If you already play online poker for money but feel you’re ready for a more immersive poker experience that transports you table-side from the comfort of your home, then live dealer poker games are the next step in your online poker journey.
Here, we’re going to let you in on what you can expect to experience when playing live dealer poker games, how to get set up so you’re able to play them without any problems, and how to choose the best live dealer game for you.
What is live dealer poker?
Live poker games are relatively new on the scene and are played very similarly to normal online poker games; the main difference is that you have a real professional dealer who deals and streams the game to you live while you play.
“Live” does literally mean that you’re in direct communication with the dealer and other players, so expect the same level of interaction and banter as if everyone really is sitting across the table from you. Live dealer poker really is the closest virtual experience you can get to feeling like you’re in a real casino, playing live at one of the tables.
A quick walkthrough of how a live dealer game might go
When you enter the room, you’ll be greeted by the dealer and will likely see the in-game chat box light up with banter and conversation between the other players (and spectators, if any are allowed). Just like in real online poker games, you still have buttons and prompts on your UI (user interface), with which you interact with your cards and chips and play the game.
A good live dealer will be engaging, look at the camera, and have a good attitude and general good vibe, which keeps the game going and the conversation flowing. They’ll ask periodically if there are any questions and also try to steer the conversation away from divisive topics and keep everyone who’s present at the table happy.
From there, the game plays out as it normally would in a casino or any other online poker game. As long as you know how to play poker, then all you have to do is just have fun, apply your winning poker strategy, hope for the luck of the draw – and enjoy the live dealer experience to the absolute fullest.
Important rules and etiquette
One of the first things you’ll notice when you join a live dealer game is that the dealer will say hello! Now, don’t be nervous or shy. Simply say hello back; even if you don’t particularly want to chat, it’s the polite thing to do.
Generally speaking, you should know most of the basic dos and don’ts of live dealer poker because it really comes down to just being kind, considerate, and patient – just like you would be if you were playing in person. Keep your chat friendly and clean and well away from polarizing topics such as religion or politics. This is just to keep everyone engaged and make sure that the other players are having as good a time as you are.
Besides just being polite and respectful, the only thing left to do is have fun!
Getting set up to play
You don’t need anything special to play live dealer games: the computer or mobile device you usually use to play poker online will likely be just fine, except that mobile users might want to consider the size of the screen on their device, as you might not be able to see the dealer or the game clearly if your display is too small.
First things first, you’ll want to make sure you can be heard – it won’t be much of a live experience if you don’t have a working microphone that can let the dealer hear when you have questions or are excited about a win. Make sure to test your microphone before you get into the game (if you’re playing via a casino app on your phone, you may need to grant “permission” to use your mic). You don’t want to hold the game up while you’re dealing with technical difficulties.
So, now that you have a device with ample screen real estate, you just need to make sure that you have an internet connection capable of handling the video and audio stream of the game itself. Slow internet speeds may result in the game being difficult to follow and may become entirely unplayable if it’s very slow. To keep the experience at its most excellent and immersive and to prevent difficulties in communicating with the dealer and other players, a good internet connection — or a 4G connection for mobile users — is highly recommended.
You don’t need any special software to play live dealer poker games, as any good online casino operator should have live dealer games as part of their standard offering, meaning no downloads and no fiddling with software on your side – simply join the game and start playing.
Choosing the right live dealer game
There is no real science to picking the best live dealer poker game for you, but there are a few factors to keep in mind when browsing different live dealer tables while you search for the room that suits you best.
First and foremost, pick the poker variant that you want to play. Whether you enjoy a classic game of Hold’em or you’re an Omaha player, there is a live dealer game offering your preferred online poker game and professional dealers who are ready to take your experience to the next level. Put simply, the best type of game for you is the one you have the most fun playing.
The only real factor you should be aware of, and take into account when choosing your ideal live dealer poker experience, is the RTP (return to player, represented as a percentage) of the game. Choosing a game that has a higher RTP can mean you might be able to play for longer if you’re on a limited bankroll. Just because you can sit down and play for longer doesn’t always mean it’s a good idea, though – sometimes knowing when to get up from a table and cash out can be the difference between a profit and going completely bust due to a bad run. This is gambling, after all, so know when it’s time to stretch your legs and count your winnings.
Play exciting live poker at BetMGM
Now that you’re ready to take on the immersive experience of live dealer poker games and know how to choose and play your favorite, why not try some of our games here at BetMGM? Register with us and gain access to some of the best live dealer and online poker games available. If playing live poker online isn't for you, then try out any of our other online casino games, including table games of every variety, as well as online slots.