Comp dollars and tier credits offered through player reward programs at casinos may be one of the most overlooked aspects of gambling. These reward programs will be your key to unlocking exclusive offers such as slots dollars, comped rooms, free parking, dining credits, flights, contest entries and so much more.
Even though the sole purpose of a player rewards program is to get gamblers into the casino and spend money, if you use them correctly you will actually be able to get a great deal of value out of them – especially if you follow our free guide below.
When you first enter a casino – whether it be in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or anywhere else in the world – there is usually a desk or electronic kiosk near the main entrance for the company’s players club. Every gaming company, from large conglomerates like Caesar’s Entertainment and MGM Resorts to smaller, local properties like Station Casinos each have some type of rewards program in place for their players.
To participate in any casino rewards program, you must first obtain a player’s card. This card is your key to earning comp dollars and tier points at the casino you will be playing at. There are many different ways to earn comp dollars and tier credits, but some will earn you points quicker than others. We have outlined (in full detail) the most effective ways to accumulate these points below, so you can get the most out of your next visit to the casino.
The Basics of Earning Reward Points & Comps
Let’s start off with the most basic way that players can earn comp points; gambling at the casino. When gambling, you should always make sure that you are using your player’s card – whether that means giving it to the pit boss at the tables or making sure it’s properly inserted into a slot machine. This will ensure that the casino can properly keep track of how much money you’re wagering at slots, video poker or table games. In turn, this will result in you being rewarded proportionately to your play.
If you’re playing slots or video poker, always make sure that your card is inserted correctly. Sometimes the machine will not be able to read your card on the first insert, and hence won’t be able to track your play. When this happens, the machine will usually display a red light around the card slot.
When playing slots or video poker, comp dollars and tier credits will be earned based on the amount of money you wager on the machine. A common misconception among players is that comps are awarded based on losses, while this is in fact not true in almost all cases. The amount of time you play at the machine also has no effect on how many points you will earn.
Most, if not all gaming machines in a casino will have a small electronic screen with a countdown towards the next point(s) that you will earn. The countdown will go down after every hand or spin you play, and will be based on the amount of money you wager for each hand or spin. Once the countdown hits 0 it means you earned points for your play, and it will restart again.
The process will continue in the same manner for the entire time you are playing. This should be your main focus if you are trying to maximize point earnings, and it will also give you a general summary of how many points you have earned on this session. The most common electronic machines that people play include slots, video poker, virtual blackjack and electronic roulette but there are some others as well.
The First Visit to a Casino is Key
The first day’s worth of play on a new rewards card can make all the difference when it comes to the value of the offers you receive from a casino. Most casinos will look at the action of all their new players and base the value of the promotions and offers on how much a person wagered to encourage them to come back. Some player reward programs even have “new player” promotions, where gamblers can earn comp dollars or tier points at an increased rate. A perfect example of this is Caesars’ Total Rewards Program, which offers new players the opportunity to earn 3x the normal rate on tier credits.
For this reason, we encourage players not to sign up for a new players card if they only plan on spending a few minutes giving action at a specific casino. We recommend waiting until you can get in a full day’s worth of play before signing up for a new players card.
The first mailer a player receives is often the best one they will ever receive. Mailers have historically been sent through the U.S. Postal Service, but today they may also be received by email or even text. The offer may include free slots play, table game bets, comped hotel rooms, and meals.
Playing Low House Edge Electronic Casino Games
One of best ways to earn comp dollars and give the casino a lower house edge is to play multi-hand blackjack machines. Not every casino will have this game, but if they do and you are trying to rack up points quickly, you should go fire away. The concept of multi-hand blackjack is fairly simple. You pick the denomination and credits that you want to play (similar to that of any machine), and then you play 7 hands of blackjack at once versus the dealer all in one dealt hand.
The aspect of this game that makes the casino edge relatively smaller than most other machine games is what it allows you to do. In multi-hand blackjack, one can split, double, and get paid 3-2 on blackjack, something that is a rarity even at the low limit blackjack tables themselves. On top of the reduction in casino edge, by playing 7 hands you are playing that much more money in the game. Because of this and knowing that multi-hand blackjack is a machine game, you will be raking in the additional comp dollars and tier credits, and possibly some profits too.
Playing Low House Edge Table Games
Other than playing electronic machines at a casino, you can also play table games (such as blackjack or roulette) in order to earn comp dollars and tier points. However, the difference between the two is the number of factors involved with how many points you will earn. For table games, the amount you buy-in for, the time you play at the table, and your average bet size per hour all have effects on the points you earn while gambling, with the latter two being the most important.
Your Fate is Decided by the Pit Boss
When you go to sit down at a table game, you will always start off by buying in and giving your player’s card to the dealer who will then hand it off to the pit boss (manager of the table games). The pit boss will then enter into the system the amount of money you bought in for, and continue to update your average bet size during your time playing at that table (which will lead to you earning both comp dollars and tier points).
This is all very important if you are trying to earn points, since your fate is in the pit boss’s hand. He or she will not be able to watch every bet you make, so the average bet they enter into the system for you may not be accurate. There is usually just one pit boss on duty, and he must keep track of players at several tables.
Checking in with the Pit Boss
It does not hurt to get friendly with the pit boss since he/she can sometimes be on the generous side when entering your average bet into the player reward system. Regardless, you should always be checking from time to time what he/she has for your average bet, especially if you are altering your sizing.
On top of the average bet, the time you spend at the table is crucial for earning points. The longer you stay the better, as points are increased in exponential form based on time. In fact, certain casino companies will reward you with a higher status if you earn enough tier points during a 24 hour period, which generally means for you to have a reasonable average bet, along with playing for at least 4 hours at once, usually more.
Getting a VIP Host
The policy on VIP hosts changes from one casino to another. Some set a specific players club tier where a host becomes the reward. Others wait for a player to ask for it. Some casinos have hosts scour through data to determine if a player’s action warrants special attention. Once a serious player is identified, a host will introduce himself to the gambler.
What Does The Casino Host Do?
A host gives players a personal experience while in the casino. They also give players a reason to visit when he may not otherwise. This includes special perks like a limo ride from the airport, hotel room upgrades, show tickets, and visits to resort amenities on the house.
It never hurts to ask a pit boss or slot attendant to call a VIP host after a big session. This can include large wagers, long playing times, or a big win or loss. At the very least, the host will simply say no. There is nothing to lose.
Earning Points and Comps Without Gambling
Besides gambling, there are other ways to earn points. Those include staying at the hotels themselves, dining or shopping at places inside of the casino properties while using your player’s card, and more. In addition, if you have gambled in the past and used your player’s card, you may get promotions for free comp dollars and tier points that you can earn without having to gamble.
So if your goal is to earn comp dollars and tier credits in the best way and as quickly as possible, make sure to carry around your player’s cards and use it whenever possible. One note if you are trying to save up your comp dollars. Certain casino properties have stipulations where you must gamble at least once in a certain period of time to continue to keep your current comp dollars earned, and some also have it so your comp dollars will expire in a certain time period. In order to avoid having the casino take away your unused comp dollars, make sure to see what the casino policy is first.
Make sure to read our article on how to get Diamond in a Day at Caesar’s properties.