Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Best of Mark Pilarski
Slot comps and the wily 6-520 December 2006
Dear Mark: Last week you mentioned comps and how to get them for blackjack players. How about for those of us who play slots, how do we get them? Fran F.
Slot players get their share of goodies by signing up for a player's card and inserting it into the machine's card reader while playing. Doing so allows the casino's computer to track the amount of money you fed into the machine and reward you accordingly.
Casinos, Fran, also have promotions to cajole players into signing up, so just by registering for your players' club card, you may even be entitled to some freebies for joining. Why, I just re-gifted a lovely casino tote bag to a brother-in-law I don't like.
So what can you expect comp-wise by being a slot player? Well, even though casinos vary on what they'll dole out, luckily the majority of them splash on their brochures information on how much money you will need to play to earn the points needed to get a specific comp.
Also, Fran, you might want to check out your favorite casino's website for that same information. Not only can you possibly sign up for a player's card online, a couple of casinos where I have a player's club card allow me to track my points right from my laptop.
Dear Mark: I know you are completely against systems of any kind, but I've been working on one for the past three years that I believe is foolproof against roulette. Would you be willing to review it and see if I'm on to something? In exchange, if you feel it's worthy, I would be willing to allow you to invest in it, and of course, share the profits. Harry J.
I flipped a coin and it came up tails, so, I'll pass. But you know what, Harry, once you make a kazillion dollars, don't forget to drop me a line and say "Hey Dummy, I told you so."
Dear Mark: Hooray for me. I actually found a single-deck blackjack game that pays the full amount for a blackjack, and not six for five. Anyhow, on the first hand, myself and the player next to me both got aces to split, and we both received face cards. Although I am not a card counter, how would you bet the next hand? Rob B.
Bet small or not at all.
Although Rob, as stated, was not counting down the deck, even as a recreational player, if you happen to see a disproportionate number of tens and aces leave the deck, you will want to bet less, especially on a single-deck game. Likewise, you will want to increase your wager if lots of small cards are withdrawn, especially fives and sixes.
Now, Rob, as to your hurrah account of locating a tough-to-find single-deck game that pays 3 to 2 for a blackjack: Yes, some casinos may still offer "single-deck" blackjack, however, there may be a fang behind that welcoming grin. Note that blackjacks now predominantly pay "6-to-5." Minus the 6-to-5 rule the house edge is typically 0.05% against a basic strategy player. Add a 6-to-5 rule on blackjacks, and the cost to a smart player is an additional 1.39%, for a total casino advantage of 1.44%. Rob, you'd be much better off on a multiple deck game that pays 3-to-2 for a blackjack than on a single deck game that pays 6-to-5.
Gambling Wisdom of the Week: "Fear can make a sucker do some of the most drastic things you ever imagined . . . like taking a job." Minnesota Fats (1966)
Best of Mark Pilarski