Pulling players cards out of slot machines while playing is still practiced by players. Does it work??How about playing video poker? What is Pulling Players Cards Out of Slot Machines during your session supposed do?
I recently visited a CT casino. While I was playing, the woman next to me hit a bonus. She immediately took her players card out. I just thought to my self “most likely just another superstitious slot player with a crazy irrational thought of casino espionage.” But then she put it back, and the next bonus, took it out systematically. Subsequently, I asked her why she did it. She replied that she didn’t want the casino to know when she was making money because of tax purposes. She said “By stopping the machine from reporting her bonus win money, it can’t possibly report what it doesn’t know is coming in the bonus round,.”
Theoretically, she believes she can show more money going in and much less cashing out. Likewise, the tax man can’t take what he doesn’t know you won. No card – No report… interesting, but is her strategy true?
So, I did some studying, and here’s what I found.
The Truth About Pulling Players Cards Out of Slot Machines
When card readers were initially added to slots, players were able to do this successfully. For example, let’s say someone is dealt a royal flush playing video poker. In the olden days it would work. Before holding and pressing the deal button, the player would pull out the players card. The win had not been signaled yet.
One of my first players club cards – Lady Luck in Las Vegas. Notice the divits used for the data – magnetic strips in back were not universal yet. Notice no name, no number!
When a player put a card in, the values of certain meters in the slot (e.g., coin-in, coin-out) were sent to the players club software. It would then be used as the starting point for the player’s next session. When the player pulled out the card, the current values of the meters were sent to the club software. The differences between the ending values and the starting values were used to calculate the player’s action and the amount won or lost.
As years went by, and players club systems became more integrated as part of the machine and slot manufacturers became savvy. As reported by John Robinson of the Casino City Times, “slot manufacturers have added ways to delay the pulling of the cards information to the casino until after the action of that particular transaction has been finished.”
So, tax-wise, it is much less of a positive strategy on today’s slots.
Besides, as I told her, the casino’s interest is really concerned with her money in. Comps are strictly controlled on slots & VP by casino marketing concerned with money in, not money (or lack of) money out. In other words, to the casino, slot players losing is not as important as your wagering bet. The machine instantly communicates the credit wins to the slot system and the time it takes crediting your machine and making noise is for your entertainment only.
If it makes you feel better, go ahead, I guess. But just know there is no logical, scientific reason to pull your card out of its slot during play.
If you love to play slots at your casino of choice, then you love the excitement that precedes that first pull. Subsequently, if you If you love to play electronic casino games, 7 Crucial Habits for Slot, Keno and VP Players is what you need. You rush to it like a long lost friend. But in the rush to play, many players forget to be mindful of certain important events that precede that play – there are things you need to check before that first push of the button. So many slot players get caught up in the excitement of playing, the anticipation of winning or even the disappointment of a losing session, that they forget the following checklist before they play. Forgetting any one of the following items could cost you money and/or comps. Remember this Pre-Play Checklist
1. Get a Rewards Card
MLife Rewards Club of MGM
It’s free. It reduces the casino edge by earning comps on dining, shows, and giveaways. That free hotel room might not feel free with losses, but if you’re going to play, get something for it, no matter how little you may play. And, always get two cards. How many times do you lose your card or forget it in a machine? Lots! Before you regret sitting at that favorite machine and finding your card is missing, always ask for more than one card at the rewards desk.
2. Check the Game Denomination
Have you ever played a penny slot machine, only to realize it was a dollar, not a penny? It happens when slot and video poker players mistake the basic denomination of the machine. Be sure you’re spending the correct amount you intend for your bankroll. Some machines have denomination options, like nickel, quarter, or dollar video poker. Be careful on these machines after you have chosen which game to play – you still may have to check and choose the correct denomination for your play.
3. Check Your Players Card
Being More Careful with your Players Card is just one of the things to be careful with in the casino
If I only had a dollar for every time I made a player aware that their players card needed to be re-inserted, I could double my bankroll. Before you play, insert your card and wait to see that it registers your name. If it starts blinking, take it out completely and try it again. Some casinos, like Mohegan Sun, only process one event at a time. If you love to put in your money or TITO at the same time as the card, the card usually doesn’t register. Take your time and insert one, then the other.
By the way, don’t be a “conspiracy Charlie” (or Charlene) concerning what the card does. It is not connected to changes in denomination, it doesn’t change payoff percentage because “it knows you won” and it doesn’t hold back jackpots. Don’t play without your Card, it’s the only way you can earn comps these days with the new casino players clubs. Most casinos only comp you only according to the playing data registered by your card.
4. Be Sure Your Money or TITO Ticket registers in the Machine
Ticket In, Ticket Out! TITO
Sometimes in your rush, you have trouble with your money or your ticket. One trick is to use a machine next to you if you have trouble. Some slots just have trouble reading what you add. Use that machine to get a fresh TITO Ticket.
5. One Last Check BEFORE YOU PLAY
Money in, players card registering, the denomination is correct. Ready to go.
6. Leaving the Machine
Before you leave that machine, win or lose, follow these easy quick Habits for Leaving the Machine. This habit will stop leaving your players cards in the machine as well as your money. Yes, it does happen! And there are people in the casino watching for just that mistake. It only takes a moment with you looking the other way to happen someone snatch your ticket without you noticing. It happened to me one morning at Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, it can happen to you, too.
7. When cashing out, get in the following habit
This is personal NETG part of 7 Crucial Habits:
Push cash out button.
Right hand takes card
Left hand positioned at TITO dispenser.
Check for both in hand before leaving.
Remember, CARD & TICKET, CARD & TICKET.
Make these 7 Crucial Habits for Slot, Keno and VP Players part of your every session practice.Now, go get that jackpot.
A month ago, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts featuring Tim Lawson & Eric Rosenthal at “The Bettor Life” covering professional bettor & recreational gamblers concerns alike about poker, table games, sports betting, slots, and other games of chance. This one episode included a discussion about video poker value – pay tables, preferred games, comps and the occasional know-it-alls that criticize one’s decision on what to play. Inspiration hit me – I felt there was even more to tell! This post is NOT to tell you what to do, as compared consider the reasons and possibilities. I agree with the Bettor Life in saying “play what you want to play – recreational playing should make you happy.” HOWEVER – if you are a recreational video poker player, there are many things to consider if you want to give yourself the best chances to win, play longer and/or earn more comps while having fun. Let’s look at the big picture.
WHY DO YOU PLAY VIDEO POKER?
Could it be any of these many reasons?
“I like playing games with a low house edge”
“I like playing with no casino “heat” “
“I play only what’s available in my local casinos.”
“I prefer to play at the pace I prefer.”.
“I like Free Drinks”
Service with a smile.
“I like social time with a friend”
“I’m prefer to play independently”
“I don’t want to bother with other players in a community setting”
“I love the skill and strategy involved”
“I like to pass the time slowly (low denomination, no max bet, relaxing)
“To play off my free slotplay”
I’m sure there are other reasons I haven’t included. I know depending on the situation, I might play with any one of these in mind. The fact is, recreational gambling can be for many reasons besides beating the game, no matter what the game is.
Now, before some of you serious gamblers yell “BLASPHEMY!” and stop reading (you know who you are – you’re good, but you’re no AP), give me a chance to explain. But first, a public service announcement.
A CASINO “DON’T” FOR For VP (And ANY Other CASINO GAME)
No matter what game you play, unsolicited criticism or advice is just a “no-no.” Unless someone asks you for help, just keep your mouth shut. Video Poker is definitely a game full of “experts” that feel they need to share their myths & superstitions. With so many game options and configurations with different paytables, giving unwanted advice to the person next is wrong – unless you’re Bob Dancer, and even then, the ultimate VP expert wouldn’t bother you either.
BRIEF STORY ABOUT VP CONTENTMENT
Harvest Moon Bar, Mohegan Sun
One of my best friends enjoys playing 8/5 JOB on one credit at a BarTop at Mohegan Sun to relax while his wife plays slots. He recently hit his first Royal Flush on $0.25, and was proud of the accomplishment. No remorse, no regret because he was comfortable with his choice – a 97% game with out Max bet (diminishing the % to 95%) with little comp earnings & no extra multipliers or promotions. A relaxing time with free drinks to pass the time while his wife played high limit slots.
Some would shout “for shame,” but his priorities are comfortably set. No criticism here because he enjoys Video Poker on his terms. For all those who criticize, remember another player may have different expectations – and there’s nothing wrong with that. For my friend, his mission was accomplished – and more.
DOESN’T IT SEND THE CASINO THE WRONG MESSAGE?
I admit, I once thought that playing VP with poor pay tables sent the message to casino management that as players we condoned decreasing conditions and increasing house edge. That was then, this is now. They don’t care what you play, as long as it means for money for them. The belief that if we don’t play the poor games, the casino bean counters will be fearful and return to higher paying slots, more full-pay video poker, exclusively 3:2 blackjack and single zero roulette is just crazy. There will never be enough players interested in putting in the work or time to play only the best games, so move on…….get over being entitled to receive great low & medium roller games that keep the players’ bankroll in mind – it just ain’t gonna happen.
REACHING YOUR PERSONAL VP NIRVANA
Depending how much practice & thought is part of your Video Poker play, there are many aspects to your play to ponder, such as:
What games are available at your casino that you prefer? – JOB, Bonus, DB, DDB, Ultimate X, etc……
How large is your bankroll? – bankroll does matter, depending what game you are playing. For example, the money suggested for a successful session of Double-Double Bonus is more than Jacks-or-Better (JOB) because of the higher volatility. Also, denomination complicates it further depending if you are playing nickels, quarters or dollars. Finally, playing multi-line machines like Triple Play, 5-Play & Ten-Play not only changes the denomination but also alters the game chosen.
What are you willing to compromise? I enjoy playing at Foxwoods Play bar in the Cedars Casino. It has decent nickel multi-line games and quarter single line games, but not great. However, the service is great and the bartenders make you feel like you just entered “Cheers.” It’s a compromise I’m willing to make for the enjoyment aspect of the session. Do you make compromises playing lower percentage games for your enjoyment? Many of us do.
Tammy, Steve & Katherine at Play Bar, Foxwoods
What is your “casino currency”? This is a term Eric Rosenthal used on the Bettor Life. It refers to the value placed on other things besides the game itself. It may be that a worse paytable gives your more comp points. If tier credit, tier level, and comps are as important (or more) than the game itself, it is part of your casino currency. Video Poker is notorious in earning 1/2 to 1/3 of the points slots accrue, so other things make be accountable to what you play and when. Some casinos give very little back to VP players, or may even be given little in tier gains, points, and attention in offers, because casinos makes little money off of JOB full pay tables, for example. Eric mentions, “Considering what the machines cost to run, usual casino costs, and very little money made off of you, there is nothing in it for them if all you play is full pay JOB….no need to court you…..better off playing lower paytables to appear less astute…..the benefits may mean more than payout percentage.”
Low rolling full pay brings little to the player – consider this: playing full-pay JOB at quarter level may not earn as much as playing one or two credits on a $1 8/5 JOB machine. Also, according to Bob Dancer, be careful of single line machines with many games. A machine that has a full pay game may earn the same minimal pittance in tier and reward points on other non full-pay games such as 8/5 DDB or lower pay Deuces Wild. It might be better to check for for multi game machines or single game machines that will accrue a higher reward.
Should you play with/without a card? I have a confession to make – sometimes I play without my card. – Short sessions or small play sessions are bad for a player’s EV. On occasion, for a relaxing short play and free drink I willI play…..wait for it…..VIDEO KENO! When that occurs, I play without a card so that I don’t damage my ADT (Average Daily Theoretical). I may know that time is short or bankroll is small, so why not? Consider doing the same and using your card only when playing big.
What? Practice? – Yes, practice. If you truly want to win more, give yourself a chance to win more by practicing on the many apps, software and websites that provide for instruction. Without perfect strategy on your favorite game, the EV/ payout % will be decreased – even if it’s full pay! Even playing 8/5 JOB using the perfect strategy of 9/6 makes a difference, not to mention using the strategy 9/6 JOB on a 9/6 DDB. Click on Videopoker.com below to practice any of your favorite video poker games.
COMPROMISE IS THY MIDDLE NAME
Here are examples of where I play and why. Notice it isn’t full-pay or nothing:
Mohegan Sun– Bars that include 9/6 JOB ($1), Cleopatra Video Keno ($.25, no rewards card), Triple Play 9/5 DDB & 8/5 JOB ($.25 or $1, depending on bankroll) Ultimate X 10 play ($.5) . Good service, decent paytables and full pay for big plays. Especially good on multiplier days.
Foxwoods– 9/5 Ultimate X 5 Play ($.5), 8/5 JOB & 9/5 DDB TP($.25 & $1) Great service at Play bar. Cedars casino also offers nickel Ultimate X Tp, 5-Play, & 10-Play (only 10-play at nickels at all bar tops)
Plainridge Park – Ultimate X DDB 10-play ($.5). Not much play here, but I do find this casino fun.
Tiverton Casino– talk about compromises, I love this little place – but not for the VP. the VP is horrible, just like it’s parent company Twin River Casino. But one thing separates it from the rest – the iPourIt Wall. 26 self-serve beer & wine taps served by the ounce, however you’d like it. This makes 8/5 DDB a winning compromise in my book.
Play what makes you comfy – place, bar, craft beer, great drinks, bartenders, etc may mean more than best paytables and look at big picture. Play the game you are comfy with. Play where you are comfy. Play what and where you get the biggest bang for your buck. Don’t give unsolicited advice and accept players for their recreational video poker play – what ever that means to them.
And remember, even the best of us compromise our play at times. So, chill out and enjoy putting the “recreation” back into recreational gambling.