How to Play Live Casino Games

By Robbie Evans on is dedicated to helping customers find the best place to play online. Your safety and well-being is a priority, which is why all of our expert casino reviews are 100% honest and unbiased, and we highlight the key terms and conditions of every casino bonus we advertise. Whilst we accept commission from the casinos on our list of recommendations, and this may affect where they’re positioned on our lists, we only recommend casinos that we truly believe are safe and fair. is dedicated to helping customers find the best place to play online. Your safety and well-being is a priority, which is why all of our expert casino reviews are 100% honest and unbiased, and we highlight the key terms and conditions of every casino bonus we advertise. Whilst we accept commission from the casinos on our list of recommendations, and this may affect where they’re positioned on our lists, we only recommend casinos that we truly believe are safe and fair.

Live casino games — also known as live dealers — are among the most popular game types at online casinos. These games are live streamed from studios and real-life casinos based around the world, with professional dealers and croupiers delivering an authentic casino experience.

On this page we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on where to find the most immersive and entertaining live dealer platforms, and how to play all the different types of live dealer games.

Getting Started with Live Casino Games

First things first, as live casino games naturally demand a little more from your mobile or desktop devices, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got a stable internet connection in order to play live dealer titles. A weak connection could interrupt the stream and might spoil the immersive aspect of the live casino experience.

Once you’re set up with an appropriate device and a stable connection, the next step will be finding and choosing a live dealer casino. The best way to decide where to sign up and deposit your cash is to head over to our dedicated live casino page, browse through our live casino reviews, and select the casino that is most suited to your personal preferences. Though each site comes with its own distinct features and benefits, every one of the sites we recommend will have a valid casino licence and an impressive selection of live casino games, so you can’t go wrong with our top-rated live casinos. 

When you’ve decided on your live casino, all that’s left to do is sign up, claim your welcome bonus by making the qualifying deposit, and start playing. 

Choosing a Live Casino Game

Now that you’re all signed up, it’s time to choose your first live casino game. There’s lots to consider here, so let’s run through all the considerations individually.

Games and Variants

The first thing is to decide what sort of live casino game you’d like to play. If you’re after an authentic experience that closely resembles the real thing, then live table games like blackjack, roulette, and baccarat are probably your best bet — but make sure to double check which variant you’re playing as rules and bets will change depending on the game. For something a little more unique, you may prefer to have a look at which live game shows are available. 

In terms of games providers, Evolution Gaming and Pragmatic Play are the best of the best when it comes to live casino software, and you’ll find their titles at most of the top live dealer casinos. Both software developers have produced a variety of different live table games alongside live game shows such as Evolution’s Cash or Crash Live and Pragmatic’s Boom City. 

The next consideration is regarding stake size. While the vast majority of live casino games can be played with minimal stakes, some will have higher limits than others, and will thus cater to the more high-rolling players.

You may also want to consider the number of players in a live casino game. More players will generally result in a more energetic and social experience, whereas the smaller rooms often create a more intimate atmosphere that is arguably more akin to playing at a real-life table. For the highest table limits, you might even end up playing one on one against the dealer. 

Some sites, like Unibet, include stake filtering options and show how many players are in the room — as seen in the screenshot — whereas most will simply reveal the stake limits either in the thumbnail or the corner of the display.  

Playing Your First Round

For those who are new to the live casino format, here’s a quick step-by-step guide to playing your first round. Though every game is different, you can follow these basic principles regardless of whether you’re playing roulette, blackjack, or any other live table game.

  1. Read the game rules – Before you start playing, it’s essential that you read up on the rules. Even if you’re a seasoned roulette or blackjack player, there might be a few differences in your chosen game — especially when it comes to live dealers — so double check guidelines before placing any bets. 
  2. Watch a couple of rounds – There’s no use jumping straight into betting when playing a new live casino game. It’s a good idea to watch a few rounds before making your first bet to be sure you know what the rules are and how things play out. 
  3. Place a modest first bet – When you’re confident that you know what you’re doing, make your first bet. We highly recommend you start small, just to be on the safe side.
  4. Enjoy yourself – Now that you’re all set up, all that’s left to do is have fun. If you’d like, you could choose to follow a betting strategy like the Martingale or Fibonacci to add another layer to your gameplay. Aside from that, be sure to stick within your limits and end your session once you’ve played through your set budget. 

Rules and Strategies for Popular Live Casino Games

Here’s a summary of the rules and strategies of each of the most popular live casino games. Though there are a number of different variants for each of these games, we’ll be focussing on the most common, and all the variations will generally follow similar rules. Having said that, always double check the rules of the specific variation you’re playing before placing your bets. 

Live Blackjack

Live blackjack is a game that’s played against the dealer — as opposed to the other players in the lobby — with the aim being to get as close to 21 as possible without going bust. Whoever achieves the better hand between you and the dealer wins the round.

Before the start of the round, you’ll have a window in which to place your bets. After that, you’ll be dealt two face up cards, while the dealer will get one card face up, and the other one face down. Beyond this point, you’ll have the following options:

  • Hit – Draw another card. 
  • Stand – Stick with your current hand. Generally speaking, you should always stand on 17, unless it’s a soft 17 (a 17 with an Ace, which can count for 1 or 11). 
  • Split – If your two cards are the same, you can split your hand and play them as two separate hands. 
  • Double down – Most live blackjack games will let you double down on your bet after the initial draw. It’s best to do this when you have 11, or a soft 16, 17 or 18. 
  • Surrender – Not available at every live blackjack table, this option lets you surrender your hand for half your original stake. 

In live roulette, you’re betting on where you think the roulette ball will land with each spin of the wheel. The European roulette wheel is made up of 37 pockets numbered 0–36, with all even numbers being black, odd numbers red, and the zero pocket green. As with live blackjack, you’ll usually be given a 15-second window in which to place your bets before they’re locked in and the wheel is spun. 

There are two types of bet in live roulette — outside bets and inside bets — but each of these represent a range of different options. Let’s take a closer look at the different outside and inside bets: 

Outside Bets 

  • Red/black – You put your money on the ball landing on either a red or black pocket, which will pay out at evens. 
  • Low/high – A bet on whether the winning number will fall within 1–18 or 19–36. 
  • Odd/even – Betting on whether the ball will land on an odd or even number. 
  • Dozen – With a dozen, you can bet on one of the wheel’s three sets of dozen (1–12, 13–24 or 25–36).
  • Column – The numbers on the roulette wheel are divided into three ‘columns’, so a column bet, like the dozen, will pay out 2-to-1. 

Inside Bets  

  • Straight up – A bet placed on a single number. 
  • Split – This is a bet placed on two adjacent numbers, and to make one you’ll need to place your chips on the line between the two in order to make the bet.
  • Street – A street is a bet on three consecutive numbers, and is made by placing your chips at the end of the row of your three chosen numbers.
  • Corner – A corner bet predicts that the ball will fall on one of four numbers. Place your chips on the corner where all four numbers meet. 
  • Line – This is a type of split bet that’s placed on 6 consecutive numbers. Put your chips on the outside border where the lines meet in order to place it. 
  • Five – A five bet is exclusive to American roulette, where the roulette wheel includes a double zero. To win a five bet, you’ll need the ball to land on 0, 00, 1, 2, or 3.

Baccarat is a classic casino game that is perfectly suited to the live casino. The premise is simple: bet on which hand you predict will be closest to 9, or on a tie, from either a two- or three-card draw.

All number cards are worth face value, 10s and picture cards are worth 0 and Aces are worth 1. If you go over 9, then the second digit is the one that counts – so if you have a total of 17, then you would have a hand value of 7. 

Here’s a quick summary of some other important rules for punto banco, which is by far the most common live baccarat variant: 

  • If you draw between a 0 and a 5, a third card is drawn.
  • You stand on a 6 or 7.
  • An 8 or a 9 from your first two cards — known as a ‘natural’ — is a winning hand, which ends the round.
  • Whether the banker is dealt a third card depends on the player’s hand.

All wagers are placed before any cards are dealt, so once you’ve placed your bet, everything else will take care of itself. From a live casino perspective, this gives you plenty of time to interact with your fellow bettors, which makes baccarat a much more relaxed and social gaming experience.

Live game shows come in various shapes and sizes, so there are no set rules to follow when it comes to playing these types of games. With that in mind, we highly recommend that you familiarise yourself with each game’s particular rules before placing any bets. 

A number of live game shows — such as Evolution’s popular Monopoly Live title — will be related to more familiar games like roulette, in which case you can follow similar betting principles when placing your wagers. 

Generally speaking, the most important thing when playing live game shows is that you read through all the rules, and that you’re careful with your spending. These games, perhaps more than any other online casino game, are meant to be enjoyed, so keep your bets reasonable and have fun!

Bankroll Management

Effective bankroll management helps keep your live casino experience light, fun, and enjoyable, and is essential to ensuring that your gambling habits stay healthy. All of the best live casino sites will let you set your own spending limits, and it’s important that you’re honest with yourself and what you can afford. 

You can also manage your bankroll by following established betting strategies. Below is a quick breakdown of the most popular betting strategies, which are most commonly associated with roulette and blackjack, but can also be applied to some live game shows. For each of these methods — which are all based, wherever possible, on even money bets — we recommend you start with the lowest possible stake. 

  • Martingale – The Martingale is a negative progression strategy, which means that you increase your bet with every loss. In this case, you double your bet every time you lose, and reset when you win. It’s based on the idea that you’ll recover all your losses the next time you win, although the required bet sizes can often hit table limits or be greater than your remaining balance. 
  • Paroli – The Paroli is a positive progression method, and is the reverse of the Martingale. 
  • D’Alembert – The D’Alembert is another negative progression method. After deciding on a base unit, often around £1, you increase your bet by one unit every time you lose, and decrease it by one when you win. If you’re more comfortable with a positive progression method, you can opt for the Reverse D’Alembert. 
  • Fibonacci – Unsurprisingly, the Fibonacci betting pattern follows the Fibonacci sequence, moving up every time you lose, and going back two numbers when you win. For those not aware, the sequence goes as follows: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34…

Of course, none of these strategies are foolproof, and should never be wholly relied upon, but they can be an effective way of keeping your spending in check. Remember, though, that you should never chase your losses, so call it quits if you hit a losing streak or have reached your budget for the session.

House Edge and RTP

House edge and RTP — the Return to Player rate — refer to the amount of money that will theoretically be returned to the house and the player throughout the game. For example, the RTP for live blackjack tends to be around 99%, which makes the house edge roughly 1%. It is important to bear in mind, however, that these figures are completely theoretical and have no bearing on each individual game. If you bet £100, the chances of you returning with £99 are much slimmer than these figures imply. 

Other Things to Keep in Mind

So far, we’ve covered all the basics in terms of different live casino games, rules, and strategies, but just so we don’t miss anything out, here are a couple of extra factors to bear in mind at live casinos.

Game Pace

Unlike with other online casino games — like slots and RNG table games — players don’t control the pace of the game when playing at live casinos. When you enter a game you’ll be thrust straight into the action and will have to play at the dealer’s pace, but there’s still no need to rush into placing bets. When you join the game, watch a couple of rounds and consider the bet you want to make before wagering your cash. 

Player Etiquette

You’re interacting with real-life professional dealers when playing live casino games, and players are expected to behave as they would at any land-based casino. It’s important to be respectful to both the dealer and your fellow players when using the live chat functions, or you may run the risk of being kicked from the game or even having your account suspended. 

Responsible Gambling

Live casinos can be tremendous fun, but all that can change if you don’t stay on top of your gambling habits. Please make sure you’re gambling responsibly by only betting what you can afford to lose and taking regular breaks. For more help, advice and information, consult our expert guide to responsible gambling.

Find Your Next Live Casino Site

Now that we’ve run through all the various different live casino games and how best to play them, you should be ready to have a go for yourself. To get started, browse through our reviews of all the best live dealer casinos, take your pick and start playing!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes, all of the sites recommended on this site are licensed by the UKGC — the UK Gambling Commission — which means that they are fully compliant with regulatory standards of fairness and safety.

  • Bonuses such as matched deposits are sometimes usable on live casino games and are a useful way of playing without having to spend too much cash, but they will seldom contribute to clearing your wagering requirements.

  • Every site featured in our list of the best live casinos offers a fantastic range of different titles, from top live dealer software providers like Evolution Gaming and Pragmatic Play. Many sites will offer the same games, so it’s really down to which site ticks all your other boxes.

  • As with all other online casino games, live dealers are games of chance and there’s no surefire way to win. However, following betting strategies and playing games with high RTP rates may give you the best shot at limiting your losses. 

  • No, you can’t play live casino games for free. That said, you’re free to observe live casino games before placing your first bet.

  • Once you’ve signed up, you can add funds by hitting the deposit button (usually in the top right or left corner of the screen), selecting your preferred payment method with the amount you’d like to deposit, and then verifying your payment with your card or login details. 


Robbie Evans headshot

Robbie is an Editor at TopRatedCasinos who joined us in 2022 and has a year’s experience in the gambling affiliate space. Having quickly built up his expertise in all things casino — particularly in the arena of online payment solutions — he’s tasked with writing up guides and reviews across TopRatedCasinos, along with having a big hand in developing the way we format the site to best suit our users. In his spare time, Robbie is a keen sports fan, film buff, travel enthusiast, and all-round thing-liker.

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