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Actual Gaming Review

While there’s nothing really wrong with live dealer platforms that broadcast their games from studios, it’s not quite the same as seeing games that are coming from the floor of a real casino. No matter how much work companies put into giving their studio sets an authentic look and feel, it’s hard to replicate the noise, traffic, and energy of a true brick-and-mortar resort.

That’s not a problem when it comes to Actual Gaming, a live dealer developer that was founded in 2015 out of what was formerly known as Vuetec. The games that you can play through Actual come from real world casinos based in the Dublin, Ireland area, giving them the most authentic feel possible. On the downside, there aren’t many of these games available yet, though officials have said in interviews that more games could be coming in the future.

Only Two Games to Play

At the moment, Actual Gaming is only providing two games. Both stream primarily from the Fitzwilliam Casino, though there are some additional locations used at times. You can choose from baccarat and roulette, with no blackjack or other options available at this time.

One of the coolest things about this interface is the fact that you’ll be dropping in on real live games that are being played by gamblers in person at the same time you’re making bets online. For instance, if you’re taking part in a baccarat game, you’ll get to watch gamblers place their own bets at the live table over the video stream. The video quality is fairly good (though the feed is small), making it easy enough to follow along with the action, and the cameras change to zoom in on key points in the action (such as seeing the final hands in baccarat, or the ball coming to a stop in roulette).

That video feed will normally take up the top-right corner of the screen, where it is large enough to follow but is not the focus for the player. Other information is included in the top left, such as the results of recent hands or spins. But most of the screen is devoted to the betting area, where players can place their wagers. The large layout makes it very easy to place your bets without making mistakes, making the entire interface very user-friendly and easy to navigate.

When it comes to the games themselves, you are likely to be disappointed: not by the actual games, but rather by the lack of range. First up is baccarat, which is presented in only one variant form. Rather than the standard version of the game, you’ll be playing Super 6 Baccarat, which is also known as a no-commission game. While a standard game would pay you even money minus a 5% commission on winning banker bets, this game does away with that commission. Instead, the house gets an edge by only paying you 1-2 odds on a winning banker hand if that hand has a score of exactly six, while all other wins pay out at full even money odds. Player and banker pair side bets are also offered.

Your other option is a European roulette table, which uses much more standard rules. You can use either the traditional layout or the racetrack to play your bets, with all payout options being as you would expect. While this game is also broadcast live from the Fitzwilliam Casino – again with live players also placing bets in person on the same spins as you are – there is an alternative version that comes from the Penthouse Casino during the overnight hours. However, these games are functionally the same, so it’s only a matter of style that might make you pick one over the other.

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Designed for English-Speaking Audiences

You’ve probably already figured out that since Actual doesn’t use studios, and instead broadcasts from casinos in Ireland, these games are only available with English-speaking dealers. That doesn’t mean that other players can’t participate in these games, of course, but it does make it clear where the focus is. That’s a bit surprising, considering the fact that the gambling sites that utilize this platform tend to make their games available rather widely around the world, but there’s really no way around it if you’re using brick-and-mortar tables (and their dealers) to power your games.

One of the things we really like about this platform is the ability to play for free. This fun or practice play mode is perhaps another feature made possible by the partnership with a live casino: after all, these games are already running with real players anyway, so there’s no cost to let people practice for free online.

If you’re ready to play for real money, then the stakes levels available will likely work for you, provided you aren’t a high roller. Table limits are usually expressed in euros, and maximums tend to go as high as €1,000, which should be plenty for your typical player.

Limitations Hold Down Potential

If you simply look at the final product that Actual Gaming delivers to your computer, it’s easy to see that this company knows what they are doing. The games work perfectly without any bugs or slowdowns, their interfaces are intuitive and easy to use, and the use of real casino dealers ensures a level of professionalism and a minimum of mistakes during the actual gameplay. These are all critical to a good live dealer experience, so kudos to Actual for putting in that level of care into their product.

The problems come with the severe limitations of this platform. These days, two games similar isn’t enough to make yourself competitive, with three (blackjack, baccarat and roulette) being the minimum and many providers going well beyond that. The English-only dealers didn’t bother up, of course, but we can see that being a limiting factor as well in a lot of markets. The fact that you’re peaking in on actual casino games comes with some downsides, too: if you like interacting with dealers, you won’t be able to do that here, as the dealers are focused on working with the players at the physical table right in front of them.

Overall, then, it’s hard to give too much praise to the Actual Gaming package at the moment. While the games that are there are quite good, there simply isn’t enough content to make it one of the better providers on the market. We expect this will improve as time goes on and more games come online. But for now, while these games are perfectly good if they happen to be on a site you play on, there’s no reason you need to go out of your way to try them.

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