A collection of true
gambling stories from America's top Casinos.
True, Authentic, Factual, Amazing, Funny,
Surreal, and Way Cool...
Maximize Casino Comps
Earl copyright ©2006
Several years ago while losing at Blackjack, I was told by a floor
supervisor that I didn’t have enough “points” to get a free buffet for my
wife and I. “What!” I exclaimed. “I just lost five hundred dollars at this
silly game and you’re saying that’s not enough to feed us?” I became
indignant; then sullen; then I began to analyze just how casinos decide
who gets comp’ed. The result of my research is below. Please profit from
it -so you and your wife don’t ever go hungry:
1. Use Your Player Card. A Player card issued by a casino is
intended to “track your play.” As you move through a myriad of slot
machines (and table games) it records information on how much you bet,
when, and low long was your “session.” This information is then sent to
the main Customer Service computers that award you either “comp points” or
even cash. The whole idea is simple and it really does work. If you play
for seven hours on a dollar slot machine and lose five thousand dollars,
you had better have been using a player card. If not, the casino never
“sees” your play, and won’t give you the comps you’re entitled to.
2. Blackjack Tips. When you come to a blackjack table, give your
card to the dealer. He’ll pass it back to a floor supervisor who will
enter your player ID number into his pit computer. He’ll also record your
buy-in amount, and how much you are betting per hand. Not each hand, but
an average hand. If you want to increase comps, buy-in for large amounts,
and start with at least $25. per hand. Twenty-five is the minimum amount
the house will start to give you comps. Now later on, when he turns away,
you can lower your bet(s). Unlike slots, you can get away with this move.
3. Stay Put. If you don’t get enough time at the table,
you won’t earn many comps. I learned a long time ago that ten or fifteen
minutes sessions at table games go virtually “unseen” by the comp people.
If you must change tables, mention to the floor supervisor that you’re
moving “a couple of tables down.” That way, he’ll record your play as a
continuous session. Going from pit to pit is a good way to lose your
comps. If the floor manager who started your session can’t find you after
awhile, he’ll clock you off the session and you’ll never get decent comps,
no matter how much you bet. Casinos like long sessions, at high rates of
4. Chit-Chat with the Floor Manager. If you’re playing a table game
and the floor manager is around, he’s watching your play. He’s looking for
how much you’re betting and whether or not you’re winning or losing. But
did you know that a floor manager (often mistakenly called a Pit Boss) is
given the latitude to comp you and your wife by his own decision? If
you’ve talked to him (or her) and struck up a friendly conversation, he’s
probably ‘gonna give you that buffet comp, just because he likes you. Ask
him some questions. Ask for his advice. Let him know you are interested in
whatever he has to say. Sometimes he’ll feel sorry for you and use his
discretionary power to award you a comp. This is especially true when you
stray off the reservation and play in a hotel casino you’re not staying
in. You may have to ask for the comp, but it a cinch he won’t give it to
you if he doesn’t know you.
5. Make Contact with Casino Hosts. Depending on the level of your
play, a Casino Host (sometimes called Casino Marketing Reps) are good
people to know. They can offer you reduced air fares, set up lines of
credit, reduced or free rooms, take food and beverage bills off your tabs,
and generally make you much more liable to come back. They can even use
their influence to get show tickets or rooms in other cities. You may not
consider yourself a high roller, but the casino still wants your play.
Establish a relationship with a Casino host, by name, and call him before
you plan your trip.
(I started a relationship
Host at the Mirage and it has served me quite well.) He might
even upgrade your room or comp the whole thing. As you may have guessed, a
Casino Host rewards you according to your play, so don’t get unrealistic
expectations about your level of comps.
I know Vegas is a wonderful place to stroll. There are so many things to
see and do. How could you possibly stay in one joint? You can’t. The
casinos know that, too. But if you want maximum comps, be disciplined
enough to return to your “home casino.” Lots of little sessions spread all
over town do not equal good comps. Besides, if you’ve “done Vegas” before,
it’s tiring running around all over the place. Stay in one casino and
you’ll reward yourself with more comps.
Jake Earl is a staff