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Reason I like Bovada #2:

Good Odds

Bovada online casino ad

The odds are always against you when you gamble, so it pays to play at a casino that offers good odds. I spent some time looking for an online casino with good odds, and I found it in Bovada. Let me first tell you about the competition, though.

It's disappointing that most online casinos are greedy when setting the odds on their games. They think they'll make more money by setting the games tighter, so the player has less chance of winning, but they're wrong. Most gamblers eventually gamble away all their playing budget anyway. They're going to lose the same amount of money no matter what, the only question is how long it takes them to do so. And when they play at a tight casino and lose quickly, they're less likely to return.

A casino which offers good odds will make just as much money as a tight casino, because the players will usually gamble away whatever they deposit anyway, no matter what the odds. The only difference is that with better odds, they'll get to play longer before they go bust. And that means they had more fun in the process, and they're more likely to return.

Bovada is one of they few casinos that understands this. They offer games with good odds, knowing that if your money lasts longer, you'll be a happier, loyal customer. Among their offerings are:

  • Two blackjack games returning over 99.8%
  • Single-0 roulette
  • Full-pay Jacks or Better (99.54%)
  • Nine other video poker games returning over 99%

You don't have to play at Bovada, but wherever you play, make sure they offer odds at least this good!

All in all, I think Bovada is the best bet for U.S. players.

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Gambling problem?
Call the 800-522-4700 hotline, and read this.

Also, know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.


How Much to Bet Per Hand/Round
(aka, "Bet Sizing")

If you've never gambled before, you'll want to figure how much you can afford to bet on each round of blackjack, craps, roulette, or slots for your playing session.  You'll have to make sure you can afford at least the casino minimum, which is never less than $5 on the Vegas Strip and downtown, but $10, $15, or $25 at many casinos.  Most slot machines come in nickel, quarter, and dollar flavors.  What's right for you?

Betting units required for daily play


1 hr. 2 hrs. 4 hrs.

Blackjack

19 27 39

Craps

10 13 20

Baccarat

20 29 42

Roulette

12 18 28

Video Poker

400 650 1050

Slots

600 900 1500
Notes: Blackjack, baccarat, and video poker assume proper strategy.
Craps assumes only Pass Line bets. Roulette assumes one even-money bet per spin.
Video poker and slots assume typical returns for Vegas machines.
VP and slot figures were rounded.

The anwer is in the table at right

Let's say you go to Vegas with $500 and want to play blackjack for four hours.  You see that you need 39 units, which means you can afford to bet $500 39 = $12.82 per hand.  Of course the casino won't let you bet change so you'd round that down to $10.  And even though you could afford to bet $10, there's nothing stopping you from betting less.  Remember, the more you bet, the more you're likely to lose.

The units required for video poker look outrageously large but that's only because the betting units are smaller.  Video poker can be played for only $0.25, unlike blackjack where you need at least $5.  Two hours of video poker play requires 650 units, which at the quarter level is 650 x $0.25 = $162.50.  If you have at least that much then you're bankrolled to play.

The figures above are designed to give you a 10% risk of ruin, meaning that you have a 90% chance of surviving your play and only a 10% chance of losing your whole bankroll.  I came up with these figures through computer simulation.

There's more about all this in my cover story in the Oct. 2005 issue of Casino Player magazine, "Secrets of Money Management". Someday I may get around to reprinting the whole thing here....

If you have any money left at the end of your session, you might want to consider using my Half-Bankroll System.

Last Update: October, 2013

 
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Gambling Problem?
Call the 800-522-4700 hotline, and read this.

Also, know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling