Most people who’ve read much about gambling for any length of time have heard this advice repeatedly:
“You should always join the slots club, and you should always insert your card when you’re playing at the casino.”
For whatever reason, many players don’t join the club or don’t play with the card inserted.
Here are some insights into good and bad reasons for not using a slots club card, including an answer to a common question: “Can I use someone else’s slots club card?”
Some Reasons for Not Joining the Slots Club Are Lame
Some people don’t want to join the slots club because they think that if they play with the slots club card inserted, they’re less likely to win when they’re gambling. This is NOT a legitimate reason for not using a slot machine card.
The reason it’s not legitimate is simple: It’s not true.
Multiple industry studies have made one thing clear to casino managers: The best predictor of a slot machine’s profitability is the average amount of time gamblers spend on the device. If the game didn’t ever pay out, players wouldn’t want to play it. Also, casinos don’t mind when gamblers win. In fact, they love it.
If gamblers are winning, they’re going to gamble more. The casinos let the house edge do the rest. They have no incentive to penalize you for using the slots club card. In fact, they have a lot of incentive to encourage you to use it.
Some Reasons for Not Joining the Slots Club Are Legit
Some gamblers don’t want to join the slots club for privacy reasons. For whatever reason, a gambler might not want the casino to have their personal information. It’s not for me to judge the validity of your feelings about privacy.
Other gamblers don’t want to join the slots club because they don’t want to get advertising from the casino. This is the most legitimate reason I can think of for not joining the slots club. After all, if these advertisements didn’t work, casinos wouldn’t send them out.
I know a lot of people who claim that advertising doesn’t work on them, but studies demonstrate otherwise. If everyone who claimed that advertising doesn’t work on them were right about this, casinos wouldn’t have marketing departments.
In fact, no business would have a marketing department.
Having a Slots Club Card Might Make a Big Difference
I read about someone who was playing a full pay Jacks or Better game in a casino. That game has a 99.54% payback percentage when played with perfect basic strategy. Even with a minimal comp rate of 0.2%, playing with a slots club card inserted would make a big difference.
Assuming a dollar machine, the average action per hour at such a game would be 600 hands per hour x $5 per hand, or $3,000. With a house edge of 0.46%, the expected loss on that game per hour would be 0.54% X $3000, or $16.20.
With the extra 0.2% in comps, that amount drops by $3000 x 0.2%, or $6.
That’s the difference between an expected loss per hour of $10.20 instead of $16.20, so that’s significant.
The catch with this promotion—as with most casino promotions—is that you must have your slots club card inserted to qualify.
I read about this exact situation with a guy at a bar who was playing without the slots club card, and when he hit the four of a kind, he tipped the bartender $20 to loan him someone else’s slots club card. (The other player had left it in a machine at the bar—a common occurrence.)
Using Someone’s Slots Card Is Against the Casino’s Rules
All casinos have rules related to using someone else’s slots club card.
You know what that rule is? Don’t.
When you hit a big prize on a gambling machine in a casino, the ticket that prints up usually includes the number of the gambling machine, the size of the prize, and the name of the gambler. In other words, the casinos do track who’s using these slots club cards, at least when big prizes are in play.
If you’re married to the cardholder, it’s less of a big deal. Most casinos don’t care in that situation. In some situations, this is a big boon to the married couple.
Suppose you have a married couple in the M life rewards program, the husband gambles a lot more often than the wife. Most slots clubs have tiered memberships based on your amount of action. If a husband hits the top tier, it makes sense for him to play on his wife’s card so that she can get into that top tier, too.
A Situation Where You Might Want to Use Someone’s Club Card
I have a friend whose driver’s license expired over 10 years ago. For whatever reason, he’s been reluctant to get it renewed, but he still carries it around with him. It functions okay as identification for a lot of purposes.
He did have a girlfriend, though, and they often played “together” on a machine. He was usually bankrolling the action, but he was more or less happy to let her hit the spin button on the slot machine games.
His only problem was that she made more spins per hour than he would have liked, which increased the amount of money they lost on average.
All the perks of playing went into her slots club account, but since they were dating, she didn’t mind sharing those with him.
A Slots Club Card Won’t Change the Expectation of the Game
You read a lot about video poker players who use the slots club rewards to turn a negative expectation game into a positive expectation game. This is called “getting an edge.”
The truth, though, is that the average gambler isn’t going to get an edge by using her slot machine club membership. For one thing, finding a high RTP video poker machine with a payback percentage high enough for this to be possible isn’t the easiest thing in the world to accomplish.
For another thing, even if you find such a machine, you probably don’t play well enough to realize the maximum payback percentage for the game. Even if a combination of a good pay table and a slots club card results in a theoretical payback percentage of over 100%, that’s only realized if you play the game perfectly.
And if you’re playing slot machines, you can forget about finding one with a high enough payback percentage for the game to offer a return of over 100%.
Even the best slot machine games have a house edge of 4% or more.
Gambling Online Under Someone Else’s Account
If you’re gambling at a real money online casino, you should definitely be aware that you’re not allowed to use someone else’s login to play at the casino. This applies to all online gambling accounts, by the way; it’s a standard clause.
In practical terms, this might be hard for an online casino to detect or take action against, but you should avoid it if possible. I can’t think of too many legitimate reasons for wanting access to someone else’s online gambling account, anyway.
Even if you have a legitimate reason for doing so, good luck convincing the site that your reason is legit.
Can you use someone else’s slots club card? You can, but it’s against the casino’s rules. The consequences for breaking a casino’s rules varies by casino, but you should know that using someone else’s slots club card is a violation of your agreement with them.
For practical purposes, though, you can probably get away with it.