Do Live Dealer Game Shows Offer Good Winning Odds

Live game shows are the latest craze among online casino fans as they bring a whole new dimension to gambling over the internet. They have an entirely different dynamic compared to conventional live games like roulette and blackjack, boasting greater entertainment value, more interactivity, and significantly larger payouts.

Hosted by charming live presenters, some of them borrow their themes from televised entertainment shows, while others were adapted from popular board games. Evolution Gaming pioneered this distinct genre with the 2017 release of Dream Catcher and other major software studios like Pragmatic Play and Playtech quickly followed suit.

There is a unique ‘soft’ gambling quality to them but you should not let this fool you. Similarly to casino mainstays like roulette, live dealer game shows are statistically tilted in favor of the house. In today’s article, we shall focus on several popular live game shows, examine their paytables, and see how they compare to traditional table games in terms of theoretical return.

Dream Catcher – The Prototype of Live Dealer Game Shows

Dream CatcherEvolution Gaming was the first software studio to venture into the game-show realm with the 2017 release of Dream Catcher. In this groundbreaking game, a charismatic live presenter spins a giant wheel divided into 54 segments separated by pins.

Out of those, 52 segments contain numbers 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 40, with each number yielding its corresponding payout (eg. a $10 on number 10 pays ten times the wager, or $100). The other two segments contain 2x and 7x multipliers.

Dream Catcher Summary
Release Date February 2017
Software Studio Evolution Gaming
Game Type Wheel-Based Game Show
Betting Limits $0.10 to $2,500
Maximum Prize $500,000.00
Compatible Devices Desktop, iOS/Android Smartphones, Tablets
RTP Range Up to 96.58%

If the wheel stops on a segment containing a number, players who have bet on said number win the corresponding payout.

If it stops on a multiplier, all wagers remain in action and the presenter respins the wheel. Wins resulting on the next spin are boosted by the respective multiplier. If another multiplier hits again, the wheel is respun and subsequent wins are multiplied by the cumulative value of the multipliers.

Example of Consecutive Multiplier Wins
Player X places a $10 wager on number 10. The first spin produces a 7x multiplier, the second one results in another 7x multiplier, and number 10 hits on the third spin. Player X wins $10 x 10 x 7 x 7 = $4,900.

Simple, right? The tricky part is that the numbers producing the highest payouts have fewer stops on the wheel, which reduces your chances of landing a bigger win. Compare the winning probabilities below and you will see what we mean.

Dream Catcher Wheel Segments, Probabilities, and Theoretical Return
Outcome Number of Wheel Segments Probability of Winning Theoretical Return to Player House Edges
1 23 segments 42.59% 95.34% 4.66%
2 15 segments 27.77% 95.51% 4.49%
5 7 segments 12.96% 91.24% 8.76%
10 4 segments 7.41% 96.58% 3.42%
20 2 segments 3.70% 92.74% 7.26%
40 1 segment 1.85% 90.81% 9.19%

As you can see, number 10 is your best bet as it yields the lowest house edge and produces the highest returns over the long haul. Despite this, it still has lower winning odds compared to Evolution Gaming’s live single-zero roulette (97.30%) and auto roulette with la partage (98.65%).

Monopoly Live

Monopoly LiveEvolution Gaming partnered with Hasbro, the creator of the original Monopoly, and the result is this enticing and highly interactive rendition of the massively popular board game.

It plays similarly to Dream Catcher as players have the option to place wagers on wheel sectors containing numbers 1, 2, 5, and 10 for the chance to pocket 1x, 2x, 5x, or 10x their bets.

Monopoly Live Summary
Release Date April 2019
Software Studio Evolution Gaming
Game Type Wheel-Based Game Show
Betting Limits $0.10 to $2,500
Maximum Prize $500,000.00
Compatible Devices Desktop, iOS/Android Smartphones, Tablets
RTP Range Up to 96.23%

Also featured on the 54-segment wheel are sectors for 2 rolls (3 stops), 4 rolls (1 stop), and Chance (2 stops). When the wheel stops on a chance segment, an animated Rich Uncle Pennybags with his trademark top hat draws a chance card and awards random multipliers or cash prizes.

In case of a multiplier, bets remain active, the wheel is respun, and the winners have their payouts boosted by the multiplier value.

Players who place wagers on 4 rolls or 2 rolls get to participate in an exciting bonus game that involves rolling a pair of dice. The bonus round features familiar elements from the original board game, including Go to Jail, Passing GO, Income Tax, Super Tax, and Community Chest.

According to Evolution Gaming, the average return to player ranges from 91.30% to 96.23%, which is even lower than that in Dream Catcher. Check the table below to compare the house edges and theoretical returns for the different bets in Monopoly Live.

Monopoly Live Wheel Segments, Probabilities, and Theoretical Return
Outcome Number of Wheel Segments Probability of Hitting Theoretical Return House Edge
1 22 segments 40.74% 92.88% 7.12%
2 15 segments 27.77% 96.23% 3.77%
5 7 segments 12.96% 91.30% 8.70%
10 4 segments 7.41% 96.02% 3.98%
2 Rolls 3 segments 5.55% 93.90% 6.10%
4 Rolls 1 segment 1.85% 93.67% 6.33%
Chance 2 segments 3.70% N/A N/A

Looking at the table above, we see players have the best winning chances when betting on number 1, in which case they earn even money. Ironically, this bet carries the second-highest house edge offering a return under 93% due to the payout reduction.

This is worse than many online slots where the theoretical return percentages rarely drop below 94%. Your best bet in Monopoly Live seems to be number 2 as the long-term RTP reaches 96.23%.

Lightning Dice

Lightning DiceLightning Dice is yet another hot property from Evolution Gaming that unfolds in a stylish Art Deco environment. Part of the Lightning series, the game show plays with three dice and provides players with multiple betting opportunities, allowing them to win up to 1,000x their bets.

The live presenter pulls a lever to release the three dice and each time she does this, lightning strikes one to four random numbers on the betting grid. The struck numbers then receive random multipliers, boosting the profits of winning players who have placed wagers on them.

Lightning Dice Summary
Release Date June 2019
Software Studio Evolution Gaming
Game Type Dice game show with a live presenter
Betting Limits $0.20 to $250
Maximum Prize $250,000.00
Compatible Devices Desktop, iOS/Android Smartphones, Tablets
RTP Range Up to 96.21%

Below are the payouts for the different winning bets with and without the multipliers.

Lightning Dice Bet Types and Payouts
Bet Type Wins On Payout w/o Multiplier Max. Payout with Multiplier
Low 3 through 9 1 to 1 9 to 1
High 12 through 18 1 to 1 9 to 1
Any Triple All dice must show the same number (eg. 2/2/2) 24 to 1 249 to 1
Any Double Two dice must show the same number (eg. 2/2/5) 1 to 1 3 to 1
Total 3 or 18 3 or 18 149 to 1 999 to 1
Total 4 or 17 4 or 17 49 to 1 499 to 1
Total 5 or 16 5 or 16 24 to 1 249 to 1
Total 6 or 15 6 or 15 14 to 1 99 to 1
Total 7 or 14 7 or 14 9 to 1 99 to 1
Total 8 or 13 8 or 13 6 to 1 49 to 1
Total 9 or 12 9 or 12 5 to 1 49 to 1
Total 10 or 11 10 or 11 4 to 1 49 to 1

Where return to player is concerned, the percentages are bet-specific but the maximum you can squeeze out of this game is 96.57% for any triple. The theoretical return can drop all the way down to 96.03% for a house edge of 3.97%.

This is significantly higher compared to the Pass/Come and Don’t Pass/Don’t Come wagers in craps where the house edges stand at 1.41% and 1.36%, respectively. These wagers can altogether lose their house edges if you take or lay odds on them. The only conclusion we can draw looking at these numbers is that Evolution’s Live Craps is way better than Lightning Dice in terms of winning probabilities.

Crazy Time

Crazy TimeJune 2020 saw Evolution Gaming delivering yet another enticing wheel-based game akin to the hugely popular Dream Catcher and Monopoly Live. Crazy Time also plays on a 54-segment wheel but offers four bespoke bonus mini-games that further add to the level of interactivity.

The game is entirely based on chance and all you must do to win is predict which sector the wheel will stop on after it comes to rest. You can bet on numbers 1, 2, 5, and 10 for the chance to win 1x, 2x, 5x, and 10x your wager. The alternative is to back one of the four bonus games, Crazy Time, Pachinko, Cash Hunt, or Coin Flip.

Crazy Time Summary
Release Date June 2020
Software Studio Evolution Gaming
Game Type Wheel-based game show
Betting Limits $0.10 to $100
Maximum Prize Up to $500,000
Compatible Devices Desktop, iOS/Android Smartphones, Tablets
RTP Range 94.33% to 96.08%

The two-reel mini slot above the wheel activates on each spin to randomly award a multiplier on one of the betting spots. The payouts, probabilities, and returns vary across the board, depending on your wager.

Crazy Time Wheel Segments, Probabilities, and Theoretical Return
Outcome Number of Wheel Segments Probability of Hitting Theoretical Return House Edges
1 21 segments 38.88% 96.08% 3.92%
2 13 segments 24.07% 95.95% 4.05%
5 7 segments 12.96% 95.78% 4.22%
10 4 segments 7.41% 95.73% 4.27%
Coin Flip 4 segments 7.41% 95.70% 4.30%
Crazy Time 1 segment 1.85% 94.41% 5.59%
Pachinko 2 segments 3.70% 94.33% 5.67%
Cash Hunt 2 segments 3.70% 95.27% 4.73%

As it turns out, some bet types in Crazy Time offer lower theoretical return than double-zero roulette where the house edge generally stands at 5.26% for most wagers. The only exception is the five-number bet where the house edge escalates to 7.9% but then again there is no great rush on this type of wager, to begin with.

Spin a Win

Spin a WinSoftware studio Playtech quickly took notice of the success of game shows and ventured into the genre one year after the release of Evolution’s massively popular Dream Catcher. In February 2018, Playtech released a similar money-wheel game show called Spin a Win.

Playtech modeled Spin a Win upon the classic Wheel of Fortune game show that dates back to 1975. We hate to say it but this rendition seems like a ripoff of Dream Catcher in terms of rules, bet types, and gameplay.

Spin a Win Summary
Release Date February 2018
Software Studio Playtech
Game Type Wheel-based game show
Betting Limits $0.10 to $500
Maximum Prize $500,000.00
Compatible Devices Desktop, iSO/Android Smartphones, Tablets
RTP Range 90.67% to 97.22%

Apart from the setting, the main difference is that Spin a Win features a wheel with 53 rather than 54 segments. Players can additionally experiment with several side wagers on odd or even numbers and multiplier segments. Also, the wheel features three instead of four segments for number 10.

Spin a Win Wheel Segments, Probabilities, and Theoretical Return
Outcome Number of Wheel Segments Probability of Hitting Theoretical Return House Edge
1 23 segments 43.34% 95.34% 4.66%
2 15 segments 28.30% 95.51% 4.49%
5 7 segments 13.21% 91.24% 8.76%
10 3 segments 5.66% 96.58% 3.42%
20 2 segments 3.77% 92.74% 7.26%
40 1 segment 1.89% 90.81% 9.19%
Odd Side Bet 30 segments 56.60% 97.22% 2.78%
Even Side Bet 21 segments 39.62% 91.67% 8.33%
Multipliers 2 segments 3.77% 96.30% 3.70%

As you can see, the RTP is within the 90.81% to 97.22% range. No guaranteed strategy can improve your winning odds as the game is based entirely on chance. The best you can do is choose bets with a higher theoretical return.

The side bet on odd numbers stands the best chance of winning with an RTP of 97.22%, which is slightly lower than what single-zero live roulette has to offer. As for individual numbers, wagers on number 10 give you the best odds of winning with an RTP of 96.58%.

RTP Comparison in Live Game Shows vs. Live Table Games


Live game shows have been springing up like wild mushrooms in recent years, so we cannot cover them all in a single article. The best we can do is compile a list of the most popular game shows launched so far, so that you can compare their average return percentages.

2Live Game Shows Generally Have Lower Winning Odds

The listing below features all live game shows we know of, along with their theoretical returns in ascending order.

  • Football Studio by Evolution Gaming – 89.64% to 96.27%
  • Sweet Bonanza Candyland by Pragmatic Play – 91.59% to 96.95%
  • Side Bet City by Evolution Gaming – 94.34% to 96.69%
  • Cash or Crash by Evolution Gaming – 94.51% to 99.59%
  • Mega Ball by Evolution Gaming – 94.61% to 95.40%
  • Crazy Coin Flip by Evolution Gaming – 95.06% to 96.05%
  • Music Wheel by Atmosfera – 95.24% to 96.03%
  • Deal or No Deal The Big Draw by Playtech – 95.28% to 95.38%
  • Deal or No Deal by Evolution Gaming – 95.42%
  • Buffalo Blitz Live by Playtech – 95.96%
  • The Money Drop by Playtech – 96.02% to 96.62%
  • Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt by Evolution Gaming – 96.35% to 96.56%
  • Mega Wheel by Pragmatic Play – 96.51%
  • Hi-Lo Club by Playtech – 96.00% to 96.67%
  • Adventures Beyond Wonderland by Playtech – 96.58% to 96.82%

Perhaps you have noticed most live game shows offer relatively poor odds of winning, with the return percentages dropping below 96% in many cases. Evolution Gaming’s Cash or Crash appears to be the most lucrative game show by far.

The game boasts a healthy RTP of up to 99.59% which puts it in the realm of live blackjack where players face a house edge of approximately half a percent. Football Studio and Sweet Bonanza Candyland are by far the worst games to play, with minimum returns starting at 89.64% and 91.59%, respectively.

3Conventional Table Games Yield Higher Theoretical Returns

Where long-term profits are concerned, conventional live table games outperform game shows by a wide margin. One good example is Evolution Gaming’s Infinite Blackjack where players can enjoy a theoretical return of 99.47% in the main game as long as they implement perfect basic strategy.

While certain wagers in live roulette and craps yield horrendous house edges, both games largely give you decent winning chances. Evolution’s Auto Roulette La Partage yields an average return to player of 98.65%, whereas live craps can pay back up to 99.17%.

Baccarat is another great example of a live game that pays well over the long haul. The casino holds a house edge of only 1.24% on Player bets but the percentage drops to 1.06% if you back the Banker proposition.

We suggest you opt for the following live table games if you seek higher returns and lower house edges.

  • Sic Bo by Playtech – 97.22%
  • European Roulette by Evolution Gaming – 97.30%
  • Andar Bahar by Playtech – 97.85%
  • French Roulette by Evolution Gaming – 98.65%
  • Auto Roulette La Partage by Evolution Gaming – 98.65%
  • Speed Baccarat by Pragmatic Play – 98.94%
  • Live Craps by Evolution Gaming – 99.17%
  • Speed Blackjack by Evolution Gaming – 99.28%
  • All Bets Blackjack by Playtech – 99.46%
  • Quantum Blackjack by Playtech – 99.47%
  • Cash Back Blackjack by Playtech – 99.56%

Closing Thoughts

conclusionSavvy players always look at the return percentages because they indicate how much money the games will pay back in the long run. The closer the return is to 100%, the smaller the amount you can expect to lose from a given live dealer game.

As engaging as they are, live game shows are not your best bet from this perspective since most of them yield a theoretical return of less than 96%. If you insist on joining the friendly live presenters occasionally, at least do so in game shows with lower house edges like Cash or Crash, Dream Catcher, and Spin a Win.