Generally speaking, online gambling is a solitary affair. For slot and video poker players that’s rarely a deterrent, as the online playing experience virtually mimics that found at a land-based casino.
But some online table game players yearn for the communal aspects found at live blackjack, roulette and baccarat tables.
Live Dealer games at Golden Nugget Casino in New Jersey address that concern by integrating a number of social features, which together work to simulate a live playing environment.
Seeing is believing
Probably the first thing players will notice upon entering the Live Dealer lobby is that the games are dealt by real-life dealers, who will be prominently displayed in the center of player screens.
Not only does this add a distinctly human element to the games, but for some, it may instill them with an almost immediate sense of trust. That’s because they’ll be able to witness all of the dealer actions, from dealing physical cards at blackjack, to spinning a ball on an industry standard roulette wheel.
That being said, Live Dealer play still offers players a level of anonymity not entirely available in live settings.
Online, players will only be known by their screen name, and are under no obligation to choose a name that gives away their real-life identity to either the dealer or other players seated at the table.
Perhaps the most social aspect of Live Dealer games is the ability to chat with the dealer. Because Live Dealer games are streamed in real-time from a studio in Golden Nugget AC, the dealer can respond to comments and questions immediately. Players are even greeted by the dealer immediately upon entering the room.
Granted, all player chat functionality is handled via text, but for those who wish to remain as anonymous as possible, the lack of a voice chat option can be viewed as a plus.
Other players seated at the table can also read the chat log, meaning that players can befriend, congratulate, or root for anyone at the table.
Turn a 16 against a dealer’s ten into a winning hand? Score two blackjacks in a row? Players can show their appreciation for a hot run by tipping the dealer.
While tipping technically cuts into a player’s expected value for a session, the margin is pretty nominal, and well worth the heightened spirits at the table.
Tipping the dealer may also encourage other players to do the same. That’s money that goes directly into the economy, and helps to encourage the widespread growth of the Live Dealer format.
But for now, Live Dealer games are only available at the Golden Nugget, where they run from 5 p.m – 2 a.m Sunday through Thursday, and 4 p.m – 3 a.m on Friday and Saturday.