Questions about Casino Comps, Qualified Players, and Junkets.
What is a casino junket?
In its simplest terms, a junket is a cheap or free trip to a casino or similar establishment on the guarantee that players will gamble for a specific period of time or wager a specific amount of money. Your junket host will let you know what is included but your airfare should be part of the deal. If you have previously played at the casino, it’s likely it will be complimentary. This is one of the best deals available for the recreational gambler.
Sound like fun? Well, it is! The casino junket is probably the most inexpensive way to visit your favorite gambling destination and you will undoubtedly find that if you are receiving a complimentary airfare and junket invites, you are a player the casino wants to keep as a valuable client and see you with some level of frequency. When you visit the casino you should inquire about how you can earn complimentary vouchers for the gift shops, steak houses and any invitations to upcoming invitational tournaments for a select group of players.
Junkets are inexpensive and fun plus they are a great way to meet other like-minded gamblers from your home town. Casino junkets are not the only way to go of course, but if you are a rated player and a favorite of a particular casino, it is certainly the smartest way.
What is a qualified player? How do I receive Casino complimentaries?
Working with a licensed Junket affiliate we are able to provide your room, meals, etc. “comped” or at a special casino rate based on your play. If you are a minimum $50.00 table player or a $1.00 slot player we may be able to offer you “comps” up front! Complimentaries are based on your average bet plus hours played on the table games or the amount of coin that you put through a machine (bet and time…not coin in). Casino “comps” are not based on win/loss but rather on the “action” you give the casino. The ultimate decision on comps is based on the host Casino, but as a Casino Junket customer we do represent you even after the trip!
Questions about casino comps?
Q. You always mention in your mailers” Free for Qualified Players”. What is a “qualified player”; how do I become one and how do I find out if I am “qualified” for a comp trip?
A. All casinos use a rating and tracking system to determine the theoretical profitability of a customer. Each customer’s gaming activity, while playing table games, is tracked and rated by the casino pit supervisors. Based on the players Average Bet and Time played and “house advantage” of the game played, the casino uses a formula to determine what they should have statistically won from the player. The casino can then determine what portion of this “theoretical win” can be reinvested in the customer. For an example: A $50 average bet blackjack player playing about 4 hours per day will, on average, statistically lose about $150.00 during the gaming session. (The comp value for slot players is determined by total amount of coins played. This is why we always encourage you to use your rating card each and every time you play slots. We also suggest that couples use same account number on each rating card. Your combined play usually generates more comps.)
Most casinos “reinvest” about 35-40% of this “theoretical winnings” in the customer for comps for room, food, beverage, shows and airfare reimbursement. Generally speaking, the player’s actual win or loss is not a factor when the comp limits are calculated. (Of course, if a player losses a significant amount of money in a very short time, allowances can be made for comps) In this example, the “theoretical win” shown in this example of $150 would earn the player about $60.00 in comps. (Please note: Actual results will vary based on many other factors not brought out in this example)
Now the question is: What does this $60 in comps buy you. At some casinos where room rates are lower (especially during off-season and mid-weeks) this may be sufficient to earn you a complimentary room. In some high end casinos, this may not even qualify you for a casino rate! So, it is important to know and understand your potential comp value AND the cost of the goods and services that you expect from the casino. Obviously it takes more comps (higher average bet and more time played) to get a suite at The Venetian instead of a standard room at a lower tier casino.
The player’s comp value will apply to room charges, meals and other “in-house” expenses. Any remaining comp value may be applied to airfare reimbursement or other “hard costs” that you want the casino to comp for you. That is why we always ask that you call us to check what your comp status at any of our casinos may be. We may be able to offer you full RFB status at one casino but only a room comp at another. We will always do our absolute best to make sure that you always receive your full comp value and we will always suggest to you the best casino for your level of play…But, of course, the final determination is yours to make!
A new feature is being offered by some casino today…”portable comps”. This means that the comps you do not use for your current visit can be accumulated for use on a future trip or can even be redeemed for merchandise or other nice rewards at a future time. Think of your comps as a deposit being made to your “debt” account for use at your discretion. For example: You earn $300 in comps on a visit to Harrah’s Las Vegas but your expenses are only $200 for this trip. This leaves you with a $100 in your comp account that you may choose to use at any Harrah’s property or leave in your account for use to purchase merchandise, gift certificates, etc. Harrah’s and Foxwoods are offering these “portable” comps.
Q. The casino sends me an invitation for a free meal at the steak house or a free three night’s stay at their hotel. What does this actually mean?
A. This is a great question since this issue seems to cause the most confusion with players. The bottom line is “There ain’t no free lunch”. The comps the casino provides “up front” to you is “charged” to your comp folio account. What ever your play during the current trip generates in comp value is first applied to the up front comps already provided by the casino. In other words, do not necessarily expect to receive an airfare reimbursement this trip, thinking that your room was “free”. In cases where the casino (or Junket Tours) provides your air up-front, this too is posted to your account and is deducted before any additional comps can be extended. It is, however, extremely rare that a casino would ever ask a player to pay actual money to cover up-front comps… even if play during the current trip was not sufficient to cover cost.
THE EXPERT’S GUIDE TO COMPS
THE EXPERT’S GUIDE TO COMPS
By Henry Tamburin
Nothing gets a player more excited then when you mention the word “comp”. Everyone wants one and the casinos are more than glad to give them (over one billion dollars worth last year). Yet, comps is one of the most misunderstood aspects of a player’s casino experience, fraught with misconceptions so that many casual players don’t even bother – which is unfortunate. So to unravel the science and art of getting a comp, I assembled a team of experts comprised of savvy experienced players, well known gaming authors, advantage players, casino managers, and a casino host. I asked the experts for tips they would give an average casino player who asked, “How do I go about getting a comp?” Before I turn it over to the experts, let’s briefly review the basics of casino comps.
What is a Comp?
A “comp” is an abbreviation for complimentary. They are the free goods and services provided by the casino to its players. Comps can range on the low end to free drinks and free valet parking all the way up to free room, food, beverage and transportation.
What are the Requirements to Get a Comp?
The only requirement is that you gamble. Most casinos require that you bet at a certain level and play for a specific period of time in order to qualify for a comp. The more you bet and the longer you play the higher the level of comp you can expect.
I Thought Comps Were Only For High Rollers?
That’s one of the misconceptions about comps. You don’t need to be a high roller to get a comp. Yes, we all know the stories about high rollers that get shuttled to and from Las Vegas on a private jet, picked up in a chauffeured stretched limo, given a luxury suite twice the size of your home, and dine in ultras-wank gourmet restaurants “on the house”. But casinos also offer valuable comps to low rollers that include free meals, free or discounted rooms, and free show tickets.
Why do Casinos Give Player’s Comps?
Casinos need steady customers and they know there is a lot of competition for players. Therefore they offer comps to loyal players as a reward for their business. Comps also have a way of making players rationalize their losses so they return again to the same property. Comps also stimulate players into betting at higher levels and longer because most players mistakenly believe that when they get a comp they are getting something for nothing.
Do I Have To Lose To Get a Comp?
This is another misconception. Comps are not based on how much you lose (or win) but on the total amount of money you’ve wagered (known as the amount of “action” you give the casino). All the casinos want is a shot at your money at their tables and machines.
How Do I Get a Comp if I Play the Machines?
You need to sign up for a Player’s Card and keep it inserted into the machine’s card reader while you play. The casino’s computer will keep track of how much money you play through the machine. Always make sure your card is registering properly so you get credit for your play. Also check at the Player’s Club if you are entitled to any freebies just for joining (casinos often have promotions to entice players to sign up).
How Do I Know How Long to Play the Slots to Get a Comp?
Casinos use to be secretive about how they rewarded comps. But nowadays the majority of casinos have brochures that tell their players how many dollars they must play to earn a point and how many points are required to get a specific comp. Nowadays, you can also find this information on most casino web sites (you can also sign up for a player’s card and keep track of your points on some casino web sites).
Why Should I Bother With a Casino Host When I Can Get My Comps Through the Player’s Club?
Hosts have much more discretion issuing player comps than the employees who staff the Player’s Club do. They also open a lot of “comp doors” that most player’s don’t know about such as an invitation to a special event or getting you a room on a busy, sold out weekend. Hosts add a personal touch to the comp experience and you should try to establish a long term relationship with them.
How Can I Reward My Host for a Job Well Done?
Hosts are not allowed to accept cash or expense gifts from players. But they can accept nominal gifts (max. $25 is a good benchmark) such as a gift certificate to a restaurant, a bottle of wine, or bouquet of flowers. A thank you card also goes a long way to cementing a relationship with a host. Another way to show your appreciation is to send the host’s boss or the casino manager a note stating what a good job your host does for you. Sending a host new customers is also another way to show your appreciation.
Can I Carry Over My Earned Comps from One Trip to the Next?
Most casinos allow players to accumulate their comp dollars and then spend them on one big meal or event. But others do not (you must spend your earned comp dollars during your current trip). It’s best to get the specific casino requirements on earned comps from the Player’s Club literature or from a casino host.
How Do I Get a Comp if I Play the Tables?
You must ask to be ‘rated’ when you play in the pits in order to be eligible for a comp. Getting rated means the pit boss or floor supervisor will keep track of the hours you play and your average bet size. In some casinos you can use your Player’s Card to get rated while others issue a different rating card for table players. If unsure just inquire at the Players Club or ask a casino host. When you sit down to play just slide the card to the dealer with your buyin and the dealer will hand it to the floor supervisor, who will begin the rating process (in some casinos the dealer has a device on the table that she uses to swipe your card to initiate the rating process).
If I’m a Table Player, How Much Do I Need to Bet and For How Long to Get a Comp?
Each casino has a different policy when it comes to giving comps for table players. Some casinos that cater to high end players require a minimum of $25 bets to even be considered for comps while other casinos will gladly rate nickel players. My advice is to first call the casino’s marketing department and speak to a casino host about table game playing requirements for rating and comps. This way you’ll know the casino’s requirements and there won’t be any surprises.
Does the Amount of my Buy-In and Whether or Not I Win or Lose Have Any Bearing on My Comps?
Even though floor supervisors on table games will record that information on a player’s rating card, they do not enter into the equation for comps (see Comp Equations). However, more than one casino supervisor has added this caveat. If a steady customer has a disastrous session where the losses far exceed the casinos Theo (or theoretical loss see equations), the player is often given an additional comp above what the comp equation would compute for his play. Also, casino managers look more favorably on players who buy in for say $500 rather than $100 simply because they perceive that they have a shot at a larger amount of the player’s money.
Should My Spouse and I Get a Joint Account or or Separate Accounts?
If you’re a low roller it’s best to get two cards on the same account. This way your play and that of your spouse will accumulate points faster toward a comp. If both partners do a lot of playing, then it’s best to get a slot card in both names (both will earn separate comps).
Besides Comps What Else Should I Expect From the Casino for My Play?
It depends on the casino but besides comps you might get mailings offering you free show tickets or even an entry into a tournament or other special event. Many casinos also reward their slot and video poker players with cashback (or bounce back). Cashback is cash that you can get immediately after your play and it is based on a percentage of your action (see comp equations). Bounce back is a coupon you’ll receive that will allow you to receive cash on a subsequent visit. In lieu of giving a player directly cash some casinos will give a player credit on a slot or video poker machine (via a PIN) which the player must play through.
What Can I do if I don’t have Enough Points for a Comp?
If you don’t have enough play for a free room, you should ask for a discounted rate (known as the casino rate, which is usually 50% of the published rack rate for a room). Likewise if you don’t have enough play for a buffet comp, ask for a line comp. This will allow you to go ahead of the line of folks waiting to get into the buffet, café, or show theater. This is also a good time to speak with your casino host to see what other options you might have.
Can I use the Points Accumulated at one Casino Property at another Property Owned by the Same Company?
In most cases, yes. Harrah’s, Mandalay Resorts, Park Place Entertainment, and Stations Casinos to name a few have Megaclubs. As more casinos become owned by the same company, this trend will continue.
Are Their Any Downsides to Comps?
Most players are envious of other players who get “comped”. These players play right into the casino’s hands because by betting more and longer then they intended in the pursuit of a comp, most players with end up losing more then the comp was worth. Never play longer or bet more for the sake of a comp. Just learn how to use the system to get your fair share of comps for your normal play.
What is a “Comp”
Comps are complimentary “specials/offers” given out by casinos to our members in exchange for gaming in the casino.
Do I only get ‘comped’ if I lose?
No, we hope you win tons of money! The “comps” are tied to average bet and length of time played (Theo Win), not to whether you win or lose.
How do I get comped?
The casino does not base their comp decisions on what you may win or lose, but rather on a theoretical figure of your worth to them in “profitability”. How do they calculate this figure? Quite simply: They base it on your action. A very easy explanation would be: casinos take your average bet times the amount of time you play and calculate in the odds of the game you play – slots or tables.
This total number is called Theoretical Trip or “Theo”. When calculated daily Average Daily Theo or “ADT”. It is from this figure that the casino will decide how much you are allotted in comps. Most casinos “reinvest” about 30-35% of this “theoretical winnings” in our members for comps.
Each trip has a different level of expected play depending on several factors such as cost of the trip, time of year, available hours for gambling, up-front comps granted, etc. For example a comped trip on New Years Eve is going to have a higher expected play than a weekday trip.
Why to use our services?
Sounds too good to be true… nothing is FREE these days!
Think of comps as a loan that casinos make to players and pay back by gambling in their casino(s). Do not matter if the player win or lose.
Usually, casinos give out free comps to their existing players because the casinos know how much gambling action to expect from them. However, the challenge for casinos is: “how to comp players that the casino doesn’t know!”
Palm Beach Casino Tours’ team bridges this “knowledge gap” by arranging comps upfront with our partner casinos and letting players know exactly how much they are expected to play to earn those comps. If a player doesn’t play, the casino reserves the right to charge the credit card used to check-in for the value of the comps. This protects the casinos from non-players just looking for free stuff.
- Comps varies and may cover from an ALL-Inclusive trip or a percentage (%) OFF the cost of the trip.
- Comps are directly related to the average bet and time (hours) of play.
- Comps are not based on win/loss but rather on the “action” given in the casino.
- If you exceed your play requirement, you may be eligible for extra comps and the casino may be able to “comp” some of those extra charges at the end of the trip.