Unfortunately, not every table game spread on Atlantic City casino floors can easily make the transition to the Live Dealer format
For instance, there’s just no way a game like Craps can be spread without altering one of its most compelling facets — the physical roll of the dice.
Other games like Pai Gow Poker are slightly more realistic, but gamblers would probably be restricted to having the dealer set player hands the house way. Doesn’t sound too appealing.
Given this, give Golden Nugget Casino credit for offering Live Dealer games that are both popular staples of casino floors, and lend themselves well to the format.
#1 – Three Card Poker
Three Card Poker is one of the more popular carnival games spread on casino floors. The game is fast moving, relatively easy to play, and exciting.
It also doesn’t require a whole lot of decision making on the part of players — the only significant decision being whether players want to match their ante wager and play the hand, or fold.
Three Card also comes tied to one of the most popular casino side bets. Pair Plus. This wager pays out when players feature a pair or better in their hand. Pairs typically pay 1:1, while mini-royals (AKQ suited) can payout as much as 200:1.
From the player perspective, what’s also nice about Three Card Poker is that the house edge of the main game is on the low side (3.37 percent). But that figure is still significant enough for the Golden Nugget to reasonably dedicate resources to a Live Dealer Three Card Poker game.
#2 – Let it Ride
Just about every NJ online casino spreads Let it Ride, and for good reason. Like Three Card Poker, Let it Ride is another reasonably popular game that moves along at a somewhat brisk pace, and incorporates an enticing 3 Card Bonus side bet.
It’s also the format that resulted in the largest payout in New Jersey online gambling history — a cool $1.52 million paid out in early 2015.
It therefore goes without saying that one of the upshots to playing Let it Ride on the player side are the potentially mammoth payouts — up to 1,000:1 on player investments.
The lowish house edge of 3.51 percent is also an appeal.
#3 – Ultimate Texas Hold’em
Poker players tend to flock to this game that largely resembles traditional Texas Hold’em, in that both player and dealer each receive two hole cards, and use community cards to make their best five card poker hand.
Think of Ultimate Texas Hold’em like regular poker, but without all the downtime and complex decision making.
In this popular ariant, players can make larger raises earlier in the hand, adding an extra element of excitement — and increasing potential payouts. For this reason alone, the game would arguably be a good fit for Live Dealer.
Also, we believe the game is popular enough at land-based casinos to draw a solid Live Dealer following. And the low house edge of 2.19 percent virtually ensures that players will be able to stick around a while.
Any issues with spreading these games?
There is one, but it’s not necessarily a non-starter. In casinos, players that frequent the aforementioned games receive their hands face down, and technically aren’t allowed to advertise their hands since it could influence the action of other players.
This wouldn’t fly at the Live Dealer games, where all games simply have to be dealt face up (or else players would have no way to see their cards).
Thus, Golden Nugget might have to lower the payout tables slightly in order to achieve the same returns, as savvy players will use all the information available to them to make prudent decisions.
Another alternative is to only deal these games at heads-up tables, although that could turn into an unprofitable scenario for the operator.