PokerStars Joins the Live Dealer Revolution

The evolution of online casino games over the last ten years has been immense, but one of the most impressive products to hit the virtual shelves in recent years is live dealer casino games. Combining the best aspects of live casinos with the efficiency of the Internet, these games have become popular with seasoned grinders and novice alike. In fact, such has been the growth of these games that other gaming outlets like those found at are now looking at them as a way to bolster their profits.

The Evolution of Live Gaming


The proliferation of live dealer tables over the last three years has taken place thanks to a range of factors. Both technical and social, the online gambling world has undergone a transformation in recent years and that’s allowed operators to offer live streams in crystal clear quality (so clear they are now being used on space missions).

Although live streaming technology has been around for a number of years, the initial uptake by many of the larger sites was slow because the streams were often unreliable and the connection between players and dealers was awkward at best because of underpowered hardware.

Because of this, operators were reluctant to invest heavily into these games because it risked alienating professional players. However, as the software has been refined and gaming laptops and desktops have improved, developers have been able to fuse HD cameras with RFID technology and create a more dynamic interface. Thanks to this evolution, more operators have taken a chance on live dealer tables and the gaming community has responded in kind by flocking to the tables.

How Do Live Dealer Tables Work?


Improvements in live dealer technology have created a more immersive interface for players and now they barely realise the game they’re playing is being controlled by someone in a remote location. The way the system now works is that an operator will have its own branded tables inside a specially designed studio kitted out with HD cameras. Focused on highly trained croupiers and dealers, these cameras capture the cards as the move across the table.

On the other side of the screen, the player can then see this action both visually and virtually thanks to the RFID readers on the table. As the cards or markers are moved, special sensors pick up the movements and translate them into signals that are then displayed on the screen. Putting all these facets together creates a back-and-forth relationship that’s as smooth as traditional online casino games.

PokerStars Goes Live with Live Dealer Tables


The latest player to join the live dealer market in recent months is the world’s leading online poker provider: PokerStars. After expanding its gaming options to incorporate casino games back in 2014, the operator is now streaming live dealer tables thanks to a partnership Latvian software provider, Evolution Gaming.

Released at the start of March, with the new games initially available for Windows platforms, PokerStars’ new roster of games is now available on .COM, .UK and .EU platforms through the recently released PokerStars 7 game client.

The latest addition to the poker site’s gaming options comes one month after a beta testing phase took place on the operator’s Spanish platform. The local launch was a huge success by all accounts and now players across Europe will have the chance to ante-up and compete against highly trained live dealers and croupiers across four games: roulette, blackjack, baccarat and casino Hold’em.

Although the tables will be situated inside Evolution Gaming’s studio in Latvia, PokerStars will have its own dedicated area and all the equipment, as well as the croupiers, will be sporting the site’s familiar branding.

Betting for PokerStars’ live dealer blackjack tables starts at $5 per box and ranges up to a bankroll busting $2,500 per bet. This dynamic is the same for baccarat and casino Hold’em, but if players want a less expensive experience, then PokerStars’ live roulette allows players to spin the wheel from as little as $0.25.

Taking Live Dealers Tables to a New Level


As well as a standard selection of live casino games, PokerStars will be unveiling a unique version of roulette known as “Immersive Lite Roulette”. Although the game will basically be the same as any other version of roulette, PokerStars believes a series of HD cameras dotted around the wheel will make it a more engaging experience for players (you can make this even more immersive using the Siberia V3 Prism headset).

The main premise behind these games is simple: instead of having a single camera focused on the table, Immersive games offer multiple points of view. As well as giving players more peace of mind when it comes to fairness by taking the place of a random number generator (you can see every angle) and these games put the player directly on top of the action.

When the croupier spins the wheel, the player is first shown the roulette table from a bird’s eye view. However, once the ball begins to move, the cameras zoom in and out of the wheel, tracking its movements before finally moving in close to reveal the winning number. For some players this new way of viewing the game will be nothing more than a series of camera tricks; however, for the developers, it’s a triumph of technology and experience.

As with all technology, live dealer games will continue to improve over the next five years and that will open the doors to even more opportunities for players. PokerStars’ Immersive games take the engagement with live dealers to a new level, but as the decade comes to a close its likely these games will be more interactive thanks to customizable camera angles, betting styles and event settings.

PokerStars Leading the Live Arena


However, as it stands today, PokerStars’ live casino will initially be available through its downloadable Windows platform: PokerStars 7. Each game can be accessed via the “casino” tab in the lobby and players from around Europe have the ability to join special tables catering to their local dialect, including English, German and Spanish. Additionally, each game has a recap feature that allows players to look back at previous results and refine their strategy based on what’s already happened.

Following the initial launch, PokerStars has plans to add more features in the coming months, including Mac and mobile provisions for Android and iOS users. This movement towards an expanded mobile range will be another step forward for PokerStars’ growing casino brand, as well as the igaming industry as a whole.