Reason I like Bovada #5:

Simple Bonuses

Many online casinos give you a big matching bonus when you sign up and make a deposit.  For example, deposit $100, get a $100 match bonus, so you have $200 to play with.  They also give smaller bonuses for subsequent deposits.

Of course there's a catch.  You can't just deposit $100 and then cash out for $200.  You have to do a lot of betting before cashing out the bonus.  Playthrough requirements vary from casino to casino (and bonus to bonus), so check the rules.

Here's what I like about Bovada's bonuses vs. the other guys'.

  1. Most games count.  At many casinos, play on the most popular games doesn't count towards the wagering requirement.  Sometimes the only thing that counts is slots.  At Bovada, everything counts except craps and live dealer games, though with anything but slots the playthrough requirement is higher (and clearly spelled out in the terms).
  2. The terms are right up front.  You don't have to hunt for them, the summary is right there on the bonus page, with a link to the nicely-formatted complete rules.

What I don't like:  Like many casinos, Bovada can cancel your bonus if it looks like you were trying to just meet the play-through and then cash out, or if you strategize your play to maximize the bonus potential.  (See the terms for examples.)  This could hurt players who weren't trying to game the system if their play looks suspicious.  I haven't heard of any such cases but it's possible.  My advice: If you accept a bonus, play normally, as though the bonus wasn't really there.

See Bovada's current Welcome Bonus


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.

How to Play Keno



What is Keno?

Keno is kind of like the state lottery — you pick several numbers on a ticket, and hope to match the numbers drawn from the ping-pong ball machine. There's another way that it's like the state lottery: the odds are very bad. Keno in the casino has the highest edge of any game in the casino -- 25% or more.

The good about this game is that it's played very slowly, and for as little as $1 a pop. If you're almost out of cash at a casino, you can always hang out in the Keno lounge and play $1 Keno games (where you have the chance of winning up to $250,000, or smaller amounts).

If you're playing online the odds are often much better. Of course, the pace is much faster, so you could still wind up losing more money by playing online even though the odds are better, because you're placing so many more bets.

Never play Keno?

Many gambling authors will tell you to never play Keno because the edge is so high. In The New Gambler's Bible, Arthur Reber says, "I wouldn't play it with Monopoly money, and I hope you never will." Now, I think Reber's a great writer, and his Bible is a fantastic book, but I have to disagree with him on this. Really, is it so bad to blow a dollar on a Keno ticket for a chance to win a quarter million dolars? So you've lost a whole dollar — so what? We all know that gambling is usually a losing proposition, so what's the crime if you limit your Keno play to what you can afford to lose and you fully understand that the odds are bad? Sure the house edge is high, but playing a few cheap games is certainly not going to devastate you. You don't have to get a fantastic expected return on every dollar you spend — for example, what's the expected return when you pay to see a movie? You "lose" 100% of your money with no chance of getting it back. But you got some entertainment value out of it, so why is the entertainment value from buying a keno ticket any less valid?

We have a related discussion about this idea on our page where we challenge the idea of only playing the lottery when the jackpot is high.

More on Keno

Here are some other Keno resources:
  • The Wizard of Odds. A professional actuary analyzes the holy living mortal snot out of the game.
  • Las Vegas How-To..  Shows a picture of a ticket and explains exactly what all the various boxes mean.  Nice.

See also how to play:


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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