Live roulette

Looking for the real thing? Play roulette online with live dealers!

Live roulette has taken the world of internet gambling by storm. Using sophisticated video streaming technology, online casinos can beam real roulette games from dedicated studios and working casinos to millions of players around the world.

What is live roulette?

It’s easy to see the appeal of live roulette. Aside from combining an authentic casino experience with home comforts, the presence of a real wheel operated by an actual human being provides assurance that everything is being conducted above board. After all, not every player likes to entrust their cash to a random number generator.

You can also sometimes use live chat to interact with the croupier and other punters, creating a much more communal entertainment experience compared to virtual betting.

  • Live roulette online

    The vast majority of live roulette games are played via the internet. The rules are identical to land-based roulette and – rather than a random number generator – gravity and momentum decide who wins. Gaming software tracks the result and takes care of distributing winnings while the croupier operates the wheel.

  • Live roulette on TV

    Some casino brands broadcast live roulette games on television, employing glamorous presenters to oversee the proceedings while professional dealers handle the wheel. Players place their bets using their remotes, phones or via the internet.

  • Meet the dealers

    Many casino brands also provide dealer galleries, so players can get to know their hosts before they play. If you are a loyal customer, you may even be able to request that your favourite croupier man your table when you log on. Feel free to explore the casino websites below and take a gander at their dealer galleries.

How live roulette works

If you've ever played roulette at a real casino, then you'll know that between spins the roulette table is a hive of activity, as players hurriedly relinquish their chips before the croupier announces 'no more bets'. How does that translate to live roulette, where players at the table are located all over the world, watching the wheel spinning via their desktops, laptops and mobile devices?

First of all, nearly all live casinos that offer live roulette do away with the wagering table altogether. Instead, when you sit down at a live 'online' table, the only 'live' aspect of the casino action is the roulette wheel itself. This is fed to your device's screen via a live video feed, so you’ll need a solid broadband connection to enjoy the game.

The interface that you'll see at a live dealer casino will be practically identical to one you'd see when playing 'normal' online roulette. You'll be presented with a computer-generated graphic of the betting table on which you will be able to place as many bets as you want using as many chips as you want, as long as your bankroll stretches far enough. All bets from single numbers to red-or-black will be available, and if you are playing European or French roulette then the extra bets such as voisins (neighbours), orphelins (orphans) and tiers (thirds) will be available too.

Placing your chips is just a matter of picking them up and placing them on the virtual roulette table. All your decisions will be sent to the server which is controlling the wagering aspects of the game, and all wagering activities are strictly computer-controlled, so any chances of croupier-error are eradicated.

There will be a timer that will count down how long you have to bet before the live croupier spins the wheel. The limit is set by the casino but is usually around sixty seconds. You'll be one of many players playing at the live casino at the same time, but you will only be able to see your own chips. Once you're happy with your bet placement, hit 'confirm bets'. Just like in a real casino, once the 'chips are down' you will not be able to move them. If you don't hit 'confirm bets' within the time-frame all your chips won't count for that particular spin, so you'll just have to hope that your number doesn't come up!

Because there is no player-dealer decision-making and interaction during roulette – unlike blackjack, baccarat or casino poker – there is no limit to the numbers of players who can play at a live roulette table simultaneously. This, coupled with the fast-paced action, makes live roulette a more profitable game for operators.

The live croupier will announce 'no more bets' and set the roulette wheel spinning, and then spin the ball in the opposite direction. You'll be able to see the ball spinning around the wheel via a close up supplied via the video feed.

Once the ball lands, image recognition software will pick up the position of the ball and feed the winning number into the casino software for all bets to be processed. If you have won, then your bankroll will be adjusted accordingly, and the next betting cycle will begin.

Live roulette croupiers

The croupiers or 'dealers' used for live roulette are trained to be vocal and more 'showbiz-style' than the kind of dealers you get for blackjack or baccarat. The only time that the croupiers are required to be silent is the time between them releasing the ball and that time it lands in a slot. This means they have a minute to fill between each betting round while players are placing their bets.

Information about betting is relayed to the croupier via a terminal, meaning they will see who has been lucky during each spin. Any single number winners are usually announced. The croupier will also relay (erroneous) information about the game, such as which numbers are currently 'cold', and which are currently 'hot'.

The croupiers usually work in shifts of one hour at a time, and will chat happily about their day and their lives (whether accurate or not), as well announcing the lucky winners following each spin of the wheel. This is generally a one-way conversation though as very few live dealer casinos will allow the players to chat with the croupiers, even via messaging. Visionary iGaming-powered casinos such as Celtic Casino are an exception.

Naturally some dealers are more adept at 'banter' than others, so if you do meet a live dealer who makes your live roulette experience particularly entertaining, at the end of their session they will normally announce when they are back online. Dealers often take between two and four shifts during the time the casino is up and running, which for most of them is 24/7.

If you feel the 'chatter' function of live casino dealers is too off-putting and renders what is quite a serious casino pastime down to game-show level, then a couple of live casinos has 'live' roulette without croupiers. Both the spinning of the wheel and the release of the ball are completely automated.

There are also a few casinos where you can actually join in with the live action at a genuine, brick-and-mortar casino, rather than at a specially designed casino studio. Smart Live Casino and Dublin Bet both stream their games from fully-fledged casinos.  Here, the action is relayed to you via manned cameras, and you place your bets using the same kind of interface as with any other computer-based casino game.

The croupier will be too busy running the live table, so if you are expecting any dealer interaction, you are going to be disappointed. You will be able to hear the sounds from the live casino action, but the people there will not be able to hear you.

Types of roulette offered

There are three main types of roulette, as 'little wheel' aficianados will of course already know. The most common form of roulette offered at live casinos is European roulette, where the roulette wheel only has a single zero. French roulette is practically the same, with the extra bets known as neighbours and orphans available.

The other, less-favoured version of 'live dealer' roulette is American roulette, where the wheel has both a single and a double zero. The addition of the double zero doubles the advantage to the house, so if you get the option to choose between American or European roulette, always choose the latter.

The right casinos to play roulette

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