You’ve heard of live dealer tables and online slots, but are you familiar with live dealer slots?
Live casino slots, or live dealer slots if you will, are a novel hybrid genre of online gambling games you might start seeing more at your favorite online casinos.
The concept is not baffling at all – live dealer slots are a mix of video slot and live casino game elements. But some players might be confused as to why are we meeting these games only now, and where have they been so far?
CasinosOnline intends to answer all those questions, and more.
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What Are Live Casino Slots?
Online casino games combine genres, themes, features, and mechanics: they mix and match elements to create new categories and subtypes to offer to the players.
However, we haven’t discussed every possible hybrid game category.
Those ladies and gentlemen, remain firm gambling game categories we never dared touch or tinker with until experts like Evolution and Playtech came along.
You might have contemplated the idea of live casino slots, or slots played in live mode like regular live dealer games. But have you ever seen or played one?
Live dealer slots are online slots hosted by real dealers, played in real-time inside custom game studios. The concept first appeared in 2011 when Evolution (who then went by Evolution Gaming) allegedly launched Mermaid’s Fortune. The game was supposed to be a live dealer slot with an ocean theme, hosted by a dealer dressed as a mermaid.
Sadly, the CasinosOnline team did not succeed in locating any substantial information about the game that would suggest it is playable today. Regardless, the example shows that live online slots have been at least contemplated within the last decade, but few successful examples arose from the said contemplation.
However, the year is 2022 and Evolution is finally launching a fully live online slot titled Crazy Coin Flip Live. Could this mean that Evolution is, once again, trying to introduce this hybrid genre to the audience?
And is the industry ready for a new form of gambling?
Let’s have a look at the pros of playing live dealer slot games, and then we’ll focus on previous notable attempts of creating a live dealer slot by eminent providers.
Pros & Cons of Playing Live Dealer Slot Machines
What are the advantages of trying out live slot machines? Are slots a type of game playable in live mode with a host?
Turns out, the hybrid genre does offer many advantages to the players. You get to
- Chat with the host
- Experience slots in a more socially open environment
- Play 24/7 with your favorite dealer
- Try something completely new to you
Live dealer slot machines are great because they offer you the chance to chat with the host and other players. This gives the slot experience a new dimension, creating a unique experience for all those involved. As you know, slots are notoriously isolated in terms of gameplay, as playing slots online is an entirely personal experience. You don’t usually do that with others! However, live dealer slots change that by adding social interaction via live chat to the mix. Moreover, big fans of the game are probably bored of the classic slot format, so a change like this could add spice to their adventure unlike anything else they’ve experienced so far.
Like everything in life, live slot machines also have bad sides. Just some of the disadvantages include:
- Small selection
- Higher stakes
- Fewer features
The biggest drawback of live slot machines is hands down the lack of content. This is an experimental game category, and it’s yet to take off. For now, we only have a couple of games that constitute live dealer slot games, so we’ll need to be patient if we want to see how this could pan out.
Another potentially unattractive feature is the presence of high stakes. Higher minimum bet limits mixed with high maximum bets signal that these games are created for the likes of high rollers, rather than low rollers and casual players. Regardless, we are looking forward to seeing diversity should this genre become popular.
The third downside to live slot machines is the lack of features in the studio. Buffalo Blitz Live, a classic live dealer slot, does offer Free Spins, but where are the other features? Granted, the original release is a simpler slot, but what about various types of Wilds and Bonus Bets? Could we see those in live dealer slot games? I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Buffalo Blitz Live (Playtech)
The first example of the live dealer slot games that we have had the pleasure of meeting is the now-famous Buffalo Blitz Live by Playtech. The live Buffalo Blitz slot is a live dealer form of the popular Buffalo Blitz online slot. Playtech Buffalo Blitz online slot is a classic.
It is a prairie-themed slot from 2016 inspired by American buffalo living in North American grasslands. The simple design and straightforward gameplay of the original slot made it one of the best-performing online slot releases in Playtech’s catalog.
Hence, in 2020, Playtech announced plans of merging its popular slot with live casino gambling, a creative niche Playtech knows very well. Soon enough, Buffalo Blitz Live, a Playtech live dealer slot, appeared in Playtech online casinos.
Buffalo Blitz Live is played in real-time. The host is in the studio but you do get a classic slot game reel grid. When you tune in, you will first see the host standing beside a massive screen where a slot grid stands. This host serves as the ‘spinner’ – they spin the reels by pressing the giant red button, not you.
You watch what is happening on the grid and should you land matching icons on a payline, you win.
Gameplay is the same as always, you just get to play with other people in live mode, and watch as the host spins the grid instead of you. If you want to play Buffalo Blitz Live for real money, we suggest checking out our favorite Playtech casinos.
Crazy Coin Flip (Evolution)
The latest experiment in the live dealer slot domain is the Crazy Coin Flip, a unique live game show release from the second quarter of 2022.
Namely, Crazy Coin Flip is a live slot. It is a live game show which incorporates elements of a live game and an online slot. The design is incredible – a colorful studio, a massive stage on which a wheel stands, and the host who leads the program and chats with the players. Moreover, gameplay features three separate phases in which your goal is to reach the main attraction – the coin flip, a wonderful game in which you can win a big sum of cash.
The game does present a unique mesh of slot and live dealer gambling, but this is not the first time we are seeing something like this. Even the company acknowledged that this is not exactly a revolutionary design, but rather a modern revamp of a crazily popular bonus game from Crazy Time.
If you remember Crazy Time, it is one of the biggest live game show releases for Evolution, to this day, remains one of the best entertainment shows Evolution has ever done. It has four special bonus rounds, one of which is the Coin Flip.
Coin Flip was an instant success, winning the hearts of many players who came to enjoy the incredible live gambling show. Considering how popular it became, Evolution decided to give it a new spin (sorry for the pun) and made an entirely new live game show centered around coin flips.
The Future of Live Slots Online
What can we expect to see in the future? Will live dealer slots become a part of our regular casino lineup or will we see it be just one of the many hit-and-misses? Time will tell. One thing is sure – software companies are always busy trying to devise the next big thing. And who knows? Maybe the next big thing is the live dealer slot genre! Hence, stay tuned for more info and enjoy our CasinosOnline reviews, comprehensive tutorials, and exclusive bonus offers.