The Best Casino Comp Tips

Photo Courtesy (Nevada Casino History)
Freddie's Club Slot Card. Photo Courtesy (Nevada Casino History)

Gambling at the casino is a lot of fun, but so is getting free stuff. Earning casino comps with your slot or table game play is a benefit offered by most casinos in the US. Not every casino offers comps. In fact, there aren't that many foreign casinos that offer comps, but then again, in most foreign countries you don't have to tip the dealers, so it's a wash.

If you are going to play, the casinos are willing to pay, a little. You can expect your casino to give back somewhere between 10 and 15 percent of your expected loss in the way of comps. Unfortunately, they won't just give you cash for it (unless you are a whale of a player losing $100,000 or more each trip). The tracking system used is different at each casino, but the software is programmed to turn your average bet and time played into a dollar amount they will give you back in meals and other resort amenities.

Follow the best casino comp tips below to get your money's worth, and then some!

Sign Up for a Player's Card 

That may sound silly, but many players have an aversion to getting a card. I've heard players say they are unlucky when they use their card, or they don't want to know how much they are spending. Well, live in denial if you want, but even if you are only playing the penny slots, your action is worth something. At least get a few casino comp meals for your play!

Find the Best Deals 

Always ask if there are any specials going on. If you live in an area with several casinos, it is worth it to check online and find out who is offering the best sign-up bonus. Many properties offer cash, from $10 to $25 when you first get your card. The first-play incentive may be linked to additional prizes (usually logo wear or rooms) based on your first few days of play. Consider trying each of the casinos in your area and getting the swag, then moving on to other casinos until you find your favorite, based at least partially on comps.

Accept Mail

When you sign up, you can specify no mail or email. Your choice, but you'll miss drawings and specials during the year!  Monthly promotions and drawings are announced via email and snail mail. In addition, free room specials and free play coupons are often sent to player's club members. Don't miss out.

Use the Meal Specials

Many properties have meal deals, like discounted lunches or: "earn 500 points and breakfast is on us." These are nice because the meal is free, and you usually just get a voucher from the player's club desk, they don't actually take any points from your account.

Use Any Other Specials You Find

The Avi Casino in Laughlin, Nevada has several specials in action at any one time. One of them is a free hour of childcare in the Kid's Quest play center. Another is a free buffet with a blackjack tournament entry while another is $40 in match-play chips for $30. With the match-play, you can't cash in the chips, but every hand that wins is paid in regular chips. So you get $10 free. 

Play on Special Days 

Casinos have slow days. They want you to play on certain days so they offer drawings and extra points on some days. Might as well take advantage and find the best casino deal you can! If you are planning on playing, find a way to play on the right day. An extreme example is Fort McDowell casino in Fountain Hills, Arizona which offers 13x points on the 13th of each month. Holy cow that's a lot of comp points!

Be Pleasant 

If you play slots, feel free to be grumpy and mad at that electronic device, who cares, but if you play the table games, you should try to enjoy yourself. It will help your relationship with the other players, and with the dealer and the Pit Boss. If there is a problem with a hand, the Pit Boss is much more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt if you aren't being a jerk. In addition, it is human nature to be swayed by emotion, and while the pit bosses are trained to track your action accurately, they can be subtly influenced. If you are nice, that 23 minutes of play may be rounded up to a half hour, and that $12 average bet has a good chance of getting to $15, instead of $10. Those changes make a big difference over the course of a year.

Don't Let Your Points Expire

Speaking of a year, even the best casino on your list has their player tracking software set so your unused points expire at the end of one year or so. When it comes to comps, use it or lose it is an accurate statement, even from your best casino!

The Casino Rate

Most properties have a special casino rate for their hotel rooms. Instead of the full rate, casino players are offered a lower (50-60 percent) rate based on their continued action in the casino. You don't have to be a high-roller to get a casino rate, just a regular player who uses their card on a regular basis. The best part is that it isn't considered one of your casino comps, it's just a discount that takes no points.You can't expect to get that rate on a weekend or during a holiday period, but Sunday-Thursday is a good time, and you should approach a pit boss about the rate after you have put in some play, not before. They want to make sure you are actually going to be in action before they reduce your room rate. You may also want to find a casino host to help you with a casino rate, or to check your comp points.

Sneaky Points

Stealth mode is definitely not the way to earn points at the casino. You have to use your card, be seen, and get tracked. Right? Well, there are a few ways that players used to get sneaky points in the past, and while they aren't as likely to earn much in the way of comps these days, they are worth mentioning. If you are playing slots in a club with a friend and they don't use a card, get a duplicate and have them play on your card. No harm, no foul. Don't ask players you don't know to do this, it could get you tossed from the club. Of course, some players leave their cards in machines hoping others will play on it too.

In the table games area, seats are often at a premium and the bosses don't want you tying up the extra chairs if you aren't playing, but if you were about to leave and find your spouse, bet a quick hot dog, or check a ball score, you can leave your chips on the table for a few minutes. You are likely to get tracked for the time you are away from the table, as long as you don't abuse the privilege. If you leave more than once, it will likely harm your tracking, so be careful. I certainly can't advise playing at two tables at once, although I have seen this done at some casinos. Pit bosses frown on this!

Remember, casino gaming should be fun, and comps are fun too. Remember that if you hit a taxable jackpot, you can get a year-end win/loss statement to offset your big hit! Choose your best casino based on what you like, and consider your casino comps and comp points in the mix.