Gaming at casinos in California has become big business and highly competitive these days with over 60 tribal casinos and 90 card rooms in the state. You may be spending time at the slots near you for a weekend getaway, so here’s a Dear Jon primer on gambling in California for you. Gerald visited my Facebook page and asked, "Dear Jon, can you do a segment on odds at casinos? We used to play slots at Chumash, but stopped when payouts stopped!" 

The Chumash Tribe has had its challenges lately, but there's no way to quantify their financial issues with a lack of payouts. According to the American Casino Guide, California's tribes are not required to release information on their slot machine percentage payouts. And the state of California does not require any minimum returns.

I called several tribal casinos in Central California for this report. Only one would respond and tell me, on average for every dollar you put in, they pay out 98 cents. All I have to say to that is, hmmmmm!!!

So you want to win at casinos? Experts say do not play the slots!! They have the worst odds, but if you must play the slots, that's your love affair. My research from various sources found that the more you put in per bet, the higher your chance of winning. If you put in the maximum in a penny machine, which is 50 cents, your odds of winning are greater than if you put in just 2 cents. Also, the penny slots pay out the worst. The $1 and $5 slots have better payouts.

As to games, experts agree that blackjack has the best odds of any game in a casino. It's just you against the dealer, and you have to get a number higher than the dealer and not go over 21. After that, craps and roulette have the best odds of winning, but those games are not allowed in tribal casinos in California.

If you have a question for me, just look for the Dear Jon tab on our website. It's under the news tab or "DearJon@KionRightNow.com. You can also message me on Facebook at “JonKBrent KionKcoy” or Twitter at “DearJonKBrent.”