Factors affecting your comp offers based on slots play

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Many players wonder what affects their loyalty points, ratings and comp offers when it comes to slots play. They often question whether staying at a single machine or moving from one slot to another affects their rating and comp offers at the casinos. And if you've been in the game long enough, at some point you'll hear someone saying that their friends get better comp offers from the casinos than they do even though they accumulate the same points and then wondering if it's the way that they play that affects these offers.

Here we'll look at the various aspects involving slots play and loyalty points and whether sticking to a single slot really matters as well as how your overall game play can and does affect your comps offers.

A little bit of loyalty club history

In the past, and we're talking over two decades ago, there was a time when Las Vegas casinos penalized players for switching machines. Interestingly, at the inception of slots clubs and player loyalty programs some casino systems required players to play a specific number of slots credits before a single point was awarded. If during the process you decided to change machines before you reached this criterion, which was often unbeknownst to most players, you simply lost out even if you were a single coin or credit short of qualifying. Talk about a tough break!

Later the casinos offered a break through innovation called "Follow Me Points" and with these you got the credit you deserved for every coin wagered whether you played a single machine or flitted from one to another throughout the day.

Of course, in the early days of casino loyalty programs, slots clubs were merely an add-on to casino slots and their manufacturers had to then come up with ways to monitor slots play without making huge, costly design changes to their machines.

The results were often a little cumbersome in comparison to today's streamlined offerings that have been specifically designed with players clubs in mind and track every bit of your game play from start to finish, giving you credit for every bit of your slots action regardless of whether you stick to a single machine or play multiple slots. So to answer the original question, whether you stick to a single machine or move around from one to another, it makes no difference at all these days.

So what is affecting your slots comps?

The slot machines you play. Some casino's loyalty programs operate on separate comp-dollar rewards accounts and in these instances you'll often earn more comp dollars when you play slots with a higher house edge as you'll be required to spend fewer dollars to earn a point. In these types of programs games, comps differ based on the casino game you play. For example when playing Video Poker, where the house edge can be lowered due to strategic game play, you'll often have to wager up to five times more than on slots to earn a single loyalty point.

When looking exclusively at slots, penny machines generally carry a higher house advantage than their quarter or dollar counterparts. So a Las Vegas Casino loyalty program may offer more comp points for every dollar wagered on a penny slot than it would for every dollar bet on a dollar slot.

So if you play games like video poker or more of either high or low denomination slots than the people you're comparing offers with, you may very well see a difference in the offers.

Another explanation of why comps offers differ between players may be due to the particular algorithm that the casino's marketing department uses to determine the comps each player is offered in terms of the games they play and their overall value to the casino. Players will then be awarded with offers that are just generous enough to keep them coming back.

Harrah's Total Rewards program was the first player's club to use this algorithm many years ago and it revolutionised offers forever, offering players who enjoyed the same amount of action, very different offers based on their preferences and behaviour. For example, players who always ate at the buffet or casual dining establishments were not offered gourmet restaurant comps and vice versa.

These systems also determine that a certain value comp, let's say $20 may be enough to get one player to visit the casino again, but for another it would take a $25 or $50 offer to do the same. So the second player may get a better free play offer even if they spent as much at the casino as the first. It all depends where you play and what systems and algorithms are in place.

At the end of the day, you're playing for entertainment, not just comps, but if the latter are of great concern to you then to earn more points you'll probably have to play more games with higher house edges, so you'll be risking more of your casino bankroll to earn them, but if you're playing these games anyway, then comps are a nice little perk.