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Reason #1 I like Bovada:

Play for free
with no hassles

Most online casinos annoy the hell out of me. They insult you with popup windows and spam, and do everything they can to separate you from your money. Even if you want to just play with fake money for free, they make you register for an account so they can pester you by email trying to get you to deposit real money.

On the whole Internet, I found exactly one online casino that's different: Bovada. You can play their games for free, with absolutely no hassles. And that's the main reason why I promote them exclusively.

Here's what I mean by no hassles:

  • Completely free. It's not one of those "Buy 1 get 1 free" kind of deals, it's absolutely free. You can click over and start playing with fake money right away, with no cash out of pocket. Here, go ahead and try it.
  • No registration required. Most casinos let you play for free, but there's a catch: They make you register an account first. That's not just a hassle: after you do it you can expect them to badger you by email trying to get you to deposit real money. But Bovada lets you play right away with no registration required. One click and you're in. Honest. Here, try it.
  • Plays right in your browser. If you'd rather not download the casino software to your hard disk, you don't have to. The games play right in your web browser. Nice.
  • Works on Macs. The play-in-browser games are MacOS compatible! Before Bovada, Mac users were pretty much out of luck for gambling online. Not any more.
  • No popups. I'll never understand why companies think it's a good idea to annoy their visitors, but that's standard practice at most online casinos. Bovada is one of the rare exceptions -- no popups, no popouts, no browser hijacking, just the website with no B.S.

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

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
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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 Us

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I will NOT sign up for it.  Don't waste your time (or mine) by making a futile inquiry.

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.

99% of the inquiries I get about the Betting System Challenge go straight to the trash. That's because the challenger suggests something completely contrary to the explicit terms of the challenge.

Because of the number of people trying to waste my time, it's necessary for me to ask some more questions:

Are you writing to ask me to test your system (with or without payment) instead of formally submitting to the challenge?

Are you asking to do the challenge without putting up the full amount specified in the terms?
Can your system be played by an actual person in an actual Vegas casino?

Are you going to take issue with or ask to change the clear and generous terms, conditions, or rules that I offer, in any way?
Did you hire someone to write a computer program to test your system already, as I suggested on the Challenge page? (You can likely find a programmer on craigslist or Upwork for $50 to $100.)
If you actually hired a programmer and s/he told you that you had a winning system, you hired an incompetent programmer. Try another one. Otherwise, if you're really confident that your programmer gave you the right answer, then click the last word of this sentence to continue.

Okay, so you're all eager to risk $1000+ with me to prove you have a winning betting system, but you didn't even bother to spend $50 to $100 to have your system tested first? Are you a blithering idiot or something?  Go get your system tested.  Otherwise, if you insist that there's no need for you to do any due diligence by having your system tested beforehand, you can continue now by clicking the last word of this sentence.
Did you lie about the answers to any of the above?

No whining about the rules

The terms of the challenge are not subject to negotiation, period.  I've already made that clear to you several times, yet you've chosen to ignore it. I won't accept a challenge from you.  Do not write to me.  Don't think that you're so clever by going back and lying on the answers to the screening questions just to get your message through, because then as soon as I see your message suggesting a change in the terms, I'll simply delete it on-sight.  (Duh.)  I have done that every single time someone has lied on the answers to the screening questions.  I have never responded favorably to such a deceit.  Oh, but you, your message and your suggested change are special, right?  WRONG.

Not that you deserve an explanation, but I'll provide one anyway. My challenge seeks to prove that anyone hawking a betting system is hawking pure junk, and I provide generous terms for anyone who wants to put their system to the test. It's not my obligation to create a specially-crafted set of rules for every challenger who wants to tweak them. I'm already offering you generous terms, including whopping 10 to 1 odds for the computer-simulated version. Nobody else on the planet is offering a betting system challenge like I am, much less one with such generous odds. So if you don't like it, kindly bugger off.

Also, in many cases those who want rule changes are just trying to find a loophole to beat me. They're not trying to prove that a system they're selling for use in a casino environment actually works, which, as I've tried to make painfully clear, is the whole point of my offering the challenge. As such I'm not going to waste my time trying to placate people who are trying to find a loophole in my challenge rather than trying to show that they have an actual winning system for use in an actual casino...especially when doing so would mean I'd have to waste time programming and testing various exploits that might be able to beat a modified rule set.

As for the craps odds I offer, my challenge offers typical odds found at typical casinos. I don't intend to match the best odds available at any casino on the planet (or even Vegas). That's completely beside the point. No system purveyor claims that their system can beat only a 100x craps game (rather than the standard 3-4-5x odds I offer), or can win only with a 1024:1 spread (vs. a 500:1 spread).

Some people don't understand the word "standard". They think "standard Vegas rules" means the absolute most liberal rules they can find at any casino in the city. No, that's the opposite of "standard". The very best rules you can find anywhere are exceptional Vegas rules, not standard ones.

Also, in the past I made the odds more generous in response to complaints, but then the same people just complained about something else. It's clear that no matter how generous I make the odds, some people are going to whine anyway. I have to draw the line somewhere, so I'm drawing it at a very reasonable place: standard Vegas rules.

Also, even when I've made the terms more generous in response to complaints, no one accepted the challenge anyway.

Blackjack is not accepted. Nor is any game that's not explicitly listed on the list of accepted games. There's a reason I listed which games are acceptable. If you don't see it on the list, it's not available for the challenge. Duh.

Didn't see the particular rule you want to change addressed above, and therefore think that I might be amenable to accepting your rule change? Then congratulate yourself on being a complete idiot, and bugger off. I can't anticipate every possible way that people might want to change the rules, and I'm not going to try. The rules are the rules, period, period, period. Do not write.

Bottom line, I won't waste my time with people who want to nitpick about the rules, most importantly because it's completely irrelevant.

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.

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 VegasClick.com", 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 VegasClick.com. For video poker, see Wizard of Odds.com.

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.

The form below is for media inquiries ONLY.

For all other inquiries, use the choose the right option.