Casinos are (rightfully) often thought of as a place that takes your money away. With that being said, there are some instances where they’ll actually give back to preferred players by way of comps.
Comps are complimentary items and services given out by casinos to encourage players to gamble. Just like everything else in the casino, there’s a way to get a slight edge and enjoy a few more of these freebies… if you know what you’re doing.
In this article, I’ll go over the various ways players can enjoy more comps and play with a little more of the envied house money next time you’re in Las Vegas casino or a casino in your town.
1 – Use Your Card (In the Right Way)
This one sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many frequent players don’t use their card correctly to get the best deal.
The first rule is to distinguish between land casinos and other situations like a cruise, riverboat, or an online casino. Experts suggest that on a cruise, you should use your card every time. In land-based casinos, however, it gets a little more complicated.
Be a more flexible about when you use your card at a typical casino. For example, each session is counted as a trip. If you’re only going to be there for a few minutes, it might lower your comp because of the impact it has on your average play.
2 – Know When to Bet Big
You always want to show off when the important people are around. Betting higher amounts when the pit boss is watching, especially right when you arrive at the table, is a great way to find yourself in the casino’s good graces.
If you’re not familiar with how casinos do ratings, it’s actually pretty simple. The pit boss will write down names and player numbers. When you’re finished with your session, your average bet and time played will also be recorded to determine your potential worth to the casino.
Keep in mind that pit bosses can get pretty busy throughout the night, so it’s important to make the most out of the times where you have his or her attention. One way to increase your rating is to call the pit boss’s attention to your table when you make any unusually high bets.
These are crucial to get seen and recorded by the people who have a say in the type of comps you’ll receive.
3 – Talk to Pit Bosses Afterwards
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received in college was that if you take the time to talk to your professor and negotiate grades, it will almost always work out in your favor. This is also the case when trying to improve your comps at casinos!
It’s important to talk to your pit boss after your session for several reasons. First, you want to make sure that you have actually been rated. In the chaotic nature of a pit boss’s night, ratings slips can disappear without a trace. If your goal is to get better comps, this rating is essential.
The next reason it’s important to talk to your pit boss following your session is because you can actually have your numbers changed a little bit. You probably won’t be able to convince the bosses to alter your numbers drastically, but a little bit goes a long way.
For example, getting a boost on your average bet from $90 to $100 might not feel all that significant, but it means you’ll get 11% more comps just for speaking up.
In addition to having your average bet total raised, see if you can ask the pit boss to increase your recorded play time. Even just a half hour longer can pay off, and all they can do is say no.
Keep in mind that talking to pit bosses tends to go much more favorably if you’ve tipped your dealer and been respectful to them the whole night. When asking for things at casinos, it helps tremendously if the staff likes you.
4 – Play With the People
When you’re looking for the perfect table to play, go towards the one with the most people. The reason isn’t necessarily to get attention on yourself, but rather to increase your playing time while not risking more money. To put it simply, it slows the game down.
To explain further, the casino will typically estimate around 75 hands per hour for blackjack. If you’re playing at a very full table, that rate might be slowed down to around 50 hands per hour. Why is this important? Because while you might only be playing 50 hands per hour, you’ll be earning comps at a level as if you were playing the estimated 75 hands per hour.
Obviously, there’s extra risk assumed if you’re playing for several hours, but there’s also an increased benefit in terms of comps. The trick is to play as long as possible, while risking a disproportionately low amount per hour.
5 – Give Them Your Email
It seems like just about every business you interact with is trying to get ahold of your email address for marketing purposes. In most cases, this just leads to endless annoying emails. In this case, it can lead to huge savings, incentives, and benefits.
Casinos are always looking for ways to get you in the door, and in many instances, they’ll pay to have you. If you’re a regular player, you should be taking advantage of the offers provided to preferred customers.
My recommendation would be to set up a separate gaming email address specifically for the purpose of casino perks. Before you make a visit, look it over and see what offers apply to the games you’re looking to play.
6 – Play the Part
Casinos love high rollers, and they especially love high rollers that lose more often than they win. With this knowledge in mind, try giving the impression to the pit bosses that you fit this profile.
If you’re just sitting down at the table and know you’re going to make an average of $25 per play, try front-loading some of that action when you’re most visible to pit bosses. For example, play $100 on the first hand to give off the vibe that you aren’t afraid to risk a little more.
Additionally, when you inevitably lose, don’t be afraid to be vocal about your losses. When the casino notices you’re lining their pockets, they’ll be more inclined to give you some comps to help you stick around longer and visit more frequently.
7 – Know How the System Works
If you aren’t familiar with how pit bosses rate players, it might surprise you to learn that it’s a relatively uncomplicated, straightforward process. Primarily, ratings are based on how long you play and how much you’re betting.
If you’re curious about where you stand, it’s okay to ask! In many cases, pit bosses will appreciate your consideration and subconsciously favor you over other players who haven’t tried to interact or learn their rating.
Finally, this has been mentioned but is worth repeating, be pleasant! It’s a fact of life that people give more leeway to those who make their lives easier. Be an enthusiastic, respectful player, and you’ll reap the benefits.
The fun part about comps is that there’s a true human element involved. Practice your particular strategy, and before long, you’ll be enjoying the comps that other players are missing out on.
Remember that the perfect system varies depending on pit boss, so get to know them if there’s a casino you frequent, and see if the relationship can help you get a better deal.