Live dealer games are now up and running at Caesars Casino & Sportsbook.
The first NJ online casino to introduce live dealer games was Golden Nugget, back in August 2016. In fact, even though the option had been widely available and enormously popular at overseas online casinos for some time, the 2016 launch marked the first time ever that US players could legally access these games. As expected, live dealer games proved to be a big hit with NJ players from the get-go, too.
Not only did Golden Nugget respond by making its own platform bigger and better with more games and expanded hours of operation, but many other NJ gambling websites followed suit and launched live dealer gaming platforms. Among them are 888, Betfair, BetMGM, Borgata, Hard Rock, Mohegan Sun, Party, Resorts, and Unibet.
But, surprisingly, until very recently, players hoping to find the same option at Caesars were out of luck. Caesars did not offer any live dealer games at all. Finally, in the fall of 2020, Caesars Casino & Sportsbook became the latest NJ gambling website to launch a live dealer platform. Better late than never!
How live dealer games compare to other online casino games
Live dealer games have some features in common with other online casino games, while in other respects, they are different. We will describe the similarities first.
Similarities to other online casino games
As enjoyable as it is to visit and play at a real brick and mortar casino, it is not always convenient or even feasible. However, online and mobile casinos stay open round the clock every day of the year.
So virtually all of your favorite games are ready to play whenever you are, either from the convenience of your home or anywhere in New Jersey you happen to be. Depending on the casino and the game, some live dealer tables are not open 24/7, but even so, the hours of operation include the most popular playing times, so most players won’t have a problem.
Also, if you’re a small stakes table game player you should think twice about visiting one of the Atlantic City casinos at a busy time like a Fri. or Sat. evening or holiday weekend. You might find that the only seats available are at tables with a $25 or higher minimum. However, at online casinos, you can choose from a wide range of betting stakes no matter when you visit. Live dealer tables, like other NJ online casino table games have different minimums designed to appeal to different types of players.
Furthermore, all of your play online, including live dealer games, counts toward earning loyalty rewards.
By the way, in 2020, the popularity of online casino gambling reached an all-time high. A large contributor was the fact that during the entire 100+ days the Atlantic City casinos remained closed, all of the NJ online casinos remained open. In fact, a record number of new players signed up. So everybody who wanted to play could still access all of their favorite online casino games day and night, including live dealer games.
Difference between live dealer games and other online casino games
There’s little not to like about playing online or on your mobile device. But one feature that many players miss with most games is the lack of opportunity for social interaction.
Live dealer games address that drawback in a big way. Far more than any other online casino games, they make you feel like you are playing in a real casino. You get to play in real time with a real dealer, and you can even carry on a light conversation with the dealer and other players at your table, much like you would do in a brick and mortar casino.
Unfortunately, live dealer games generally have a higher house edge than some of their regular online casino counterparts. But that’s the price you pay for the added entertainment these games provide.
Another important difference between live dealer games and other online casino games is that live dealer games can only be played for real money. Most other online casino games give you the option to test the waters by playing for free in demo mode first. However, with live dealer games, you don’t have that option.
Which live dealer games does Caesars Online Casino offer?
The Caesars live dealer platform is similar to what you will find at other NJ online casinos. As of this writing, you can choose from the following eight games:
- American Roulette
- Atlantic City Roulette
- Baccarat Dragon
- Casino Hold’em
- Classic Roulette
- Unlimited Blackjack
Caesars live dealer platform hits and misses
Granted, this part of the website is still a work in progress. However, players deserve to receive a lot more information than what the casino now provides.
For starters, what are the hours when each live dealer table is open, and what are the table minimum and maximum?
Also, to help players make an informed choice as to which game and game variant is best for them, the website needs to include some basic information about both the house edge and the rules of play for each game. Golden Nugget does an excellent job in this respect. It is a shame that other online casinos, including Caesars, don’t do likewise.
On the other hand, kudos to Caesars for finally offering this exciting alternative to traditional online casino table games. Given the impressive variety of live dealer games available, and hopefully a wide enough bet range to appeal to players from the low end to the high end of the spectrum, too, it looks like there’s something for everyone.
Caesars live dealer games basics
Before playing any of these games, be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules. If there is anything you don’t understand, use the live chat option to ask the dealer. Remember, you are playing for real money from the start, so any mistakes can be costly.
Blackjack is a game where skill is an important factor. So do yourself a favor and learn and use the correct basic strategy for the specific game you are playing. If you’re new to the game, we strongly recommend practicing in demo mode on a similar game online before you start playing the live dealer version for real money.
If you’re a serious blackjack player, you should look for games with the most favorable rules and probably avoid playing live dealer blackjack. But assuming the live dealer blackjack game at Caesars has the same or similar rules as the live dealer blackjack games at other NJ online casinos, even though it’s not a great game, it’s still the best live dealer game.
At Golden Nugget, these are the important rules:
- 8 decks
- Blackjack pays 3-2.
- Dealer hits soft 17.
- Doubling down allowed on any two cards
- Doubling down after splits (except for Aces)
- Only one card to each split Ace
- No surrender
However, at 888 Casino, one important difference in the rules helps the player considerably. The dealer must stand on all totals of 17 or higher, including soft 17.
Unlimited blackjack is different from other blackjack games because it uses a common draw feature that allows any number of people to play the same game simultaneously. All players receive the same two starting cards to play individually against the same dealer up-card.
One advantage is that you can join a game in progress at any time. You never have to wait for a seat. Another advantage, which is great if you’re a small player, is that the minimum bet is very low. The disadvantage is a different set of rules for pair splitting. These rules sometimes conflict with basic strategy and favor the house rather than the player. Unlimited blackjack is not recommended for high stakes players.
Roulette comes in many different formats. But in NJ online casinos, the important determining factor that makes some games more or less favorable than others is whether the wheel has just a single zero or both a single zero and a double zero.
European roulette is played with a single zero only, while American roulette is played with both a single and double zero. You might think that this one difference should not matter much, but it does. The presence of the extra double zero on the wheel raises the house edge from 2.7 percent to 5.26 percent.
Unfortunately, almost all live dealer roulette games, regardless of what the casino calls them, are American roulette. However, a notable exception is the game called Classic Roulette at Caesars Online Casino. So if you’re a roulette player, by all means, take advantage of this hard-to-find opportunity to play live dealer European roulette.
The live dealer game which when played correctly has the second lowest house edge behind blackjack is baccarat. The house edge is 1.06 percent for bets on banker and 1.24 percent for bets on player.
Dragon Baccarat offers an optional side bet with a house edge of 2.65 percent that pays out on naturals as well as on non-natural wins by four points or more.
This game is played with a single 52-card deck. After placing an ante bet, you receive two cards face up while the dealer gets two cards face down. Next, you have the option either to place a call bet amounting to twice the ante or to fold and forfeit the ante.
The dealer will then display three community cards (the flop), followed by two more (the turn and river). After all of the community cards have been dealt, if you’re still in the hand, simply make the best possible hand out of your two cards and the community cards combined, as will the dealer.
You win if the dealer qualifies with a hand of a pair of fours or better and your hand is better than the dealer’s hand.
The house edge on this game is 2.16 percent.
As you can see, the brand new live dealer platform at Caesars already offers you lots of options. Hopefully, Caesars will make it more user-friendly soon by providing the additional information that is important for players to have. Some special promotions highlighting this casino’s live dealer games would also be nice.