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All about Slot Machines
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Online Gambling

Reason #4 like Bovada:

It's fair and safe

Online gambling is largely unregulated in the U.S.  That means the casinos serving U.S. players generally don't answer to anyone.  If you have a problem with a casino (like they won't pay you), then you're usually out of luck.  I can't count how many players have written to ask me for help because they didn't get paid by some other casino.  (Not that I helped them—if a dodgy casino won't pay you then you're on your own.)

That's why the most important thing in playing online is to pick a good casino.  The good ones know they make more money with fair games and consistent payouts, because that ensures repeat customers and good word-of-mouth referrals.  It's no coincidence that the most successful online casinos are the ones that focus on their customers.

But some casinos aren't so smart.  The stupidest ones actually rig the games, promptly get blacklisted at sites like Casinomeister, and then their business dries up.  (It's pretty easy for watchdog mathematicians like the Wizard of Odds to determine whether a casino is cheating.)

Cheating is rare.  You're more likely to have a problem getting a payout.  Some casinos try to find excuses to not pay winning players, especially players who have won big.  And again, since online gambling is unregulated in the U.S., if you can't get a payout from a casino, then you're usually out of luck.

So all this is another reason why I advertise Bovada, and have done so for over ten years.  They use industry-standard software, it's absolutely fair, and players get their payouts, consistently.  I have a choice in whom I advertise, so I purposefully picked a casino with a good reputation where I'm confident my readers will have a good experience.

To be clear, Bovada's not perfect.  Once they got duped by a vendor (Betsoft) who provided progressive slots whose jackpots weren't winnable.  When I discovered this I alerted Bovada, and they pulled all the Betsoft games from the site, but I thought they were slow to do so and didn't offer proper restitution to affected players.  Still, even with this incident, their overall history is better than most; as just one example, there are many other casinos still offering Betsoft's questionable games.

Another good thing about Bovada is that they allow me to mediate if one of my readers clicks over to them, plays the games, and has a problem they can't get Bovada to resolve.  Believe me, I wouldn't offer that service if I got more than a trivial number of inquiries over the years on that topic.

Bottom line: I'm confident that Bovada is fair and safe.  You might have a good experience with another casino...and you might not.  I trust Bovada, and that's why I picked them.

Visit Bovada

Gambling problem?
  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.
Play these
free slots now

Gambling problem?
  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

Contact Me

Please select your reason for writing:

READ CAREFULLY: Most affiliate programs do NOT qualify.

I accept inquiries ONLY from programs that meet ALL of the following criteria. No exceptions!
  1. Available to players in most of the U.S. (NO EXCEPTIONS!)
  2. Free-play games available WITHOUT registration, and WITHOUT a registration box blocking the game before the first game starts. (NO EXCEPTIONS!)
  3. Good reviews on both Casinomeister and Affiliate Guard Dog. (NO EXCEPTIONS!)
If your program doesn't meet ALL the above then DON'T INQUIRE. I will NOT join your program, period.  Otherwise, if your program DOES meet all of the criteria, then click the earlier instance of the word 'does' in this sentence to message me.

I'm not accepting new advertising.

I'm happy with my sole advertiser, and I certainly don't need any more money.

I don't buy advertising.

I built a successful site without spending a dime on advertising, and I'm not about to start now.

I am NOT interested in your amateur SEO services.

The fact that you have to resort to cold-calling potential clients shows that you suck at SEO.  And lecturing me about my site's supposed SEO faults is ridiculous when my site actually does quite well in the search engines, and that it's more profitable than yours could ever hope to be.

I do NOT want your crappy guest article, "sponsored post", or worthless infographic.

My site is not a toy for you to play search engine games with.

I do NOT trade links.

I will NOT trade links with you. Do not ask. Link trading is stupid and offensive. You're basically telling me, "Hi, your site sucks. If I thought it would benefit my readers then I would have linked to it already. But I want a link to my site so I'm willing to link to your crappy site if you link to mine. My site is pretty sorry also, and I know you wouldn't link to it unless you were getting a return link." More info here.

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. Click the last word of this sentence to continue.

The challenge is available to system-sellers ONLY.  If you're not selling your system commercially, DO NOT WRITE, I will NOT accept your inquiry.

Web page where your system is sold:

For journalists ONLY who want to interview Michael Bluejay for a story, contact me at (702) 947-0918 or with the mail form below.

For non-media inquiries, please choose the correct option from the list above.

Vegas Click in the News

Web Interviews

Radio Interviews

  • WCAP 980, Eagle Radio 1100, Sicilian Corner, interview about slot machines. Mar 18, 2016
  • Gambling with an Edge, hosted by Bob Dancer & Richard Munchkin, July 28, 2015
  • WOGL, 98.1fm, Philadelphia PA, Morning Show, about the new Sugar House Casino in Philly, Sep. 23, 2010
  • KSRO, 1350am, Sonoma County, CA, Marci Smothers Show, about casino gambling, Aug. 5, 2005 MP3

Articles we've been quoted in:

The VegasClick editor also wrote the cover story for Casino Player magazine in October 2005 and Wikipedia references our article on slot machines in its own article on the subject.



 Feel free to quote anything on this website.  For convenience, below are some common things journalists like to quote about.  Please don't quote me from articles published elsewhere (above), since what was printed might not have been exactly what I said.

How to identify me.  That's up to you.  Most media identifies me with something like, "Michael Bluejay, editor of", or "gambling writer Michael Bluejay", as "a Vegas authority" or "gambling authority".  I'm not confident enough to call myself an "expert", though I'm not gonna complain to you if that's how you identify me.  I do think it's a mistake to call me a "slot mathematician", as one journalist did, because the math I use isn't higher than junior high school level.

What is the best bet in the casino?

Blackjack, if you follow proper strategy, and avoid the 6:5 games. The house edge with proper strategy on a 3:2 game is around 0.5%.

If you don't want to learn the proper strategy, then the next-best bet is Craps, making only Pass-Line and Odds bets. In this case the house edge is 1.41% or lower (depending on how much you wager on the Odds bets).

What is the house edge?

The house edge is the casino's average profit per bet. On a game where the house edge is 5%, on a $5 bet the house will keep $0.25 as profit, and return $4.75 to the player as winnings, on average. See more about the house edge.

What's the house edge on slot machines?

2% to 15%. The more competitive markets have more liberal machines (e.g., Vegas), and markets where there's only one casino in town have lousy odds. Casinos don't disclose the odds of their machines. In jurisdictions where they're required to do some reporting, they report the average of all their machines together, and they include video poker in the totals, so it's impossible to see the slot returns separately.

What's the best game in a slot-only casino (i.e., no table games are available)?

Usually video blackjack, where the house edge is around 2%, if you use proper strategy. After that, video poker, where the house edge is around 1-9%, again using proper strategy.

Where does one learn proper strategy?

Every hotel gift shop in Vegas sells a little blackjack strategy card for around $1.50, and you can use it at the table as long as you don't slow down the game. You can also use the strategy card at For video poker, see Wizard of

What's wrong with slot machines?

  1. The house edge is higher than most other casino games.
  2. The house edge is a secret, because the casino doesn't disclose it. This contrasts with table games, where the odds are known because mathematicians have calculated the odds and published them.
  3. Slots can be played very fast, so you lose quicker.

    I recommend against playing slot machines. As for playing slots, one might as well just drive by the casino and throw some money at it.

How can a player improve her odds at slots?

  1. Don't play. If you don't play, you have a 100% chance of not losing any money.
  2. Don't play progressives. Progressive machines are the ones with an ever-increasing jackpot. These pay back at least a percentage point or two less than non-progressives.
  3. Don't play video slots. Video slots pay back at least a percentage point or two less than electro-mechanical (physical reel) slots.
  4. Play games with small jackpots. The smaller the jackpot, the more likely it is to hit.
  5. Play higher-denomination machines. Higher denomination machines have slightly better odds than lower-denomination machines. However, even though the odds are better, you still lose more money playing them, because you're putting more money into the machine.

Has anyone figured out a way to beat slot machines, or is it possible someone will?

No and no. Slot machines work on simple probability. A fair coin has a 50% chance of landing on heads, no matter what you do. A slot machine is just a more complicated version of that coin. The only way to beat a slot machine is to change the laws of probability -- or to cheat, which is a felony.

Can't you just play a machine that hasn't had a jackpot in a long time, since it's due to hit a jackpot?

No. A slot machine is never "due" to hit a jackpot, no matter how long it's been since the last one. The odds are the same on every spin. The odds on the very next spin after hitting the jackpot are the same as they were on the spin that got the jackpot. If you flip a coin and you happen to get five heads in a row, tails is not more likely on the next toss. Heads and tails always have a 50% chance of coming up, regardless of previous results. See more on the Gambler's Fallacy.

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