Did you know that Golden Nugget Online Casino and the affiliated website Betfair Online Casino no longer have a monopoly on Live Dealer games in New Jersey? For a long time, they did, but those days are over. Therefore, all of you who may already be enjoying the Golden Nugget and Betfair Live Dealer games will be excited to know that you now have other options, too. Live Dealer games at Borgata owned NJ Online Casinos now give you three more places to play!
Live Dealer Games in NJ Over the Past Two Years
Given the great popularity of Live Dealer games internationally plus the fact that online gambling has existed here in New Jersey since November, 2013, the initial launch of Live Dealer games in New Jersey took much longer than it should have. It was not until August, 2016 that GoldenNuggetCasino.com became the first NJ gambling website to offer a Live Dealer platform.
Betfair Online Casino, an affiliate of GoldenNuggetCasino.com, followed in May, 2017. Yet despite the obvious popularity of the Live Dealer games on both websites, for a long time it looked like no other NJ online casinos were going to jump on the bandwagon and offer a similar option. Then, finally, new opportunities opened up with the long awaited but not sufficiently publicized introduction of Live Dealer games on all of these Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa affiliated websites:
The soft launch took place in late April, 2018, and by early May, all of the Live Dealer games at the three additional casinos were up and running.
Similarity of the Live Dealer Games at Borgata Owned Sites to Those at the Golden Nugget Owned Sites
As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and in many ways, the previously existing Live Dealer games were fine, so it makes sense that they be kept as is. But there is still room for improvement. What a golden opportunity this would have been for the new kid on the block, Borgata, to not only keep what was great, but change some of the far from great rules to give the games better odds.
However, so far it looks like that didn’t happen. Therefore, for anyone who has an account at multiple online casinos, where to play will depend solely on which casino you feel like giving your action to and which has the better promotion at the time, not which casino has the better games.
Borgata and Other Casinos Are Using the Golden Nugget Studio to Stream the Same Games
The Live Dealer games at Borgata and affiliated casinos are nearly identical to the Golden Nugget and Betfair Live dealer games. This is because they are powered by the same Ezugi software. The games are even streamed from the same studio at Golden Nugget Atlantic City, which is now renting space for the Borgata owned casinos to use, too. In fact, most of the Live Dealer games are at shared tables open to players at both Golden Nugget and Borgata Online Casinos (and their affiliates). Therefore, if you have been playing Live Dealer games on one of these websites and decide to try another, you are likely to run into some very familiar faces!
However, in addition to the Live Dealer tables shared with Golden Nugget Online Casino, two Live Dealer blackjack games are offered that are unique to the Borgata owned websites. The following is a complete breakdown of the various Live Dealer games at Borgata, PlayMGM, and NJ Party online casinos.
American Blackjack: 2 tables exclusive to these sites
American Roulette: 1 table
Dragon Bonus Baccarat: 1 table
Casino Hold’em: 1 table
All of these games can be accessed either online or on currently used iOS and Android mobile devices.
House Edge for the Various Live Dealer Games at Borgata and Affiliated Online Casinos
As I have mentioned on other posts on this website, one of the ways that the Live Dealer games could be better is that they tend to have a higher house edge than some of their regular online casino counterparts. It appears that the casinos want you to pay a surcharge for the extra entertainment you getting from playing with a live dealer. If you play a lot and/or for relatively high stakes, the difference can potentially significantly affect your bottom line. As long as you realize this and don’t overbet your bankroll or play for overly long sessions, you should still fare okay.
That said, here is the listed return to player (RTP) for the three games that the Borgata owned websites have in common with Golden Nugget:
- American Roulette: 94.76%
- Dragon Bonus Baccarat: 85.64% to 98.76%
- Casino Hold’em: 97.65%
As for blackjack, GoldenNuggetCasino.com reports an RTP of 99.0% for all five of its Live Dealer blackjack games. Although compared to the other Live Dealer games, it is still the best of the bunch, blackjack (when played according to the correct basic strategy) is traditionally one of the best games in the house. Discriminating players know that a blackjack game with a 1% house edge is mediocre and much better blackjack games are available both online and offline, just not on the Golden Nugget Live Dealer platform.
Unfortunately, none of the three Borgata run Live Dealer platforms are forthcoming about the rules and house edge of the game called American Blackjack. However, if it compares favorably to the Golden Nugget and Betfair Live Dealer blackjack games, it would definitely be worth your while to make the switch. Below I am listing the Golden Nugget Live Dealer blackjack rules.
- 8 decks
- Dealer hits soft 17
- Doubling down on any two cards
- Doubling down after splits
- No resplits of pairs
- One card to each split Ace
- No Surrender
Betting Limits for the Various Live Dealer Games at Borgata and Affiliated Online Casinos
The three games that have shared tables with Golden Nugget and Betfair players—roulette, baccarat, and casino hold’em–of course, have the same betting limits for everyone.
The minimum bet for all three games is $1. The maximum bet in roulette is $100 for straight bets and $2,000 for outside bets. The maximums for the other types of roulette bets vary. The maximum bet in baccarat is also $2,000. However, the maximum bet allowed in casino hold’em is only $250.
Golden Nugget Online Casino has five Live Dealer blackjack tables. The table minimums vary from as low as $10 to as high as $50. However, the maximum bet at all of the tables is $2,000. The minimum bet for American Blackjack on the three Borgata owned sites is either $15 or $20, depending on which table you choose. Expect the maximum to be substantial at both tables.
No Casino Floor Roulette
Golden Nugget Online Casino also recently introduced a new Live Dealer Roulette game called Casino Floor Roulette. However, that game is currently not available anywhere else. Because Casino Floor Roulette is streamed directly from the Golden Nugget Atlantic City casino floor rather than a separate studio, the only way for Borgata Online Casino to offer a comparable game would be to stream it from the Borgata casino floor. Unfortunately, Casino Floor Roulette is also the same relatively high house edge American Roulette rather than the more favorable European or French Roulette. However, for players looking for a game that’s even more immersive and exciting than regular Live Dealer Roulette, they have found it since online and mobile players get to play alongside players in the actual casino!
When You Can Play the Live Dealer Games at Borgata Online and Affiliates
The four Live Dealer Games at Borgata online and affiliated casinos currently operate at the following times:
- Monday through Wednesday: 2 p.m. to 3 a.m.
- Thursday through Sunday: noon to 3 a.m.
Evolution Gaming Coming Soon
By the way, Evolution Gaming is slated to open another Live Dealer studio later this year. Details are not yet available, but any of the Live Dealer platforms currently being offered through Eguzi could potentially move over to Evolution Gaming at that time.
The Bottom Line: Are the Live Dealer Games at Borgata and Affiliated Casinos Worth Your Time?
The main reason for playing Live Dealer games at any casino is not so much the superiority of the games in terms of your likelihood of winning, but the added enjoyment you get from being able to interact with the dealer and other players. So if this is the type of casino experience you enjoy, the fact that you now have five places to play instead of only two is great.
Are the newest Live Dealer options as great as they could be? I would have to say no. For starters, the only form of roulette you can play with a live dealer is American Roulette, and the simple addition of the double zero on the wheel raises the house edge from 2.7% for European Roulette all the way to 5.26%.
Also, GoldenNuggetCasino.com has an information tab for all of its games, including the Live Dealer games. That way you can know all of the rules and the resulting house edge before you start playing. You can even access this information for free with no obligation if you are not yet a registered GoldenNuggetCasino.com player. Especially since Live Dealer games can only be bet for real money, I find it inexcusable that all of the NJ online casinos do not do likewise.
Lastly, the casinos could do a lot better job promoting their Live Dealer games, including offering attractive bonuses and other incentives to encourage more players to try them.