"The world is like a ride at an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it's very brightly coloured and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question: Is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, 'Hey – don't worry, don't be afraid ever, because this is just a ride ...'"
-- Bill Hicks
As a special door prize for visiting this site, you're invited to try out a nifty Sudoku game I recently programmed. If you've got Microsoft Excel, you can download and run it in minutes. My version is packed with unique features: it generates infinite Sudoku puzzles, solves any puzzle you enter manually, and helps you understand simple and powerful strategies by offering hints as you play.
Years ago, I was an "expert" at over-the-board and postal chess, and played a bit at Yahoo! Games (which also has good interfaces for backgammon, checkers, hearts, and poker). Here are the moves from one of the more colorful games I've ever played. Also, a couple of my games against the computer (Game 1, Game 2.)
CHESS LINKS: ChessBase has chess news, along with a huge database you can search by opening moves. The World Chess Academy has classic games and puzzles. Chessgames.com has tons of games for you to review online and kibbitz; you can search for games by famous players, like grandmaster phenom Magnus Carlsen.
I spent a year as a dealer in Vegas (blackjack and roulette), learning a bunch of different games, and becoming a decent low-limit poker player.
POKER: Pokersites.com reviews all of the leading online poker sites and reports the benefits each has to offer. For poker news and strategy discussion, I check David Skansky's TwoPlusTwo forum. I enjoy following some of the poker pros: Phil Hellmuth, Paul Phillips, Daniel Negreanu, Lou Krieger, Barry Tanenbaum, Annie Duke, and Steve Badger. I use the Poker Odds Calculator to analyze confrontations. PokerListings let's you look in on the biggest hands being played online; there are usually a number of $100K-$200K pots played every day. CardPlayer Tube offers YouTube-like videos of poker tournaments and big games.
CASINO LINKS: Casino.org is a good resource to use for finding online casino sites to play roulette, craps, slots and video poker. Jazbo's Home Page covers Atlantic City, Tunica VP is video poker in Tunica, MS, and Las Vegas Hack Attack and CheapoVegas have inside dope on Vegas. The on-line magazine Las Vegas Advisor has published some of my own musings from my dealing days. Ask me a question about casino games (particularly video poker) at allexperts.com.
VIDEO POKER: Detailed info on video poker in around the country from the Video Poker Insider (paid subscription required). Free info on VP at the vpFREE Casino DataBase. Info on various VP pay schedules at Video Poker Information. Bob Dancer writes a free VP column for casinogaming.com. Tools to calculate video poker strategy, risk, and return at VP Analyzer, Video Poker Genius, and VP tools. Then test your skill with a real nice, free, downloadable "coach" from Gamble Craft. Try out new VP games like "Big Split" and "Multi Strike" at Leading Edge or videopoker.com.
OTHER GAMBLING INFO: The Wizard of Odds analyzes a tons of the best games. Casino Video Games has gambling links and software. Get Blackjack strategy from Blackjackinfo.com and All About Blackjack. Ante Up and Casino Gambling have still more links to gambling sites.
Checkers is more interesting than you'd think.
When I was younger and sometimes visited the video arcades, the strategy game Ataxx was one of my favorites.
The San Fran Chronicle's online Sudoku lacks some of the features of my own, but I must admit it's pretty impressive.
A cool Myst-like adventure game.
Lots of "newspaper" comics at King Features (includes Zippy the Pinhead) and comics.com (includes Opus!).
('Scuse Me While I) KissThisGuy.com is a collection of misheard lyrics ("The ants are my friends, they're blowin' in the wind...")
Enjoy other people's deep, dark secrets at postsecret.
A laugh-out-loud satire of 1970s style, as viewed in a 1977 JC Penny catalog.
Let's Be Friends isn't exactly humor, but man oh man is it cute. But for the absolute, xtreme limit of excrutiating cuteness, no one can beat Cute Overload.
This is the coolest optical illusion I've seen.
This video of British soldiers on LSD is an absolute must-see. A gazillion more weird old movies and clips are in the Internet Archive and MediaBurn.
60s satirist Paul Krassner's blog.
Modern religious satire at the Church of the SubGenius.
I've enjoyed the edgy independent films of Caveh Zahedi (I Don't Hate Las Vegas Anymore and I am a Sex Addict). In Tripping With Caveh, he ingests magic mushrooms with celebrity guests.
Little practical jokes: Experience California, or keep an idiot busy.