But that’s not to say the nascent rollout is perfect.
Here’s a few features we’d like to see that would propel the operator’s Live Dealer games toward greatness.
Since launch, there haven’t really been any dedicated Live Dealer promotions.
Admittedly, the format is popular enough that it doesn’t necessary need additional marketing dollars vested. But the occasional one-off event may act as a conversion tool, especially for those who are hesitant to abandon their digital table games.
A few promotional ideas include:
- A bonus match offer that can only be cleared at the Live Dealer tables. Make the wagering requirement something reasonable like five, or 10x.
- Or a mystery bonus offer where players who wager a certain amount at the Live Dealer tables will win anywhere from a few bucks to a couple of hundred bonus dollars.
- Golden Nugget could even opt for a simple Golden Points multiplier on Live Dealer games.
None of these options would cost the operator too much, and may result in increased Live Dealer traffic.
Options, options, options
Golden Nugget still lags behind the best Live Dealer casinos in Europe. And while the gap is shrinking there’s still a ways to go.
In the immediate, the operator may want to consider adding small, but noticeable, touches to its games. More game statistics would be a nice start, followed by a greater breadth of player customization options.
One option Golden Nugget may want to consider is to allow players to display their wager size.
Everyone at the table gets excited when a player bets the table max, or close to it. But currently, there’s no way of knowing who is betting what. This stands in contrast to a live casino setting, where players know exactly where their table mates stand.
Our suggestion: Make it an optional feature, so players who wish to protect their anonymity can.
On another note, players are patiently waiting for Live Dealer to go live on tablets. Currently, the product can only be played on PC, Mac, and Android/iOS smartphones. Tablets feel like a more natural fit for the format than smartphones, as the interface comes off as a little cramped and unwieldy on smaller devices.
Good news is that Golden Nugget does plan to port its Live Dealers over to tablets — let’s just hope it happens sooner rather than later.
Utilizing basic strategy for an eight-deck game where the dealer hits on soft 17, players can achieve a return of over 99.2 percent at the Live Dealer Blackjack tables.
Similarly, Baccarat players will win nearly 99 percent of their wagers back, regardless of whether they bet on the banker of player. Only tie wagers concede a considerable house advantage.
But Live Dealer Roulette is a whole other animal. Unfortunately, Golden Nugget spreads the American version of the game. This means that there are two zero slots, and players do not receive half of their wager back on even money bets should a 0 hit.
Under American rules, players give up 5.26 percent to the house — about five times more than at the baccarat tables.
Even the simple elimination of one zero would cut the house edge to a more reasonable 2.7 percent.
Given that a theoretically infinite number of players can participate simultaneously in Live Dealer Roulette games, a smaller house edge shouldn’t be too much to ask for.