How Comps differ between Casino Games

You may already be aware that casino comps are awarded in different ways, depending on the game you play, but you may not be exactly sure as to how the comp systems differ. Let's face it, casinos don't exactly erect signs offering their formula for calculating these types of things.

However, if you are someone who is mindful of what needs to be done in order to pick up rewards at casinos, it's definitely worth being aware of how the system differs between slots and table games so that you can make informed game choices.

Imprecise Measures

The objective of comps is to reward casino patrons for adding value to casinos. In fact, this is always the standpoint regardless of whether loyal players play blackjack or slots. Many casinos use what they term a "theoretical win" in order to calculate the awarding of comps to their best customers. The general formula used is as follows:

Average wager size x wagers per hour x hours played x house advantage/edge = theoretical win (loss)

If we look at a working example of this formula let's say a player wagering $10 per hand in a game of blackjack with 60 hands being dealt per hour, with a game play time of 3 hours and a house advantage of 1.0%, the player's theoretical loss would be $18 (10 x 60 x 3 x 0.01) and they would be comp'd accordingly.

In table games there are no machines to keep track of all factors so instead a pit boss does. So when a player asks to be rates, the pit boss will take into account their average wagers and then consider the other aspects of a theoretical win. While most casino pit bosses are good at their jobs, this method does not assure you of exact accuracy when comps are awarded.

Player's Club Cards

Slots comps on the other hand work differently to those given in blackjack and other table games due to the fact that player's club cards monitor all slots play which is why you should always sign up to a casino's players club as soon as you start playing there and always use the card when playing slots. If you're visiting Las Vegas soon check out our recommendations on the top 3 loyalty programs that you should be registered with.

When it comes to comps players club cards electronically monitor your total wagers as well as various machine's payout rates. This means that if you wager $1000 on a slot with a 93% payout rate you will theoretically make more than another player who bets $500 on a 95% payout rate slot. Evidently when slots players use a player's club card the results of their game play are recorded and completely accurate, thus enabling casinos to accurately award comps based on this information.

Even though slots feature a more accurate tracking system for comps, this does not mean that their calculations are always fair to the player. For example, if you gamble $700 on an 89% payout slot and you end up wagering $1200 before losing your entire bankroll, but another player plays $400 on a 92% payout rate game, if they are luckier and last longer than you do managing to wager $1,900 in total they are more likely to earn more comps than you do even though they spend less of their own money and played a better paying game.

Online Casinos

The above discussion has covered comps in brick and mortar casinos but online casinos award comps to their players based solely on total wagers. This means that if you play $100 on online slots you may earn 10 loyalty points and once you collect 100 points you are able to exchange these for $1 in casino cash.

The reason that online casinos only consider total bets when calculating slots comps and bonuses is due to the fact that the majority of their slots have similar payout rates.

When it comes to table games, the contribution of game play towards your comps will depend on the exact game that you play. While slots count 100% towards earning comps and bonuses, other games are weighted differently according to house edge. For example games where the house edge can be lowered by strategic game play count less towards earning comps, for example, blackjack may only count 10% towards rewards.

When you examine both land based and online casino comps you will notice that you still stand to lose money even when comps are involved but as long as you take advantage of the comps you are offered you will stand a better chance of winning and recouping some of those losses.