You can now play online roulette with an actual croupier through video streaming. Many online casinos are now making this option available in addition to their standard digital roulette games. It's the closest thing to standing at a live roulette table, and some people are finding they prefer the unique advantages that this hybrid game offers.
The Player's Guide to Live Roulette
This guide will explain the differences between roulette play at a brick-and-mortar casino and a live streaming table. We'll also talk about privacy, safety, security and whether or not you can expect a fair game.
Live Casino Roulette vs Live Streaming Roulette
Live video streaming roulette is a mix of what you'll find on a casino floor and what you'll find online. You get a human dealer and an actual wheel, but the rest of the interface is similar to what you would see in a standard online game.
One significant advantage over brick-and-mortar casino play is that you won't be able to place or change a bet accidentally. Touching the table during the “no bets” period is forbidden at casinos and can even get you removed from the premises.
When you play live roulette online, however, the croupier will lock and unlock the wagering interface at the appropriate times. This period also passes much more quickly than it does at regular live games, often lasting only a few seconds.
Unlike the standard online roulette games, the winning number is determined by an actual wheel that the croupier spins. Either the wheel will automatically link to the gaming software which reports the winning number, or someone monitoring the game will enter it manually.
You can usually chat with the croupier through a messaging interface and ask them for assistance when they aren't otherwise occupied. Some croupiers also like to make casual conversation with the table as the wheel is spinning, something that usually doesn't happen at live casino tables.
Is Live Roulette Private?
Legitimate online casinos do not record audio or video of their players at any time, so you won't be able to see or hear the other players at your table. Only the dealer is on the video and audio stream.
You are identified at the table only by your username, and most tables don't show it to the other players. The only way your username will become visible is if you choose to participate in the public chat window (if available). You can also usually opt to send a private chat message to the dealer that the other players can't see.
When public text chat is made available to members at the table, you can expect the typical standard of decorum found at any other chat room. Things like profanity, harassment of other players, impersonating other players, vulgar talk, or slurs will usually get you ejected from the game and possibly get your casino account suspended.
Is Live Roulette Secure?
Just about all of the casinos that offer live roulette get it as part of a package that includes all their other casino gaming software. As long as the provider's other casino games are above board, there's no reason to believe their live games are any different.
Live roulette is also tied into the casino's larger wagering and deposit system. If you're confident in the legitimacy of the casino, you can be just as confident in their live streaming games.
Is Live Roulette Fair?
Some people worry that live roulette wheels will be biased, or that someone on the opposite end will be manipulating the results.
These concerns are no different than those about the random number generator systems used for standard online roulette games. The answer is the same. Look for casinos that have a license from a reputable government agency, that buy their gaming software from a reputable publisher, and that voluntarily allow the fairness of their games to be inspected by a third-party certification agency. These checks cover live streaming games as well as the standard online games, all of which usually come from the same software developer.
Most of these software providers run their live games from a central location, and they have a pit boss on shift around the clock who can intervene if a player has a complaint concerning how the croupier is running the game.
Live Roulette Table Limits
Since there is a little more expense involved in running a live streaming game, you can expect the minimum bets to be higher than at standard online roulette tables.
Naturally then, if you're looking for high-limit roulette, live streaming games are a perfect place to find it. In general, you can expect live roulette table limits to be similar to the standards you'd find in major gaming destinations like Las Vegas and Macau. Expect minimum wagers of at least $1 at any given table. The more favorable European-style (single zero) tables may ask at least $5 per spin for live streaming play.
Will Live Roulette Croupiers Speak My Language?
If you speak English, then yes. Every casino that caters to English-speaking countries will have English-speaking croupiers on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
With other casinos, it depends on what regions of the world they primarily serve and from whom they have licensed their gaming software. For example, gaming companies based in the Philippines like Playtech and Microgaming usually have dealers that speak Tagalog, Spanish, and a variety of Asian languages in addition to English. If the games are run from Malta or a similar United Kingdom protectorate territory, expect a broad range of the languages commonly spoken in Europe (i.e., French, German, Italian).
Are You Expected To Tip Live Roulette Croupiers?
You'll notice a tipping window in many online roulette games now. There is no standard policy about tipping, however. Players are free to tip when and how much they feel appropriate.
The online world does not have tipping conventions because the games are too new. In places like Las Vegas, it is common to leave a small tip each time you win big, such as hitting a single number. If you're exclusively playing outside bets with lower returns, you can leave a tip when you leave the table if you've done well. Players who are losing money are not expected to tip, but some do at the end of their session if they liked the way the croupier ran the game.
Live Roulette: The Best of Both Worlds
Live roulette gives you a mix of the social appeal of a brick-and-mortar casino with the convenience and cost savings of online play. If the casino offering the live roulette table is reputable, you can expect a fair, safe, and secure game where your privacy is respected.