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Optical Character Recognition, or OCR as it’s more commonly known, is considered one of the most important parts of live online casino technology. 

It took over from radio frequency identification (RFID) when it came to reading the cards being played within the various games played. 

Despite it being used in a wide range of industries, OCR has arguably impacted the online casino sector the most.

What is OCR?

OCR technology is basically the electronic translation of a machine-printed text that would be encoded. OCR technology has been around for nearly a century, but has changed considerably since the early-mid 20th century. With online casinos, there are specific types of OCR cameras used to analyse and literally read the room. 

Cards are identified by their number, suit and symbols before being cross-referenced using a database before displaying them on the player’s screen, all in real-time. Techopedia comments that encoding is when data is converted into a different format, which is what the game control unit (GCU) does. The data is recorded from the OCR and displayed on the players’ screens. It records every minute detail and streams it to those playing the game via a video link. 

This technology is used in live casino gaming, which has grown in popularity in recent years due to better smartphones and faster internet enabling streaming without buffering. Games like Craps Live and Blackjack Live, found at MrQ, offer players a more immersive experience than traditional slot games. OCR technology is a vital tool that ensures these games run smoothly and quickly.

Live games closely mirror what it’s like to be at a land-based casino, so a dealer is as much a part of the game as the wheel is in a game of roulette on any site that has these types of games available. OCR would record and stream the dealer spinning the roulette wheel, dropping the ball onto it, and they would see where it would land on the wheel. 

How is OCR used in live online casinos?

The player can easily follow the action in what’s considered real-time, as defined by Microcontroller Tips. It’s what makes it resemble being at a land-based casino, when, in reality, the player could be anywhere. For the dealer, it’s a more natural environment for them to work in, as it mirrors what they would typically do if they were working at a land-based casino. 

OCR records everything, so if there’s a dispute in the game, the casino only has to look over the recorded footage to determine what’s happened. Once the casino has seen it, they can then settle any dispute, or answer any query, accurately. 


Don’t forget there’s more than one camera in the game, all poised at different angles in a studio that’s linked to a casino’s control centre. This means the casino can get an accurate view of the game action as it happens and almost instantaneously if a replay is required. 

Using OCR technology in live online casinos has benefited it and its players, alike. Players are able to see their cards on their screen, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or laptop. The images are clear and precise. In turn, the casino is able to refer to OCR technology if there’s a dispute or query about a hand played. 

This technology means that the live gaming experience is as accurate as possible. It’ll be interesting to see where else OCR can make an impact.