What’s the Difference?
Regular readers of this site will be well aware that there has been a shifting online casino landscape in the last few years. On the one hand, you have the virtual section of a casino site, featuring, video slots, table and card games, scratchcards, arcade titles, and so on. And, on the other hand, there is the newer section of live dealer gaming. At first the latter concentrated on brining card and table games with real dealers directly to your device, but it is now focusing on other types of games, including live slots.
Not every casino has live slots, but some with a comprehensive selection of live dealer games do include live slot machines as part of their repertoire. Playtech, the noted developer of casino games and software, is probably the global leader in this respect. It is really promoting the idea of live slots as the next phase in casino entertainment.
So, what exactly are live slots? And are they worth your attention? The first question is easier to answer than the second. Live slots are games played in a studio setting. It’s more like a game show format than anything else, with a croupier acting like more of a host. People playing along at home place their bets as they usually would, the reels spin and the players win – and lose – as a community.
Popular titles the same as original versions
Perhaps the most important thing to say is that the games are exactly the same in terms of functionality, payouts, bonuses, and so on. So, for instance, Playtech’s God of Storms Live, a popular game based on the exploits of Aeolus (the Greek god of winds and storms), is exactly the same as the standard online version. Crucially, that includes giving players a chance of winning one of the four Age of the Gods progressive jackpots linked to the game. The same rule applies to Buffalo Blitz Live slots, which offers exactly the same gameplay and rewards as the ultra-popular virtual version.
Thus, as to answer the question of live slots being worth your attention, you must ask yourself how you want to play, not which games you are playing. By that we mean playing traditional slots is usually considered a solitary experience, whereas playing live slots is a shared experience. You can even glean an insight into this concept with Playtech’s terminology in describing the games – it calls them “Community Live Slots”.
A more communal experience at the online casino
And, that’s the rub here: The arrival of live slots on to online casino platforms is not designed to give players a new type of game. Instead, the idea is to deliver a new way to play popular casino games. The point is that you can get social by chatting to the host and other players as you play. The fact that everyone is aiming for the same outcome – a winning spin – adds to the communal theme that you experience.
We do predict that many more live slots will arrive in the coming years. We have already seen other developers like NetEnt experiment in the area with games like Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt. Others too, including Evolution (which acquired NetEnt in December last year) and Pragmatic Play will surely enter the arena with more ideas sooner rather than later. It’s all adding to a more communal experience at online casinos, and that can only be a good thing for the industry.