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.

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.


Casino Industry Marketing Strategies – Meant to Entice ALL Generations


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


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

Casino Free Play Advice from Frank Scoblete

imageThere are many gambling “gurus” out there, but only few as knowledgable & prolific as Frank Scoblete.  Frank is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.  Here are a few of his teachings concerning Free Slot Play, Protecting Your Money in a Casino and a casino Myth respect for low rollers.

Slot Machine 3

  • Ever get “free slot play?” Ever play just the free slot play, then leave? Well, consider this.  Whatever your playing status (card tier) is – low, mid to high roller status – casino management looks at all of your play statistics – time played, denomination, bet amount, games – high or low house advantage – and time away (for example, Mohegan Sun looks at last 6 visits). If your “free slot play” only visit isn’t incorporated in your usual amount of play, it may decrease your perks and your tier-status. Something to keep in mind on those days you go to eat and play your free slot play and leave, damaging your player rating!  Not that I would know, I mean, so I’ve heard…..
  1. Protecting your money in a casino – Men should never keep their wallets in their back pockets. Get a shirt with a pocket in front that buttons and keep your money in there. Some savvy craps players even keep a “dummy” wallet in their back pockets.  Women should never put your purse on the floor, or on the drink shelf that surrounds the craps table at thigh level, or between slot machines.

    The elderly can be easy prey for the “Slot Vulture”

    Doing so is an invitation to long-armed thieves. Keep your purse wrapped securely around your shoulder, on your lap covered by your arm, or keep it in your hands. The bottom line is to make the thief realize that it is going to take quite an effort to dislodge you from your purse. Both sexes can protect their money by using a secure fanny pack or waist pack.

  2. Myth:Casinos are not interested in low rollers. To get comps, you have to bet big money. If you play the machines, even for quarters, you aren’t as low a roller as you think you are. Put three quarters in a machine every five seconds and you are putting through $540 per hour. Play four hours and you just gambled $2,160 — wow! slot-machine3The casinos will be more than happy to recognize such action with free or discounted rooms, meals and other special promotions. If you play table games, you might not want to be a five-dollar bettor looking for comps in a casino where they only rate $25 action. However, there are plenty of casinos that will gladly comp five-dollar players if they play long enough. The bottom line is this: Most casinos want just about all players. Find the places that give your action the most in perks as possible…and then patronize them.

You can find more of Frank’s teachings at his site

That’s all for now.  A-K-Q-J-10 all diamonds.  Diamonds aren’t just a girl’s best friend!


What is a Casino Gambler? I Mean, Really?


Some people distinguish between recreational gamblers and professional gamblers.  Pros call the difference pedestrian vs. advantage gamblers.  I say the real gambler is an advantage player, and all the rest just people who use games for fun. Let’s first look at two different patrons at a casino.

Player 1 is visiting a casino with a party pit, playing 6/5 blackjack on hunches, and Player 2 is playing a regular blackjack table, same denomination as player 1, 3/2 blackjack with basic strategy.  Player 2 is a gambler – a person who is wagering trying to diminish the house advantage and raise the EV, while, player 1 is interested in the experience, doesn’t care about the EV or strategy – just wants to have fun.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but he’s not a gambler, he’s just a party person using the casino for the experience.

Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando as Sky Masterson in the original “Guys & Dolls”

Remember the movie “Guys & Dolls?”  Let me refresh your memory your memory when Nathan Detroit, owner of the longest traveling craps game in New York (Frank Sinatra) meets Sky Masterson, a well-known out-of-town gambler, for the first time.

Sky Masterson has a reputation for being a reckless gambler that will bet on anything, but when he bets Nathan Detroit that Nathan didn’t know the color of his tie (covering it up), he won the bet.  He knew most people don’t remember things like that.  He quickly figured Nathan as one of those, realized the EV was high – and won!

So, what is a real gambler?  A real gambler has been personified in movies as a reckless, all-or-nothing person – which couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Just because a person visits a casino and plays casino games doesn’t make them a gambler. Continue reading

Casino Talk – Suggestions to My Fellow Gamblers


The Bow & Arrow Bar @ Mohegan Sun

Yesterday I visited Mohegan Sun.  I sat at the Bow & Arrow bar playing Video Poker and watching the Connecticut Sun play a mid-day game against the Atlanta Dream (spoiler alert – they lost again).  During the time I played VP at the bar, I was amazed at the conversations I overheard.  And believe me, some people speak so loud, it’s not eaves-dropping – I’d have to have earplugs, and even then I probably could hear them.

So, I have some observations for you, some suggestions, and some information to share. So hear goes…..

  1. If you don’t know how to operate a slot machine, DON”T PLAY IT! – What I mean, is, if you look at the screen and have no clue how to find the games, or how much they cost, or what denomination your playing, or even where to put your money in, DON”T PLAY!  If you already know the house always wins, then go to the casino a little prepared.  I’m not ranting – I actually felt badly for the people to my left.  Their confusion and ignorance for the games probably gave them no chance except blind luck.  It really diminishes the fun when you don’t know what your doing, and almost a sure drain on your bankroll.
  2. I find it interesting when people hold class with casino newbies.  To my right, there was some guy – telling three women the ins & outs of craps.  i overheard him give advice, beginning with  “this is what you do…” and ” “remember that….”     Then, out of the corner of my ear, I hear, “Yeah, well, I haven’t actually played craps, but I’ve been reading about it!”   This IS NOT the person you want advice from.  Good that he was studying, but when you hear about lack of experience, turn and RUN.   confused
  3. Most people who work in the casino, especially service industry specialists and libation technicians who take care of you at the machines and bars, don’t know a lot or have the correct knowledge about the slots or video poker you might be playing.  Why should they?  Their expertise is serving you and what they serve you.  So, don’t be surprised if they are confused by your uninformed questions.  Let them do there job (especially at busy times).  Some are very knowledgeable, but most aren’t.  Don’t be surprised at their responses.
  4. Tuesdays were Double Momentum Points Days at Mohegan Sun.  If you play slots/video poker and only play once a month or less, choose your times to visit by picking multiplier days like these.  Double points days make up for the high house advantage – at least a little bit.  Remember, video poker usually earns about half the points that slots do, but have a lower EV (Expected Value).  In other words, video poker has a higher % payout than slots.  2x points
  5. If you’re playing slots, (and at this point, I was at a at a group of three in a triangle), don’t ask other people to watch your machine – especially if you keep your card & MONEY in it.  One lady kept asking me to watch her machine – 6 times! – to tell her sister when she got a bonus.  Her sister was 5 banks of machines away!  Please, if you need a break, ask an attendant to watch your machine.  But, don’t presume another person’s time is less important than yours, even if all they are doing is hitting a button.  Call, text or chain your friend or family member to your hip if it’s that important. slots 2

All in all, this was not a rant – more like an “ah, yes, people” moment with a chuckle.   People – so naive and uninformed, yet so presumptuous.

That’s all for now.


Consider the Big Picture of “Casino Freebies”

One thing that we all like to get in the mail is offers for FREE STUFF!

I always wonder if my mailman thinks I have a problem when he sees the mailers I get from all six New England Casinos.  It’s for blog research, of course.  But, be careful.  Free stuff means casinos want your patronage.  It’s not because they REALLY like you and just want to show you they care.  There is a price to “free stuff” and “free offers” from casinos. The reality is Casinos want you to spend two things in their facility – money and time.  And, logically, they feel the more time you spend, the more money you’ll spend.

So here is some random advice concerning “free stuff:” Continue reading