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Maximize Casino Comps

By Jake 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 play.

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.
Three Card Poker is a wonderful casino game.
(I started a relationship with a  Casino 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 writer for www.TrueCasinoStories.com


 

 

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