Players that often visit casinos are aware that many patrons are comped during their stay. Regulars receive free or discounted rooms, meals, show tickets, free play, etc. Many average players that wager on penny, nickel, or quarter slot machines, bet $5 or $10 per hand at table games, think that the freebies are only for the high rollers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
How Casino Comps Work
Comps (complementaries) are valued at a portion of a player’s expected loss to the casino over time. This is called the house edge. For example, the house edge on Blackjack is about 0.5% when perfect basic strategy is used by the player. This means that a player’s theoretical loss is about 50 cents for every $100 bet. Players can win too, but that’s gambling. However in the long run over time, the house always wins, and comps keep players coming back.
How to Get Casino Comps
Sign up for a Players Club card without hesitation. All casinos offer them at no charge. Each time you use it at a slot machine or table game, you build up points. Of course the more you play the more points you earn. Depending on where you play and your level of play your points can be used towards meals, hotel stays, exclusive event invitations, show tickets, cash back and more. Rewards vary between casinos and are liquid (change often). Always check with the Players Club associates for specifics.
How Comps are Determined
Points on your card are determined by the amount of credit (coin in) at any machine game after you insert your players card in the appropriate slot. The amount you play is not as important as length of time you play. For example, If you put $20 in a quarter slot machine, and you play for an hour or so with it, the amount of coin in could be $100 or more. The amount through put is what counts.
If you play table games, place your card on the table with your cash when you buy-in. The dealer will give it to the pit boss who will record it. The card will be returned to you promptly. Your average bet will be monitored and recorded from time to time during your session.Once again, how long you play takes precedence for comp rewards.
Once you’re established as a steady player you’ll receive offers in your mailbox(snail mail and/or e-mail).
If you’re a table game player that wagers $25 per hand and higher, ask the pit boss to rate you. S/he will keep track of your average bet size for as long as you play. If you play for two or three hours always ask if you’re entitled to any comps.
For table games,the comps players receive depends on the game you’re playing. For example, three hours of Blackjack at your theoretical loss of 0.5% will earn you less in rewards than three hours of Caribbean Stud Poker, where your expected loss is 5.2%.
The same applies to slot and video poker machines. For example, three hours of video poker play will earn you less in comps than the same time at a slot machine, because video poker has a skill element to it, whereas slots do not.
Where you play is also a factor. Playing as a Vegas locals casino could earn you more generous rewards than playing the same amount of time at the upscale Wynn and Bellagio resorts.
When to Talk to a Host
If you’re planning to stay for a few days call the casino and ask to speak to a casino host. S/he can offer you special room rates and will book your room for you. Tell the host what games you play and what your betting level is. You may also want to enquire about making an upfront cashier deposit. For example, if you’re staying for four days and deposit $2,000, you can draw out $500 a day to prove your betting level. If you’re playing tables get to know the pit crew(s). This can go a long way with your host relationship.
Remember, always be a responsible gambler. Always let the casino comp your play. Never play just for comps.