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What Are Live Dealer Online Casinos?
In typical online play, you have what's more or less a drawn or animated table on your screen that's designed to look as realistic as possible. While that's great for what it is, live casinos take an exciting approach with their games. The idea is that the games themselves are actually streamed using high-quality audio and video to play out as you watch. Simultaneously, everything is set up so that you can bet and interact with the gameplay just like you would with any other title. With such a tremendous presentation, along with other features like chatting with the other players at the table, it's not hard to see why these are popular options among Kiwis. But there is just too much options. So, our Top10Casinos.kiwi ratings and reviews will help players determine the best live casino to play at in 2023.
How we Rate the Best Live Casino Sites
Our reviews and ratings of the best live dealer casinos are centered around several different criteria. Some of these factors have to do with things all players will benefit from while others may depend on the person. However, we weigh them all together when deciding which options to recommend and which we do not. Here we'd like to introduce you to a number of these review criteria to help you to understand how our ratings are put together.
- Licenses - In most cases, the first thing we want to see is licensing status. This includes the license itself, the regulatory body that issued it and whether that license is in good standing.
- Customer Service - Another critical factor for us is how well their support staff is set up to take care of players. We are particularly interested in seeing service available around the clock.
- Game Selection - When it comes to live dealer casinos, the available selection of tables can vary wildly. Additionally, this includes other titles that aren't a part of that style of presentation.
- Player Security and Safety - Encryption for your data and proper auditing from the relevant licensing body are particularly important so that we know your information is safe and the game integrity is intact.
- Bonus Offering - Deposit bonuses, loyalty programs, no deposit free cash bonuses and other bonus offers help to boost your bankroll and give you a good value, and we look over everything that's available.
- Mobile Play - In the modern era, we expect a fully featured mobile app for both Android and iOS that is suitable for a variety of device screen sizes.
- Withdrawal Speed - We also want to see how quickly withdrawals are processed and made available because that's a key factor in how we rank the different options.
Live Games to Play Online for Real Money
A lot of different types of titles can be found in live casinos online, and many of them center around certain classic table games. However, several other types of options can be found that aren't found in any other form thanks to some of the most popular software providers in live casinos. In what follows, we'll show you which types of tables are available and offer recommendations of where to play them.
Blackjack is a natural fit for playing online with a real dealer. All of the best live casinos have at least some type of blackjack selection as a result. In most cases, you'll need to wager at least NZ$1 per hand, but you can find a number of different variations of rules available. Some of these even allow for jackpot payouts, and others maximize the number of players who can share the same table.
Mr Green is Best for Live Blackjack
For players in New Zealand, we recommend Mr Green for playing live blackjack. They have a great selection of more than half a dozen different styles available, and their minimum bets are in line with what the rest of the industry uses for this type of game. Moreover, they have one of the better no deposit and free spins bonuses out there with lots of interesting events that happen on a regular basis, which often allows play on these games.
Roulette has always been appealing to a lot of player because of how simple it is to learn while still providing a ton of depth. That depth goes even further when you add the social atmosphere since the game itself really lends itself to two sides competing against each other, particularly with the even money wagers. This happens across a number of styles, including some that allow much bigger payouts than usual. Wagers as low as $0.10 are typically available as well for many of the types of bets on top-ranked roulette games.
Spin the Wheel on the Best Roulette Games at Ruby Fortune
Our recommendation for the best online live casino for roulette is Ruby Fortune. This is a particularly reputable brand that's been around for a long time, and their selection of roulette games in the live casino space is super solid with 6-10 options available at any given time. This includes Lightning Roulette and its much larger top payouts worth up to 500x. Low betting minimums are also the order of the day at this site when you sit down to play at the roulette wheel.
Playing Baccarat in person has a rich history that goes back for several decades. To this day, it's still one of the most popular high stakes card games played in a casino. In most cases, you'll find three variations at the core of things with the standard format, a non-commission style with slightly different rules and options for a focus on the squeeze. Table minimums of 1 dollar per hand are common as well.
For Top Baccarat Tables Choose 888
Not only is 888 one of the most recognizable sites out there, they're also our best recommendation for live Baccarat tables. In this case, what you're getting first is a really good selection. Around half a dozen different types of tables can be found at any given time at 888Casino, which is a lot for this game. Of particular note is the squeeze-focused tables that have fewer hands per hour because of the high-quality video feed and camera angles that focus on revealing the cards.
Playing poker at live casino sites actually covers an entire genre of games instead of one specific set of rules. Options like Casino Hold'em play differently than something like Let It Ride or Three Card Poker despite having their roots in the same type of gameplay. Despite that variety, the min bets are usually one dollar per hand, though sometimes it's smaller on a per-bet basis since you're expected to make multiple wagers in most hands that you play.
Play Real Money Poker at Casumo
Casumo Casino is the top option we have recommended for the poker genre if you're looking for a great experience with real human dealers. Their outstanding reputation and service is one reason why, but their selection of different games within this genre is another. Casino Hold'em, Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold'em, Caribbean Stud and several other styles are available with the total game selection coming in at around a dozen titles. You can expect table minimums to be usual for the industry at around $1 per hand as well.
With traditional RNG style games, you expect a ton of slots at any particular site. However, this isn't the case when you're dealing with live online casino games. Slots in this format are actually relatively rare compared to other genres with this type of presentation. When they are available, however, the minimum bets are usually in line with the best online casino slots featuring a RNG at the $0.10 to $1 level per turn.
Try Live Slots at Royal Vegas
The star of the show at Royal Vegas is Crazy Coin Flip, the most popular slot played over video feeds that you can find anywhere. We've chosen Royal Vegas not only because they are one of the top online live dealer casinos overall but also because they have the most popular title in this genre. While you won't find a ton of games like this anywhere, they do offer the most popular of what is available in this particular group of titles.
Others - Game Shows, Craps, and More
Something really interesting about this particular space is that it led to innovation for game types that you can't find in any other format. This is especially true for the game show type presentation, which has become particularly popular. Players love these titles because they're a breath of fresh air from what's typically out there, and they also have accessible betting limits that vary but that are usually at least at the NZ$1 level or lower.
Play Monopoloy, Dream Catcher, and more at Betway
We have a number of reasons why we could recommend Betway because they are an excellent brand with a long-running reputation for staying on the cutting edge of what's available for players. This is a big part of why they are our recommendation for these non-standard titles. Their selection includes around a dozen different options like Dream Catcher, CrazyTime and more. With reasonable min betting requirements, these titles are particularly accessible here.
Top 10 Most Popular Live Games
Of all of the different types of titles out there, some have developed larger popularity levels than others over time. A lot of that often comes down to games that aren't available in the RNG format or that really benefit from the social interactions available in the live casino style. In the following, we'll take a look at some of the most popular and what you can expect from them.
- Ultimate Texas Hold'em - Evolution Gaming brings the most popular form of casino poker to life with their Ultimate Texas Hold'em tables. One dollar wagers start you off here.
- Immersive Roulette - Quality over quantity is the name of the game in this Evolution Gaming production. Minimum bet sizes of just $0.10 along with tons of camera angles makes this a top option in the genre.
- Dragon Tiger - With our preferred version by Ezugi, you can take part in a simplified style of Baccarat that only requires 1 dollar per hand as a minimum.
- Teen Patti - Ezugi has the most popular implementation of this game, which is known for how many players are particularly loyal to it. This is another title with just $1 min bet sizes required.
- Craps - The most popular dice game in this space has the most popular version produced by Evolution Gaming. Bet sizes vary based on the exact wagers you're looking for, but numerous options are available for only one dollar.
- Cricket War - Exclusively available through Ezugi, you get to see cards play out a simulated match of cricket with the ability to wager on various outcomes as things unfold.
- Side Bet City - Evolution Gaming wanted to bring their idea of the definitive poker game to life. You get a variety of wagers based on three, five or seven cards being dealt with $1 minimum bets and a lot of ways to play to choose from.
- Lightning Blackjack - Big multipliers worth up to 25x can be applied to your wins in this production from Evolution Gaming. You only need 1 dollar per hand to get started in this title, but some betting options can require further wagers.
- Ultimate Sic Bo - Ezugi's definitive version of sic bo brings players opportunities for much bigger wins than typically found in this game. Wagers as low as $1 per turn can be had with wins worth up to 1,000 times your bet.
- Surrender Blackjack - One of the best options for strategically minded players, Ezugi brings the surrender option to the blackjack tables to allow players to exit hands in the middle of play and get a portion of their wager back in return.
How Do Live Dealer Casino Games Online Work?
All of the top online live dealer casino sites work in more or less the same way. Games are played out on tables in actual studios or occasionally on brick and mortar casino floors. Even if you're playing in New Zealand, the studios can be located anywhere across the globe in many cases. In spite of that, you still get an excellent presentation through high definition audio and video feeds. From there, the games have certain degrees of software integration so that you can wager on them like you normally would when playing online.
Exclusive Tables and Native Speaking Tables
An option that many Kiwis like to take is the ability to play at exclusive VIP tables. These include private tables where only certain people are allowed to play, sometimes even allowing you to play one on one with a dealer. Higher stakes games are particularly well known for this sort of thing, but many brands have tables exclusive for their players only that limit the number of people at the table.
One way you can see this type of thing used is with specific languages used at certain tables. This gives you the ability to choose tables where the dealer speaks the language, the game is presented in that language, and you get more people there to socialize with in that language. English, Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, Turkish, French and plenty of other languages are often available in this way.
Chat Options - Interact with the Dealers and Other Players
Generally speaking, the main thing many players look forward to when playing with live online casino dealers is the ability to speak with other players (and the dealer) through a special chat interface. A lot of people don't like the lack of social interaction that often comes with traditional style games, and this interface solves that issue to a large degree. You can speak with everyone there, make friends and playing buddies. Many tables even allow you to tip your dealer just like you could in a brick and mortar location.
Live Dealer Etiquette - What Players Need to Know
While the social interaction at live casino sites is nice, there's also a certain etiquette expected among players. These chats are moderated, and that includes for both language, spam and general content. As such, players are expected to avoid being rude and to avoid using inappropriate language or subject matter. However, if that does happen with someone in the chat causing problems, the moderation teams are quick to remove those people from being able to talk in the chat.
Live Dealer Online Casino Games Versus RNG Games
The main difference between live dealer online casino games vs RNG games comes down to the ambiance and overall atmosphere. Additionally, the ability to interact with other players and the dealer is a part of this. If you just want to get in a quick few bets, and you don't care so much about that, then it may not be the right thing for you in that particular moment. However, most players love having such a great feel to their experience, and that's often lost when you play in the RNG style format.
Pros and Cons of Live Dealer Online Casinos
We fully acknowledge that different players have different preferences. No two players are exactly the same, and you'll want to know what to expect, both plus and minus, before jumping into playing with these tables. Here we want to make sure that you know the main advantages and disadvantages of playing with live casino dealers instead of going for RNG games.
- Many players prefer the "real" presentation over the animated style that comes with RNG titles.
- A number of games can only be found in live casinos with no RNG style equivalent.
- You get the option for a lot more social interaction in the live environment.
- The minimum bet sizes are higher at these tables for almost all types of games.
- Some table types have a limited number of seats available, and you'll be put on a waiting list for an available spot if you try to join.
Best Bonuses and Promotions For Table Games
You'll find many different types of bonus offers and other promotions at the best live casinos. With that wait, what works the best for you will depend on which specific games you prefer, how often you play and other factors. Nonetheless, we want to give you an idea of what you can find to make it easier for you to pick out what will be a great fit for you.
- Free Bets Being given free wagers on titles you would have been enjoying anyway is a great way to add value to your experience.
- Deposit Bonus These bonuses are based on a match percentage of your deposit in most cases, and they're the most popular way to get rewarded for your play.
- VIP Programs With loyalty programs like this, players are able to earn points through all real money play, which can then be traded in for bonuses, free chips and other ways to add value to their balances.
- Other Bonus Offers A lot of creativity has went into other types of promotions like leaderboard competitions and tournaments with bonus prizes, so the various sites can often just come up with something fresh and new at a moment's notice.
How To Choose The Best Live Casino
Each player will have different priorities to some degree when picking out the best online live casino for them. The way to navigate this to make your own decision is to know what the primary factors are and to then use those however you want to pick out where to play. In an effort to help you along, here we have some of the major factors to take into consideration and weigh together when making that decision.
- Betting Limits - Looking for available betting limits that are what you're aiming for is particularly important with live casino sites.
- Mobile Interface - Some games of this type have fairly large layouts like craps and roulette. Zooming can make this more viable on mobile devices, particularly smartphones with smaller screens.
- Promotions - Regular promos that target these titles specifically will always be a big help to your bottom line. However, you can also consider any bonus terms and conditions as well.
- Software Provider(s) - Knowing who is running the games helps you to immediately know a lot about the available experience.
- Private Tables - Most live casino sites, but not all, have private tables available. However, you should check ahead of time if this is something you really want to experience.
- Industry Awards - Seeing which places have picked up awards for their efforts in general, but also in this particular sector, can make it a lot easier to decide which will give you what you're looking for.
- Game Selection - If you like the games in general, looking for a large collection is key. On the other hand, if you want something specific, then make sure that particular option is available beforehand.
Live Dealer Casino Software Providers and Studios
A number of different companies and developers offer live casino games with studios in a variety of places across the globe. With that said, many of them have different titles available or different versions of the same games. As such, it's really useful to know a bit about the most popular providers, the live casino games they offer and what else they bring to the table. Here we'll look over all of the top live casino software companies and what sets them apart from each other.
Evolution Gaming (and NetEnt)
Generallly considered the king of the space, especially after purchasing Net Entertainment, Evolution Gaming has the most depth in the most genres of any other provider. Their work on "game show" style experiences for players has pushed this part of the industry forward a lot as well. With well over 30 types of tables available and minimum betting limits that are generally the lowest in the space, it's not difficult to see why they're so popular across the globe.
Playtech is a company that has made its name based on trying to put out a great product in virtually every type of online gambling. It's not surprising that they have a solid live casino offering in a lot of different languages. Their most popular title is probably their Age of Roulette progressive jackpot experience, but they have multiples games in the main genres as well like Unlimited Blackjack that has no limit to the number of players who can enjoy a single table.
Over 20 games are available through Ezugi in a total of more than nine studios. The main focus for this provider is blackjack and Baccarat, but they have titles like Teen Patti and Cricket War as well. Minimum bet sizes tend to be down around $1 or less for most games, making it a good fit for New Zealand players who want to get in on the action on a variety of budgets.
Often known as ViG for short, Visionary iGaming's claim to fame is focusing on quality over quantity. As such, they have fewer titles than most with a focus on blackjack, Baccarat and roulette. However, they are one of the very few companies on this list that allow a degree of "free money" or demo style play on their titles. Aside from that, most of their games allow minimums at the NZ$1 level or lower.
With Microgaming, the offering is slightly above average. You get access to tables for the standard mix of blackjack, roulette and Baccarat, but you also have options for games like Casino Hold'em and sic bo. Additionally, they have an added advantage in that their software is more widely available than some on this list, and it's common for their min bet sizes to be on par or lower than other providers, typically going down to the $0.50 level in some games and $1 on others.
Fresh Deck Studios
Fresh Deck Studios is another provider that focuses on quality over quantity. While the quality of their presentation is as good as you'll find anywhere else, their game selection is somewhat lacking. Their primary focus is on roulette, blackjack and Baccarat, which are found with virtually every other provider. Again, these games usually have one dollar minimums, which is also in line with most other developers.
Extreme Live Gaming
If you're looking for the live dealer casino titles produced by Extreme Live Gaming, then the bad news is that they no longer run after being purchased by Pragmatic Play. However, the good news is that their games were used as the foundation for the latter. Their legacy lives on in this way because they established quite an influence that later allowed Pragmatic Play to take over a large part of the market.
If you're a roulette fan, you'll love Authentic Gaming. They have several styles and variations like their Live Lucky Ball that you can't find anywhere else. Their XL Roulette tables are also incredibly interesting. If you want to play with a set that's a part of a brick and mortar operation with players walking right up to the table, then check out Casino Floor Roulette as well. While all of that is wonderful, they don't really focus on any other genre of game.
As one of the kings of live dealer play in the modern era, Pragmatic Play built on what Extreme Live Gaming initially produced and completely made it their own. They've produced many titles that aren't available in other places with more than 20 types of tables available, which has helped to make them super popular in New Zealand. Additionally, their low betting minimums of $1 or lower in virtually all of their games has given them a sizable reach as well.
Best Features of Live Dealer Games
Certain features are available in live online casino games that you can't really find anywhere else for the most part. We want to make sure players understand what these are and what they can expect from them as a part of their decision making process. Some players will care about certain features more than others, naturally enough, but we believe the vast majority of players will find at least a few of these points appealing.
- You get a lot of choice over which dealers you pick and the overall setting for many of the games.
- More side bets are available with these games on average than what you find with their RNG cousins.
- Tons of languages are available allowing players to group together to chat under a common language.
- Camera angles can be chosen at some titles so that you get the view that you prefer.
Popular New Zealand Payment Methods for Live Casinos
Players at the best casinos in New Zealand featuring live dealers get to pick and choose from a number of different banking options. These payment methods cover enough ground that everyone should be able to have both a primary and secondary option for deposits and withdrawals. Here we'll look over all of the most popular options and which specifics we think players should know before using them.
E-wallets - Poli, PayPal, and More
Electronic wallets work by allowing you to have a separate account that funds move in and out of. In a way, this acts as a holding station for your funds between your bank and the sites themselves. One big advantage to these options is that they usually don't have a minimum transaction amount, so the only limits would come from the casinos themselves. Additionally, they have fast turnaround times on withdrawals that are typically less than 48 hours.
Neosurf is a Popular Prepaid Voucher
Kiwis often use Neosurf for deposits, which is a form of prepaid voucher system. You fund your voucher with your initial purchase and then use that as the intermediate for adding funds to your account. However, the fees are higher in proportion to most deposits compared to other methods. Additionally, it's not available for withdrawals, which is a big drawback for many players.
Instant Deposits with Credit & Debit Cards
One option for players who want to deposit and get started playing quickly is a credit or debit card. Deposits for these typically go through right away or after a particularly short delay. Additionally, they can be used for withdrawals in most cases. With that said, fees can sometimes be average or slightly above average compared to something like electronic wallets, though there is no minimum deposit amount for the card itself, and instead, that will be set by the live casino in question.
Keep Your Winnings with Fast Withdrawals
Getting withdrawals as quickly as possible is something most players are interested in. While some of the above options can get those funds to you within 48 hours in many cases, cryptocurrencies can often be much faster. Bitcoin and Etherium are two examples of common crypto options with super fast withdrawals. With that said, some places have really fast e-wallet withdrawals as well, but that depends on the site in question.
Top Mobile Apps and Games
You can absolutely take your live casino play with you when you're out and about using your mobile device without losing any features. This is true for Android devices as well as those running on iOS. However, with games involved like roulette and craps with their larger table layouts, a tablet may be more appropriate than a smartphone. If you do have a smartphone, even one with a smaller screen, you can still play with no problem. All you'll need to do is use the zoom feature to make it easier to tap on specific table elements when placing bets.
What is a live online casino?These are places where you can play casino games with a real, human dealer over high definition video feeds.
How do I play live casino games?After creating and funding your account, you simply navigate to the game you'd like to play and get started. You can sometimes use bonuses like free chips to play for free.
Can I get a bonus to use at these types of casinos?Yes, bonuses and other promotions are available for these games. To claim a bonus at a live casino, head over to the promotions page and search for the most valuable bonus depending on your needs
How do I know the games aren't rigged?Our recommendations and highly-rated live casinos only include fully licensed and regulated options that are regularly audited for fairness.
Can the dealers see me while I'm playing the games?No, they are not able to see you because the video feed only works in one direction.
Are the dealers used real professionals?These dealers and croupiers are trained professionals not only in the games themselves and running a table but also in managing the software integration.
Can I play free live games?Visionary iGaming is the only popular provider that allows some degree of free play.
What happens if a table is full for the game I want to play?In most cases, you'll be shown a waiting list option that you can place yourself on while you wait, or you can pick a different game.
Can I play with a low budget?Some of these titles have wagers available as low as NZ$0.10 per turn. However, the table minimums are higher than in RNG style games.
Do these casinos offer no deposit bonuses?It's extremely rare for no deposit offers to allow play on these types of games.