Not so many years ago, the only way you could play Roulette was by making a trip to a land based casino. This all changed with the advent of the internet, which saw many online casinos pop up, offering the ability to play virtual Roulette as well as many other games. These games were successful in their own right; however they never quite matched up to the real casino experience. Online casino sites realized this and this led to the launch of live dealer casinos, offering a life-like casino setting streamed directly into player’s homes.
These games feature real croupier using a Roulette wheel, the only virtual part of the game being the betting area – the outcome of the bets depending on the spin of the real wheel. Live dealer companies employ dealers who are friendly, intelligent and attractive – usually females in their twenties. This gives the games both a professional and enticing air.
Below you’ll find an overview of live dealer Roulette games. This includes information regarding the main live dealer operators, bonuses, the advantages of live dealer casinos over virtual sites and live dealer Roulette in the US. You’ll also see an explanation of other games offered at live casinos – Blackjack, Baccarat and Casino Holdem.
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How Does Live Dealer Roulette Work?
Most live dealer studios are operated by specialist companies. They build studios, hire and train dealers and then license the games to the online casino brands. Studios are dotted around the world, with Riga (the capital of Latvia) a very popular destination. There are ‘general’ (unbranded) tables shared between many casinos and branded / dedicated tables for the bigger casinos.
From the player’s perspective, you’ll choose a table and a window will open showing the dealer, wheel and betting surface. You will then bet with your mouse, dropping chips onto your own virtual betting surface. Every 30 seconds, the dealer spins the wheel, places the dolly to show where the ball landed and bets will be settled by your computer. There is a social element to these games – you can chat to other players and dealers via a text chat box.
What Live Dealer Roulette Games are Offered?
The standard game is the European Roulette game, with the single zero giving a lower house-edge than the US ‘Double Zero’ variation. You will also find French Roulette at some studios. This is the same European wheel, though even money bets are returned at 50% when the ball lands on zero (this lowers the house edge even more).
Variations include Immersive Roulette from the Evolution Gaming studios. This is an enhanced game, with special effects like slow-motion replays adding a little interest to the game. You will also find Slingshot Roulette; this is an automated machine and is a faster game than the table with the real dealer. Some casinos will also have language specific games, and there is even one game where you can chat about Sports while you play.
Betting Limits in Live Dealer Roulette
Betting limits are usually higher than for the virtual Roulette games. This is to cover the higher overheads of the live dealer tables and slightly slower turnover. The actual limits will depend on the specific casino, with $1 for inseide bets and $5 for outside bets a common choice.
In addition there are dedicated high-roller tables. You may well find yourself playing at a dedicated table, with a dealer spinning just for you in these games. Betting limits at some casinos go into 5-figures for these games (total per spin).
Fairness of Live Dealer Roulette Games
Live dealer studios give you the peace of mind that the games you are playing are fair – you’ll see the ball spinning and landing right in front of your eyes. To ensure that there is no remaining doubt, many studios have a TV in the background with a popular news channel playing in real time.
There are 3 factors I like to consider before choosing any casino – including one offering live-dealer Roulette games. These are legitimacy of the casino brand, the details of their bonus offers and how well this casino looks after loyal players.
By sticking with the biggest and best known brands with many years of experience, you should be able to avoid the occasional bad apples which spring up in the industry. It will never hurt to double check that there are no major scandals or payment issues with your casino. Look out for a license, external testing of the games and plenty of ways to get in touch should you need to.
It is easy to double check the bonus offers at different casinos to make sure there are no hidden traps in the terms and conditions. The first thing to look for is how many times you need to wager through your deposit and bonus cash before it can be withdrawn. This varies massively between casinos. You will usually find games (including Roulette) are weighted in their contribution to this play-through. Making sure that the live dealer games are included upfront can save you a lot of trouble later down the line. You should also look out for special bonuses and offers for new players which are especially aimed at the live dealer casinos.
How well loyal players are looked after is often the deciding factor in choosing a casino. The best have reloads, comp point schemes, promotions and tournament entries every week for their regular players. Make sure that you’ll be looked after well before you make that initial deposit.