A rich and storied spectacle, roulette is one of the most beloved casino games in gaming history, featuring high payouts and uniquely structured betting options. Few games compare to the thrill of watching the ball spin around the roulette. Fewer yet allow players to craft complex strategies to build their bankrolls.
This article discusses live roulettes, the differences between the live and online variations, and why they're among the better choices for digital casino gaming.
What is live roulette?
Live roulette allows you to play the popular casino game online. In this digital version, players watch a live feed that features a professional human dealer and a physical wheel while players place their bets online. Live roulette tables are set in brick-and-mortar casinos or a studio designed to give the feel of a real casino. The digital version will never live up to the sensory experiences of casinos, but if you're looking for a quick and immersive roulette fix, it's the best you can get remotely.
Gaming services like Stake.com are leveling up the production value of live roulettes, coming up with different backgrounds designed to offer players a unique experience. The chat box brings another feature to live roulettes, allowing players to interact with the dealers. Because of this human element, you can play at the specific table where your preferred dealer is.
Additionally, you can see a physical wheel spinning in live roulette games instead of the computer-generated imagery you'd get from online roulettes. This also means physics dictates the results instead of random number generators (RNG).
Why play live roulette?
Live roulette merges the best elements of casinos with the convenience of the online gaming experience. Online players also enjoy the bonus of a lower house edge on multiple roulette game variations, which minimises losses and ensures there's something for everyone to enjoy. For example, live roulette on Stake features 15 games players can choose from, each with an exciting twist on the adored casino game. These include the following:
- Stake live roulette
- Stake lighting roulette
- Double ball roulette
While online casino games have been around for a while, live roulettes bring a more authentic feel to the digital gameplay, with a professional dealer facilitating the game set in a space resembling the ambiance of casinos.
Is it legal?
The legality of online casino games will depend on which country you wish to play in. Each country has its gambling authority or gambling control commission. This regulatory body exists to uphold local gambling laws, protect the rights of consumers and police unlicensed offshore operators. Regulatory bodies also provide licenses to gambling services operating in the country.
In the US, gambling laws vary from state to state. As of December 2022, online casino games are legal in the following States:
- New Jersey
- West Virginia
There are states lined up to make online casinos legal. However, the unspoken truth is that the enforcement of offshore casino gambling is lax. So, if you play in a state where it isn't legal, you won't get any protection from gaming commissions and the federal government. You just won't be able to stream games on Twitch.
Conversely, UK-based gamblers have a wealth of options when it comes to licensed online casinos. The same is true for Canada and Australia.
Online roulette defined
Before diving into this, it's noteworthy mentioning the subtle differences between online and mobile roulettes. Those who wish to get technical consider online roulette as those played on desktop, with mobile roulette being those played on phones and tablets. However, apart from the screen size players need to work with, the gameplay is essentially the same. So, for this article, “online roulette” refers to desktop and online versions.
Live vs. online roulette
Live and online roulette offer the convenience of remotely enjoying one of the world's most popular casino games. Both platforms have made incredible progress over the years to bring as authentic a live casino experience as possible. However, the two platforms still have some key differences in overall experience and gameplay. These include the following:
- Drawing winning numbers
As alluded to above, online roulette uses RNG to determine winning numbers. Game developers hire external auditing companies to ensure the gameplay's fairness. These organisations simulate millions of turns to assess the return-to-players and compare this figure with the game developer's claims. If you find it hard to trust RNGs, live roulettes become much more appealing as a human dealer facilitates spins on a physical wheel. This human element adds to the overall experience of live roulettes.
Online roulettes offer betting denominations ranging from USD$1 to $100. Most online roulette tables have a $1 to $3 minimum bet per spin. Maximum bets are usually capped at $500. The stakes are higher for live roulettes, with spins requiring a $5 minimum bet. Of course, this is understandable, as live roulettes have dealers and production teams to compensate.
If you're the type who prefers the human element, then live roulette undoubtedly has the edge. However, digital players usually prefer the ability to adjust the game speed of online roulettes. You can skip the visual theatrics between spins in the online format while the dealer controls the pace of the live roulette games, allotting time for players to place bets.
Conversely, some players prefer watching the actual spins instead of looking at some computer-generated representation of the proceedings. The thrill of watching the ball bounce around and over slots is undeniable and is a big part of why roulettes are very popular in the first place. The human element of live roulettes allows players to develop a preference for individual dealers. This familiarity can be a big part of the gambling rituals people have. There are also different casino atmospheres to choose from, adding to the variance and distinct gaming experience of live roulettes.
American vs. European roulette
There are two main roulette versions: American and European. Understanding the differences between the two will make adapting to other online roulette variations easier. You can find the primary differences between American and European roulettes below.
The American roulette wheel features 38 slots where the ball can land. The numbers 1 to 36 are in black and red, while “0” and “00” are in green. Meanwhile, the European wheel only has one green pocket for “0.” The two wheels also have the numbers in different orders.
While the differences may be subtle visually, the house edge is where the variation is more pronounced in how it impacts game results. Because of the extra green pocket, the odds of winning a bet on a specific number are lower in American roulette, 1:38 compared with 1:37 for European roulette.
While the difference may seem minute, in reality, that translates to the house edge being 5.26% for American roulette, compared with only 2.7% for the European variant. That means for every USD$1 million bet, the house expects to pocket $52,600 in American roulette compared with $27,000 for European roulette. Additionally, despite lower odds, the payouts remain the same at 35 to 1. Keep this in mind when choosing which games to play.
Roulette betting refresher
If you've never played roulette before, seeing a roulette table and the number of squares and integers can make betting a daunting proposition. However, roulette can be as easy or as complicated as you wish, with options for 1:1 bets alongside more ambitious ones. This adds to its gambling appeal.
Players bet where the ball will land on a wheel numbered 0-36. The numbers on the wheel are divided into two colours, red and black. Each number assigned to a colour is based on its placement on the board.
- For numbers 1-10 and 19-28, odd numbers are red, while even numbers are black.
- For numbers 11-28 and 29-36, odd numbers are black, while even numbers are red.
- The number 0 is green; in American roulette, there's also the number 00. These numbers are only available to bet on as individual options.
The rules are also simple enough: You place your bet/s where you hope the ball lands. The betting is where it gets more complicated, as there are plenty of betting options. The most beginner-friendly bets include the following:
- Single number
- Red or black
- Odd or even
- High or low (1 to 18 is low, and 19 to 36 is high)
From here, the betting structure gets more sophisticated, albeit still simple enough to grasp if you take the time.
Main betting types
It's important to note that the fewer numbers an individual bet covers, the higher the payoff. For example, if you bet on the number 28 and win, you can get up to 35 times your stake. There are two main bets, characterised by where the squares are on the table.
There are five types of bets you can place on the inner field of the table.
- Straight up: This is a bet on a single number. The odds are low, but the payout is 35 to 1, so if you bet USD$10, you win $350. You can also place multiple straight-up bets in one spin.
- Split: This is a bet on two adjacent numbers, done by placing a chip on the line between the boxes. If the ball lands on any of the numbers with the split bet, the payout is 17 to 1.
- Street: This is a bet for a row of three numbers. You do this by placing chips on the outer left of three numbers. For example, placing a bet on the left edge of 19 means you win if the ball lands on 19, 20 or 21. This bet has a payout of 11 to 1.
- Corner: Also known as a square bet, this refers to betting on a corner joining four numbers (ex. 28, 29, 31, and 32). This bet has a payout of 8 to 1.
- Line: This is a bet on six adjacent numbers by placing chips on the T-junction between rows. For example, if you want to bet on 1-6, you put the chips on the line between 1 and 4. This bet has a payout of 5 to 1.
Depending on the service provider, you can also find other types of inside bets in live roulette games. But if you have a good grasp of the above, you can easily incorporate those into your betting strategy.
Outside bets are wagers placed on grouped numbers. As such, they offer the highest odds of winning lower payouts. As mentioned above, these bets are ideal for beginners. As a refresher, these bets include the following:
- Column: This is a bet on a column of 12 numbers simultaneously. You'll see this on the roulette table as the betting rectangle marked “2 to 1,” which is also its payout.
- Dozens: Also referred to as “Thirds,” this is another bet on 12 numbers simultaneously. The numbers on the roulette table are divided into three (1-12, 13-24, and 25-36), each represented by a betting rectangle where you place your chips. The payout for this bet is also 2 to 1.
- Odd/Even: Bets are placed on odd or even numbers.
- High/Low: Again, 1 to 18 is low, and 19 to 36 is high.
- Red/Black: Bets are placed on red or black slots.
The last three self-explanatory outside bets each have payouts of 1 to 1. A big part of roulette's appeal is mixing and matching inside and outside bets. This allows you to consciously manage your bankroll by taking calculated risks while betting on higher odds with lower payouts.
Regarding payment methods, online casino services offer multiple ways to top up accounts. This can include Mastercard, Visa, Apple Pay and Google Pay, with platforms like Stake allowing players to make cryptocurrency deposits. This transaction ease emphasises the gaming convenience offered by these online casinos.
Playing roulettes may look like a simple game of chance to the uninitiated. However, the variety of betting options and the ability to place multiple bets on one spin enable you to craft unique bankroll management strategies. This can lead to betting progressions you can tailor to your bankroll – always a fun proposition for casino gaming enthusiasts.
Combined with this betting flexibility, the relatively low house edge and a high return to player make live roulettes a truly appealing online casino game.
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