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Best of John Grochowski

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Comps and coupons

9 April 2015

On my first casino trip many, many years ago, I was vaguely aware that casinos gave away meals, rooms and show tickets. Exactly how that worked, I didn’t know, until I signed up for my first slot club. I quickly learned to take what was offered, but not to overbet my bankroll in pursuit of comps.

Other players have sent me their stories of comps, coupons and their efforts to get something for very little. Here are a few:

Colin: I almost turned down my first comp. I signed up for a player's card, but didn’t quite get what it was for. A while later, I was playing $1 video poker, and a host came and found me. I guess my play must have tripped some software, and this guy in a suit came over, gave me his card and asked if there was anything he could do for me. I assumed he was just being nice, and said, no, I was good, thanks for asking.

Just in small talk, I mentioned I was going to play for a while, then get some lunch. He said, “I can take care of that.” And he wrote me a comp. I don’t think it’s ever been that easy again, but that first time was an eye-opener.


Morgan: On my first casino trips, I was an extreme low roller. I’d take $50 and walk the Las Vegas Strip, and see how far it would get me.

I absolutely loved coupon books. You know that little Slots A Fun casino next to Circus Circus? When I was doing this back in the ’90s, they had $1 blackjack tables, and the coupon book had a $2-for-$1 coupon where if you won a $1 bet, they’d give you $2.

That was right up my alley with the little game I was playing for myself, seeing how far I could make $50 go. I got my coupon book, won my $2 and moved on to some nickel slots.

When I left, I saw all these people were throwing away these coupon books. I scooped up a whole bunch of them, and started tearing out the $2-for-$1 coupons.

I went back, bought in for $10 and started to play. I played a coupon, and another and another. The dealer looked at me funny, but didn’t say anything. On my fourth coupon, the pit boss came over and said, “OK, we’re going to have to make this your last one, and I shouldn’t really let you go that far.”

But nothing ventured, nothing gained, hey? I won two hands and lost two, but because of the coupons, I didn’t just break even. I won $2.

Sami: It was a pit supervisor who taught me about comps. I’d been playing and playing and playing, four, five hours, kind of up and down, but not too bad. The pit supervisor had my player's card, and he came over and said, “Why don’t you take a break? I’ll write you a dinner comp.” And he did, to the coffee shop. I’d never had a comp before, and it wasn’t all automated like it is now.

The next time I played, I caught a different supervisor’s attention, and asked if she’d write me a dinner comp. She said she had to check, and she looked up my information, and gave me the comp. I get offers in the mail and online now, but those first few times were almost as exciting as a winning streak.

Look for John Grochowski at www.casinoanswerman.com, on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski