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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

KÁ (Cirque du Soleil)

at the MGM Grand

The first time I saw KÁ, with a friend, I remarked to him afterward that I was a little uncomfortable about the performers risking their lives for our entertainment.  (The stage sometimes rises a few stories, and is perilously tilted.)  Two years later, a KÁ performer died during the show; she was 31 and left behind two young children.  An investigation said that some equipment failed because she climbed it too quickly, because she hadn't received proper training.  Cirque was fined $25k.

But I wound up seeing the show again, because my family wanted to see it.  I justified it by the facts that the previous death was the only one in Cirque's 29-year history up to that point (which suggests that performing in a Cirque show is possibly safer than crossing the street), and that I'm sure that Cirque learned from the tragedy and started focusing intently on safety.

So the show: For those who have never seen a Cirque show, suffice it to say that you will almost certainly be amazed, even if you're not a fan of dance.  I'm certainly not, and neither is my teenage son (who is sports- and video game-oriented), but we were both impressed.  Cirque simply isn't typical dance: the shows feature stunning acrobatics and incredibly inventive sets and movement. That's their hallmark, but to describe KÁ in that way wouldn't do it justice.  Then again, nothing I say could do it justice; as the saying goes, "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture."  KÁ really has to be experienced.  But to take a stab at describing it:

  • Like most Cirque shows, it's a 3D experience.  The show isn't just horizontal, it's vertical. And performers often parade down the aisles, and do their things from the balconies as well.  Thus, even the cheap seats afford an excellent view; there's no need to be right up front. In fact, if you are, it's harder to see the things that don't take place on the main stage.
  • There's absolutely no dialogue.  The story is told entirely through silent movement.
  • It's about fictional peoples.  Best I could describe them would be that they incorporate the aura of African, Native American, and Asian, and pre-Renaissance Europeans.
  • The music is just as good as the dance.  It's basically one long piece broken up into different movements.  It features lots of primitive-sounding percussion, and the sound quality is excellent; there are speakers in the seating, too, for added effect.  The music is performed by live musicians, though that might not be apparent, which is why I point it out.  It would probably be impossible to synchronize the dancing with prerecorded music, so live performers makes sense, and makes the experience more special besides.
  • The stage not only rotates, it rises, up to several stories, and sometimes tilts to almost vertical.  The battle on the vertical wall was inspired.

Details

  • Cirque describes the show as family-friendly.  There's no nudity, and no profanity (since there's no dialogue at all), though there are a fair number of fights depicted.
  • KÁ plays Saturday through Wednesday (off on Thursday & Friday). Showtimes are 7pm and 9:30pm.
  • Expect to pay about $90 per ticket, including taxes and fees.  The discount ticket outlets often have discounted tickets, but you have to by in person, and sometimes their prices are higher than the box office, because sometimes the discount outlets sell only the pricier seats.  You can buy direct from the MGM Grand website.  The Cirque website advertises $69 tickets, but I've never been able to actually find tickets at that price on their website.
August, 2015.