Objective: To investigate the performance of epileptic seizure detection using only a few of the recorded EEG channels and the ability of software to select these channels compared with a neurophysiologist. Methods: Fifty-nine seizures and 1419. h of interictal EEG are used for training and testing of an automatic channel selection method. The characteristics of the seizures are extracted by the use of a wavelet analysis and classified by a support vector machine. The best channel selection method is based upon maximum variance during the seizure. Results: Using only three channels, a seizure detection sensitivity of 96% and a false detection rate of 0.14/h were obtained. This corresponds to the performance obtained when channels are selected through visual inspection by a clinical neurophysiologist, and constitutes a 4% improvement in sensitivity compared to seizure detection using channels recorded directly on the epileptic focus. Conclusions: Based on our dataset, automatic seizure detection can be done using only three EEG channels without loss of performance. These channels should be selected based on maximum variance and not, as often done, using the focal channels. Significance: With this simple automatic channel selection method, we have shown a computational efficient way of making automatic seizure detection.