live dealer game as you are likely wasting the time of fellow players. This aspect, however, only adds to the realism of gameplay, helping players feel like they are actually placing bets at a physical casino.
How can you start playing Live Casino games with Ethereum?
The first step is to get a hold of some Ethereum, which is actually much easier than you might think. The easiest way to do this is to sign up for a user-friendly cryptocurrency exchange that supports direct purchases of ETH using a bank account (wire transfer) or credit card. In many of today’s crypto exchanges, the account creation and verification process takes less than an hour, which means you can have your ETH in under an hour after registration. A few of the best exchanges to make this happen are Coinbase, Binance, KuCoin, Bitstamp and Bittrex.
Alternatively, there are several places where you can purchase crypto without having to register an account at an exchange, such as Changelly, Paxful and CryptoLocally. With the latter two of these, you can purchase Ethereum directly from another person (with the website acting as escrow and middleman) using a number of different methods, such as PayPal, Western Union, and even gift card.
After you’ve received your Ethereum, you will need to find an online casino that both accepts ETH as a deposit method and also offers Live dealer games (there are several from which to choose; more on how to find the one right for you below). Next, generate an ETH deposit address at the exchange and send your funds to it by creating a transaction from your Ethereum wallet. In a matter of minutes, you will be ready to get started playing Live games.
What are the pros and cons of playing Live Casino games with Ethereum?
Pros: Since Ethereum has much shorter block lengths (the time between when blocks are added to the blockchain by miners), its transactions are confirmed by the network much quicker than they are for Bitcoin (BTC). Because it usually takes a maximum of 20 second for an ETH transaction to be confirmed, this makes it about 30x faster than sending BTC.
That means your deposit will hit your account that much faster and you can get started playing basically immediately. In addition, it has traditionally been cheaper to send ETH than BTC, although this advantage has been somewhat diminished in 2020.
Cons: Although it is the second most popular cryptocurrency in the world, Ethereum can prove difficult to get a hold of on occasion, and sometimes it isn’t easy to get it at a good rate. The price of ETH tends to be more volatile than that of BTC, which means its price may change drastically throughout the course of a gambling session.
There are some online casinos that will only accept Bitcoin as a matter of payment as well, which means there is a slightly smaller selection from which to choose of casinos that offer Live experience.
Most popular Live game providers for Ethereum
Some of the more popular developers of Live Casino game software include:
- Evolution Gaming: in addition to offering live versions of Blackjack, Baccarat, and Roulette, this software provider also carries a wheel-based game called Dreamcatcher.
- Ezugi: produces live Roulette games and several variations of Blackjack, including the hard-to-find Turkish Blackjack.
- Lucky Streak: one of the newer game developers, this company features different Blackjack and Roulette games and tends to have unique, graphically-advanced background that set it apart from the competition, while still using real dealers and croupiers.
- Vivo Gaming: this provider specializes in Blackjack games and is one of the only providers that services U.S.-based customers (most other software manufacturers will prevent U.S. players from accessing their games).
How to choose the best Ethereum Live Casino
There are a few important qualities which any decent Ethereum casino with live dealer games should possess:
- Fast, simple deposit, and withdrawal processes.
- A good customer support team that is available 24/7.
- Some excellent welcome bonuses, ideally including those geared toward Live players.
- Regular promotions for Live game players.
However, perhaps the most important quality of all is having a positive reputation among the crypto casino community. You will want to make sure before making a deposit that a casino has a reputation for helping players to resolve their issues and honoring withdrawal requests.
Even if a casino has excellent graphics and a huge selection of games, they are ultimately only as good as their ability or willingness to cash out player winnings.
Ethereum Live Casino FAQ
Is Ethereum safe to use?
Yes. The Ethereum network is secured by an amount of hash power only second to that of the Bitcoin network. This means that it is incredibly hard for any entity to hack it or disrupt it in any way. While occasionally exploits will be found in software developed around the Ethereum network, ETH itself has never been hacked, and its network is incredibly safe to use and store value upon.
What is the minimum bet for a Live game using Ethereum?
At most Ethereum casinos, the minimum bet with is 0.01 ETH, which is the same thing as 10 mETH. At $400 an ETH, this is the equivalent of $4. For some casinos, this amount will be higher, and at some it will be lower.
Can you chat with the dealers during Live card games?
Yes, many software providers have this feature built into the system. Some even have a tipping feature which allows you to give a tip to the dealer, as well.
Are there any Live games that can’t be played using Ethereum?
In short, no. This is because just about every Live software developer that makes games playable with Bitcoin also makes their games playable with Ethereum, as well. There are a few game developers that make online, Live Casino games only available for fiat currency (USD, EUR, GBP, etc); in which case these games won’t be available for ETH or BTC (or any other type of cryptocurrency).
However, pretty much any game that is playable with BTC will also be playable with ETH, granted the casino the game is offered at accepts ETH as a deposit option, as well.
Are Live games offered to Ethereum casino players worldwide?
Unfortunately, some countries restrict Live games from being played with cryptocurrency (including Ethereum), so if you are from one of these countries, you will usually not have access to these sorts of games when visiting an Ethereum casino. Sometimes casinos will be available to players from a certain country but Live software providers won’t let players from these countries access their games.