Aspects of Playing For Complimentary Gifts (Comps) From Casinos – Enhancing Player Expected Value

Casinos compete for gambler’s time and money by compensating them with complimentary gifts (comps). These comps involve free drinks, meals, free or reduced rate rooms, show tickets and extend to RFB (all costs for room,food,and beverage), airfare reimbursement or flyback certificates, and Super Bowl tickets. Comp programs are inherently designed to build customer loyalty and to foster return visits with the patron’s wallets and/or purses in hand. Customers do not have to be high-rollers to receive these incentives; many low-midlevel gamblers can and do receive a surprising amount of freebies and discounts. This is particularly relevant presently in part due to the current state of our general economy; in Las Vegas, visitor counts and gambling bankrolls have dipped significantly and this has increased comp offers from gaming properties in their attempt to encourage gamblers to enter their doors. On a recent (late October,2008) nine day stay in Vegas, my wife and I didn’t have to pay for a single night’s stay (all comped rooms) and we are absolutely not upper crust gamblers. Our gambling efforts involve blackjack at 10 – 25 dollar minimum bet tables and penny or nickel denomination slots and video poker with bets ranging from 40 cents to $ 2.00 per spin.

Comp awards are generally determined by average bet x hours played x bets per hour x expected house edge x % casino comp return to players (generally ranges 25 – 40% of expected win by the casino). For example, let’s assume you play a decent blackjack game (player favorable rule set and you play accurate basic strategy) and your average bet is 10 dollars per hand. If you play an “average ” 6-deck shoe game you can expect to see 60 – 80 hands per hour if the table involves 3 or 4 other players. Many casinos use 60 hands per hour and a house edge of 2% when figuring their expected dollar returns from players and resultant comp calculations. Most casinos will return approximately 40% of their expected win back to a player in the form of comps. For the above game, let’s assume you play 5 hours (hopefully at more than one table); a reasonable comp calculation would be $10 (average bet) X 5 (hours played) X 60 (hands/hr.) X .02 (house edge) X .40 (proportionate casino return to players). This means cumulatively you wagered approximately $ 3000.00 (surprised?) X .02 = $60.00 X .40 = $24.00 in earned comps.

A key tip to remember about comps while in Las Vegas or elsewhere…ASK for them..in a courteous manner. At some Vegas properties, you might be required to wager $15 or $25 per hand to even get rated for table game comps. Some off-strip Las Vegas casinos are more liberal with their meal comps than many of the Strip locales; on several different trips I’ve played for 2-3 hours at the Orleans with a 10 -20 dollar average bet and have never had a problem obtaining buffet comps for two when asked for appropriately. There is a huge variation in comp programs between casinos and corporate gaming entities. Players should determine where they like to play and avail themselves of comp program specifics at a given locale. Don’t be surprised if a player’s club representative / host is vague about precisely how they calculate earned comps; awarded comps can vary with season and any factor that increases patronage (weekends vs weekday, holidays, major events / conventions). Low to midlevel players will find it more difficult to get comped during these high traffic situations at times. It’s suggested that gamblers familiarize themselves with a slots / table games host that they are comfortable with; generally speaking, it’s a good idea to solicit a host of the opposite gender. Communicating with a host can lead to real dollar value for future visits (minimize losses / enhance winnings); part of a host’s job is to enhance the player’s experience while gambling. At many properties, pit bosses can award meal comps. Key elements for playing an enhanced-value comp game are to gamble within your prescribed bankroll, playing games with lower house advantage, know the property comp program, and ASK. On the other hand, “chasing” comps (ie playing too long just to obtain a meal) can lead to increased overall gambling losses, particularly if you’re losing hand after hand, dice roll after dice roll, or slot pull after slot pull. Common sense applies.

Blackjack is an excellent game to acquire comps due to generally lower house odds when compared to all other casino games provided players select games with player-favorable rules and learn accurate basic strategy for the specific game played. If a player avails themselves of these conditions and employs tactics that decrease the speed of the game (fewer hands played per hour), they have employed some basic tactics to enhance their comp accrual. Factors that can slow down a game include playing at crowded tables, talking with other players regularly while the game is in progress, extending decision times on hand plays, and taking frequent bathroom breaks or cell phone call breaks. Another tactic to enhance comp accrual at blackjack involves increased bet levels when pit bosses and / or table hosts are observing specific play; these should enhance your table play ratings and accrued comp levels. Bet levels can be reduced if desired when one is not being scrutinized by casino staff members.

Slot / video poker (VP) play tracking for comps requires that players have their player’s club cards inserted and inserted properly to accumulate points; always determine that this is the case and periodically check during sessions at a given machine. Video poker generally offers higher payback return percentages vs slot machines but comps for VP play are generally less for the same wagers / time played as compared to slots. It’s a standard casino tradeoff mechanism. If you find a casino that you like to play in, you enjoy the slots, and you have ample time, I believe it’s possible to identify some particular machines that exhibit a higher payback percentage than others (we know this is fact; the key is in identifying them). Generally speaking, the higher denomination machines have higher payback percentages (ie $1 slots vs penny machines); your ability to play these will depend on your bankroll and a money management scheme that involves common sense. There are wide variations in payback percentages even among penny slots; observation, common sense, and a willingness to play these games can lead to identifying some of the better paying machines. The key is to not get soaked for a huge loss expecting that next pull..and the next one..to result in a big payout. Regarding slot machines, we suggest a stop-loss approach. We always stop playing a given machine if we’ve reached 40 – 50% of the original buy-in amount (ie $20 -25 dollars credit remaining following a $50.00 original buy-in). Admittedly, the average slot machine will drain your bankroll but if players can identify the higher payback machines (by observation and actual play) these are reasonable alternatives for accumulating comps. Video poker with solid paytables (minimally 9/6 Jacks Or Better or Double Bonus; this paytable means the machine offers a 9 for 1 payout on a full house and 6 for 1 on a flush) is an excellent means to accrue comps (albeit slower relative to most slot machines at the same wager levels). It’s important to realize that the key factor is identifying the machines with greater payback percentages (ie “full-pay” machines or those with close to 100% payback over time, though individual sessions can and do still result in losses, of course).

While seeking out individual casinos to play any game, always seek out player’s club promotions (eg point multiplier days, blackjack enhancements) and use gambling coupons (blackjack match play and first -card ace coupons); use of these will enhance player expectation through increased returns / minimized losses while playing the comp game. The current economic climate in Las Vegas specifically, though generally down, is conducive to comp offer acquisition.

Good cards…

Chuck60 @ Frugally Vegas

Postmodern Film Approach – The Gambler

This is not really a review or an assessment of the film as such but, rather, just a rough collection of scattered remarks.

News of first time screenwriters who pen spec scripts based on their own personal life experiences and actually – miraculously, really – see the film get made and released are always inspiring. The ones that always spring to mind for me are Robert Mulligan with Summer of 42; Douglas Day Stewart with An Officer and A Gentleman; and James Toback with The Gambler. (Even Sylvester Stallone and Rocky may qualify here.) I say they’re inspiring because such news invariably entails something a little more than just a desire to entertain or to make it in Hollywood – the screenwriter believes so strongly in their message, they believe that the truth they have to impart to us is so worth discussing in artistic terms, that their desire to succeed just will not be denied. As a matter of fact, there is a scene from the picture we are very briefly mentioning here, Toback’s The Gambler in which protagonist Axel Freed, a professor of literature, gives a short lecture to his class on this very subject of the will and desire.

Here’s an excerpt from an article Toback wrote for Deadline Hollywood. It gives some background as to how he came to write the script.

“After graduating from Harvard in 1966 I taught literature and writing in a radical new program at CCNY whose additional faculty included Joseph Heller, John Hawks, William Burroughs, Donald Barthelme, Adrienne Rich, Mark Mirsky and Israel Horovitz. I also wrote articles and criticism for Esquire, Harpers, The Times, The Voice and other publications. Most of all, I gambled – recklessly, obsessively and secretly. It was a rich, exciting double life with heavy doses of sexual adventurism thrown in for good measure. Inspired by the life and work of my literary idol, Dostoyevsky, I embarked on the writing of The Gambler intended originally as a novel. Half way in, it became clear to me that I was seeing and hearing the “novel” as a movie and I abruptly decided to turn it into one. When I hit full stride I felt as if I were a recording secretary, simply putting down on paper dialogue and images I heard and saw as if they were not sounds and pictures at all but rather real life action existing in my brain.”

So as we see, the movie began as a powerful personal vision. British director Karel Reisz soon got involved with the project. Reisz, the author of one of the seminal texts on film editing, was a director of realistic films with a “focus on characters on the margins” as his obituary in The Guardian says. Certainly The Gambler qualifies there.

He was also quite unlucky in the way the executives he made pictures for handled them after they were finished and ready. Toback’s article cited above details this as far as The Gambler goes; Steven Bach’s Final Cut, one of the truly classic insider accounts of Hollywood, chronicles how Reisz’s next film, Who’ll Stop SThe Rain? was sabotaged by the very studio he made it for! (Incidentally, the picture was adapted from Robert Stone’s classic novel Dog Soldiers. Stone would go on to write the terrific Hollywood bashing novel Children of Light, and after reading Bach it’s easy to see why.)

The film itself is a bit of a wonder, and the article linked to above is immeasurably helpful in understanding it and the overall gambling sensibility. Lauren Hutton is an almost unreal presence on the screen – why in the world was this woman not more of a star? In the title role James Caan is excellent as an addicted gambler but not real convincing as a college professor. Paul Sorvino plays a role that’s kind of a hybrid of the ones he played in Goodfellas and A Touch of Class. And in small roles we have many actors who would become fairly well recognized over the years – Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Burt Young, Vic Tayback, Antonio Fargas, James Woods. All of them are very capable here.

The script, though very powerful and obviously authentic, is not without some problems – for example, Axel’s girlfriend and mother, both featured prominently for a while, at a certain point just drop off the screen. They literally disappear. And the Dostoyevskian existentialism is highly questionable as a working philosophy, even given that we understand it’s the main character’s principal operating principle.

Cash 3 Strategies Uncovered!

Most people want to make money the easy and fast way. Well, with the recent financial system crashing and burning, causing world markets to plunge into total disaster, people certainly won’t be making money the easy and fast way with their jobs or property investments. It’s going to take ingenuity to bring home the fat slabs of bacon. It’s going to take tried and tested Cash 3 strategies to get you in the game and get you the easy and fast money you’ve been dreaming of.

Yes, playing Cash 3 is one great way to help you pay the rent, the bills, the loan repayments, your education or that of your kids’, and all the other things included in your endless list of financial concerns. Many people enjoy playing Cash 3 because it offers them a chance to win big, allowing them to take home big sums of money to be spent as they desire. Like any other cash games out there, it doesn’t take much to start Cash 3. However, it will take a great amount of research and a study of state statistics, not to mention foolproof Cash 3 strategies, in order to understand the odds and turn them in your favor. You must be armed with determination, concentration, and a certain amount of persistence. Never ever give up. Giving up or simply leaving everything to chance is your greatest ruin as far as cash games, or any kind of game for that matter, is concerned.

One of the most trusted Cash 3 strategies around is understanding the game itself. This seems silly to even be suggesting, but there are people out there who play with the fervent hope of winning without even bothering to know the rules and check out the frequent combinations that come up. This kind of attitude can only lead to failure. You can’t win if you don’t know how to. So how exactly do you play Cash 3? It’s not just about selecting your lucky numbers; it’s about choosing the statistically favored combinations. To help you get closer to your ultimate goal, look into the combination history of the Cash 3 host you wish to be part of.

The good news is, you don’t have to spend all your time and effort finding out which Cash 3 strategies work, only to lose more money than what the jackpot or your coveted winnings contains. Thanks to the vast wonders of technology, you can now do your homework quicker and achieve far better results than you do when you rely on manual work. How do you accomplish this amazing feat? It’s simple. You go and buy a Cash 3 software package or system. These days, you can find a number of Cash 3 software packages or systems being sold online and offline. Online and “real” computer stores alike offer these systems to help you improve your chances of winning the game and bringing home the cash prize. Finding and using the best Cash 3 software package or system – or tool, even – is one of the highly recommended Cash 3 strategies you can come across with.

How to Level Up Fast in Mafia Wars – 4 Important Tips

Mafia Wars is quite a popular game today. With over five million people playing the game, the competition is surely high. The most important thing in the game is to level up quick without losing much of your energy. This way you get to become the boss of the game. Learn four important tips that can let you do exactly that.

There are no cheats, no codes, no scripts that can let you do these things. Mafia Wars is a totally safe game and does not let you play with cheats and stuff. It is pure tricks and strategy that works.

1. In the most initial stages, experience is less important than energy. You get some energy points every time you finish a job and also during the 24 hour period when you get energy packs. Always make sure you use a couple of experience points to gain energy. This will let you finish jobs faster and easily which means leveling up quick.

2. Never quit a fight half-way through. You might get hit all the time you are offline and this means you will end up losing precious energy and health. It is better that you hit as much as possible, and then when you are hospitalized, quit safely.

3. Energy is everything. If you really want to know how to level up fast in Mafia Wars, check out the pros. Even at high levels, they concentrate on energy. When you begin, make sure you do all the jobs which give more experience for less energy. (You can check out for high experience:energy ratios.)

4. Most importantly help out anyone whom you can. This is the best method in which you can get people to join your family, or help you when you are in need (like doing a job) etc. As much as you can, help others every time.