Casino Comps & Your “Average Daily Theoretical”

Ever wonder how the casino you visit decides on what comps to give you? When I first started, I thought that if I went to the local casino (or closest) and played a little more often, they (the casino) would see me as a loyal customer and raise my comps. How could they depend on that visitor that appears once a year instead of me – they had me for life if they played their cards right.

But, alas, my comps continued to be menial – “minion’s comps” I call them. Then I found out about Average Daily Theoretical – the average amount that a gambler losses per day for a certain gambling activity, usually expressed in absolute terms (such as dollars). It’s your value to the casino, based on your average daily play – NOT the numbers of appearances at the casino.

Your players card is how the casino tracks your play.

Back to Average Daily Theoretical, the amount (expressed in percent or real units) a casino assumes certain play is worth to them. A positive Theoretical is an assumed loss to the the player. A casino typically comps players based on their actual Theoretical. For example, a casino may assign a certain game a Theoretical of 5%. Assuming a player’s coin-in is $10,000, a casino would then limit total comps to some fraction (less then one) of the theo, $500. If the player had the same coin-in on a game with 1% Theoretical, the comps would have been limited to some fraction of $100.

To make it simple, basically it’s based on your play in one day. A long play in a casino’s day raises your “comp-ability” and playing a little lowers it. So, you can start to receive amazing offers if your play is fairly concentrated into small capsules of time (one or two trips a month) with longer play – basically more money through in a casino day. Now, if you spread out the same amount of money over more visits, less time each visit, the offers decrease.

One very important part to know is the “casino day” which may not be what you consider a day, or may differ from casino to casino. Some casino day’s start at 12:01AM, while others start at 6:00AM. Make sure you know which day your play falls on at, for example, 1:00AM.

Great Podcast fpr Craps, home poker games, and all sorts of gambling advice.

 

 

The guys from “You Can Bet on That” give a good example. Let’s say you are staying at a casino for two nights with $400 as your bankroll. If you play the $400 through on the first day, your ADT is better than if you split your bankroll over two days. And what if you get up to check out and put in one more $20 before you leave? Well, your ADT is now figured over three casino days, thus lowering your ADT.

So, if you visit often and put through $50 each time, don’t expect great offers. Make fewer visits putting though the same amount in a month and you will find your your offers increase.

But please remember – play for fun, play for recreation with the bankroll you can spend. DO NOT PLAY MORE THAN YOU CAN SPEND JUST TO GET BETTER COMPS. Always spend up to your allowable bankroll.

16 Casino Do’s & Don’ts

Casino Entrance sign

So, your friend or family member offers to take you to a casino for your very first time.  But, never having been before, you haven’t a clue about what to do when you get there.  So, here are some quick suggestions for you newbies out there, or maybe a refresher course for the rest of you.

1) Know how much money you can wager and lose.  Yes, that’s right, lose.  Know your Bankroll. Approach it as entertainment first. Remember, if you’re not an Advantage Player looking to make a living, it’s recreation.th (33)

2) Know the rules of the games you might play.  If you can, get a free app on your smart phone or tablet and play a little before you go.

3) Decide if your trip is for gambling only, or it’s to enjoy all that the casino experience can  offer. You can spend sometime dining, shopping or watching live entertainment. These are good activities too. Just don’t gamble in casinos to make your trip productive.

4) Sign up for a rewards card.  You may get a free slot play bonus, or get freebies for eats later on. You could get free tickets to a concert, and if you play enough to raise your level of card, you could get additional things from a special parking area for your card level, to entrance into a VIP lounge.  th (26)

5) Be contented with small casino wins. First timers usually lose more in casinos. Breaking even in casinos is generally considered a win.

6) Check the local newspaper for advertisements, or check the web on the best deals in casinos.  netime-logo NECANETimeGambling often lists promotions and New England casino news on Twitter and Facebook.  Sign-up bonuses, double points, giveaways, dining deals – they’re all for the taking.  Go where the whole experience will be great, not just the gambling.

Don't be a Griswold

Don’t be a Griswold

7) Don’t believe in superstitions like “hot machines” or “it must be time my luck changed’ or, “surely it can’t be red again” because each bet is an event of it’s own, with no connection to the previous event.  As soon as you realize this, the easier it will be for you to understand the gambling experience.  Repeat after me – “The House has the advantage.”  Good! Now go out there and enjoy it, win or lose. Be prepared ahead of time and be knowledgeable.

8) Don’t drink a lot of alcohol when gambling.  Excessive alcohol will inevitably cause you to accept losing beyond a “healthy situation.”

9) Bring a watch and your cell phone.  There are usually no clocks or windows in most casinos, and if you get separated from your party, you might need to contact them. Wrist devices like FitBit or Apple Watches can signal you with incoming messages by vibrations or sounds that you can feel or hear above the caucophony of  noise in the casino and prove invaluable.

10) Casinos convert your cash into chips at the tables. Simply said, this is so you lose the sense that this is really money. Remember chips ARE money.
11) Don’t be afraid to ask staff for help.  Remember, the casino is built on getting you there (or should be) and so there are many people who are there simply to help you as a hospitality service.th (1)  Don’t be shy.  If you are new (or not) to the game, please ask the dealer for advice. They want you to win! The more you win, the more likely you are to tip, however tip for their helpfullness and entertaining personality – they have nothing to do with your winning.  Don’t worry about taking a little longer. Everyone starts as a beginner, and most will appreciate your attempt to make the correct play.
12) Don’t hand dealers chips or cash – they are not allowed to handle it directly.  The “Eye in the Sky” is watching your play and their work. Put the chips or cash on the table. They will not accept it any other way.
13) If you smoke, be aware of those around you. If you are a non-smoker in a smoking part of the casino, be flexible.  Reach a common ground that you both can be comfortable with.th (16)
14) Take a walk around when you arrive.  In this day and age, make sure you know your nearest exits if new to that property. Get acquainted with your surroundings. Casinos can be difficult to navigate through.  That’s the way they want it. You get lost because you’re supposed to, then you grab a seat at a slot machine or blackjack, and voila! You drop some cash gambling.  If you’re new stay with your party.
th (2)

Tip your waitstaff, especially if you request specific items.

15) Carry dollar bills for tips. In most casinos, complimentary beverages are served, but the wait staff is usually expecting a small tip.

16) Be aware of the casino’s rules concerning using your phone for taking pics.  Each casino has different rules and it is important for player to be aware of them.  Hey, SELFIE-ADDICTS – Taking pictures in a casino or talking on a cell phone can get you into big trouble if it breaks the rules.  Some casinos allow some picture taking, like when a jackpot is hit. But don’t be surprised when you asked to put your phone away. SELFIE STICKS aren’t tolerated by both the casino staff and the patrons.  Remember, many visitors would prefer not to be in anyone’s picture – especially those Advantage Players that make a living in anonymity.
Finally, have fun.  It’s social, it’s entertainment.  Let’s just leave it as that.
That’s all for now.
Binbin

Gambling Losing Streaks – Responsible Gaming Education Week

Vegas Vacation

In A Losing Streak?

RESPONSIBLE GAMING EDUCATION WEEK

Leaders of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM), the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) joined the American Gaming Association (AGA) this week to highlight the gaming industry’s shared commitment to responsible gaming.

Gaming operators and manufacturers across the United States will commemorate the industry’s responsible gaming efforts by holding dozens of local events and responsible gaming educational activities this week in recognition of Responsible Gaming Education Week.

So, while NETimeGambling.com endorses recreational gambling, it’s always good to remember responible gambling.

NETG & RESPONSIBLE GAMING

When I first started NETG, another blogger posed the following question, “If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?”

For me, this blog is a means to inform as a resource. More than anything I wish gamblers understood the logistics behind the gaming industry and losing. With the wrong expectations, a losing streak is a difficult thing to deal with – it becomes very personal. We bring a certain amount, whether it be $20, $200, $2000, or more, and it can be gone in a New York minute – and there you are, a quick losing streak changing your expectations, your feelings, and possibly your behavior.

Now what do you do?  When your gambling becomes a streak of losing, what do you do to change your “luck?” How do you handle that pit in your stomach?

HOW DO YOU REACT?

BankrollDo you go on “TILT?” According to Bill Burton in his article “Losing Streaks: How To Survive,” “going on tilt is the expression used when poker players become upset and lose control of their emotions. Consequently they start making poor decisions and play badly and irrationally. Going on tilt is not confined just to poker players. Anyone who gambles on any casino game can find themselves on tilt. Once a player starts losing money they are a prime candidate. They have lost money and they try to make it back quickly by raising the size of their bets or playing a higher denomination slot machine. This will usually just lead to more losses.”

Sometimes a player will get to the point where they just don’t care how much money they have lost. But, for most of us, it does matter. Understand that casinos are very profitable businesses. They make money that is coming from the players pockets. Few people win. Most lose. Gambling is for fun. If it makes you feel bad, and cannot accept the fact that you’ll probably lose, do something else in your free time!lottery

7 SUGGESTIONS FOR DEALING WITH LOSING STREAKS

Losing can become purely an emotional response.  I try to remind myself the following:

  1. I came with money that I could spend on the recreational pleasure of gambling. When it’s gone, I’m done. And a 10% win on the day’s Bankroll is a good day for any recreational gambler.  Consider going home with money in your pocket, win or lose.
  2. The casino will win, the house edge is real and getting worse every year as casinos tighten machines, game rules, and paytables.
    6:5 Blackjack

    Dont play Blackjack that pays 6:5 on all blackjacks! Just don’t!

    Learning to accept it is the first step to dealing with losing.  Even better, look for the best table rules, the best paytables, and higher denomination slots to help your gambling duration and “win-a-bility.”

  3. If I win big, or lose big, I need to admit that anything CAN happen. The end result, AS LONG AS MONEY SPENT IS DISCRETIONARY, NOT YOUR FAMILY’S BUDGET $$, must be accepted.  When you’re not in a good frame of mind and on a losing streak, put down your drink, don’t carry on and calmly leave. Jessica Cheng, Brand Ambassador at 777DragonCasino.com, says,”…we have a chance at winnings and a chance at losing – it’s just the nature of the game.
    Losing at Gambling?

    Losing at Gambling?

    But there is no reason to slip into a depression and refuse to ever go gambling again. Just recoup, maybe take a break and gather yourself again, sit on a little bit of a tight budget for the next month and then when you feel ready, try again.” However, I would emphasize wait and “sit on a little bit of a tight budget for the next month…” 

  4. Repeat after me…..We must ALWAYS use our Rewards Card.  At least get something for your money. A comp of any size could give yourself the break that you need, whether it’s an outright comp gift or from your own hard-earned comp points.
  5. NEVER GO TO THE CASINO TO GET AWAY FROM PROBLEMS, NEVER GO TO THE CASINO WHEN YOU’RE ANGRY, UPSET, OR DEPRESSED. 
  6. If you have lost A LOT of money (which could mean anything to anyone, but I mean a good chunk over hours of play),  do what Richard Munchkin, Author of Gambling Wizards and cohost of cover170x170Gambling With an Edge (an excellent podcast and highly recommended for Advantage & recreational players alike). “The most important thing AFTER a big loss” he says “is to contact a casino host and ask for some money back. This is called a loss rebate, but it is only for BIG losses……Bottom line – try to get some of your money back by asking a host. If you can’t get cash try for show tickets, fight tickets, or whatever they will give you. By the way – the term “ton of money” is relative. If your ‘ton’ is $500 then you may only get a comp for 2 to the buffet.”  Remember, unless you ask, you can’t get anything!
  7. Fluctuations are to be expected, depending on the EV (expected Value) of the game your playing.  See the cartoon above and read again. Don’t expect your money to last on a slot machine like it would on a Video Poker machine with perfect strategy.  And yet, fluctuations will happen, no matter what the EV is. There are advantages to playing any game – just be knowledgeable and accept the consequences of lower EV games.

Remember, gambling is like any recreational pleasure – it can create a rush of adrenaline and release of endorphin to our human brain that some of us can’t handle well. Before I end, I must repeat what is in the side panel of this blog daily: Gambling Addiction is a serious illness progressive in its nature. It affects the person who gambles as well as many around them – family, co-workers and friends. If you wonder if the fun has stopped, and the compulsiveness has begun, go to the following Gamblers Anonymous site and answer a quick 20 questions. It may save your life.

Go to Gamblers Anonymous.org and take a 20-questions quiz if you wonder why it isn’t fun anymore.

Be in control.  I wish for safe, healthy and fun gambling for us all, win or lose.  JUST REMEMBER, KEEP WITHIN YOUR FINANCIAL MEANS AND HAVE FUN.

Binbin

Casino Bankroll Planning – Q & A

“Retirement is like a long vacation in Las Vegas. The goal is to enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you run out of money.” — Jonathan Clements

If you think about it, every time you visit the casino, that’s the goal. To enjoy it the fullest, but not so fully that you deplete your bankroll.Bankroll

ASK these questions before your next visit to the casino:

1)  “How long am I going to stay?”  Decide before you go.
2)  If using bus transportation, “Do I have plans on how to spend my free time?”  (Time without bankroll)
3)  “If I get ahead on a slot or video poker machine, how will I establish a stop value to cash out?”
4)  If it’s a longer visit that spans over a meal time, “Do I have a plan for dividing your sessions?”  and “Am I taking enough money to include downtime, tips, and meals?”
5)  MOST IMPORTANT – “Does my allotted bankroll equal the allotted time for my visit?”  In other words, will your time expectations match the $$ you brought?  (If not, be careful not to make that ATM your friend)

Bankroll Suggestions

 

$100 Funny Toilet Paper

 

Keep in mind that the following are suggestions.  While a suggested bankroll might give you the best run at a certain percentage of lasting, the opposite is also true. The house edge might not change in your session, but your success can get crazy bad or crazy good in a short session – after all, it is casino gambling.

 

SLOTS – John Grochowski says, “….as a general rule of thumb, to have a 90% chance of staying in action for three hours on the slots, your bankroll should cover 250 bets. If you’re betting 40 cents a spin on penny slots, a $100 bankroll gives you that 90% chance. If you’re betting 75 cents on quarter slots, the bankroll need rises to about $187.50, and when you bet $3 per spin on dollar slots, it’s $750.”

BLACKJACK – according to CountingEdge.com, “….always buy-in with at least 50 times the minimum bet. No exceptions. In other words, to play at a $5 minimum bet table you need to buy-in with $250. At a $10 table you need $500, and so on.

CRAPS – Its my understanding to bring to the table 7 to 10 times the amount you are betting. So a $5 table with 3-4-5x odds pass line w/ odds only ave bet $25.00 so $175 to $250.

VIDEO POKER – 150 bets to cover 400 decisions per hour (average player with perfect strategy).  In other words, playing quarter VP and five coins per single line, $1.25 X 150 = $187.50 (round up to $200).  Of course, the lower the pay table pay out, the more you will need.  Also, higher the volatility (Triple Double Bonus Poker as compared to Jacks or Better) would me a higher bankroll.

They Represent Real money! Treat these chips as such.

OTHER TABLE GAMES – Casino Player writer Basil Nestor, from “Casino Player” writes “…Blackjack and other table games are best played with a minimum of 50 bets. The only exception to this rule is Let It Ride, which requires 150 bets. For table poker, it’s 100 bets.”

Remember, my fellow recreational gamblers, it’s great to win.  But if you lose, only lose the bankroll you bring and the money you can spend for fun.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

3 Casino Facts for the Recreational Gambler – Acceptance Is The Key

When players talk about their gambling experiences, so many times I have to laugh at the things they say. Aside from the nonsensical myths and mathematical proven superstitions that permeate the gambler-sphere, three things seem to be heard the most”

1) Casinos signs exclaiming “millions of dollars paid out!”  – The implication is that players at “XYZ” Casino will be winners.  Look at what has been paid out! (as the numbers keep scrolling higher). How could you not choose XYZ casino to play at?

Just once, I’d like to see another sign next to it showing the money being made by the casino’s games in real time – guess would show a higher number?

2) People who say they rarely lose. LOL! There seems to be so many of these people that I’m surprised casinos are still in business.  Usually I hear it from a third party – “My wife never loses at slots – it’s uncanny.”  “My brother-in-law told me his cousin’s sister always wins at blackjack.”

I refuse to believe it.  Sure, there are lucky sessions, and lucky people, but even playing a $5 slot machine at an approximate house advantage of 95% is going to end up biting you in the butt in the long run.  And if you are an Advantage Player playing blackjack and winning, well, FYI – surveillance is getting better and better.  The few truly good pros (AP’s) are eventually found out, blacklisted, forced to grinding it out at smaller casinos all over the country, or eventually made to retire as authors, presenters or podcast experts.  The fact is it is getting more difficult to win – lower VP pay tables, confusing bonus slots with higher volatility, and new table games without knowledge of correct strategies all lead to a road to ruin.  So how can there be so many winners?

3) The final gambler babble I hear  is both laughable and yet serious. It concerns those people who are so unhappy that they never win – and yet they continue to play – unhappily.

Much revolves around how many gamblers love to whine and complain.  But gambling addiction is a huge concern if the whining turns into more playing beyond one’s means and bankroll. Remember, March is Gambling Addiction Awareness month.  Do your loved-ones a favor and help them to see if they are a “whiner” or an “addict.”

So, what are we to do?

Mark Maremont and Alexandra Berzon at the Wall Street Journal analyzed new data that shows that on any given day, the chances of emerging a winner aren’t too bad—the gamblers won money on 30% of the days they wagered. But continuing to gamble is a bad bet. Just 11% of players ended up in the black over the full period, and most of those pocketed less than $150.

This particular study, they said, used 4,222 casino customers of different levels of play. It showed that just 2.8%—or 119 big losers—provided half of the casino’s take, and 10.7% provided 80% of the take. Such revenue concentration long has been quietly acknowledged in the casino industry because it does show that the casino industry takes advantage of high-end addictive gamblers. But that’s a topic for another time.

The fact is, if you want to leave a winner, you need to leave after you win. Sounds obvious? Yes! But, although gamblers know the house has an edge, the average person doesn’t understand that casino games are nibbling machines, and the more nibbles you have, the bigger your losses.

“Acceptance is the key to all my problems today.”  Some of you might recognize that quote.  It’s true in many forms, and for many of the day’s activities – including your visit to the casino.  So the recreational gambler should accept the following:

1) The Casino Industry is in the business of making money. I should expect to leave a winner 20% of the time or less.

2) My bankroll is determined before I go and is what I play with – more than that I can’t afford.

3) Gambling is recreation. Recreation should bring joy, but only if you accept the basic realities of the casino’s take. If Gambling doesn’t make you happy – find another recreational activity.  Life’s too short – and TOO expensive!

That’s all for now.

Binbin

10 Money-Saving Tips For the Casino – Jean Scott, The Queen of Coupons

There are so many people out there we can learn from.  Blogs, podcasts and books are there for our benefit.  Many people think gamblers are reckless – taking chances.  But the best gamblers are those who learn the best strategies on the best games and use any legal method to increase their odds and lower the casino’s advantage.  One of those authors practices what she preaches.  Anyone who ever wanted to get as much as they can out of the casinos – and has –  should know and follow Jean Scott – the Queen of Coupons.” But it’s not just coupons she is an expert in!

Before continuing on, check out two of her websites Jean Scott’s Queen of Comps  & Jean Scott’s Frugal Vegas.

Jean Scott is the author of the best-selling book “The Frugal Gambler,” ( a must for every gambler) a casino guide for thrifty low rollers, plus a sequel, “More Frugal Gambling.” She stresses sensible, responsible gambling and shows how to stretch out casino fun time whatever your gambling bankroll. Her exploits have been featured on “Dateline,” “Hard Copy,” “Extra,” “To Tell the Truth,” and “48 Hours,” where Dan Rather dubbed her the Queen of Comps. She appears frequently on Travel Channel shows on Vegas and gambling. Jean also stars in many “American Casino Guide” videos on YouTube.

Retired from the high school English classroom, her passion is still education while she continues as an active player in casinos all over the country. She is a popular speaker and writer on gaming subjects. Today, Jean Scott, who, in her words, is just an “ordinary grandmother,” is the world’s most famous low-rolling gambler and her fans are legionWhile all of Jean’s suggestions are with Las Vegas in mind, it would be a great idea to use or modify them for our local New England Gaming.  Check out these tips:
10 money-saving tips from the Frugal Gambler
1. Study before you go. Libraries and bookstores have oodles of casino and gambling books that will guide you on a money-saving path. The Internet is full of information on the various casino games. Learn which games have the smallest casino edge, or have a skill factor you could learn, or that enable you to risk your money more slowly. All of these will allow you to lose less and/or stretch your bankroll further.

Shooting at the Craps Table – have fun whatever your game is.

2. Treat gambling as a form of entertainment and budget it just as you do whatever else you do for fun, such as movies, eating out, and vacations. Nothing takes away the fun factor more quickly than losing money that you need for life’s essentials. Do not take your checkbook or ATM or credit card to the casino with you. Decide how much you can afford to spend (lose), and take that amount in cash or safe traveler’s checks as your gambling bankroll. Make your gambling bankroll last the whole time you plan to be in a casino by dividing it into segments, i.e., in thirds if you are staying three days, in three-to-four session bankrolls for each day. Then never “borrow ahead” from the next session bankroll.

3. Join every casino player’s club you can, even if you don’t plan to gamble there. You can join many online before you get to Vegas. Membership is free and many casinos give discounts to player’s card holders in their restaurants, gift shops, and for rooms.

4. Use your player’s card EVERY TIME you play, no matter how small the amount or short the time. This allows the casino to track your play and thus know how much to reward you with comps, those freebie meals, rooms, shows, and other benefits that the casinos want to give their players.

Mohegan Sun's Momentum Players Club

Mohegan Sun’s Momentum Players Club

If you play machines, there is a place for you to insert your card. If you play the tables, you merely hand the card to the dealer of any game and ask that your play be tracked. Casinos cannot give you comps if they don’t know you are playing in their casino.

    An added benefit of joining and using a player’s card is that casinos often send mail offers to everyone in their database, sometimes even to those who have played little or not at all. You will be surprised at the money-saving offers that will appear in your mailbox when you get home.
5. Don’t drink too much alcohol, even if the drinks are free. It will cloud your judgment.
6. If you are losing too fast, go down in denomination. Change from the dollar slots to quarters or from quarter to nickels. At the tables, bet the lowest-value chip allowed.
7. Slow down your play — savor the noisy, fun-filled atmosphere. The bells and whistles, the clanking coins, the high fives at the tables, the excited screams of winners — this is what makes the casino such an entertaining experience.

Remember the days of casino trips with coupon books?

8. Look for coupons and specials for discounted meals, shows, and sightseeing tours. You can find many of these in the freebie magazines around town: at the bell desk, at rental car agencies and motels, at the airport, and right in your room. Read the marquees for menu specials.

9. Look for promotions that will add value to a game you play:
a. bonus players club points, like double points on holidays or on a certain day every week;
b. bonuses for certain events, like the top jackpot on slots, a certain quad in video poker, or a special hand in blackjack;
c. drawings for which you can earn tickets by playing your favorite game.
10. Make your bankroll last longer by taking frequent non-gambling breaks. Take in a show, go sightseeing, have a long, leisurely meal, take a tour or go shopping. Get your proper rest. A tired gambler is a gambler who will make decisions he will regret. Get a full night’s sleep and take a nap, if possible. Gambling is hard work!
The Royal Queen of Coupons has spoken!  Check out her books at Amazon

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Inside Twin River Casino's cavernous first floor casino.

Three Suggestions to Slot Machine Players

Have you wondered why it seems harder to win at your favorite casino?

We all know that table games are in a state of flux, with lower payouts and more side bets – all increasing the house edge.  We’ve seen blackjack payouts diminished quickly within the last two years with the advent of 6:5 payouts instead of the traditional 3:2.  We’ve seen lower times odds in craps. More “carnival” table games continue to be added to the casino floor like 3 & 4-card poker, Let it Ride, and BlackJack Switch – all table games with high infrequent payouts, volatile side bets, and a much higher increase to the casino’s edge as compared to traditional games like baccarat & blackjack.

Let’s face it, U.S. casinos are making it tougher for players to win at the slot machines as well.  The portion of slot wagers kept by casinos rose to 7.7 percent last year from 7.25 percent in 2007, the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers reported. So, it’s no surprise that the total amount bet on the machines fell to $291 billion from a peak of $355 billion over that span. “Slots have been tightening slowly over time,” Marcus Prater, executive director of the association, said in an interview. “There is a theory out there that when people have a bad experience, they’re not as likely to come back.”

STOP THE PRESSES! NOW THAT’S NEWS!!!images (3)

Listen, casino management still doesn’t get it.  The fact is that people will show up if they feel they have a chance, some hope, of playing a while – or even winning.

I understand that the most entertaining slots may be the ones that also don’t pay well.  If you are willing to play them with that understanding, then, go for it. But if you want a better chance to win and a better chance to play longer on video slots, here’s three tips to helping you.

DISCLAIMER: The following information is not going to tell you how to win at slots.  Nobody can tell you that. If someone tells you they are a professional slots player, or that they have a sure way to win at slot machines, RUN – RUN FAR. The Random Number Generator (RNG) is made to pay a certain percentage for the casino’s win over the long term.  No one knows what machine pays what percentage, except the company that sold it and the casino who bought or leased it. So, the following are just suggestions to consider, THAT’S ALL. 

To understand the Random Number Generator, try reading these previous posts:

RNG in the New Year with Slot Misconceptions

Understanding The Random Number Generator (RNG)

Big Bang Theory Slot Machine

Big Bang Theory Slot Machine

Suggestion #1 – Be wary of the “Celebrity” or “Themed” slot machines.  These games are referred to as “participation games.”  When a casino installs a participation game, they do not buy the machine.  The machine remains the property of the manufacturer, and the casino and manufacturer share in the revenue that the game produces. However, a fee to license that brand – for example, Ellen DeGeneres, Michael Jackson, Big Bang theory, Batman – which is all figured into the revenue share.  So, because of licensing fees, leasing fees, and revenue share, expect the payout percentage to be lower than a traditional slot.  Just enjoy it for the entertainment it is, and if you win, so much the better.

Suggestion #2 – Know your progressive.  Many slot machines include progressive wins – but not all progressives are alike.  Be knowledgeable of the differences.

  1. “Pay for Play” Progressive – these progressives usually are only eligible for the taking when playing Max Bet.
    Quick Hit Slot Machine with progressives listed.

    Quick Hit Slot Machine with progressives listed.

    A good example is Quick Hit machines.  If you don’t play max on these machines you are not eligible for the progressives, which can get hefty, thus diminishing your total payout percentage – whatever that may be.  The progressive is figured into the total payout percentage.  Play without Max Bet, and you’re throwing away more money to the house.  Always check what denomination and how much Max Bet is before playing.  “Quick Hit machines can range on a penny machine from $1.50 to to $4.00.

  2. “Pay Within” Progressive – these payout on any bet, anytime withing a certain amount accrued.
    Ainsworth Rumble Rumble Progressive Slot Machine

    Ainsworth Rumble Rumble Progressive Slot Machine

    For example, Konami slots often have 2-4 different progressives, that will pay between $25 – $50 (a mini progressive) at any given time. Keep in mind that the increase of the progressive is incredibly small. One Las Vegas trip I played a fun slot called Rumble, Rumble “SweetZone” by Ainsworth at Cosmopolitan.  At $1 a play, my wife and I figured out $5 in made the progressive meter increase one cent – $5 increased ONE CENT!  So, be careful – seeing a progressive like this close to its payout could still mean a lot of playing (and money) ahead.

  3. “Mega-Progressive” – these are those that are connected to a few others, or even regionally like MEGABUCKS.
    Megabucks Progressive Slots

    Megabucks Progressive Slots

    Keep in mind that to payoff such a large progressive, the payout percentage that you hear sucking the money out of your bankroll will be low.  It has to be to be able to payoff the winner of such a high payoff.  These usually require a high Max Bet.

Suggestion #3 – The less Bells and whistles, the higher the payout.  Again, not necessarily, you don’t really know, you can’t tell, yaddy yadda yadda.  But if the casino doesn’t have to pay other interests such as progressives, themes, lease agreements, additional set up, special lighting, etc, it might encourage your bankroll to last longer.

Mr. Cashman Slot Machine

Mr. Cashman Slot Machine

Sometimes, an old Cashman slot by Aristocrat is just as fun.  My favorite – “Betting Zoo.”

Now, go out there and hit a jackpot.

Binbin

12 New Year Resolutions for Gamblers

new-years-resolutionDo people really make resolutions and stick to them? C’mon now – really?

I think we make resolutions on January 1st with all good intentions. I really do! They represent hope – change for the better – improvement. Whether we follow them or not, they represent what we think are important changes to make as individuals and as a society.resolutions

So resolutions are good, right? But making too many is fodder for disaster! Let’s look at some gambling resolutions for the new year.  But, it’s always better to pick one or two below – and STICK TO THEM.

So, here are our suggestions courtesy of the Casino Answer Man, – John Grochowdki. Pick a few, or maybe one a month.  Whatever the case, try these

GAMBLING NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS:

1) I will stay within my Bankroll!Bankroll

Know what you can spend.  If you have a winning session, great! If not, stick to your limit. If losses approach the amount you’re willing to spend, slow down. Take a timeout, get a snack – people watch! If you hit your limit, it’s time to stop

2) I won’t bother people near me – I will respect other players space and focus.images

Instead of bothering others, I will do my own homework and learn the games myself. This includes not being a pain in the #$% to the dealer and wait staff. Remember to keep your advice to yourself, unless someone asks.

3) I will learn the games before I play:

Blackjack Strategy card.

Blackjack Strategy card.

A little homework goes a long way in helping to cut the odds against you at casino games. Learn basic strategy in blackjack and for each video poker game you play. Know the rules and best bets in craps. No matter your game of choice, buy a good book and read about the best methods of play.  If you have to ask a stranger about the game or machine, chances are you shouldn’t be gambling.

4) I will keep part of my winnings:

They Represent Real money! Treat these chips as such.

They Represent Real money! Treat these chips as such.

Your winnings are just that YOUR WINNINGS. It isn’t “their money.” As soon as you’ve won it, it’s yours, and you don’t have to give it back. On any sizable win, put at least half of it away. You can buy yourself a treat, go out for an evening on the town, put a little away for the kids’ or grand-kids’ educations, pay bills — whatever you want. Even better, keep part of your winnings for your next session.

5) I will keep track of my gambling.gdiary

Keeping track of stats such as time spent, casinos visited, promotions used, money won/lost, etc…will force you to look at your gaming experiences. Patterns of losing play, or machines played, may indicate that changes are needed.

6) I will play only with money I can afford to lose:

$100 Funny Toilet Paper

When the losses come, make sure you don’t have money earmarked for food, clothing, school, the rent or mortgage on the line. Play with money budgeted for entertainment, not for life’s necessities.

 

7) I will never chase losses:

Does money just seem to be floating away?

What’s worse than losing money? Losing even more in a desperate attempt to win it back. You’re never “due” to win, and wins and losses don’t have to even out in the time we play. A losing streak means it’s time to ease back or quit, not bet more.

8) I will never use credit card cash advances for gambling money:

Casino Redemtion / ATM machineThink the house edge is high on some games? Try comparing it to credit card interest rates. The house edge added to interest on borrowed money and ATM fees — that’s a tough combination to overcome.  Bring your cash, or if your a big player, get your marker from the casino.  Either way, hide those credit cards and ATM card in your car, or don’t bring them (locals.)

9) I will go easy on the alcohol:alcohol-gambling

If you want to have a drink while you play, that’s your business. You don’t want your judgment impaired with money on the line. Have a good time, but keep a clear head, too.

10) I will keep perspective and play for fun:

Shooting at the Craps Table - have fun whatever your game is.

Shooting at the Craps Table – have fun whatever your game is.

Keep perspective and play for fun. Gambling in a casino is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Only a handful of blackjack and video poker players have the skill, discipline and bankroll to enable them to make money in the long run. Most of us will lose more than we win at any game. Most players are best off to treat losses as the price of admission for a day’s entertainment. Casino gambling is a form of entertainment, a way to have a good time. On those days when we take a little extra cash home, so much the better. But even a losing day can be fun if you keep your expectations realistic. Remember, it’s not about luck, or casino conspiracies – it’s all about math + science = house edge.

11) I will pay attention to my TITO Tickets and my belongings in the casino.

Ticket In, Ticket Out! TITO

Ticket In, Ticket Out! TITO

 Be careful with your money. There are people out there who look to take other players money, TITO vouchers (TITO = Ticket In, Ticket Out) purses and more. That’s their job! Be careful out there and be aware of those around you.

12) I will be more aware of my Rewards Account. Players Club

Remember, all rewards clubs have different rules. 1 point in one club equals $1, but other clubs have 100 points equaling $1. Take advantage of Players Club promotions – especially 2X & 3X (or more) points days. Be aware of when your points expire.

I’m sure there are more. Whatever your resolutions may be, I hope you keep them as long as possible. I hope your New year is a prosperous one – make 2017 the best gaming experience yet. Get that royal!

That’s all for now

Binbin

Zen and the Art of Casino Gambling

 I can't recommend this book more highly. Not only is it well-written, but it is truly a pleasure to read, and it's one of my favorite how-to books

I can’t recommend this book more highly. Not only is it well-written, but it is truly a pleasure to read, and it’s one of my favorite how-to books

One of my favorite books I read cover to cover was”Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” Years later, “Zen and the Art of Casino Gambling” by Miron Stabinsky & Jeremy Silman was one of the first gambling books I read cover to cover.  It was different than the usual “how to” gambling book, it was informative and amusing.  It was meant to “provide valuable insight into the vital but little understood aspect of maintaining the proper psychological and emotional balance needed ” to be more successful, or at least happier in the process.

Topics included in the book are:

  • Basic Rules & Strategies for Craps, Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Slots, & Video Poker
  • Psychology of the Successful Player
  • Realizing what you Control
  • Money Management
  • Determining you credit/budget line

But the best parts are interesting and entertaining quotes and anecdotes. Today’s post gives you a few – some of my favorite quotes.  I hope your enjoy.

keep-calm-and-be-zen-37

Concerning Money Management, “He who remains in his center endures.”  In others words, stop when your session is done and either you’ve won enough, or you have lost your daily bankroll.

Concerning Player Psychology, Oscar Wilde once said “I can resist everything except temptation.”

Can resist the temptation?

Can resist the temptation?

Concerning Player Psychology, “Disgrace is a fantasy that should be embraced. Misfortune is part of the human condition.” In others words, “Don’t let your ego make you play beyond your means.  When you resume play another visit you will realize how unimportant your previous anger in losing really was.

I like this one – “An optimist is a man who has never had much experience.”  If you have advice to give, DON’T – most likely you need more practice and more experience.  Then and only then will you realize offering without being asked is just bad.

Finally,

“I do not emulate the sages; I do not take pride in my own spirit.” – Ancient Zen Koan.  Gambler’s translation – Anyone can learn the basics of gaming strategy. Being egotistical about something you have no control over is the height of foolishness.

Don’t be foolish.  Make this book a staple in your gambling library.

Binbin

3 Reasons Why Your Gambling Sucks, and What You Can Do About It

Another losing gambling session?

I once read a self-help book called “Why Your Life Sucks” by Alan H Cohen. I guess I was in a dark place, or maybe looking for a different perspective on things. In any case, it was really quite good and pointed out many life “wake-up calls” to help us enjoy the life you were meant to live. It’s funny and informative, but most of all, it forces you re-evaluate the choices you have made, and how you can make better choices in the future.

So, I was thinking, “how many people leave the casino grumpy, as if losing is a huge surprise.”

Leaving Las Vegas - usually a quiet plane ride.

Leaving Las Vegas – usually a quiet plane ride.

Even the plane ride home from Vegas is so quiet and sullen compared to the excitement and hope on ride out there. Go figure….

So, does your gambling suck? Maybe it’s because you don’t embrace the realities of the gambling industry. Here’s some quotes from the book that may have implications about your gambling experience:

1) “Fortune isn’t something that happens to you, it is something you create”

Take advantage of point multipliers and

Take advantage of point multipliers to get the most out of your play.

So, you really think that recreational gambling is going to get you millions? I don’t think so.  But, there are things you can do that will enhance your visits, like:

  • Know the best strategy for the games you play
  • Take advantage of free play and multiplier reward points / tier points days
  • Don’t overplay you bankroll to gain higher status. Keep to your bankroll.

2) “Don’t get involved in the dark side” of gaming.

Losing at Gambling?

Guess what, the gambling industry is a business and like any other business, it needs to make money to continue. So:

  • don’t expect perks that you don’t earn
  • don’t expect the casino to ensure your winning because you’re a good customer, and
  • expect loses.
  • And stop thinking conspiracy and fixed machines. Look up what a random number generator does (RNG) , and how the house advantage is built in without switching machine computer chips or throwing that famous “switch upstairs” that immediately changes machines from loose to tight. In other words, be knowledgeable about the industry instead of continuing myths and superstitions to make you the unsuspecting victim.  “It’s not personal, it’s business.”

3) “It’s not what happens to you that counts, it’s what you make of what happens”

Shooting at the Craps Table - have fun whatever your game is.

Shooting at the Craps Table – have fun whatever your game is.

  • Enjoy the wins.
  • Enjoy casino employees who know the meaning of good service and are friendly.
  • Enjoy the excitement of breaking even – yes even. By breaking even, you’ve beaten the house advantage. Sure, it’s not what we are all looking for, but if you play for a few hours and break even, be happy for the free entertainment, the rewards points you’ve accumulated, and the free beverages you’ve consumed.

Now, back to the casino, but this time with an open mind, an awareness of the business and new flexible expectations. Acceptance could be the key to a happier gambling experience.

That’s all for now.

Binbin

Casino Industry Marketing Strategies – Meant to Entice ALL Generations

mohegan-sun-pocono-downs-slots-by-apjpg-db6c01b11ac1b950

FoxPerx delivered right to your machine during play through machine rewards software.

TAKE THE POWER AWAY FROM THE CASINO            – BE AN INFORMED, KNOWLEDGEABLE & AWARE GAMBLER!

Are you a member of AARP?  I am.  I also receive the AARP Bulletin. Now, I understand the reading demographic is 50+ and education is important for AARP’s readers, but, this article doesn’t tell the whole story and makes us Baby Boomers out to be helpless – DO YOU WANT TO BE CONSIDERED HELPLESS?

aarpThis month, AARP included an article called “The Casino Trap.”  It’s theme –> the casino industry’s aggressive marketing of older patrons. It’s opening image – a coin slot machine from around 1960!  OMG! Why not show a typewriter instead of a computer! We seniors today are smarter, more mobile, more fun, more energetic, healthier, more sociable (we can be a bunch of “twits”) and frankly here to stay.

Alright, here are 4 quotes from the article and NETG’s response: Continue reading

Casino Comps & Your “Average Daily Theoretical”

f7c8b1e0eea1472Ever wonder how the casino you visit decides on what comps to give you?  When I first started, I thought that if I went to the local casino (or closest) and played a little more often, they (the casino) would see me as a loyal customer and raise my comps.  How could they depend on that visitor that appears once a year instead of me – they had me for life if they played their cards right.

But, alas, my comps continued to be menial – “minion’s comps” I call them.  Then I found out about Average Daily Theoretical – the average amount that a gambler losses per day for a certain gambling activity, usually expressed in absolute terms (such as dollars).  It’s your value to the casino, based on your average daily play – NOT the numbers of appearances at the casino. Continue reading