Aspects of Playing For Complimentary Gifts (Comps) From Casinos – Enhancing Player Expected Value

Casinos compete for gambler’s time and money by compensating them with complimentary gifts (comps). These comps involve free drinks, meals, free or reduced rate rooms, show tickets and extend to RFB (all costs for room,food,and beverage), airfare reimbursement or flyback certificates, and Super Bowl tickets. Comp programs are inherently designed to build customer loyalty and to foster return visits with the patron’s wallets and/or purses in hand. Customers do not have to be high-rollers to receive these incentives; many low-midlevel gamblers can and do receive a surprising amount of freebies and discounts. This is particularly relevant presently in part due to the current state of our general economy; in Las Vegas, visitor counts and gambling bankrolls have dipped significantly and this has increased comp offers from gaming properties in their attempt to encourage gamblers to enter their doors. On a recent (late October,2008) nine day stay in Vegas, my wife and I didn’t have to pay for a single night’s stay (all comped rooms) and we are absolutely not upper crust gamblers. Our gambling efforts involve blackjack at 10 – 25 dollar minimum bet tables and penny or nickel denomination slots and video poker with bets ranging from 40 cents to $ 2.00 per spin.

Comp awards are generally determined by average bet x hours played x bets per hour x expected house edge x % casino comp return to players (generally ranges 25 – 40% of expected win by the casino). For example, let’s assume you play a decent blackjack game (player favorable rule set and you play accurate basic strategy) and your average bet is 10 dollars per hand. If you play an “average ” 6-deck shoe game you can expect to see 60 – 80 hands per hour if the table involves 3 or 4 other players. Many casinos use 60 hands per hour and a house edge of 2% when figuring their expected dollar returns from players and resultant comp calculations. Most casinos will return approximately 40% of their expected win back to a player in the form of comps. For the above game, let’s assume you play 5 hours (hopefully at more than one table); a reasonable comp calculation would be $10 (average bet) X 5 (hours played) X 60 (hands/hr.) X .02 (house edge) X .40 (proportionate casino return to players). This means cumulatively you wagered approximately $ 3000.00 (surprised?) X .02 = $60.00 X .40 = $24.00 in earned comps.

A key tip to remember about comps while in Las Vegas or elsewhere…ASK for them..in a courteous manner. At some Vegas properties, you might be required to wager $15 or $25 per hand to even get rated for table game comps. Some off-strip Las Vegas casinos are more liberal with their meal comps than many of the Strip locales; on several different trips I’ve played for 2-3 hours at the Orleans with a 10 -20 dollar average bet and have never had a problem obtaining buffet comps for two when asked for appropriately. There is a huge variation in comp programs between casinos and corporate gaming entities. Players should determine where they like to play and avail themselves of comp program specifics at a given locale. Don’t be surprised if a player’s club representative / host is vague about precisely how they calculate earned comps; awarded comps can vary with season and any factor that increases patronage (weekends vs weekday, holidays, major events / conventions). Low to midlevel players will find it more difficult to get comped during these high traffic situations at times. It’s suggested that gamblers familiarize themselves with a slots / table games host that they are comfortable with; generally speaking, it’s a good idea to solicit a host of the opposite gender. Communicating with a host can lead to real dollar value for future visits (minimize losses / enhance winnings); part of a host’s job is to enhance the player’s experience while gambling. At many properties, pit bosses can award meal comps. Key elements for playing an enhanced-value comp game are to gamble within your prescribed bankroll, playing games with lower house advantage, know the property comp program, and ASK. On the other hand, “chasing” comps (ie playing too long just to obtain a meal) can lead to increased overall gambling losses, particularly if you’re losing hand after hand, dice roll after dice roll, or slot pull after slot pull. Common sense applies.

Blackjack is an excellent game to acquire comps due to generally lower house odds when compared to all other casino games provided players select games with player-favorable rules and learn accurate basic strategy for the specific game played. If a player avails themselves of these conditions and employs tactics that decrease the speed of the game (fewer hands played per hour), they have employed some basic tactics to enhance their comp accrual. Factors that can slow down a game include playing at crowded tables, talking with other players regularly while the game is in progress, extending decision times on hand plays, and taking frequent bathroom breaks or cell phone call breaks. Another tactic to enhance comp accrual at blackjack involves increased bet levels when pit bosses and / or table hosts are observing specific play; these should enhance your table play ratings and accrued comp levels. Bet levels can be reduced if desired when one is not being scrutinized by casino staff members.

Slot / video poker (VP) play tracking for comps requires that players have their player’s club cards inserted and inserted properly to accumulate points; always determine that this is the case and periodically check during sessions at a given machine. Video poker generally offers higher payback return percentages vs slot machines but comps for VP play are generally less for the same wagers / time played as compared to slots. It’s a standard casino tradeoff mechanism. If you find a casino that you like to play in, you enjoy the slots, and you have ample time, I believe it’s possible to identify some particular machines that exhibit a higher payback percentage than others (we know this is fact; the key is in identifying them). Generally speaking, the higher denomination machines have higher payback percentages (ie $1 slots vs penny machines); your ability to play these will depend on your bankroll and a money management scheme that involves common sense. There are wide variations in payback percentages even among penny slots; observation, common sense, and a willingness to play these games can lead to identifying some of the better paying machines. The key is to not get soaked for a huge loss expecting that next pull..and the next one..to result in a big payout. Regarding slot machines, we suggest a stop-loss approach. We always stop playing a given machine if we’ve reached 40 – 50% of the original buy-in amount (ie $20 -25 dollars credit remaining following a $50.00 original buy-in). Admittedly, the average slot machine will drain your bankroll but if players can identify the higher payback machines (by observation and actual play) these are reasonable alternatives for accumulating comps. Video poker with solid paytables (minimally 9/6 Jacks Or Better or Double Bonus; this paytable means the machine offers a 9 for 1 payout on a full house and 6 for 1 on a flush) is an excellent means to accrue comps (albeit slower relative to most slot machines at the same wager levels). It’s important to realize that the key factor is identifying the machines with greater payback percentages (ie “full-pay” machines or those with close to 100% payback over time, though individual sessions can and do still result in losses, of course).

While seeking out individual casinos to play any game, always seek out player’s club promotions (eg point multiplier days, blackjack enhancements) and use gambling coupons (blackjack match play and first -card ace coupons); use of these will enhance player expectation through increased returns / minimized losses while playing the comp game. The current economic climate in Las Vegas specifically, though generally down, is conducive to comp offer acquisition.

Good cards…

Chuck60 @ Frugally Vegas

Playing Poker Over Online Casinos

If you like to play online poker then online casinos are a good place to go. Many online casinos offer poker games along with other casino games. There are a few online casinos dedicated to poker. If you want to play poker there are options for you. There is also virtual poker where you can play with someone online, video poker, or against a computer player.

How do you play poker?

Poker is a game of hands. There is a ranking for each card you have. There are also certain hands that beat other hands. Like three of a kind which is three cards that are the same number can be beaten by a person with a straight. A straight is A, 2, 3, 4, 5 any numbers of cards in consecutive order. If you decide to play online poker it would be a good idea to get familiar with the game.

How do I get familiar with the game of poker?

The best way to get familiar with the game of poker is find someone you know that knows how to play poker and let them help you learn how to play. Find websites with free casino games and play poker on the free casino online websites. The more you play the better you will get and the better you will understand how to play the game.

The different kinds of poker games…

There are different kinds of poker and each has similar but different rules. Like the card values and hands are the same but the hands may appear differently with each game. Some of the different versions of poker are 7-card stud, 5-card stud, draw, Omaha. These are just a few of the variations of poker that a person may find. Each has its own set of rules to play so a person would have to learn about all the games individually.

The different variations of poker sound interesting…

Yes you can play the different variations of poker on some of the online casinos. Some may offer different variations while others may only offer simple poker; it just depends on the online casino that you choose to use. So if you want a variation of poker it would be a good idea to look for an online casino that has got the different variations.

Making bets online playing online poker games is great entertainment…

You can make bets when playing online poker. It depends on the site rules. You must check if you are free to bet as much as you want or if there is a regulation on the amount you bet. If your goal is to make some money playing poker online at the online casinos then you can do this by making the bets and winning the games. If you play it online for free you still make bets but with fake money. It is up to you how you want to play the game of poker online at the online casinos.

Top Online Casinos and Gambling Tips & Articles

Articles: Online Casino Strategies Part I

How to Choose an Online Casino.

An online casino is essentially a virtual land casino. While the games and the rules may be the same the environment and strategies change causing the online casino to become an independent entity.

This means that while you may be a professional gambler at a land based casino in Las Vegas in an online casino on the internet it’s a whole new game.

The odds and risks involved in an online casino game change and it’s essential that you learn some strategies suggested by professional online casino gamblers so that you can play the online casino games with better odds.

The online casino that you choose to play at will make or break your game. Every online casino has its own strategies to lure the players and allow the house to win. In order to ensure that the online casino at which you play is the one which will if not beat the house odds at least give you an even chance to win we recommend that you follow the following strategies:

Play at an online casino that offers the latest state of the art gaming zone. An online casino that has the PWC reviews and the player return numbers is reassuring as it shows that it’s an online casino where professionals astute and knowledgeable about their online casino games, play.

24/7 online casinosupport is essential. If an online does not have a 24/7 support numbers do not risk your money there. Online casinos are a risky place and you have to ensure that all odds are on your side. Playing at an online casino that does not offer support increases your chance of losing your money. The 24/7 support number will ensure that there are no confusions about the rules and any doubts that you may have will be clarified.

Do not choose an online casino because it appears in the top ten list of the search engine through the key words you choose. Many sites may advertise their site and appear in the search engines this does not mean they are trust worthy. Its always safer to follow a guide or a Top Ten Site recommendation as you can be sure of the professionalism of the sites advertised as they offer programs that are long lasting rather than temporary. You can be sure your money is safe at such a site.

There are tens of online casino sites. Choose the ones that offer high bonuses and rewards. These online casinos will ensure that every dollar that you put in is stretched as much as possible so that you get the most play out of the least dollar.

Online casinos may offer interactive sites but if your are a professional you may opt for the state of art games at a simple site this will ensure that you do not get distracted with music, pop ups and other such gimmicks used to entertain and distract the players from their winning streak. Concentrate.

Play at US based online casinos that are if not licensed at least within your reach if they do not pay your winnings. The support number and US presence is essential for an online casino.

Once the online casinoof your choice has been picked do not jump from casino to casino. That can be dangerous as many online casinos are scams and will disappear within a few months. If you get bored of one casino play at another casino of the same organization. Most regular online casino sites have a network of casinos offering players the most variety within the same terrain.

The Top Ten Online Casino Guide has the list of online casinos that feature only the casino sites with large networks. The online casino sites listed here are US based, professional offer 24/7 support, have licensed back ups and offer rewards and bonuses that give you the most money and online casino can offer.

So gamble at our top ten online casino sites and beat the odds!