Making comps count – the casino player’s guide to saving money!
The Mechanics of Casino Comps – Playing on a Shoestring Budget
Casino comps are part a reward system offered by casinos to their players. Comps are effectively ‘complimentary’ offers for all players to enjoy. They function in a similar fashion to the loyalty programs offered by retail stores, and restaurants around the world. Comp programs differ from one casino to the next, and typically depend upon the specific games that you are playing. Comps are a casino appreciation ‘compensation’ program designed to offer value-added services to players. Since so many casinos offer comps, players have come to expect them.
Where to get Comps?
Comps are offered to players at all levels, and at traditional casinos it all begins with a registration for a player’s card. Las Vegas casinos for example, have dedicated departments for loyalty rewards programs and comps. To get started, players simply need to complete a registration at the rewards program desk.
Once you have your players club card, you can begin accruing comp points for all real money play. Slots players will be able to register for a player’s club card with the slots attendant. At a bricks and mortar casino, you simply insert your player’s club card into the slot machine during your gaming sessions to benefit from the comp program.
How Do Online Casinos Calculate Your Comp Points?
With respect to comps and loyalty points, online casinos function entirely differently. Since most slots games at online casinos have similar payout rates, online casinos typically consider total wagers placed when determining bonuses and comp points with slots. For table games, a different weighting is assigned with comps.
Slots games are games of chance, and they typically count 100% towards your comps contribution. Any game which allows the player to reduce the house edge – such as blackjack, video poker and poker – is associated with a lower contribution towards your comp point rewards.
In some cases, this can be as low as 10% (blackjack) since this is a skill-based casino card game. Only a handful of online casinos offer competitive comp points, but 888casino is known to offer one of the best online casino bonuses and promotions program.
Types of Comps
Your rewards are determined by the types of casino games you play, the size of your wagers and the length of your gaming sessions. Typically, casino gaming machines will keep you updated on the number of comps that you have earned during your sessions. There are many types of comps. Casino hosts can offer food comps, free play comps, free valet parking, free alcoholic drinks, free beverages, free transportation, etc.
If the casino deems the player a high net worth asset, it will typically go out of its way to comp the player for many benefits such as hotel stays, meals, drinks, spa treatments, and tickets to shows. If you are at a traditional casino, you can receive a wide range of comps such as line comps which allow you to move to the front of the line at dinner reservations and shows.
Effective bankroll management
We’ve all heard the term bankroll management at casinos. What does this mean? The golden rule of casino gaming is as follows: Never gamble with money that you cannot afford to lose. If you plan on playing for 4 hours and you have a $500 bankroll, spend no more than $125 per hour.
Penny slots prolong your gameplay, but $5 slots games will burn through your money in double-quick time. Table games like Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, Craps and Poker usually require higher minimum bets per round, so you may wish to minimize your gameplay to a fraction of your overall gaming sessions.
Do You Have to Gamble to Get Comps?
You don’t need to gamble to get comps, you can get them simply by staying at the hotel-casino. The trick to understanding comps is that it’s not about how big your wagers are, it’s how much time you spend playing. A player who spends $30 per hour playing low limit slot machine games is more valuable to the casino than a player who spends $125 for a 30-minute session of gaming.
Players will earn more rewards for the consistency and duration of their gameplay. Even penny slots players stand to benefit from players’ club rewards and comp points by using their cards for all real-money gaming sessions. Another important aspect to consider with comp points is the tier level that you are at.
Comp points and loyalty rewards are tier-based. As you advance to higher levels of gameplay, the comp to cash reward system increases accordingly. Initially, you may receive 1 comp point for every €10/£10/$10 wagered on slots games. As you advance to higher levels, you may receive 1 comp points for every €5/£5/$5 wagered on slots.
Why Do Casinos Gift Players Comps?
The casino industry is highly competitive. Since so many casinos and online casinos offer comps to players, the ones that don’t will lose out. Players like being rewarded for their patronage, and comps have proven to be the most effective way of ensuring loyalty among players. Whether players win or lose they will always think fondly of a casino that offers them comp rewards, benefits and freebies. Discounted rooms, free meals and free drinks are common types of comps offered by casinos.
If you are a table game player, the floor supervisor or the pit boss will rate you according to the number of hours you play and the size of your wagers. Naturally, the more you play and the higher you’re rated, the better the comps you receive. Slots fans and video poker players may receive cashback for their gameplay. This is calculated as a percentage of your real-money play, and it is offered as cashback based on a fractional amount of your gameplay.
Bet & play smart on casino table games
Online casinos, like land-based casinos, always treat their regular players like royalty. That’s when you can really benefit from being frugal. Comp points bonuses are the online equivalent of getting comped at a land-based casino.
These bonuses are directly related to your real-money play. Pick games with low house edges and maximum payout potential. For example, European Roulette and French Roulette have a house edge of just 2.70%, while American Roulette has a house edge of 5.26%.
Also, you’re better off playing French Roulette with its En Prison rule which will drop your house edge to as low as 1.35% on certain bets. For example, if you have an even money bet and the green 0 lands, your even-money wager will be kept in prison until the next spin.
If you win the next spin, you will have your wager returned to you. The French Roulette La Partage rule simply divides up your even-money bets by 2 and reduces the house edge to 1.35%. You may want to adopt bankroll management strategies such as Martingale, Reverse Martingale, D’Alembert, Fibonacci and other loss minimization strategies and profit maximization strategies.
When it comes to blackjack, this is considered a casino game with a low house edge. When played with perfect strategy, you can reduce the house edge to as little as 0.5%. Blackjack card counting, blackjack strategy charts, and perfect playing strategy can help you to beat the dealer more frequently over the short-term. Remember to play Blackjack with as few decks as possible, and choose Blackjack which pays out 3:2 over the 6:5 that is prevalent in many land-based casinos.
How to Extend Your Stay and Fun at the Casino?
There are many ways to extend your playing time and your enjoyment at the casino. One of them is to adopt sound bankroll management strategies. By carefully allocating a gambling budget to your gameplay, you can assign a fixed dollar amount to each of your gaming sessions. One way to extend your game time is to reduce the size of your wagers.
Players can further enhance the quality of their casino experience by following the sage advice of industry aficionados. Jean Scott’s video on saving money at the casino is a terrific example of how to stretch your bankroll further, by using comps. She is the ‘Queen of Frugal’ and has many years of experience in the industry. Her insights into planning Vegas trips have been warmly received around the world.
Practice for Free before You Play for Real
You can extend your gaming sessions at online casinos by practicing in a free play mode, before you wager for real. This is the most effective way of preserving your bankroll. Casino bonuses and promotional offers should be used in conjunction with the comps program to stretch your bankroll as far as possible.
Online casino players are routinely awarded with generous match bonuses and promotional offers when they sign up, and many of them offer no deposit bonuses too. You may wish to put your email address down to receive exclusive offers, rewards and special benefits from the casino or online casino in question.