Do you like playing casino games?
Technology has made it possible for anyone with an internet connection to play their favorite games… in front of a screen.
The question is: which is better?
Would you rather sit at a real table, be dealt real cards, and give the dealer a real chip as a tip?
Or just click a button on your smartphone, from the comfort of your couch after a nice dinner?
To be fair, it’s up to you. You decide. And I’d love to hear your own thoughts about this, so please leave a comment at the end of the page.
As a dealer who has been working for land based casinos, I’d always prefer to play at a real casino.
But I do understand that there are pros and cons for each, and that online casinos do have advantages.
Here is a list of sixteen reasons you should, or shouldn’t, play at a real casino, and vice versa.
Once again, feel free to leave a reply and share your thoughts once you’ve read the list.
Here we go:
In real casinos…
You know exactly what’s going on
Not that online casinos are known for faulty software, or glitches, or scams.
Companies that have invested in online casinos are fully aware that players wouldn’t play if they couldn’t trust them.
This means these companies are happy to spend money to guarantee their sites (or apps) are fast and flawless.
And as for cheating, do you really think a business who already has a statistical advantage over the customer needs to cheat — with the risk of being fined millions?
Still, it’s great to be at a real casino and see everything in person. With no digital screens, and with the least amount of technology involved.
You interact with other people
I’m aware some prefer online casinos precisely because they don’t need to interact with anyone else.
But in the long run it can be a bit lonely.
In a real casino you’ll be greeted by the dealers, and will have an actual conversation with them (if you want to).
You’ll also get the chance to meet other players and potentially make friends.
I know quite a few people, especially poker players, who now know each other and go out together just because they used to play at the same casino.
You can play poker
Okay, okay. You can play poker online as well. And if you’re a professional, it may even be as profitable.
But it’s a completely different game.
Real poker is played at real casinos, where you are able to extract a lot more information from your opponents.
The way someone looks at their cards, the way they bet, speech play, and so on. These simply don’t exist online.
In online poker, good players will typically have a lower advantage. But most importantly, it won’t be as fun as the “real deal”.
You contribute to the economy
Probably not a reason you would think of, but one that’s worth mentioning.
If you drive to a casino in your area and spend your money there (whether it’s at the tables, or for food, or anything else), you are helping the local economy.
And guess what would happen to casino staff if everyone started playing online — they’d lose the job they love.
There are live dealers who “deal” online, but it’s just not the same. As a casino dealer, I would never want to do that. It wouldn’t feel authentic.
By playing at real casinos, you know who your money goes to.
You can play with friends
Although casinos are great if you want to go out solo, most people like to gamble with their friends or partners.
When they do, it turns into a much better experience — a great night out rather than just a visit to the casino.
Gambling becomes more enjoyable, and if you do win, you can celebrate with other people.
Pretty hard to do on an app on your phone.
Cards and chips are real
Whether you realize it or not, handling the chips feels good.
A famous quote says that whoever invented casino chips was a genius, and this refers to the player’s inability to see chips as real money.
But it’s not just that — it feels good to play with colorful chips, listen to their sound, watch the dealer manipulate them and pass them to you in a flashy way.
Same with playing cards. In games like three card poker, you can hold them and fiddle with them.
It feels like an actual game.
You’ll probably get free drinks
Actually, you’ll almost certainly get free drinks. Provided you play and not just look around.
Whether it’s alcoholic drinks or just soft drinks, it depends on where you play.
Either way, it’s a nice extra.
If you end up losing, they could still be the most expensive drinks of your entire life.
But if you get lucky and win — that’s a bonus.
You’ll see other people playing
The last advantage of playing at an actual casino, at least the last I can think of, is being able to watch other players.
Whether you want to learn their strategy, or simply observe their play, you get the chance to watch them. Can’t do that in online casinos.
You also get the chance to see people win (or lose) ridiculous amounts, or do so in ridiculous ways.
You may see a player cover 35 roulette numbers and still lose, or put their last chip on a number and it comes in.
You may see a high roller betting thousands on each blackjack hand and tip the dealer 50 percent of what they’re winning.
And so on…
In online casinos…
You can play whenever you want
Not all casinos are open 24/7.
What if your local casino shuts at 4 in the morning, and you feel like playing one hour later (don’t worry, it won’t make you a degenerate)?
The beauty of online casino games is that there’s no need to open or close tables, or send the dealers on a break.
Whenever you feel like playing, you just play. Easy as that.
Oh, and to cash out, you won’t have to wait in line at the cash desk.
You don’t need to leave the house
It may be cold. And dark. And rainy.
Sometimes you just don’t feel like leaving the house, even if it’s to buy groceries.
Provided you have a stable connection, online casinos are the easiest solution to this problem.
No need to jump in the car and drive in traffic, or dress up for that matter.
Minimum bets are usually lower
Let’s say the minimum bet at a live roulette table is $10.
That would translate to a minimum of $10 invested during each spin (about $500 per hour).
But if you’re playing at online casinos, chances are the minimums will be much lower.
There’s two main reasons for this:
- Online casinos want to encourage everyone to gamble. By lowering the minimums, the games become more accessible.
- Online casinos typically have lower expenses. No rent, no employee wages, and in some cases less taxes as well. So even if customers play for less, they still won’t lose.
You don’t need to use cash
If you hate to handle cash for whatever reason, or if you prefer not to carry a bunch of notes so you can feel safer, online casinos are ideal.
And as mentioned earlier, you won’t have to wait in line at the cash desk.
Although it won’t be the same experience of an authentic casino, everything will be much easier and faster.
On the other hand, one could say that in a real casino you could just show up with cold hard cash and play instantly, and that’s not doable online.
You can still play at live tables
Not only do some online platforms have real dealers — you may even be able to play on live tables.
For those who may wonder how this works, you simply watch a live table (for instance, a roulette wheel) on your screen, and bet as if you were betting at the table.
Does this replace the feeling of playing at a real casino?
Nope. But it’s pretty close, and you know you’re putting your chips on a number, or combination of cards, that isn’t generated by software.
You could still talk to a human being
I mean, sort of.
If you’re playing with a live dealer, you can probably type something in the chat, and they’ll try to keep you entertained and keep the conversation going.
Again, not the same as talking to the dealer in person. But it adds a human element to the otherwise “cold” atmosphere of the app or website.
There are always bonuses and offers
Most online casinos are very generous in terms of offers for new members.
Companies know that the value of the average customer, in the long run, will be much higher than whatever they offer them at first — that’s why they do it.
And the offers are legit, provided you follow the terms and conditions and don’t try to exploit a loophole or vulnerability (that would be considered cheating).
Real casinos may offer bonuses to new members from time to time, but online platforms are the clear winner here.
There are no dealer mistakes
And finally, assuming you’re playing a game that’s generated entirely by software, there will be no dealer mistakes. None.
The thing is, casino dealers are human beings. Even if experienced, they may be tired. Angry. Sleep-deprived. And occasionally, they will make mistakes.
You may think that sometimes a dealer’s mistake works in your favor, and you’d be right.
But it’s always better to play according to the rules rather than try to take advantage of some unexpected error.
Online vs real casino: which do you prefer?
I’m curious — if you do play casino games, including poker, do you prefer to play live or online?
Click the button below and let me know what you think! 👇