by Larry Edell
Comps, or complementaries, are important to any gambler. In fact, comps can sometimes turn a losing session into a winning session! If you gamble enough, you can receive, FREE of charge, free food, free rooms and free shows! In order to obtain and maximize your share of comps, you can break the whole process down into five categories - (1) Choice (2) Odds (3) Money (4) Play and (5) Save. By an amazing coincidence, these five subjects spell out COMPS so they should be fairly easy to remember! Let's take a look at them, one at a time.
1. CHOICE - You always have a choice of where to stay, so why not choose a casino that you really like, rather than one that offers free hot dogs or coffee cups. Does it have different floor plans and superior restaurants? How about a good show, and a nice lounge? Don't settle for something substandard - If you play consistently at the same casino, you deserve the best!
2. ODDS - Make sure you get comp credit for spread, not individual bet. You should also get full comp credit for odds, proposition bets, and buy or lay bets. The casino should also offer you more than just 2X odds - true odds at the very least, and 5X or more if you're lucky. "True Odds" pays 3x on the six or eight, 4X on the five or nine, and 5X on the four or ten. A lot of casinos offer them, but call them first to find out. Remember, it's much better if you bet $5 with $25 odds rather than $10 with $20 odds. But in each case, you're betting the same money, so make sure you get the same comps!
3. MONEY - Call the casino cage and ask them to mail you a credit application. Fill it out whenever your checking account is at its peak. Being able to write markers not only will increase your comp standing, but give you free credit and better comps as well. Make sure you also get an application for both the slot and table club and, if the casino is part of a hotel chain that has a "frequent visitor" program, ask them to send you one of those applications too! When you play and do get your marker, break up your money into smaller sessions, and use a good money management system. Comps are so much sweeter when you come out a winner as well!
4. PLAY - When it's finally time to play, introduce yourself to the boxman, dealer and, if possible, the floorpeople and pit boss. After you play there a few times, they will remember your name. If you call them by name (they all have name tags) they will make it a point to welcome you each time you return. When you buy in, the boxman records your first bet, your buy-in and your average bet, so these should be as high as possible - but only when you start out. And make sure you tip the dealers. They are your best friends at the tables. Not only will they help you with your bets, but they can bump up your comps so you come back! You should never play just for comps, but if you're going to play anyway, why not get what's coming to you?
5. SAVE - Now that you're finished playing, it's time to save money by asking for your comps. But before you do so, ask for your time and rating, and make sure it agrees with what you think. You could bring a pad and pen and write down your bets, start time and finish time. If there is anything wrong with your rating (like they say you played for 1 hour instead of two) you must get it fixed before you leave the table. You can also ask the boxman for meal or show comps. Your room and other expenses will be taken care of by your casino host when you check out. When it is time to leave, pick up a house phone and ask for a casino host. Make sure everything is taken care of before you head for the departure gates. You need to treat comps like they are YOURS, which, by the way, they are!
Now let's look at what you can SAVE by PLAYING properly, managing your MONEY,
getting the highest ODDS, and CHOOSING a good casino!
If you received free room, food and shows this is how it might break down for a three day weekend -
$150 per night, two nights TOTAL $300
$50 per show, two tickets TOTAL $100
$20 per meal, nine meals TOTAL $180
Now you have $580 you didn't have before! This also means that even if you lose $500 during the weekend, you can still come home a winner!
So, next time you play, play wisely and remember COMPS -
Choice - Choose a casino with good floorplans, shows and restaurants!
Odds - Get the maximum odds with maximum comps!
Money - Apply for as many different programs as possible! Play - Get the pit personnel to do what they can to increase your comps!
Save - You can save up to $580 in a weekend's play!
And, as always, good luck at the tables!
Larry Edell is the Editor of The Crapshooter Newsletter and author of two craps books and numerous articles about the game of craps. I have been a subscriber to his newsletter since 1995. In 1996 I met Larry at a Gaming Convention and was impressed with his passion and knowledge of the game. Larry's monthly articles appear here as a regular feature. If you would like a free copy of The Crapshooter Newsletter send two first class stamps to The Crapshooter, Dept. , PO Box 421440, San Diego CA 92142. Youll Also receive a FREE catalog and a special FREE offer!