Along with blackjack and baccarat, roulette is one of the casino games offered at most live dealer casinos. If you’re a fan of roulette, this is a format worth trying out. It combines the convenience of online roulette play (ie, no need to travel any further than your PC), with the assurance of a real roulette table and ball and no reliance on random number generators to dictate the spin outcome.
The concept is simple. Somewhere, in either a real bricks and mortar casino or a purpose built dealer studio, a roulette game is conducted by a dealer or croupier in front of a web camera. The video footage of the game is streamed live and incorporated onto a bet interface that allows you to play the game from your PC.
While most online casinos do offer live roulette as part of their game suit, it is worth noting that while the game rules not differ substantially from one casino to the next, the attributes of their offering certainly do. This begs the question, which live roulette offering is best?
Well, at the risk of appearing to sit on the fence a little, the simple answer to this question is that it very much depends on your playing preferences. In terms of game rules, almost all live roulette platforms are offered in single zero, or European format. The other common variation of the game, American or double zero roulette is the exception rather than the norm in this format which is a good thing since the European version of the game has a smaller house edge. But aside from game rules, you will find a host of differentiating attributes across different platforms. Below are a few that you should consider.
Do you want to play a roulette game that is actually being conducted in a real bricks and mortar casino? A handful of casinos, notably those that stream vision from Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Card Club, give you this option. You are afforded the novelty of being able to watch players within the casino scrambling to lay their bets on the roulette table as the croupier calls ‘last bets’, and all play is conducted by the casino’s employed dealers.
Just be aware that there are considerable downsides to this offering as well. Chief among these is that fact that the platform provider is constrained to a degree in their ability to enhance the ambience of the video feed being provided compared to a live roulette game steamed from a purpose built dealer studio. The latter is better able to control lighting, view orientation and dealer/player interaction functionality to produce a far more engaging playing experience. Which is better? It comes back to personal preference.
Another key difference between platforms is the ability to play for free. The ‘try before you buy’ option can only ever be seen as a good thing that will allow new players to get a feel for the interface before playing for real. Very few casinos offer free-play on their live roulette games. Most require you to register a real account before even viewing the game!
A host of other minor differences are also worth considering. What is the time given to place bets between spins? What are the bet limits? What is the quality of the streamed video? Can you play the game directly from your browser or do you need to download a full game software suit? Where is the game streamed from? Where is the casino licensed? Where is the platform provider licensed? Do they stream games on television as well as their website?
The full list of considerations is a long one. While you don’t need to bear them all in mind, it is worth remembering that there are many different live roulette offerings out there, so shop around.
By Milton Shaw
Milton Shaw is a staff writer at live dealer casino information site Live Dealer Casinos which offers live roulette information and comparisons at Live Roulette