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.

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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.

Craps Rolls Generator

For those who want to test their betting systems

Last update: September, 2019.

See below for the right and wrong way to test your betting system idea.

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How to test your betting system

Practice craps with fake money or real money at Bovada

Betting systems can't overcome the house edge.  I present four different kinds of evidence as to why that's true in my article about betting systems.  Centuries of investigation, professional mathematicians, and countless computer simulations all say the same thing: betting systems simply don't work.  But if you're undaunted and really want to test your system, read on.

The wrong way to test your system is to gather random roulette spins, baccarat rounds, or craps rolls and then apply your system to it.  The reason this fails is that it's impossible for you to hand-check several thousand rounds.  After a mere thousand rounds your system might show a profit out of dumb luck, while with most other sets of data (or real-world experience) it would fail miserably.  So, forget the idea of hand-checking round results against your system.

The only way to do test a system properly is to run a computer simulation (either one long session of millions of rounds, or thousands of short sessions).  Running a computer simulation means either hiring someone to write the program (probably $100 would do it), or learning how to program it yourself (would probably take about a week).  To hire someone, try Fiverr or Upwork.  To learn programming, try Udemy, Code Academy, or Learn Python.


How the numbers are generated

I wrote a program in Javascript, using the built-in Math.random() function.  In most web browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox) Javascript uses an algorithm called Xorshift128+ to generate pseudo-random numbers.  This is way more than adequate for testing betting systems.

Some people hear that computers don't generate “real” random numbers, they generate “pseudo-random numbers” (true), and therefore conclude that computers are inadequate for testing betting systems, and that their systems can beat the real world of a casino even if they can't beat the numbers generated by a computer (completely dead wrong).  For all intents and purposes, the numbers generated by Xorshift128+ or any of the other modern algorithms are virtually indistinguishable from real random numbers.  They pass batteries of statistical tests for randomness, including frequency distribution, gaps, repetition, and predictability.  The bottom line is, you can't tell the computer-generated output from the real thing, and the statistical quality is virtually the same.


Related stuff

Craps-specific

  • How to play craps.  If you're trying to test your betting system then you know how the game is played, but if you got here by mistake, then here's the primer on how to play.
  • Practice craps.  Bovada's game lets you play with fake money so you can learn the game without risk.
  • Parody instructions for How to Play Craps.  If you thought the “How to Play Craps” article was confusing, try to follow along on this one.
  • The "Come" bet.  I recommend newbies stick to the Pass Line bet, but if you're ready to move on to another bet, this one's also good.
  • The "Don't Pass" bet.  This is an interesting craps bet, but people who play it are often considered pariahs.

Betting Systems


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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