Top 10 Las Vegas Comps Tips

Playing at a casino is a great deal of fun, but getting free things when doing so is even better! Most casinos offer some form of comps program to entice and reward player for their patronage and on the competitive Las Vegas strip you'll find some of the best offers in the world.

Generally you can expect a Las Vegas Casino to comp between 10 and 15 percent of your expected losses in the form of comps provided you sign up with their players club and play a fair amount. To determine your comps, casinos use a tracking system which is run by software that keeps track of your average wager and time spent playing and translates this into a dollar amount that will be awarded back to you in the form of casino comps (ie. meal vouchers, show tickets etc.)

To ensure that you make the most of your next Las Vegas experience, we've compiled a list of our top 10 tips to help you get the most out of the casinos.

1. Sign up for the Players Club

If you're not already a member of your favourite casino's Players Club, make sure that you sign up. If you don't have a favourite casino, find the top 3 Las Vegas Comps programs here and join one of them.

For some reason, players have an aversion to playing with players club cards – this is largely thanks to the myth that casinos "change the slots" when you use one as they can track your game play and stop you from winning. This is absolute nonsense. These cards are used to track your spending and to qualify you for rewards.

2. Look for the Best Deals

Las Vegas casinos generally run a number of specials and it's worth doing your research online before you visit to find out who is offering what. Some casinos will offer you $10 to $25 in free cash when you sign up to their loyalty card and these "first-play" incentives are often linked to additional rewards like casino merchandise or rooms depending on your play at their property.

3. Sign up for mailings

Yes we all hate spam - but when it comes to Las Vegas casinos, mailings are not just useless information. So allow them to send you postal or e-mail correspondence as this often includes special offers, room specials and free play comps as well as lucky draws throughout the year. Casino players clubs are designed to encourage player loyalty and you'll find it pays to find your favourite casino and be loyal to it. Accepting their promotional mailers will always benefit you.

4. Take advantage of all the specials

In addition to promotional offers, casinos run regular tournaments and events, often with match play offers, free drinks or access to the buffet for certain player levels. If you want to make the most out of your stay it pays to find out what is available to you – these offers can be found in a variety of magazines and coupon books in and around Las Vegas, including the cabs so keep your eyes open.

5. Take advantage of the Meal Specials

Some casinos offer meal specials for players such as discounted or free meals – these are awarded in the form of vouchers when you earn a specified number of points and the best thing is that it usually doesn't cost you any points to redeem these.

6. Plan your visits around special days

This does not necessarily mean the holidays (although casinos run promos during these peak times too). Even Las Vegas casinos have slow days and to attract players they come up with a variety of offers such as earning additional points for playing on certain days, or offering a special event where you get more points. Look out for these and plan a midweek break instead of a week-end stay and you'll often get more than you bargain for.

7. Ask to be rated

Remember that if you are going to play at the tables in Las Vegas, you should always ask to be rated in order to receive comps. This means that the pitboss will keep track of your game play time and bet size. Some casinos use your player's card to load your rating while others issue different rating cards for table game players. If you're unsure about anything, just ask the dealer or a casino host.

8. Be Pleasant

While you don't have to go out of your way to be pleasant when playing slots or video poker machines, if you're playing table games it pays to be nice to the staff around you as this can subtly influence their treatment of you. For example they may round your game play time upwards instead of downwards which will earn you more points or freebies. Even small amounts in comps due to these types of things add up.

9. Get the casino rate

Most casinos have a "casino rate" for their rooms which is between 50 and 60% lower than the full rate that you pay when you're not a loyal player. While Room, Food and Beverage (RFB) comps are usually made available to big players and high rollers, you don't have to be one of these to qualify for a discounted room – all you have to do is be a player signed up to the loyalty program who plays at the casino.

Obviously these rates are generally not applied during peak times and holiday seasons but you're sure to get them on off-peak periods and this can save you a lot of money which can then be spent gambling and earning you even more points and rewards. Tracking down a casino host to help you with future discounts also doesn't hurt.

10. Watch out for points expiry

Even the best casinos put time limits on loyalty's only fair, so make sure that you find out how long your points are valid for and use them before they expire.

Remember, casino gaming should be fun, and comps are fun too. Remember that if you hit a taxable jackpot, you can get a year-end win/loss statement to offset your big hit! Choose your best casino based on what you like, and consider your casino comps and comp points in the mix.