The Art of Scoring Comps at Casinos

casinoComps are a huge part of casino culture. Nothing beats the feeling of getting a free drink from the establishment just when you’re coming off from a nasty losing streak. But kidding aside, giving out comps is the casino’s way of ensuring that you, the player, keeps on playing…and that’s why they’re prepared to give out a lot to loyal patrons.

While it’s important to note that you could never recoup your gaming losses through comps (and you should never try, else you might have a bit of a problem there), there are various ways with which you can increase your chances of scoring.

1. Play at crowded tables.

The casino calculates your expected losses per hour and uses that figure (usually around 25% to 30% of a player’s theoretical loss) to determine how much they’re going to spend on you for comps. If you play on crowded tables, the action will be much slower and you’ll be spending less money per round.

2. Get a player card.

In most casinos, players are required to get a player’s club card for them to be able to receive comps. While some players erroneously believe that this will allows the casino to track their winnings (fun fact: casinos ALWAYS track your winnings), playing without a player card means that you’re going to miss out on a lot of comps. Even when you’re playing penny slots or low stakes games, a player card assures that you’ll get small freebies and bonuses out of it at least.

3. Adjust your bet when the pit boss comes round.

This is a particularly sneaky way of tricking the casino into thinking that you’re betting a bigger amount than what you usually bet. The pit boss is the person who usually visits tables from time to time to take down the players’ average bets. If you see him/her approach your table, double your bet in the meantime (just make sure that you can afford it and it’s still within your playing budget).

4. Know your game.

The casino assumes that you’re not playing at an optimal level. Since the computation for comps includes a player’s theoretical losing rate as a factor, playing with a correct basic strategy minimizes the house edge that the casino imposes upon you. So let’s say that the casino assumes that you’re losing at a rate of 1%, when in reality your good play greatly minimizes their edge down to a measly 0.2%.

5. Use your points.

Most casinos’ comp points usually expire at the end of the year. Don’t let these points go to waste and make sure you’re aware of their expiration dates!

6. Be nice.

If the pit boss sees that you’re being a jerk to the dealers and casino staff, their decision on how much comp points they are going to award to you might be slightly affected. The servers might also be hesitant to serve your free drinks. So do everyone a favor and make sure to check