How I Make Money Gambling

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,, that gives you some easy strategies to learn that are near optimal. Another site,, 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.

21 thoughts on “How I Make Money Gambling”

  1. I’ve never been one to gamble much but I do enjoy watching other people play on TV from time to time. I’m sensitive to cigarette smoke, which is pretty much in every casino, so I don’t stick around very long. Nice job on your comps and rewards! -Sydney

    • I hate cigarette smoke too. That is one of the reasons I like playing poker. The poker rooms are non-smoking. You still get exposed to smoke that drifts in and have to walk through the smoke filled casino to get to the poker room so you can’t totally avoid the smoke.

  2. I can see why they don’t comp the poker players as much – the casino is really only making money off the rake. It’s a great game to master since you are playing other people. I like to think about it like this: you can beat the other people, but you can’t beat the house.

    That said, I try to avoid alcohol when I’m at Casinos because it makes me leave the poker tables, heh.

    • The casino doesn’t make as much from poker players as they do other players but they’re still making pretty good money. I’ve been playing poker for a long time and I’ve gotten better but I’m still not a winning player.

  3. I’m a relative newbie when it comes to casinos. Been to a couple, and had a great time losing a hundred bucks. I’ve been to one casino here in Oklahoma for dinner with some friends, and it was awful. The cigarette smoke was heavy and impregnated everything, even the food (or so it seemed).

    • I’m in Southwest Missouri so I’ve been to some of the casinos in Oklahoma too. Some of the casinos are better than others at separating the restaurants from the casino smoke. I do try to avoid casinos that don’t have non-smoking areas.

  4. I like playing craps. Supposed the best odds for the player.

    Anyway, $154 for year round entertainment is a good deal. Especially, when you get comps.

    By the way, a great title for your post. I was expecting a great winning system 🙂

    • I used to play craps but haven’t for a long time. Table games have too much potential of being addictive for me so I rarely play them.

      If I had a winning system I wouldn’t share it here. I’d be in the casino making money. 🙂

  5. Sounds like you enjoy the perks and it’s worthwhile to you 🙂

    I’d pretty much only find the signing perks worthwhile. I have a pretty addictive personality, so I wouldn’t want to gamble more than once every couple of years.

    I did just come out $30 ahead in Vegas though 😉

  6. Good ideas. I have been a poker tournament player for a number of years and within the last 2 years have switched over to playing live. I will play the low limits. Since I have done that I have been sustaining my ability to keep playing. I will not play any of the table games since they do not interest me in giving money to the casinos other than the rake from poker but then you can make that back in time playing. Video Poker is another area I got into and will play whenever there is not a game to play. I don’t put a lot of money into it though. I like the free food we get for playing live.

    • I’ve been trying different poker games and video poker but haven’t done well. I’ll likely go back to just playing low limit poker. I rarely play tournaments although I’ve done fairly well in them overall. I should probably play them more often.

  7. It’s as if you’ve found a loophole, a way to take advantage of the system when it comes to casinos. Very cool! In my opinion though, it is much more fun to actually WIN money when it comes to gambling. For me, nothing feels better than walking away from a blackjack table knowing that you’ve scammed money away from “the house.” Then again, nothing feels worse than walking away from that table a loser, knowing that the system beat you just the way it was designed to.

  8. Hey Andy, I’m so glad you said your game was poker! So much fun!

    And it’s really tough to come out ahead in the long run on other games (the odds are stacked against you), but as I’ve been telling my family for years, poker is the only game where you can put the odds in your favor! A smart player that studies the game has such an advantage.

    So are you a cash game player or do you prefer tourneys? I’ve always preferred tourneys, but since online dried up, I mostly play cash in the local casinos these days.

    • I do a lot better at poker than anything else although I still lose money. I rarely play tourneys. I haven’t played in any this year and only played in one last year. The one tournament I did play in last year I placed fourth and made about a $360 profit so maybe I should play more of them.

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