Maximize Your Casino Comps
By Steve Gillman
If you're a regular player at a casino, you know you can get
bonuses from time to time, like a free coffee mug with the casino
logo on it, a free meal, or even a free room for the night or
weekend. These are referred to as comps, and the complimentary
things casinos give out are based on how much you play and at
what level. This practice has been around for a long time, and
still love to give comps as a way to bring back customers.
So how do you maximize what you get? There are a few basic strategies,
and we'll look at them one by one, starting with the simplest...
Find the More Generous Casinos
Not all casinos run their programs the same way and some offer
immediate benefits when you sign up for their player's club or
whatever they call their customer loyalty plan. You might get
a free dinner or $20 in free play for signing up. You can do
some research online to find casinos
that offer the best comps at the moment.
Try Online Casino Games
If it is legal where you live you might want to consider play
online casino games. Online gambling establishments do not generally
have ongong points programs for getting comped, but the initial
signup bonuses are often better than anything you can get in
Vegas or Atlantic city.
Use That Card in the Slot Machines
To get comps from playing slot machines it's important that
you keep the card you receive in the appropriate slot in every
slot machine you play at. In fact, if you are there with a friend
or family member who does not have a card, let them use yours
while you take breaks, so you get the points for their play.
You can check to see if this is okay with the casino. Some do
have rules forbidding this, but the play is real, so they may
not mind if you get a few points from your wife's (or friend's
or brother's) play while you eat a quick snack or go to the restroom.
Also, be sure that when you insert the card it registers. You
should see something on the video screen to indicate that your
card is properly registered. If not, you won't get any points.
Take Advantage of Special Promotions
Watch for promotions that give you more points. Sometimes
a casino will offer double points for certain machines, or they
will have tournaments that are actually a good deal, and open
them only to those who have the loyalty cards.
Stick to One Casino
You might want to try several casinos near you to start. In
that way you might even get a fair amount of those signup bonuses
for joining their card programs. But once you identify the best
casino for you, comp
experts say you should stick to one place. The idea is that
it's tougher to accumulate enough points for decent comps if
you spread your play out among several different casinos.
Become a Comp Hustler
There are tricks you can use to increase the comps you get,
especially at the table games. People who do this routinely are
called comp hustlers. To understand the basic approach you need
to know a bit about how comps are figured. What you get is not
based on how much you lose on any particular visit, but on your
total theoretical loss. Suppose, for example, you're playing
roulette, betting $10 per spin and there are about 30 spins per
hour. The casinos edge is 5.26%, which means over the run they
will keep 5.26% of what is bet. So if you play for three hours
you will have bet about $900 ($10 x 30 spins x 3 hours). You
might be up or down, but your theoretical loss is $47.34. If
the casino gives back roughly 20% of losses in comps, you've
earned approximately $9.47 in freebies. And if that's not clear,
just remember this: Comps are based on how much they think you
Comp hustlers have tricks to make their theoretical loss look
greater. For example, you can play games where you can get an
edge, like blackjack. If the casino is figuring you for a 2%
loss on your play, but you learn how
to count cards and so get a 1% edge on the house, you not
only make a profit, but you also get some comps based on theoretical
losses you never suffer.
Another trick is to make it appear that you are betting more
than you are. I'll describe a basic routine used by comp hustlers.
You scope out a pit to determine who the regular pit boss when
he or she is relieved each hour (usually they get a fifteen minute
break). Then you sit down just prior to break time and let the
pit boss know you are there. They usually take your players card
so they can credit you for the time playing and level of play
they see. Let him see you place a large bet, and then bet smaller
when he is busy on the other side of the pit. This makes him
estimate your level of play too high. Then, when he goes on break
you take a break. Take smaller breaks from time to time when
he is there, but not long enough for him to think about it.
In the end you might bet $600 over the course of two hours.
If you played the scheme correctly the pit boss could estimate
your total play as $2,400. You get credit for a theoretical loss
that is three times as much as it should be, so you get more
To get started, find a list
of casinos in your state. Call the ones near you to see what
they offer. Good luck and maximize those comps!
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