Sunday, August 10, 2014

Don't play for comps?? Nonsense

Advice to low rollers is never to play for comps.  I don't get it. 

I'm a low roller.
I only play when there are comps, ie, some added value to the play. Jean Scott outlined that approach in her books and the principle applies, now although the free stuff is less available.
To play a negative game with not comps seems really counterproductive.  Comps put a negative game into the positive.

My strategy is:

* Never play on the strip. Look for casinos where when you play low rolling, you get something.
*This can be done in very simple ways. The American Casino Guide will have plenty of places where you can earn 200 points and get a free buffet. Play just 200 points and move on.
*Choose hotels that give you comfort and cleanliness but not luxury and pizzazz. I treat myself by not choosing the cheapest El Cortez rooms, but when I started, I'd stay in those as well.
* Downtown offers lots of benefits. Main Street Station has full pay VP JOB at the Boars Head Bar. I go with $20 because right away I'll get a nice microbrew for free (I like the Black chip porter) I'll play and sip. I have perhaps two beers and then I set a quitting time because I've gotten my comps. I never put in more than $40 and if I break even, I quit. Or if after my second beer I'm down $20, I might play to broke or to $30. Setting a quitting goal after the comps have been earned is important for a low roller strategy.
* Seeding the Four Queens with play may get you some future offers. Also, seeding the D. Both are cheap places to stay and booking them back to back gives you easy check in and check out over a longer period. When I am really low rolling I put all my bankroll for the trip into Four Queens play because they will cover my weekends. Playing on one trip to prepare for low rolling the next is key. Avoid playing a quick $20 on impulse somewhere where you get no comps. Save the $20 and gamble it with the other $20's from other days at a place where seeding for future offers pays off. Not Bellagio. Four Queens, D, perhaps other downtown joints.
*Overlapping months helps because comps are often during calendar months.
* Air fare adds to your expenses. I go free on a SW charge card and stay for 20-25 nights to get full value from that credit card comp. Generally, I can work it so I pay under $15 a night for my rooms. Overlaping October and November will get you a shot at two comps at the same place. Orleans for example ends one two night mailing in October and begins another in November. I often get 4 free nights. The D offers up to 4 nights 2 for 1 but only together in one calendar month.
* Free shows, Groupon shows, Living Social shows. There is currently a Living Social for $11 for the Nat Burton Comedy. Sam's Town at 1 on Thursday offers a free review with some great acts that change every week. The lounge acts at Eastside Cannery can be seen for a cheap homebrew beer or two ($1.50 each) nursed during the sets.
Combine that with a free buffet earned by playing a free game on the Eastside Website.
*My Vegas is the low roller dream. You play some free games at home and earn chips to buy cheap rooms (just pay resort fee) on the strip and cheap food and free show tickets. I went with my wife and in three days we used $700 in value, all free. Some were 2 for 1.
* True low rollers ride buses. Study the routes and how to buy a cheap all access 15 day pass. Then study the free shuttles. The bus and shuttles can be ridden for less than the tips you give the cabby and half the price you pay for rental car gas.
* Study this part of the board board. Look for hints in the trip reports. Plan the trip with flexibility. Do all the free things.
* Look for low roller places: Skyline out Boulder, Jokers Wild for Craps, other deals at Boulder that come and go. Westin has a happy hour that won't give comps but 25 cent roulette is a comp of gaming pleasure in itself.
* Learning games with low house advantage, or no house advantage will help. VP is one good gamble if you study, learn strategy, watch pay tables, and play for the math not just to be lucky. Live poker is another if you take time and be patient and toss 80 percent of the hands. Low limit 2-4 is the low roller game. But played at CET it is too expensive to beat with huge rakes for the house and for the bad beat that is just a dream. Play from 2 am until 2 pm at the Golden Nugget. The bonus high hands are progressive there and double during those hours by the house. So 4 jacks got me $600 last trip. Play for 4 hours and you have most of the breakfast buffet paid for with a $10 comp. Use an American Casino guide coupon and it will give you $10 in chips free when you buy in. Play the $28 tournament at Sam's Town in the morning. A couple hours of poker cheap. The low roller game used to be the El Cortez but sadly those days are gone and Jackie, the pot splasher gone as well.
*Go with another gambler and share rooms and 2 for 1 food coupons.