Sunday, October 28, 2012

Why you should buy an American Casino Guide

Perhaps it helps to see a frugal guy's coupon itinerary.
I start out at a disadvantage because I don't rent a car and I go solo.
Still, I get my money's worth. The bus gets me out to the deals. Many places give me a solo deal as well.

The first coupon to use is the Ellis Island free play coupon. I don't always manage it, but I'll try to play so that my qualifying play also qualifies me for free bingo one morning. This is a tricky coupon because the redemption requires a wait after the qualifying play so I'll want to do this early in my trip. They have 9/6 JOB so I'm not playing short pay.
This year they did drop 4 free drinks, but they also have a matchplay coupon. Overall I'll make out because as Turtleman noted the drinks are free for players and I'm just not drinking much these days.

The entree coupon is good for a solo eater like me. And afterwards a short walk East on Flamingo lets me play the Tuscany matchplay.

The El Cortez $10 freeplay paid for the book last time.
It meant 4 free Myer's rums which I could not get at their poker table, but I could get playing penny slots.

Also, downtown I take a morning walk to play off matchplays and freeplay. So this year I'll hit both the Plaza and the Las Vegas Club, put a matchplay on the craps table for one roll and play the $5 freeplay in each place.
I'll walk through the Golden Gate to see if I want to earn 200 points. Usually I don't.

At the Four Queens I'll double my points one day, getting 500 more. It took me a while to get the idea of what that was worth, but actually 500 points is worth $12.50 in cashback. Here is how I found out.

I'll use the Golden Nugget $60 for $50 coupon at the live poker room. Last year I used it and played a few hours and left with a profit of $10. That I had earned with the coupon. I also left with $10 to use at the buffet. (ask after 4 hours of play. Late at night ask for it to be postdated)

I may use the El Cortez 2 for 1 room coupon. It can, by the way be upgraded to a 2 for 1 on Cabana as well. Just ask. I used to always use it to catch the nice free shuttle back to the airplane as it is a half hour and very predictable. However, I feel obligated to tip $5 so it is really not free and the WAX requires no tip and I'll already have a pass, so that will be really free. On the other hand, the El Cortez shuttle is convenient because I can leave my bags with the bellman at checkout and play poker right up until 15 minutes before I leave. Of course, that is another tip.

I'll use the MacKing coupon. Sometimes these can be had by just looking around the area of the show, but it is nice to save that hassle.
However, the best entertainment coupon for me is the Riviera comedy, 2 free tickets. I felt bad last time as I could not seem to give away the other one and it went to waste. The comics were great and it was not crowded. I think this is the best deal in the book.

I'll be at the Orleans for at least one senior day, getting the half priced buffet and the cheap movie and taking a chance on the drawing. Tuesday is Young at Heart day. While I'm there I'll use the $10 freeplay. If anyone is with me who is interested I'll use the Big Al's 2 for 1 at the comedy.

I'll be at the Gold Coast one day and play the JOB 9/6 until I get to 200 points for the free buffet. After I eat I'll play the matchplay there. I'll walk over and play the Palms $10 matchplay. I'll have to see what the buffet deal is there. I could play the fullpay deuces one day if I don't need too many points to use their buffet coupon.

When I head out to Sam's Town for the free show there on Thursday afternoons, I'll play the full pay deuces for 200 points and a free buffet. I'll walk across to the Longhorn and play that

When figuring the worth of a matchplay coupon, divide it in half and that will be very close. So a $10 matchplay over the course of many trips will average to be worth $5. There is the one bet where you have the mathematical advantage over the casino and that advantage is huge. So for frugal travelers who will play one session of the dice, it is a wonderful way to gamble. The one bet pattern also means very little bankroll is required, so even a terrible losing streak will not put you back much. It is a fine way to wander from one casino to another.
And the play 200 points for a free buffet also works to set a limit on bankroll. Once the comp is earned, I quit whether I am up or down. That limits my play.

I'll eat a few times at the Spice Market buffet. I think their lunch price is a bargain for a somewhat upscale buffet. So I'll use the 25% off coupon. Last time they let me pay with points as well.

I hope to take the WAX out to the Suncoast for a bit of poker one day and I'll grab the 50% off and eat their buffet.

There are other coupons I might use depending on who I might meet or who might decide to come while I am there. I like the 2 for 1 Human Nature deal.
If I get really broke, which is possible this trip, I'll ride out to where I can get to the Lucky Club and play that matchplay. I liked that little place.

But that trip I had free food as well and a local friend with a car.

So there is the my strategy. For me one book is easily paid for. Not two. Some of the deals go away when one person has a second book. The Gold coast deal and the Sam's Town deals can be used only once a year. If I went with my wife, I'd buy and easily get the benefit from, two books. When I go with my buddies we each have a book.