Whether it be a free coffee, a meal at a restaurant or a room in a hotel, ‘comps’ are one of the strongest marketing tools a casino has at its disposal.
The general misconception is that it is only the highest gamblers who are rewarded with freebies by the casino for their play, small-stake gamblers can also be recompensed for their investments.
Here are 10 ways a casino visitor can improve their prospects of getting a perk or two:
One of the main things that keeps casinos ticking over is the regular visitors who can be relied upon to make an appearance fairly frequently, regardless of whether they are the biggest spenders or not.
Some casinos provide loyalty cards for their most devoted customers and one of these may highlight current offers that are running or upcoming, alongside allowing you to win points in the games being played.
In the words of Bruce Forsyth: “What do points make? Prizes.”
Another thing that a loyalty card will allow is all play to be tracked. For a casino host to decide to offer a player a comp, they will want to know their gameplay history, how long they have been at the tables, size of stakes etc.
With numerous visitors in a casino, it is hard for a host to memorise how long each individual has been inside gambling. Having play recorded will tell them all they need to know.
It is not solely the amount being staked that is looked favourably upon by a casino, but just as importantly the frequency of bets.
A player staking successive £100 bets on blackjack who then leaves with their winnings is far less likely to receive a comp than a player who is betting £5 a deal, but has retained their seat for 90 minutes straight.
This is despite the fact that the latter player may have lost less than the former. It is also worth noting that a comp is not remuneration for bad luck and heavy losses, players that win are just as likely to receive one if their play is continuous.
Although it is not essential to bet big to receive freebies, showing the casino that you are willing to bet plenty is a good idea.
If you arrive with £100, change it all into chips on arrival, rather than potentially doing so in four £25 breakdowns.
For those with good willpower at sticking to loss limits, it may even be worth changing up far more than you intend to spend to fool the casino as to how much of a high roller you actually are.
The chips you have no intention of using can always be changed back at the end.
It has already been mentioned that one factor that influences a freebie is the amount of time spent playing at a table.
Taking regular toilet/cigarette/drinks breaks is a good way of retaining a seat without having to play any hands. One 10-minute break every hour is more than reasonable.
In most cases, leaving a few chips on the table is enough to hold a seat.
Another good way of effectively wasting time is to stick to the busier tables. It is fairly obvious that the more players who are involved in a hand, the longer it will take for you to win or lose any chips.
Therefore, in an hour you could play half the number of hands at a full table than if there is only you and one other player.
This goes against the last point a little, but it is also important for a casino host to know who you are and for you to build a rapport with them. If the casino is crammed with action, this will obviously be tougher.
The ideal situation is for a particular table to be full in terms of player quota, but for the remainder of the casino to be fairly quiet.
If a player goes on a losing streak, it is easy for them to take out their frustrations on the casino staff, even though they have no bearing on the run of the cards or the mechanics of a roulette wheel.
There is little to no chance of a player being given a comp if they are rude to staff. Remaining pleasant and polite, especially during the bad beats, will be a big boost to their prospects of receiving a freebie.
Blackmail is not often a great trait for getting something you want, but casino staff can rely on tips to pay their way. The phrase “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” springs to mind to ensure you both get what you want.
The most blatant way to gain a comp is to simply ask for one.
Casino staff are habitually bombarded with requests for a free burger or a room upgrade. The worst that can happen is that they say no, you carry on playing for another 30 minutes using the guidance above and then ask again.