When you look at my monthly expenses you will see that I don’t spend much on entertainment. One of the reasons our entertainment expense is low is because one of our forms of entertainment is going to the casinos about once a month. And we actually come out ahead on gambling.
It is possible to come out ahead at the casino without being a card counter. My wife plays slots and I play live poker. I’m not an expert poker player, after about fifteen poker playing sessions this year I’m down $154. I don’t know my wife’s losses exactly but I’d estimate them to be less than $100. The way to come out ahead despite by being a losing player is by taking advantage of the casino rewards programs and comps.
We don’t gamble large amounts but we have still received well over $1000 in comps and rewards. There are two strategies that we have followed to achieve this.
Concentrate Your Play at One Casino
We play at Harrah’s or CET properties as they are now known. If you concentrate your play at one casino chain you will likely receive more comps and rewards than if you spread out your play among several different casinos. We play at Harrah’s because they have convenient locations for us and because we have a Diamond card there. The Diamond card allows us have free meals daily in the Diamond Lounge. And even free drinks at some locations. In addition to that it allows you to see two free shows a month in Las Vegas. Those perks saved us a lot of money on our honeymoon. Although Harrah’s works best for us a different company might work better for you.
Take Advantage of Casino Promotions
Casinos will run different promotions throughout the year that allow you to earn extra rewards. Harrah’s had a great promotion this year that paid you $600 in rewards for visiting six different properties and earning at least one point at each of them. With the traveling we had to do for our business and a necessary trip for a funeral we were able to visit six properties without too much extra driving. It takes very little play to earn one point so our combined losses to earn the required points on our casino visits was less than $40. Since we received $600 in casino rewards each we basically made $1200 in rewards for less than $40. We can spend that money on meals, entertainment, and hotel rooms at any of the Harrah’s properties. There won’t always be promotions as lucrative as this but most casinos will have some promotions during the year which should result in a positive expectation for a shrewd player.
Choose Your Games Wisely
This is advice that I’m not actually following right now. I play live poker which is not a good game to play to earn comps. In my opinion the best game to play for comp purposes is video poker. I do enjoy video poker but I haven’t played it too much because I haven’t learned the optimal strategy for all the games. I recently discovered a site, WizardofOdds.com, that gives you some easy strategies to learn that are near optimal. Another site, VpFree2.com, gives you the locations of the best paying machines in the casino. I’m going to divert some of my poker dollars to video poker and see how I do. We have two free nights in Tunica this weekend. I’m going to play some video poker there and I’ll let you know how I did.
If anyone has any questions about earning casino rewards or has tips on earning them please let me know in the comments.