Exactly six months after online casinos launched in Michigan, live dealer online casino games were added to the menu.
On July 22, Evolution launched baccarat, blackjack, Infinite Blackjack, roulette and Auto Roulette games from a studio in Southfield.
Live dealer online casino games were a game-changer in New Jersey, helping lift the Garden State to the top online casino market in the country.
The Great Lakes State market was already big after the Jan. 22 launch, and it’ll be interesting to see if the games take Michigan online casinos to another level.
Where can you play live dealer online casino games in MI?
The live dealer online casino games are now live through 10 Michigan online casinos.
Those casinos are:
- Golden Nugget Casino
- FanDuel Casino
- BetMGM Casino
- DraftKings Casino
- WynnBet Casino
- Stars Casino
- BetRivers Casino
- Caesars Casino
- TwinSpires Casino
- Barstool Casino
How do you play Michigan live dealer online casino games?
First, you need an account with an online casino platform that offers the games.
Above, we have links to get you set up with great sign-up bonuses. The operators will also have occasional in-app bonuses with live dealer online casino incentives.
When you’re logged on to your online casino of choice, find the live dealer games. As a popular feature, and especially a new one, the live dealer games are usually well-positioned and easy to find.
PlayMichigan took a spin through the live dealer online casino games to give you a rundown of what to expect.
Live dealer blackjack
The first thing to know is that table limits are high, even a month after launch.
One of the nice things about regular online blackjack is that you have the option to play for a long time and not have to worry about busting your bankroll too much. In most regular online casino blackjack games, you can play for $1 a hand.
Well … not in live dealer.
Two denominations of minimum bets were available as of late August (more than a month after launch): $30 and $50. There were three $30 tables and five $50 tables, each with a $5,000 maximum bet.
Each of the tables also feature a pair of side bet options: Any Pair and 21+3.
As for the gameplay, there’s a slight delay when you make your decision, and it will take the dealer a few seconds to realize what you want to do.
PlayMichigan went on a bad run on the first day, losing the first four $30 hands.
Down $120 in a few minutes. OK.
Then, when dealt 11 vs. a 6 (the best possible double-down hand), the game malfunctioned and we were kicked out of the hand. When that happens, according to the rules, bets are settled in your absence and you can see how you did in your History window. Disgusted, I didn’t even bother looking.
“How the outcome of a placed bet is handled when communication is lost during play depends upon the game and other circumstances,” said Jeff Millar, the North America commercial director for Evolution, when contacted by PlayMichigan. “But generally speaking, Evolution will work closely with the operator on the details and operators will provide a fair resolution to the player.”
We have played on and off for the last few weeks now, though, and those particular malfunctions have not reoccurred since that first day.
But some players have complained about other technical glitches. More on that later.
You can Bet Behind another player, but should you?
Even if the table is full, you can still Bet Behind another player. However, you are then mostly at the mercy of that player’s decisions.
But you can choose to buy insurance on an ace, whether or not the other player does. In addition, you can opt out of doubling a bet for a double down or a split when the other player does.
You cannot initiate either the split or double down if the “real” player does not, though. During one instance, a player we were betting behind didn’t elect to split 2s against a dealer’s 4, which we would have. Then, the player hit on 12 against 4 on that same hand (we would’ve stayed there). We ended up pushing on 19 on the hand, but it was a roller-coaster.
If you get mad at other blackjack players at live tables for taking your cards, Infinite Blackjack is not the game for you (Also: don’t get mad). Plus, if you’re an impatient player, this game might not be best, either.
But if you want to play blackjack, have a little fun chatting with other players and don’t want to play $30 a hand, then Infinite Blackjack is a fine option. You can bet a $1 minimum on Infinite Blackjack.
There are also two more side bets in Infinite: Bust-O-Rama and Hot 3.
You should know something up-front: It’s a slow game.
The dealer deals just one hand for everyone. You may be sharing a hand with hundreds of players.
That means you have to wait for all of their decisions. There’s a clock that gives you 15 seconds to decide what to do. With so many players, though, there will be hits. Lots of them. And splitting 10s, drawing against bust cards, all of it.
Worse, if someone inadvisably hits when they shouldn’t (inevitable with so many players), you could get irritated if those players take a card that would’ve busted the dealer out.
(Of course, the actual result could also work in your favor, but angry blackjack players never think like that, do they?)
There’s a chat function which can help you commiserate with your fellow losers or celebrate with the group of winners. To their credit, we’ve yet to see many Michigan players openly complaining about other players’ hits in the chat.
Baccarat on live dealer
To play live dealer baccarat, you first have to know how to play baccarat. (An important step, we think.)
It’s a very popular game in Asia, and is growing in popularity here in the United States.
The live dealer game is just as simple as the real version, and the $1 minimum makes it an attractive version to try out. Unlike blackjack, seats can’t fill up, and as many players can play as they want.
Other than that, it’s really pretty straightforward. It’s nice to have that empathy from the live dealer when you lose, or their kind words if you get a win (especially if they call out your handle when you do)!
Live dealer roulette
There’s a 50-cent minimum on the roulette table, and you don’t even need to add bets up to $5 or any other minimum. So this game is very accessible.
The main roulette game is Single Zero Roulette — as basic as it gets.
The ambiance of being able to hear the other dealers from the Southfield studio is also a nice touch. (For the record, you get this sort of natural sound in several live dealer games in Michigan, but here is where it was the most pronounced.)
As for Auto Roulette, it’s a faster version, but it’s not really a live dealer game.
According to Evolution, “Instead, the live game is powered by an advanced, fully automated, precision roulette wheel capable of 60 to 80 games per hour, 24 hours a day.”
It’s a quick one, so get your bets in fast. We were passively playing while completing other tasks and missed a few spins.
What happens when there is no pit boss?
At a live casino, sometimes you have to call the pit boss for mistakes or discrepancies.
With live dealer games though, that’s not as easily available as in real life.
In one recent example, one of the players in the chat said a freeze malfunction cost them a win in roulette. The dealer said to check with live support and assured the players it would be addressed. A player said live support told them they would get back to them with a ruling within 72 hours.
Millar of Evolution confirmed that, per regulation, the company has stored footage and data for all game play and works closely with the operators in resolving any disputes in 72 hours.
Interaction adds to enjoyment of live dealer online casinos
The dealers we interacted with are doing a good job, and it’s nice to hear the voices of real people after not much of that in the past year-plus if you’ve stayed at home more during the coronavirus pandemic.
They work in 30-minute shifts, and there’s a tip function available in each game. (Please tip them a bit, especially if you win!)
They’re responsive to player belly-aching during a losing streak and generally stay cheerful (earning those tips!).
There’s also the available chat function, and the dealer can see what you’re saying, and they respond constantly while they deal. According to Evolution, each operator chooses whether you can see players from other operators in your chat. If they haven’t, often you will hear dealers responding to chatter that you can’t see.
There were some early kinks, but there’s no perfect way to manage all of the issues one can face on the casino floor.
Live dealer online casinos games in Michigan are a nice addition
But live dealer online casino games are a perfectly viable option for Michiganders looking for some entertainment.
As in all things gambling, especially related to technology, issues can occur.
The answer there, as always, is to keep it fun and avoid wagering what you can’t afford to lose.