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

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Casino Comps and “Average Daily Theoretical”

Ever wonder how the casino you visit decides on what comps to give you?  It all comes down to the relationship that casino comps and Average Daily Theoretical have.

When I first started gambling, my bankroll was small and I played often. I thought that if I went to the local casino and played a little more often, the casino would see me as a loyal customer and raise the quality of my comps, such as free play. I would say to myself, “How could they depend on that player that appears once a year instead of me?  After all, – they have me for life if they played their cards right.” Alas, my comps continued to be menial – I call them “minion’s comps.”

Casino Rewards and Average Daily Theoretical

My thoughts of how casino rewards players with comps was wrong. Further research led me to understanding Average Daily Theoretical. Average Daily Theoretical, or ADT, is the average amount that a gambler losses per day for gambling activity. It is  usually expressed in absolute terms, such as dollars. It’s your value to the casino, based on your average daily play – NOT the number of appearances at the casino.

Your players card is how the casino tracks your play.

Your Average Daily Theoretical is the amount a casino assumes your 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 worth and the actual worth the game is to the casino.

An “ADT” Example

A casino assigns each game a theoretical house advantage. Let’s say you play a certain game with a Theoretical of 5%. Assuming a player’s coin-in is $10,000, a casino would then limit total comps to some fraction (less than one) of the theoretical $500 the player is assumed to lose. 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. Play your bankroll over fewer visits and see better mailers – spread out the same amount of money over more visits, less time each visit, the offers decrease.

Related Posts below by Coach Kitty from TravelZork provide an interesting way of raising your ADT: Casino Comps | The Big Play Casino Gambling Day – Part 1;    Casino Comps | The Big Play Casino Gambling Day – Part 2

 Casino Days, Casino Visits

It’s not just about time. Lowering your play per hand to play longer won’t increase comps. The casino wants two things from your play – time & money.  Raise one or both (preferably) will raise your value to the casino, thus raising your worth to the casino.

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 for 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 offers increase.

No Rewards Card, Casino Comps and Average Theoretical

Cleo Keno, a NETG favorite.

There are times that not using your card is a good idea. The morning of your departure may call you to play just a little bit more.  But a small play before you leave will lower you visit’s ADT. In the same vein, stopping by for a little VP or Video Keno and a drink on your way home may not need your card in play, especially since VP & VK has a low casino theo and takes more money in to earn points. Weigh the options available to you.

A Word of Caution

But please remember – play for fun and 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.

Related Post: 5 Considerations For Casino Play and “Casino Freebies”

Getting More Casino Comps

One thing that we all enjoy getting is getting more casino comps.  I always wonder if my mailman thinks I have a problem when he sees the mailers I get from New England Casinos, Atlantic City Casinos & Las Vegas casinos.

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 getting more casino comps and free offers mailers from casinos.

The reality is that 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  advice about getting more casino comps.

1)  You will get a better casino rating if you go to the casino less frequently, but when you do, play longer.

2)  Instead of a bankroll of $100 for three visits, try $300 for one long visit.  Remember, money and time.

3)  Once upon a time, a gambler friend of mine (we’ll call him BB) went to the casino, played his free slot play usually on a $1 JOB video poker machine, cashed out after the correct number plays ($10 free slot dollars, $1 per hand) and left, usually with most of his free slot play.  Casinos don’t like this.  If you follow this practice, you may end up with most of your slot play in your pocket and walking out a winner in the beginning, but your slot play will decrease in time, or discontinue altogether.

4)  Read the fine print.  If you are given free Dining Promotional Dollars, be sure the casino isn’t expecting you to stay and play.  Many dining promotions expect you to stay and say so “in the fine print.”  If you don’t stay a while, marketing may decrease your offers or cut them out.

5)  Free hotel offers come with a price – bigger that the $20 free slot play.  If you hope to have similar offers or better offers for hotel stays, expect to play more than usual.  A free stay, and no play, will probably mean a lower rate offer to stay next time instead of freebies.

6)  Finally, don’t gamble to get comps.  Gamble to entertain yourself, or give your self a chance to make a few bucks, or just for fun within your financial means.  The formula casino marketing uses to give out these promotion is definitely skewed in their favor, and that’s to be expected by all of us who gamble at these establishments (or you’re REALLY, REALLY NAIVE).  Comps should be included when evaluating the house edge, but should never be the sole reason for gambling.

Related posts: Recreational Gambling, ADT and ITV  / 3 Casino Facts for the Recreational Gambler – Acceptance Is The Key

That’s all for now.

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