Best online casino for most U.S. players: Bovada

If you're in DE, NJ, PA, or WV, online casinos are legal in your state, and you should play at a casino licensed there.

If you're in any other U.S. state, your best bet is Bovada, not because they're good, but because everything else is even worse.  I'm reminded of the Simpsons episode where the RV salesman is telling Homer, "Simpson, you're never gonna own a finer RV.  And I don't mean that in a good way, I mean this is IT for you!"

THE GOOD ABOUT BOVADA

  1. Play the practice games without having to register an account.  Other casinos force you to register so they can market to you.  Bovada is the only U.S.-wide casino I know of that lets you play right away with no registration.  (If you see a registration box, you can cancel it and continue to the game.)  Blackjack?  One click and you're in.  And the games play right in your browser, so you don't have to download any special software.
  2. Consistent payouts.  Online gambling is mostly unregulated and if a casino refuses to pay your winnings you have little recourse.  But Bovada has always had a good reputation for paying out properly.

THE BAD ABOUT BOVADA

  1. Not licensed.  Because online gambling in most states isn't explicitly legal, no legitimate authority will license a U.S.-wide casino.  That means if you have a dispute, you have no recourse.
  2. Customer service is pretty pathetic.
  3. Phantom bets in live dealer games.  While I was watching (not playing) a live roulette game to record spin data for an article, Bovada claimed that I made two losing bets ($45 and $15) that I didn't actually make.  I complained about this, but they insisted I made those bets.  So, you probably want to steer clear of the live dealer games.

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.

The domain name GamblingAds.com is for sale now on Sedo for $6,000 Buy It Now.
(bid now)

Play these
free slots now

Play 777 Deluxe slot machine Play Koi Garden slot machine

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.

Top ten free things to see in Las Vegas

(also see my separate page about cheap thrills)

 Last update:  September 2021

If this list isn't enough for you, see my list of  94 Free Things to See in Vegas.


On the strip

  1. Bellagio lobby & conservatory.  See the $10 million, 2100 square foot glass sculpture on the ceiling of the lobby, featuring 2000 hand-blown blossoms that weigh about 40,000 pounds, supported by a 10,000-pound steel armature, all by renowned artist Dale Chihuly.  Every day it takes 27 person-hours to clean.  While there, also check out the 14,000 square foot conservatory garden, a dazzling mix of plants, architecture, and lights, which changes with the season.
  2. Bellagio Water Fountains.  Amazing choreographed water fountains, set to popular music, right in front of the Bellagio hotel.  The Las Vegas Sun says it cost $40 million to build.  Shows begin at Noon on the weekends and 3:00pm M-F, running every half hour until 8:00pm, and then every 15 minutes through midnight.
  3. Circus Acts.  In the Circus Circus Midway, every hour from 11:30am to 10:30pm (M-Th), to 11:30pm (F/Sun), and to 12:30pm (Sat).  Way better than you'd expect for a free show. (more)
  4. Welcome to Las Vegas sign.  Take your picture at an iconic monument, a Vegas landmark since 1959.  It's in the median on Las Vegas Blvd. (the Strip), 3/4 of a mile South of Mandalay Bay.  In 2008 the county finally made a parking lot in the median, then in 2015 added a signalized crossing, so tourists no longer have to risk death by running across Las Vegas Blvd. to get to the sign.  Here's the Wikipedia article on the sign.  5200 S. Las Vegas Blvd.  Take the Deuce bus straight there.
  5. Flamingo Wildlife Habitat.  See colorful Chilean flamingos, Ring Teal ducks, Sacred Ibis, pelicans, swans, ducks, koi fish, and turtles.  Open dawn to dusk, pelican feedings at 8:30am & 2pm. (more)
  6. Lounge shows.  Many of the casinos have free lounge shows with really good bands.  These bands are good enough that you'd pay money to see them elsewhere, but in Vegas it's free. (more)
  7. Runway fashion shows.  In the Fashion Show Mall on weekends, every hour from noon to 5pm, near Saks Fifth Avenue/Nordstrom. (more)

Downtown

  1. Viva Vision.  A massive overhead canopy is the world's largest video screen, over four football fields long, and filled with nearly 50 million LED lights.  At night it comes to life, showing amazing animations choreographed to popular music.  In the early 90s the megaresorts that had been appearing on the strip were sucking up tourist attention and nearly put the downtown casinos out of business, so the downtown casinos banded together to finance a spectacle to lure visitors to the downtown area.  Before settling on the video screen, ideas such as a system of canals were floated (no pun intended) (okay, maybe a little).  An upgrade to the resolution in 2004 (which I witnessed) took the video quality from cheesy to damn impressive, and it was upgraded again in 2019, quadrupling the resolution and making it seven times brighter.  It's easy to find: just go to Fremont Street and look up.  If you're on the Strip just hop on the Deuce bus which goes straight to Fremont.  Note, the screen is often mistakenly called the "Fremont Street Experience"; technically, the FSE is the big pedestrian mall where the screen is located, and the screen itself is called Viva Vision.  Shows are every hour on the hour, from 6:00 pm until 2:00 am.  (Visit the official website.)
  2. Music concerts.  On three different stages nightly.  (more)
  3. World's Largest indoor TV screen.  Circa casino has the largest sportsbook in the world, which features an incredible three-story, 78 million pixel TV screen.

Related:


Practice gambling with play money

Before you throw down your hard-earned cash in a casino, PRACTICE FIRST!  Learn the games with play money where it doesn't cost you anything if you lose.  Seriously.

You can play Bovada's games (below) right away without registering for an account.  Most every other online casino makes you give up your email address just to play the fake-money games — ugh.  That's the mean reason Bovada is the only online casino that gets advertising space on my site.  I hope other casinos will eventually start treating their visitors like human beings rather than walking wallets, but until they do, there's Bovada.  One click and you're in.

Play blackjack

Blackjack

Play roulette

Roulette

Play craps

Craps

Play baccarat

Baccarat

Approved by Casinomeister

Proud not only to be an approved Webmeister by Casinomeister,
but also to be one of the very first approved. (#7, May 2020)

Site Contents ©2001-2021 Michael Bluejay Incorporated.
I believe everything herein to be accurate, but I'm not responsible for errors or omissions.  I'm pretty irresponsible, actually.

Home |  About Us   Contact  |  Updates  |  Privacy          Gambling Problem? Call the 800-522-4700 hotline, see horror stories, and know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

Play:  Slots  •  Blackjack  •  Craps  •  Roulette