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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.

Try their blackjack for free.
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Gambling problem?
Call the 800-522-4700 hotline, and read this.

Also, know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

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

Also, know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling

$30,000 Betting System Challenge

Nine years and counting without a taker
(started April 2008)

Last update: October 2016

Any betting system that promises to make you a winner is a scam, and I'm so confident about this that I'm putting my money where my mouth is:  I'll wager $30,000 against any system seller's $3,000 that their betting system can't beat the house.  (Or I'll wager my $10,000 against their $1,000, if they prefer.)  My goal is to show that anyone selling a "winning system" on the Internet for $29.95 (or whatever) is nothing more than a fraudster.  Tellingly, not a single one of them has ever put their system to the test with me.  The reason is simple:  They know their systems don't actually work.

I hope it's also obvious to everyone that if someone had truly figured out a way to beat the house, why would they need to sell that secret for $29.95?

Years ago the Wizard of Odds used to offer a similar challenge, but after many years he had only one legitimate taker.  (The challenger lost, of course.)  The Wizard eventually stopped offering the challenge because almost nobody ever went through with it and it was a waste of time dealing with inquiries that went nowhere.  So I picked up where he left off and offering a similar challenge myself, but the results have been similar—despite lots of inquiries nobody's actually gone through with it.  And pointedly, none of the inquiries have come from system sellers, they're from people who just think they've invented a winning betting system.

Of course, if anyone figured out a way to win and wasn't selling their system to the public, they could just play in the casino themselves, and have no need to try to win my $30k.  I'm 100% confident that no such system actually exists, but there's no way for me to prove it, because anyone who actually had such a system wouldn't take my challenge.  But I can prove that systems being sold to the public are junk, because anyone willing to part with his system for $29.95 (or whataver) should be falling all over themselves to try to win my $30k.  The fact that not even one system-seller has even tried to win my $30k proves my point:  Any system that you can buy is garbage.

The challenge is actually available to anyone, whether their system is being sold to the public or not.  While those not selling their systems would be expected to just employ their systems in the casino rather than going the challenge route, some would-be challengers thought that it would be quicker to win the $30k from me through the challenge than to win it in the casino.  (They all backed out, though.)  So the challenge is available to anyone, as long as they agree to my very generous terms.

In addition, I offer a $1000 prize to anyone who finds an exploitable flaw in my challenge that could result in someone beating it.  That is, you don't have to put up any of your own money to get the $1000.  See the details below.

So, here are the terms of my challenge.

Bluejay's $30,000 challenge

  1. The Challenge.  I will wager my $30,000 against your $3,000 (or my $10,000 against your $1,000, if you prefer) that your betting system cannot beat a game of roulette, baccarat, or craps, as the player, using common Vegas rules, starting with a generous $5000 bankroll (play money, not real money), in a computer simulation, as per the additional terms below.

  2. Length.  Each test will run for 200,000 rounds, or until the bankroll has gone bust, whichever comes first.  A "round" is an event where any bet is resolved—i.e., your bet wins, loses, or pushes.  (In craps, if multiple bets are resolved on a single roll of the die, that counts as one round.)  It's fine for your system to sit out sometimes to wait for "streaks" or other conditions (up to 20 million rounds sat out per test), but 200,000 rounds must be wagered on for each test (unless your system goes bust first).  We'll run this test 20 times, and you win the challenge if your system wins at least 11 out of the 20 tests (i.e., it shows any profit at all).  This is extremely generous, because your system doesn't have to win even $1 per hour if played in a casino, and doesn't have win all the time, just 55% or more of the time.  (For those who think this is a bad test because "nobody plays 200,000 rounds", see the explanation further below.)

  3. Betting System.  Your system must be one that could actually be used in a typical Vegas casino, since the point of your challenge should be to prove that you can win in a casino environment.  So, for example, methods that attempt to exploit the computer's random number generator are specifically disallowed.  Any system that wins by screwing with the RNG cannot win in a real casino.  Similarly, any system that cannot be actually be employed by an average person with nothing more than a pen and paper is disallowed, since if a system can't be used in the real world then it's worthless.  Your system must be a traditional betting system, where bets are based on the outcome of previous rounds.  The point of your wager must be to prove your betting system, not find some flaw in my rules.  Systems that are optimized to try to exploit some flaw in my challenge (rather than general systems which are actually intended to work in actual casinos), are specifically disallowed, as are card-counting systems.

  4. Bankroll, Game Rules, and Table Limits.  Starting bankroll for each test is $5000.  You choose the game.  Roulette can be single- or double-zero.  Craps has standard 3-4-5x odds.  The table limits are $5 minimum and $5000 maximum. In roulette, the minimum is either for a single outside bet, or the total of all inside bets; multiple bets can be placed on the same round, with each bet subject to the Table Max. (i.e., The Table Max isn't applied to the sum of all bets.)  In craps, maximum Free Odds can be taken on a Table Max pass line bet.

  5. Earnest Money & Contract.  We'll choose a third party (agreeable to both of us) to hold our money in escrow (e.g., any licensed attorney in good standing).  If the escrow agent has a fee, we'll split the fee equally.  You'll deposit your money with the escrow agent first to show that you're serious (since to date, out of dozens of inquiries, not a single person has actually gone through with the challenge).  Once your money has been deposited, we'll both sign a contract, and then I'll deposit my money.  After this, any party who backs out or fails to proceed as specified below will forfeit.

  6. You will provide me your system rules within one week of our both signing the contract.  If I feel the rules are not clear I have 48 hours to ask you to clarify, and you will have 48 hours to provide revised rules, with this process repeating if I feel the revised rules are still not clear.  After two weeks from your sending me the the initial set of rules, if I feel the last-received rules are still not clear, then at my option I can claim to the escrow agent that you've forfeited and ask him/her to pay out to me.  If the agent doesn't agree, my options are to either try to get an understandable set of rules from you or else go to arbitration, as specified below.  If the agent does agree, then you'll have the option of going to arbitration before the agent releases your funds to me.  (This rule exists because one potential challenger submitted complete gibberish.  Fortunately for him, it was before we signed a contract; now I require the contract be signed before I get the rules.)

  7. I will program a computer simulation within three days of my acceptance of the system rules, and provide you with the results as well as the source code so you can have your own expert(s) verify its accuracy.  If you dispute the simulation results because of my code, if I agree it's an error then I'll correct it and run the simulation again, with the new test being the official one.  This will repeat as many times as you find errors that I agree are errors and fix.  If you believe my code to be in error and I disagree, you can claim to the escrow agent that I forfeit and to pay out to you.  If the agent disagrees, you may submit the case to arbitration as below.

  8. Arbitration.  Either side may appeal the case to arbitration as specified above.  Both sides will agree to the arbiter.  If no arbiter has been agreed upon within three weeks, one party can claim the other side has forfeited by not making a good-faith effort to agree to an arbiter.  (This time, the decision of the escrow agent can't be appealed to arbitration, for obvious reasons.)  Once an arbiter has been selected, the challenger will front any deposit required by the arbiter, no matter which side is bringing the arbitration.  Once the arbiter has ruled, the losing party will pay all of the arbiter's fees.  (i.e., If I lose, I pay both the amount fronted by the challenger and any remaining balance.)

  9. Since the first would-be challenger who wrote to me was concerned that I would use his winning system in the casinos myself to capitalize on it, I promise in writing (here and in the contract) to do no such thing.  Clearly if I'm able to offer a $30,000 challenge, I already have more money than I need.

  10. In addition to the $30,000 (or $10,000), a winning challenger will also receive a prominent ad on the front of VegasClick.com for the system, along with my statement that the system beat my challenge, for a period of at least one year from the date of the test.

  11. I will not disclose the challenger's contact information or the specific rules of the system without the challenger's permission (except to the escrow agent and arbiter, if there's a dispute).  I will be allowed (but not required) to publish:
    1. The address of the website selling the system, if it is for sale to the public.
    2. The name of the challenger, if it appears on the challenger's own website about the betting system (otherwise, I need the challenger's permission to publish his/her name).
    3. A general description of the system.  (e.g., "This is a standard positive-progression system," "This system is based on betting on red after a certain pattern of red/black hits has been established," etc.)
    4. The basic results, including things such as the amount won or lost for each test, average bet size, percentage of time the system was ahead, and the largest number of rounds in each test at which the system was ahead before going into the red and not recovering.

I do not test betting systems outside of this challenge, period.  My only interest in offering the challenge is to disprove betting systems; I certainly don't need any more programming work.  If all you want is a test of your system, hire anyone with some programming skills for $50 to $100, on craigslist or upWork.  In fact, if you're not a system seller but rather somebody who just thinks he came up with a winning system, I advise you IN THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS to hire someone else to computer-program your system to show that your system doesn't really work before you risk your $1000 or $3000 with me.

Those who are confident and who agree to the terms above without any modifications whatsoever are invited
to accept this challenge. (i.e., Do not write if you want to ask to change the rules in any way.)


"But no one plays 200,000 rounds!"

Some folks have said the challenge is unfair because a system could win in the short term, even if it can't last 200,000 rounds.  They're missing two things.  First, I'm offering a whopping 10 to 1 odds.  With such generous odds, even a system with a lousy 11% chance of beating the challenge is a good bet for the challenger (and a bad bet for me and my $30,000).  Their system could lose 89% of the time in the real world but still beat my challenge.  And a system that loses 89% of the time in the real world is the farthest thing from a "winning betting system".  So I've got to make sure we play long enough that a challenger doesn't have even a lousy 11% chance of winning.

Next, my criteria for what constitutes a "winning system" is really soft:  In the real world, a system that showed a measly $5 profit after 200,000 rounds (less than a penny an hour) would be considered a miserable failure, but that would be enough to win a test in my challenge rules.  My challenge does not require the system to win a meaningful amount (say, $20 an hour); it counts even tiny, pathetic amounts as wins.

By the way, you absolutely could play 200,000 rounds anyway.  Playing baccarat at 125 hands per hour, 8 hours on a weekend, 26 weekends per year, for 35 years, is nearly a million rounds.

 

No one has ever accepted this challenge

One reader said that a system-seller claimed to have beaten my challenge (or perhaps the Wizard's challenge, he wasn't clear).  Let me be clear: no one has ever even accepted my challenge, let alone beaten it.  And the one person who accepted the Wizard's challenge (back when he offered it), lost it readily.  Anyone who claims they've beaten my challenge should show you the alleged contract we signed, listing the supposed escrow agent, allowing you to verify whether any challenge really took place. 

 

$1000 prize for finding an exploitable flaw in the challenge

Because I'm offering 10-to-1 odds, it's possible that someone could beat my challenge even though their system would fail in the casino, since the casino doesn't give you 10-to-1 odds.  So to help me find flaws in my challenge rules, I'm offering a $1000 prize to anyone who submits a system that would beat the challenge (even if that system would fail in a casino, as it certainly would).  To claim the prize, you must have already programmed the simulation (or had it programmed for you) and send me the source code.  (I'm not going to personally program a million people's random guesses about a system that might beat the challenge.)  In the case of multiple people identifying a similar exploit, the first one to contact me gets the whole prize.


Alternate "Live Casino Challenge"

Some system sellers claim that their systems work in a casino, but they can't beat a computer simulation because "a computer isn't a real-world test".  Anyone who understands basic probability knows why that claim is ridiculous, but in any event, I have a special live challenge to accommodate it.  The live challenge is the same as above, except:

  1. It takes place in a Vegas casino, with you and me (or my representative) present.  You will bank and place your own bets.
  2. You will choose the number of rounds to wager on before we begin (1000 to 10,000 rounds).  If your system is played in "sessions" it doesn't matter: you keep track of your "sessions" however you define them, they're irrelevant to me.  You win by showing the required overall profit (defined below), no matter how many "sessions" you divided your play into.
  3. The challenge is an even-money bet between you and me (not 10-1 odds). The amount wagered between you and me is any amount you choose, between $1000 to $30,000, with a minimum of $50 per hour of play (including time you spend at the table not betting while waiting for "streaks" or other conditions). Yes, you won't know the exact number of hours you'll be playing in the casino to finish your X number of rounds, so you should estimate well to make sure you meet the minimum challenge wager. Roulette, craps, and baccarat are typically played at around 40, 50, and 70 rounds per hour respectively, but if you're waiting for streaks or other conditions then your play will be slower.
  4. All play must be completed within one month.
  5. Starting bankroll is 1/3 the number of total rounds, in dollars, banked by you.  (e.g., a 1500-round challenge means a starting bankroll of $500.)
  6. You win if you achieve a profit of at least $15 an hour on average. (Win must be at least [total hours played] x [$15].)
Those who are confident and agree to the terms without any modification whatsoever are invited
to accept the challenge. (i.e., Do not write if you intend to suggest any change to the rules.)


Want to practice a betting system?  Betting systems can't make you a winner, but by playing for free, you can test your theory without risking any real money.

I recommend Bovada over other online casinos because:

  • You can play the fake-money games without having to register an account.
  • You can play the games in your browser without having to download special software.
  • The games work on both Macs and PC's.

Related articles:

 Terms are subject to change.  I don't guarantee to offer this challenge in this format forever.