Reason I like Bovada #4:

It's fair and safe

The best way to avoid losing money by gambling is to not gamble in the first place.  That goes double online, because online gambling is mostly unregulated in the U.S.  That means the casinos serving the whole U.S. 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, it's not what I do—if a dodgy casino won't pay you then you're on your own.)

So if you're intent on gambling online, then the #1 most important thing is to pick a good casino.  The good ones know they make more money with fair games and consistent payouts than the dodgy casinos, because fair play means 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 players.

Many casinos try to find excuses to not pay winning players, especially players who have won big.  Outright cheating (rigged games) is pretty rare, but it happens.  Either way, if you have a problem with most U.S.-facing online casinos, you're usually out of luck.

This is another reason why Bovada is the only online casino I've accepted advertising from for over 15 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 bad 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. (more on this)  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.  My time is valuable and I wouldn't offer that service if I had to do it very often.  I think I've gotten maybe one or two inquiries from affected players in the 15+ years I've been advertising Bovada.

Bottom line: I'm confident that Bovada is fair and reasonably 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.

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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.

Win a free Bodog poker table!

"yawetag" won the table on July 1, 2009!

The page below is for historical purposes only.

The drawing is over, please don't try to enter.

Little girl not included

Since I'm close personal friends with Bodog, they gave me one of their nice poker tables, and nice guy that I am, I'm giving it away to a lucky reader. It could be you! So you have to ask yourself, do you feel lucky, punk, huh, do ya?

Okay, sorry, I got a little carried away. Anyway, here's how it works: Email a screenshot of a Bodog online poker table (with you logged in) to .   Then on July 1, 2009, I'll pick a random winner from all those who entered.

Your picture should look something like the one shown below, you should be logged in, and your screen name should be legible.

Now, you may be thinking, "But what if I don't have a Bodog account?!"  Jeez, keep your panties on.  You can sign up for a free account at Bodog.  (And if you have a Mac, like me, you're in luck, because Bodog now has a new web-based poker client that's Mac-compatible.)

So now you're thinking, "But what if I don't want to gamble online?"  No problem, Bodog lets you play friendly games with fake money.  (Just click the "Play money only" box.)

And now you might ask, "But what if I don't know how to play poker?"  That's okay too — you won't actually be playing in the game unless you click the "Sit Here" button.  So if you don't want to play, just enter the poker room but don't "sit down".

And at this point you might be asking, "So how do I take a screenshot of my screen?"  Jesus Christ, you ask a lot of questions!  Taking a picture with a digital camera is fine, but if you don't have one, then here are detailed instructions on how to take a screenshot with your computer.  Are you happy now?

The winner gets free shipping of the table to anywhere in the continental U.S.  Outside of that, I'll pay the first $200 of the shipping costs, and the winner will pay the rest.

Incidentally, the table is currently being held for me in Las Vegas by the legendary Wizard of Odds, and I can likely get him to throw in an autograph when he sends it off.

Every few days I'll post the current number of entries on the front page of this website so you can see how tough the competition is.  The info page about the drawing went live on June 18, by the way.

I'm estimating the value of this table to be $599. Lucky you, because prizes worth $600 or more are taxable to U.S. taxpayers, so if you win this prize, it's tax-free.


About the table

This is a genuine Bodog table, meaning it came straight from their offices.  Unfortunately nobody knows what this particular table was used for.  That's because they unloaded a few of these tables which had been used for different things when they were moving offices across the country, and there was some employee turnover too when they did the move (and then there were some layoffs last year too), so the short of it is, we know it's a Bodog table, but we don't know who played on it or even whether they were naked when they did so.  I can tell you that this was not one of the ones used on TV, because that style of table is a little different.  Also, Bodog changed the felt on the table before they sent it to me.  (They changed it from "" to just plain "Bodog" because at the time they'd lost their domain name and had to use Bodog.  Recently they got their domain name back, but the table felt was already changed.  Still, "Bodog" is a lot more aesthetic on the table than "".)

The table weighs about 200 pounds, omigod, and is about 8' long, 4' wide, and 2.5' high.  And yes, the legs are completely removable.

Here's a picture of the table.

The little girl is not included.

Rules for the "Win a free Bodog poker table" giveaway

  1. Prize.  The prize is a Bodog poker table, as pictured above.
  2. No purchase necessary.  To enter, go to Bodog, sign up for a free account if you don't already have one, go to a Bodog online poker table, sign in, and send me a screenshot of the screen, showing your screen name, to [contest is over, don't send any more entries].  One entry per person. Entries must be received by 23:59 California time, June 30, 2009.
  3. Winner.  One winner will be chosen randomly from all entrants on July 1, 2009.
  4. Shipping.  The prize includes free shipping to the continental U.S., or $200 towards the shipping to any other destination.
  5. Claims.  Winner will be notified by email and must reply with a shipping address within one week of notification.  If shipping outside the continental U.S., buyer must pay shipping costs by PayPal within one week of being notified of the shipping costs.
  6. Legalese. Must be at least 18 years old to enter. Void where prohibited.  Employees of Bodog and Morris Mohawk are not eligible to win.  Neither is the Wizard of Odds or Casinomeister, because if they won it would look fixed.√ Batteries not included.  Contest is not a toy.  Keep away from open flames.  Be careful with that thing, you're gonna put somebody's eye out!

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.

I like Bovada's practice games the best, because you can play 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 why Bovada is the only online casino that gets 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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