How to Play Live Roulette
Given that this guide is on live roulette, we will assume that you are already familiar with the game itself and focus only on the live aspect.
If you are new to roulette then we have a game guide on how to play it here that you should read first, and maybe make a few practice spins too before coming back.
In terms of gameplay there is little to no difference between live roulette and an RNG version of the game. It is a ‘best of both worlds’ type of scenario, bridging the gap between digital online roulette and a real life casino.
It achieves this by filming a real dealer playing a real roulette wheel in a purpose built studio (and sometimes even streamed from a real casino) and streaming the live feed to your computer.
It’s a little bit like a Skype call that you can bet on, and it is available whenever you want to use it.
How Live Roulette Works
You will usually find at least five different roulette tables in a live casino and often many more, as after to blackjack, it is one of the most popular games available.
Some of these variations may simply have different themes or dealers that speak a certain language, while others might have different table limits or even different rules, so be sure you understand the game you are playing before you start.
Once the game is loaded you will see something like the image above*. We are using a standard version of roulette by Evolution Gaming for this guide; other developer’s games may be laid out slightly differently but it won’t stray far from what you see here.
It’s a busy interface but don’t worry, a lot of the buttons have nothing to do with gameplay; for instance, those in the top right of the screen are to do with camera angles, sound, the chat box and things like that, the list on the left is just showing what other players won on the last game – nice experience enhancing options once you get settled in but of no real consequence.
All you need to pay attention to from a gameplay perspective is the wheel itself and the options in the bottom third of the screen.
On the left you can see your balance and how much money you currently have at stake on the table.
The middle section is the betting board which will become active during betting time, at which point you can also choose the value of the chips you want to place. Betting time is only a 15 seconds so you do need to be quite fast, but you can also save bets if you make the same ones each time.
On the right is the racetrack and neighbours betting options, as well as a list of the last 12 results.
Once your bets are placed and the timer has closed betting, the dealer will spin the wheel and the ball and then its just a case of your number coming in.
Your chips will remain visible on the board and the winning number will be marked so you can quickly see whether or not you have won - we didn;t as you can see. If you have won, the money is credited to your account instantly.
Since the betting board and chips are digital an unlimited number of players can play live roulette at the same time, all betting on the same spin of the wheel.
*Note: The dealers don't usually wear masks - this is an image taken in the middle of the 2020 pandemic.
Live roulette has some interesting variations that are a fun next step once you have become comfortable with the regular version.
Some of these variations wouldn’t actually be possible on any other platform, so the live casino is the only place you will find them.
One such example is Lightning Roulette, in which the computer randomly selects 1-3 numbers to become super charged with lightning once all bets have been placed. If you have a bet on one of the super charged numbers and the ball lands on it, your payout is multiplied by up to 500x.
This is an additional feature so the rest of the game works in the normal way, but the payout for a straight up bet has been reduced to 29:1 to accommodate the higher payouts on lightning numbers.
Spread Bet Roulette is another example, in which there is a real roulette wheel as well as a digital one on the outside. The digital wheel spins before the real wheel, so that all the numbers on both wheels lines up, which means the ball effectively lands on two numbers when it settles.
These numbers are added together to get the spread number, and you can bet on the spread as an optional additional bet if you want to; so for example you could bet that the sum of the two numbers will be between 19-33, or 34-54, and if you are right your spread bet wins.
These are just two examples of live roulette variations, there are others out there.
What’s The Difference Between Live and RNG Roulette?
The main difference is that live roulette is controlled by a real-life human dealer with whom you can interact via the chat box. You can also interact with other players in the same way.
The idea is to give players a more life like experience closer to what they would get if they made the journey to a physical casino on the high street. It is clearly effective, with more people thought to play live casino versions of roulette than RNG.
The obvious attraction is being able to see what is happening via a live feed rather than watching a computer simulation where the result is controlled by the random number generator.
Some people don’t trust these RNG based games (they are fair but we won’t go into that here, check out this article if you want to know more), so the live casino is a good alternative as the wheel is filmed from multiple angles and streamed live – confidence inspiring for even the most untrusting of gamblers.
Some players even develop a rapport with certain dealers and try to play when they are working. It’s a very human reaction and that’s something you can’t get with an RNG based game.
From a more practical perspective you can get through more spins per hour using an RNG based game, or alternatively slow it right down, since no one else has to be taken into account – it’s just you and the game. So an RNG game will give you more freedom and control, but a live casino will give you a more authentic and interactive experience.