Pulling Players Cards Out of Slot Machines

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Pulling Players Cards Out of Slot Machines
Pulling the card out of the machine?

Pulling player’s cards out of slot machines while playing is still practiced by some players. It’s a practice that began when rewards cards were first used. So what is this activity during your session supposed to do? Read on…


I recently visited a CT casino.  While I was playing, the woman next to me hit a bonus. She immediately took her player’s 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. But, likewise, the taxman can’t take what he doesn’t know you won.  No card – No report. But is this strategy true? Well, 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. However, before holding and pressing the deal button, the player would pull out the player’s card. This is because the win had not been signaled yet.

Pulling Players Cards Out of Slot Machines
One of my first player’s club cards – Lady Luck in Las Vegas. Notice the divits used for the data – magnetic strips in the 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 meters’ current values 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 the years went by, players club systems became more integrated as part of the machine. As reported by John Robinson of the Casino City Times, “slot manufacturers have added ways to delay the pulling of the card information to the casino until after the action of that particular transaction has been finished.”


So, tax-wise, it is a strategy that doesn’t work on today’s slots.

Besides, as I told her, the casino’s interest is really concerned with her money.  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 this data 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 know there is no logical, scientific reason to pull your card out of its slot during play.

Related Post – The Ultimate Truth About Casino Players Cards & Slot Machines

That’s all for now.