10 Casino Money-Saving Tips From Jean Scott

JeanScott

Jean Scott is the “Queen of Coupons” and in her many posts and newsletters, she included one must read with her “10 Casino Money-Saving Tips.”

Everyone like to save money at the casino. These money-saving tips should be part of every casino visit. Those considered “good” gamblers learn the best strategies on the best games and use any legal method to increase their odds and lower the casino’s advantage, thus, saving-money and lengthening their bankroll. Jean Scott is one of those authors who practices what she preaches.  Before continuing on, check out two of her websites Jean Scott’s Queen of Comps  & Jean Scott’s Frugal Vegas. For related posts in NETG, click on Big Data, Casinos, & Jean Scott & Playing Video Poker Like Jean Scott – The Monday Link

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.

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. 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 legion

While all of Jean’s suggestions are with Las Vegas in mind where she resides, her 10 Money-Saving tips in the Casino are great ideas to use or modify in our New England Casinos.  Here are her tips:

10 Casino 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.

More Money-Saving Tips From Jean Scott 

6. If you are losing too fast, lower your 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

Remember, when gambling & comp-harvesting, embrace the math not the Myth.

Binbin

5 Reasons Why Casino Bartenders Hate You – Vice Lounge Online

Recently, a favorite podcast of mine produced their 400th episode!

Congratulations to co-hosts Tony Snyder & Jason Gillikin and their podcast Vice Lounge Online.  Bravo!

If you are not aware of this unique podcast, let me explain it the way  did on a recent podcast. The podcast celebrates good cigars, good drinks and great gambling.  Jason & Tony have experience in all three areas, but insist they don’t lean towards any one of the three areas included in every podcast.  Three distinct parts, somewhat related, neither the specialty.

I, for one, have enjoyed hearing about the intricacies of cigars – smoking, wrappers, production and more.  Their “cocktail” talk centers around scotch, whiskey and bourbon, but often branches out to mixed drinks, aged specialty liquors and beer. Gambling advice and explanations are very interesting, many times focusing on things we take for granted, but would like a little refresher.

But it’s their personalities that make this so good.  I can almost see them, in their smoking jackets, cigar in one hand, brandy sniffer in the other, chatting about their latest casino visit.  (I believe Tony prefers podcasting in his pajamas, but that’s a story for another time.) 

Which brings me to today’s post – 5 Reasons Why Bartenders Hate You.


  1.  When you want a free drink before you have played enough – After the initial investment into the machine, many casinos now expect an amount to be played, or time to be seated, before another drink will be served to you. As Tony mentions, ” if you are an excruciatingly slow player,” or don’t play at all, don’t feel entitled to that next alcoholic beverage.  Annoying the bartenders about it will only make them hate you.  Remember people, video poker bartops are for players only.

    Commonwealth Lounge and VP Bar at MGM Springfield

  2. Trash talking staff behind the bar, both bartenders, servers and other staff – How about a little kindness people, or at least some discretion. Rude comments between patrons about certain staff will not be taken lightly.
  3. When the bartender is really busy, don’t expect YOUR drink takes precedence over everyone else – In the rush, your bartender will still appreciate some respect and patience from you, and they will remember when you do – and when you don’t!   If you are insistent to the point of rudeness, you might wait longer than expected. To be honest, I don’t blame them.
  4. Don’t flash your high tier status expecting better service for you at the expense of everyone else – We’ve all seen it.  Someone rushes to sit down, flashes their MGM Noir, or their Caesars Diamond card, and wants immediate service, like you’re special. (In New England it would be Noir, Mohegan’s Soar, Foxwoods’ Diamond, Penn National’s Owner’s Club and Twin River’s Club 100 for example).Besides, you want special treatment? – that’s what the VIP lounges are for.  Then you can fight it out with all the other high end players.
  5. Don’t give unwanted advice to guests next to you, and cause a ruckus. Matter of fact, don’t EVER be that loud, obnoxious guy that causes bartenders to call security. People enjoy the relaxation of VP and like the control of how much socializing they do while playing.  Bartenders who love their job enjoy a little banter with you if you want it, and enjoy taking care of you, if you deserve it.

Tammy, Steve & Catherine, my favorite bartenders. Find them at Play Bar, Foxwoods.

Finally, I would like to add the final thought that I’m sure Jason & Tony would agree with.  TIP YOUR BARTENDERS.  I prefer tipping a little extra on the first drink, getting their attention and basically saying “I’m here to enjoy your service, I appreciate what you d and I’m not that guy you dread to serve.”  If they don’t give you that service, don’t be obnoxious, pushy, rude, or entitled – just don’t tip anymore.

Well done, Jason & Tony.  Well done.

Binbin

Remember – Embrace the Math, Not the Myth in Gambling

Comped Drink Systems Is a Good Change

Lights signal bartenders for vouchers. Some are automatic.

What happens in Las Vegas, doesn’t necessarily stay in Las Vegas.  When the casino industry changes things, those changes usually migrate across the country in one form or another. Since corporations have taken over in Las Vegas in the 1980’s, the comp systems have been slowly eroding to something of a slow squeeze to visitors and their bankrolls.  Diminished payouts, table game rules changed to add to the house’s edge, parking and resort fees, and now, good-bye comped drinks.

Let’s reminisce, shall we.  Even as of the year 2000, after parking the car in a free garage (or valet for a couple of bucks), a gambler would checking in to the hotel expecting to pay the hotel fee he booked, or get a comped room, without any add-ons.  Then, walking into the casino floor to gamble, could either find low table limits at decent rules (no 6/5 BJ) or Video Poker with good paytables.  As he/she played, they were assured of one more amenity – free drinks.  And that’s where this post really begins.

“It’s yet another revenue-generating move, as more Las Vegas casinos embrace the idea of a comp drink monitoring system that decides if gamblers are wagering enough to warrant free alcohol.” (from CasinoOrg’s post by David Sheldon  More Las Vegas Casinos Now Monitoring Players Before Offering ‘Free’ Cocktails).

IS MONITORING PLAY FOR FREE DRINKS REALLY A BAD THING?

While all the other changes by corporate bean counters has me pulling out the little hair I have left, paying for drinks through play is not so bad in this blogger’s opinion.

KTNV in Las Vegas reported “It gets rid of the people that want to hang around and play a quarter and try to basically, I don’t want to use the word scam, but basically take advantage of the system,” said Albert Tabola with Arden Progressive Systems & Games.   Tabola says, if you’re a consistent player, this won’t affect you. You will still get your comped drinks. It simply affects the people who want something for nothing.”

Long Bar, at the D, downtown Las Vegas.

For those of us who study, practice and play video poker at video bars, getting a seat to play, relax and have an occasional free drink is not only part of the experience but expected.  But those of us who are avid VP players know the frustration of people who sit at the bar, getting free drinks, while playing $.25 every 5 minutes.

Many times, these VP bars will include progressive payouts, but there are no seats available because the “ploppies” and the “squatters” don’t move.

So, is IS MONITORING PLAY FOR FREE DRINKS REALLY A BAD THING?  I say a decisive “NO!”

HOW DO MONITORING DRINK SYSTEMS WORK?

It seems there are two systems growing in Nevada – coupon and lighting systems.

Drink coupon at the Cosmopolitan, Mid-strip, Las Vegas.

The coupon system is easy to understand, just not easy to predict.  When your play equals a certain amount, the machine coughs up a free drink coupon.  A normal amount of play should not affect your number of free drinks.  For example, at the Cosmopolitan in the Vegas Strip, some players have commented they end up with a surplus of coupons not used.  But the amount of play doesn’t seem to be standardized yet, with bugs in the software of certain machines.

Caesars Entertainment officially rolled out the comped drink monitoring system by the Arden Progressive Systems & Games mentioned above at all their casinos on the Las Vegas strip about a year ago. Here’s how it works: (see image above)

It’s a green light, red light alert system designed to tell the staff if you’re playing enough to qualify for comped drinks:

  • When you enter money into a bar top machine like video poker, Blackjack, or Keno, the machine turns on a blue light to show someone is playing.
  • As you play enough, your light will turn green, alerting the bartender you are ready for a drink.
  • If you fall behind and don’t gamble at a fast enough rate, your light will turn red.

Either system is a plus.  The casino saves money, less ploppies and squatters taking seats meant for players, and true players have more seats available without ten millennials huddled behind scamming the bartender into free drinks.

THE IMPACT ON NEW ENGLAND CASINOS

The Star Bar in Mohegan Sun.

Frankly it could be two years before we see this technology.  While CET (Caesars Entertainment, formally Harrah’s) does not have a property in New England, it’s influence could move east to Atlantic City – close enough to make a mark.  By 2020, Wynn Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield will be fully operational.  We already know that Mohegan Sun has eliminated discretionary comps, but hasn’t succumbed to other national influences in the industry affecting the player.  The following casinos still have free alcoholic drinks:

  • Mohegan Sun
  • Foxwoods
  • Massachusetts Casinos – the casino bill signed into law does allow casinos to offer free alcohol to gamblers from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Massachusetts casinos are trying to extend to 4 a.m.  It has recently passed, but is still being challenged.

    Few Video Poker Machines - Single Line all in Revolution Lounge - 8 of them.

    Plainridge Park Video Poker Machines in Revolution Lounge 

Patrons must pay for alcoholic drinks in all Maine & Rhode Island casinos.  Plainridge Park Casino, in Massachusetts, while it seemingly can offer free alcoholic drinks by law, doesn’t.  Alcoholic drinks must be paid for, even at the one small VP bar with 10 machines.

The real question is “who will be first to change to a drink monitoring system?”

NETG PREDICTION – MGM SPRINGFIELD WILL BE FIRST

I would imagine they will be first to have paid parking because parking has been diminished in the resort’s initial plans and downtown parking is not easy to come buy, with paid parking already established in the city. MGM Springfield will be the first to add this drink system.  Wynn will end up with paid parking, but will resist the drink monitoring systems.  Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods will resist both to be competitive.

CONCLUSION

Drink monitoring systems are a good change at VP bars are a good change.  But, decent paytables must be offered – no more diminishing the video poker odds by diminishing the VP pay tables.  May full pay VP is a thing of the past (although Mohegan Sun still offers 9/6 JOB), but offering 6/5 JOB is just offensive – especially if you are playing for your drinks by playing.

A SIDE NOTE

The newest rumor from Las Vegas is that comped drinks through a coupon system may be added to slot machines on the casino floor.  More on that as it continues.  Wow!

 

Tomorrow, we finally take a look at the Sugar Factory at Foxwoods. 

But, that’s all for now.