Good Odds

The odds are always against you when you gamble, which is an excellent argument for not gambling in the first place.  If you're gonna gamble anyway, then it pays to play at a casino that offers good odds.  That's one reason I chose Bovada as the advertiser.  Let me first tell you about the competition, though.

Many online casinos are stingy 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.  When players lose at a tight casino too quickly, those players much less likely to return.  Contrast that with a casino with good odds: Players get to play longer, which is a good experience, so they're more likely to return and become long-term customers.

Bovada has always offered games with good odds, knowing that if your money lasts longer, you'll be a happier, loyal customer.  They've got:

  • 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%

Bovada's not perfect, but at least they offer decent odds.

Try their blackjack for free.
One click and you're in.

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.

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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.

Las Vegas Casino News

Lucky Dragon becomes the Strip's newest-built casino

The Lucky Dragon opened on Dec. 3, 2016, becoming the newest freshly-built casino on the strip.  (When a new casino starts, it usually takes over the building of a former casino; newly-built casinos like Lucky Dragon are rare, especially on the strip.)  Lucky Dragon technically isn't on the strip (it's on Sahara Ave.), but given that it's only 0.14 miles from the Strip, which is less than a 3-minute walk, I count it as a strip casino, as does pretty much everybody else.  The casino caters to Asian players, and as such will focus on table games like Baccarat and Pai Gow rather than Western favorites like blackjack.  There's also a much higher ratio of table games to slots vs. other casinos.  That makes me wonder whether the casino will have a hard time staying profitable, though.  (LA Times)

The Sahara closes

The venerable Sahara Casino closed on May 16, 2011.  It was one of the oldest casinos on the strip, and had quite a history.

  • Opened in 1952
  • 1956 - Abbot & Costello's last public appearance was here
  • 1960 - The original Ocean's Eleven movie was filmed here
  • 1950s & 1960s - A thriving Rat Pack-era casino
  • 1964 - The Beatles stayed here
  • The Jerry Lewis Telethon broadcast from here throughout the 1970s (and sometimes in the 1990s)
  • 1999 - Added "Speed", the roller coaster

The only surviving Rat Pack-era casinos on the Strip are now the Tropicana, Flamingo, and Riviera.

When they closed, they sold off all the stuff inside.  And I mean everything, including the fixtures.  I got there after the good stuff was already gone, but I did pick up some gaming chips, a "Sahara"-branded cup, a shower mat, and a clock radio.  Pieces of history.

My biggest regret is that I never got around to renting the "Beatles Suite" where the Beatles stayed in 1964.  But I did get to visit the Abbey Road studios, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much.

The closure is bad news for budget-minded consumers, because the Sahara had some of the cheapest rooms on the Strip in recent years, often as low as $31 or so.  R.I.P.

Cosmopolitan hotel/casino opens

The Cosmopolitan, right next to CityCenter, opened in Dec. 2010, making it the only new casino in Vegas for 2010.  Aria in CityCenter was the only new casino in 2009.  The architecture is kind of interesting, but beyond that, I don't think these new properties add anything interesting to an already-crowded strip, and CityCenter has made a mess of pedestrian travel on the west side of the strip in that area.

Harmon Hotel to be demolished — before it opens!

Old hotels get torn down to make room for new hotels in Vegas all the time.  But here's a twist:  The brand-new Harmon Hotel in City Center is slated to be demolished before it even opens!

The problem is that the building wasn't built according to the proper specs, so there are potential structural and safety concerns.  Apparently the problems aren't fixable—at least not for less than the cost of starting over from scratch.  So that's what MGM Resorts wants to do, start over from scratch.

More from the LV Review-Journal. (Nov. 2010)

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.

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