The Slot Expert’s Guide to Winning at Slots and Video Poker
I always advise people never to gamble more just to get a comp. There’s no sense in betting more than you normally do or playing longer and, possibly, losing much more than the comp would have cost out-of-pocket just to eat or sleep for free.
There’s a very important word in our advice. It is “more.” It’s perfectly okay to gamble for a comp if you can afford the losses you might incur while going for the comp and getting the comp is worth more to you than your expected loss.
For example, you qualify for the casino rate at Treasure Island in Las Vegas when you earn at least 50 slot club points per day. That’s $1,500 in video poker action. I make sure I earn at least that many points per day whenever I play at Treasure Island. The best video poker games they have pay back a little over 99%. My expected loss is $15, but my actual loss could be much greater, perhaps a few hundred dollars. Nevertheless, come hell or high water, I always earn at least 50 points per day when I play there. I’m willing to accept the risk in order to get a discount on the room rate and whatever other privileges may come with being a casino-rate player there.
The key is to not get caught in the trap of playing beyond the point where it is no longer fun or betting more than you normally do just to get the comp. Table game players frequently tell the story of asking a pit boss for a comp and being told to play “just a little longer.” A few minutes later, the pit boss tells them that they’re “close, play a little longer.” And the players keep playing and maybe they even up their bets just to get enough action to earn the comp.
Slot players can get caught in a similar trap. They may know how points it takes to earn some comp and go on long playing sprees or jump up in denomination to earn the points for the comp. The problem for both types of players in these situations is that they are betting more than they normally would have.
When you can afford the expected loss and the comp is worth the expected loss, go for it. Over the next few weeks, we’ll look at ways to minimize your risk while playing for the comp.
This week’s tip: As a general rule, don’t play for a comp unless you can afford the expected and potential loss you could incur while going for it and the comp is worth it to you.