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Best of Mark Pilarski
Comp computing made easy10 March 2006
I heard you on a radio show talking about getting comps, and one of your suggestions was to call a casino host and ask what type of action was needed to warrant, as you said, “getting some goodies.”
So, I called a casino host and asked how much I would need to play in order to get both a dinner for two in their steak house, and possibly a buffet for two. She said that I would need to “put in action” at least $5,000 to warrant the free meals. I’m not that big of a player. Don’t you think that betting that amount is a bit unrealistic when all I’m asking for is a couple meals? Peter T.
Whoa, Pete, all that the casino you called wanted was for you to blow into town with some of your hard-earned money, and not necessarily five large, and they’d like a crack at it.
What the host meant by “put in action” was NOT the actual dollar amount of money you were to bet per hand, nor even the amount you are supposed to bring to the table with a “Gamble” ear tag on it.
For instance, suppose that you sat down at a blackjack table with $500 and proceeded to play 100 hands an hour over, say, three hours, betting $20 on each hand. Now multiply 100 hands, times three hours, by $20, and it totals $6,000. This would be the amount of money you “put in action,” even though your actual bankroll was just $500.
This is but one criterion a casino would use to assess your rating and eligibility for comps. The joints I worked in had sort of the same formula to figure out what you’re worth. To get your goodies from us, we also wanted you to bet a decent chunk of change for a calculated stretch of time, but we based your RFB's merit (room, food and beverage) on what you were probably going to lose.
We considered your average bet, how many hours you were possibly going to play,
speed of the game, and the casino advantage. This, in theory, computes essentially
your expected loss to us over a certain period.
A Field bet is a wager that the next roll of the dice would turn up a 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, or a 12. This one-roller pays even money for 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11, and usually pays 2:1 for either 2 or 12. Some casinos pay 3:1 for either the 2 or 12, but not both.
When the casino pays 2-1 on the 12, the house edge is 5.56%. If they pay 3-1, the casino advantage is reduced to 2.78%. Either way, both advantage levels are far higher than the 1.41% edge on a pass line wager or 1.4% on the don't pass, so, James, I’m recommending neither.
Gambling Wisdom of the Week: "Betting is the only moral thing you can do. It is an intellectual pursuit, as good as The Times crossword. For millions, it is the only uninfluenced democratic decision they take." - Lord Wyatt
Best of Mark Pilarski