CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Related Links
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Expect different comps for different games

28 June 2015

QUESTION: Three of us go to the casino every week – it’s our boys’ night out. One sticks to the penny slots, I play mainly quarter video poker and our other friend plays $25 a hand blackjack.

We all have a good time, and we all have our winning sessions, but more often than not we all lose a few hundred dollars. What surprises us is the huge difference in comps. The slot guy gets way more than we do, both in downloading free play and in meals, mail and e-mail offers and so on.

I get that there are many factors that go into tiers and player ratings, but why is the difference so big?

ANSWER: This is one of the most frequent questions I get about casinos, and I try to answer it every so often so new readers coming on board can get up to speed.

Slot players get more comps per wagering total because they are more valuable to the casino than video poker players or table games players who wager similar amounts. And it’s not just a matter that a slot player who wagers $1,000 is more valuable than a video poker or blackjack player who wagers $1,000. The difference in house edges is so great that the slot player is more valuable than a blackjack or video poker player who bets five times as much.

Let’s say your friend bets the 40-cents-a-spin minimum on a 40-line video slot game that returns 87 percent to players. At 800 plays per hour, he risks $320, and his theoretical hourly loss is $41.60.

As a quarter video poker player betting the maximum $1.25 a hand, you can get in 800 hands per hour if you play fast. That’s a $1,000 hourly risk. On a second-tier video poker game with a 2 percent house edge, your theoretical hourly loss is $20.

A full seven-player blackjack table moves at only about 50 hands per hour, but let’s assume your friend plays with three or four others and averages 100 hands. At $25 a hand, that’s an hourly risk of $2,500. Let’s also assume your friend is a little fuzzy on basic strategy and faces a 1.5 percent house edge. His theoretical hourly loss is $37.50.

Note that even though I assumed a minimum bet for the penny slot player and he risks by far the least money, he has the highest hourly loss. If he bets 2 cents line, 3 cents a line or more, the disparity gets very large, very fast.

That’s why player rewards systems lean toward slot players among those of us with average bankrolls. If you’re a big player, betting thousands per hand – well, casinos take care of their special guests. But for those who wager more modest sums, slot players are the casinos’ MVPs.


QUESTION: Can you explain a comment at a blackjack table? Two guys sitting next to each other obviously knew the game really well. Another player had a pair of 10s, the dealer had a 6, and the player asked, “Should I split those?” One of the guys said, “Not since Amberdeen,” and his friend laughed. Nobody else had a clue what he was talking about, and when asked, he just said, “Basic strategy says stand.”

ANSWER: Basic strategy was first published in 1956 by “The Four Horsemen” – Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel and James McDermot. All were serving in the U.S. Army and stationed at the Amberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The player’s comment was a reference to basic strategy’s beginnings.
Related Links
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