The Ultimate Truth About Casino Players Cards & Slot Machines

  players-clubIt amazes me to see people sinking their money into a machine with out having a card inserted in the card reader. So, here is the Ultimate Truth About Casino Players Cards & Slot Machines. There are appropriate times to not your rewards card, but we’ll save that for a future post.

I sometimes ask people why they don’t use a card and have received several interesting answers. One day, someone was spouting off every slot myth in the book. He was trying to inform everyone around him, whether they cared or not.  However, his biggest sin was that he had taken out his card to “get a bonus” for nearly 10 minutes of big play.  His bet was over $8.00 a whack! Just think of the comps he missed due to his “Casino Paranoia.”

I Heard some rewards card myths

All of the following was either told to me or overheard. They are completely false and I provide an explanation why.  But some slot players build their play on suspicions and conspiracy theories.  Are you aware of that “switch upstairs.”  You know that switch, the one that changes the machines from hot to cold and vice versa. I hope you don’t believe in any of the following:

“I don’t play enough to earn anything.”  Rewards points can add up quickly, especially on multiplier day promotions. Take advantage of multiplier days to increase your points and tier status.

“When I use my card the machine knows and doesn’t pay off.”  There is no connection between the card reader and the slot machine. There is NO WAY that using a card will affect the way a machine pays. They are two separate systems.

download (4)“I don’t want to give out my address to the casino.”  The casino cannot send you any promotions if they don’t have your address.  Some high rollers play without their rewards card at tables so they stay anonymous.  But as face recognition software gets better, even that may become difficult.

“I take my card out and I get a bonus – explain that!” Again, there is no connection between the card reader and the slot machine. There is NO WAY that using a card will affect the way a machine pays. Two completely different systems that don’t communicate between each other.

“Playing with your slots club card decreases your chances of winning.” The theory is that the casinos want you to win less in order to recoup the perks and rebates that you receive from playing with the slot machine club. The reality is that the amount of money returned is negligible, and the casinos don’t mind paying it.  Your perks depends on your theoretical value.

Related Post –  Average Daily Theoretical.

More Crazy Talk -The Ultimate Truth About Casino Players Cards & Slot Machines

“When I use my card, I never win. The machine knows and it doesn’t pay off.” Although a very interesting and popular myth, this is absolutely false. The notion that using a casino club card lowers the odds of winning is a big misconception, and quite frankly illegal.  Remember, the players club software is a different system and does not have a connection to the Random Number Generator working in the machine.

download (5)“The slot machine can tell the difference between playing maximum and minimum.” That’s why I take out my card when I change my bet.”  The number of coins played has no effect on whether or not the winning symbols will line up. It only determines how much you will win or lose. Many players will vary the number of coins they play per spin because they believe there is a pattern that can make them winners. Some players will even cash out during their playing sessions so the machine will “think” a new player has started playing. Slot machines are computers and there is no way they “know” when a new player starts playing. The RNG is continuously running and is used only to select the next win or loss.

“Using a player card enables the casino to report my winnings to the IRS.” The fact is, it makes no difference. If you win $1,200 or more they will report it either way. If you have a net losing year, which you probably will, at least the casino will have evidence of it. Use your annual win/loss statements to declare offsetting loses to jackpot wins.

When Not to use your Rewards Card

When your amount of $$ played will be substantially less than a ‘typical’ day, don’t play with your card.  If you are rated based on average of $300/day, $25 on the last day only hurts your Average Daily Theoretical. But, only if you are a second tier player or higher.  Changes in your ADT will diminish your comps.

ADT has little to no effect on small stakes gamblers. If you are not going to be getting food comps and free shows anyhow, I’d recommend using your card all the time.

It’s Storytime

A friend of mine, with only a few years of casino experience under his belt made a huge mistake. He used to visit the local casino about 4-8 times per month. Most of the time, he stopped in only to play his free slot play and leave. Of course, he used his rewards card to access his freeplay.  Every month after that, freeplay diminished month by month. It was the worst use of a rewards club card.

Another friend of mine with years of casino experience will also stop by his local casino about 4-8 times per month. This guy doesn’t use his card during short plays. He plays a little VP or Keno, enjoys a drink, and is on his way with no record of small play. He otherwise uses his card all the time.

And, yes, I’m sure you have realized by now both of these are me.  Experience has a lot of worth in the casino world.

Beware of Chasing Comps

Please Note – One of the most-common mistakes in gambling involves chasing comps. Far too many players think that they should continue gambling just to earn a specific reward. A player may realize that they’re close to earning enough points for a free meal. Therefore, they continue spinning the reels two hours longer to reach this comp.

I have no problem with people continuing to play slot machines, but I hate to see gamblers play slots longer just for comps alone. The key thing to realize here is that the rewards are never worth the theoretical losses you’ll spend to reach them. You’ll rack up more losses when doing so. If you’re somebody who has trouble chasing losses and/or extending sessions too long, then you’ll likely have trouble with pursuing comps. Just don’t do anything that encourages you to gamble beyond your means.

Play sensible, play with knowledge, and play responsibly with your Players Card. For more information about The Ultimate Truth About Casino Players Cards & Slot Machines, click ob the link from Casino Player below.

Related Post – Players Clubs 101


Casino, Hotel & Airline Chain Partnerships and How to Benefit From Them


Eric Rosenthal is my friend.  But that is not the reason he is featured in this week’s Monday Link.

Eric Rosenthal is a writer, podcaster, gambling and travel enthusiast. By combining his knowledge of travel and casino loyalty programs, he teaches people how to travel and maximize value for their gambling dollar. Eric is one of the featured speakers at the Casino and Travel Loyalty Conference ZorkFest, where he shares his passion for what he calls Comp Harvesting. He has directed me to the best way to use Total Rewards (Caesars Entertainment rewards club) and MLife (MGM’s rewards club.) If there is a best way to look at using, earning, or transferring reward club points, he’s the man to ask.

Today’s link will help you look beyond the use of one club in the usual way.  There are lots of ways to use club cards and co-branded credit cards for the maximum benefit.  You may like to check out Eric’s archives at 

Eric Rosenthal knows Caesars Total Rewards inside and out.

So, here our Monday Link for today

Chain Partnerships and How to Benefit from Them

One final plug for the Casino and Travel Loyalty Conference  known as ZorkFest. If you attend the next ZorkFest, you will never look at rewards comps and points the same way again. Four things you should be doing:

  1. Following the website TravelZork.  It is an unbelievable resource combining travel and gambling, put together by Michael Trager.
  2. Following Michael Trager’s Casino Podcast and Travel Podcast – GOT 9 minutes?– A daily chat about casinos, luxury travel, Las Vegas, and gambling with a focus on experiences. #PaxEx (Passenger Experience) and #CasinoEx (Casino Experience) are major areas of conversation and exploration. Get your daily dose. #ZorkCast powered by TravelZork.
  3. Following the Podcast that includes Eric Rosenthal called Las Vegas Confessions.  It’s very informative and entertaining – but be careful, the language can be explicit.  Just fast forward past the introduction.
  4. Finally, follow TravelZork for information on the next ZorkFest. Plan to attend, you won’t regret it.


Coach Kitty and My Gambling Confession

I’m writing a gambling confession today, but first a disclaimer.

While a make up a small part of the TravelZork team, this is not intended to be an advertisement.  I just need to share the help I’ve received over the last year from the many experts at this website.  Check it out because you deserve it – ‘nuff said.


Over the last twenty-five years, I have gone from a beginner who didn’t know basic JOB Video Poker Strategy (and played one quarter at a time) to someone who runs a gambling blog. The journey has been fun and the knowledge I’ve gained has been amazing. But there is one thing that I couldn’t admit – until recently.

I refused to follow the best way to receive casino comps. Even my local casinos provided good entertainment and hotel comps, but very little free slot play. I never understood, or refused to accept the real truth behind how casino comps work. ADT (Average Daily Theoretical) I knew, but I loved playing VP.  So, I played a small amount 2-6 times a month.

I always thought the casinos were shooting themselves in the foot with local clientele. “It should all add up to one gambling day, should it not?.” But I was wrong, sadly.

All along, I knew the truth.  Only recently, I realize I needed to change my sessions to larger but fewer.


I get it now.  It’s time to change.  I want you to, no, I implore you to go to TravelZork. The suggestions provided by Michael Tragar and Eric Rosenthal will change your gambling world positively for good. But, there is one person and one particular article by her that is one of the best explanations about the world of comps I have ever read.

It’s Casino Comps – The Big Play Casino Gambling Day, Part 1 by Coach Kitty.

Go ahead, click and read it, I’ll wait.  (elevator music plays) ………… ok, now let’s continue.

Catherine has become a self-made expert in working the system.  Her optimal approach to casino gambling and travel deals on a budget gives her the credibility behind her posts. Meeting her in person last year made me realize she knows what she writes about.  Kitty is also an expert Video Poker player, with basic strategies on many games in her back pocket.

Now, if you haven’t read that article yet, go read it!


If you care about improving you gambling success, taking advantage of casino comps, and learning how to maximize credit cards use and rewards clubs of all kinds, you must check out TravelZork.

Thank you Catherine.  Thank you Michael and Eric, and the rest of the team. I can’t wait for part 2.  Don’t leave us hanging, Coach Kitty!