Introduction
This is part three of my three-part series of articles on loss rebates publicly available in the Las Vegas valley. Part one talked about the loss rebate at the Mardi Gras casino. Part two thoroughly analyzed the loss rebate at Molly's casinos. Part three, this one, analyzes the table games loss rebate at the Silver Sevens casino, focusing on craps.
I may write an updated analysis of the Silver Sevens loss rebate considering blackjack in the future, but I can’t make any promises. Blackjack math is much more complex than craps math, and I need to polish my blackjack simulator for that. That would take a while and is very probably not worth the time it takes to work out the details of this promotion. I also wanted to get this article out before the end of May, while the promotion is still guaranteed to be available. It wouldn't be very interesting if it covered blackjack thoroughly but came out in June and the promotion happened to have ended.
The Promotion
This promotion has been ongoing at least since August 2022. That's when I discovered it myself and asked about it on the Wizard of Vegas forums. I don't know if it has been available every month since then, but it is still available as of this writing, in May 2023. Here is the link on Silver Sevens' website about the promotion.
The written information available about the promotion is very thin. This is all the website has to say:
QUALIFYING PERIOD: May 1 – May 31
Receive A 7% Rebate In Promo Chips With Actual Loss Of $777 Or Greater.
See Casino Table Games Pit For Full Details And Rules.
There’s nothing written available in the casino either. You are supposed to go ask the pit boss, and they will give you minimal information, drop by drop. And I’m guessing every question you ask would make you more suspicious in their eyes…
But I have pieced most everything you need to know from my own visits as well as visits from a friend:
First thing is, they only have two table games, 8-deck 6-to-5 blackjack and craps with 3-4-5x odds. The tables are not always open. (There is a sign that says they are open from 11am to 3am.) There are also times that a blackjack table is open but the craps table is closed. I believe you would have a better chance of finding the craps table open on weekends and weeknights.. (I once went there a little too late on a weeknight and the craps table was closed. When I asked the pit boss, he said it was supposed to be open then, but he had sent the craps dealers home because there was no action.)
Then, the casino considers your table games action for the whole month in deciding how much promo chips to give you. You play, and if you lose at least $777 in the whole month, you are supposed to come back the next month for your promo chips. There would be no mention of your promo chips in the players’ club kiosk or your mailers. You are supposed to go to the pit boss and ask them about the chips. They will look you up in the system and give you a printed slip of paper to take to the casino cage and get the promo chips.
Finally, the promo chips at Silver Sevens are the worst possible kind. They are what the Wizard calls “use once” chips and James Grosjean calls “funny chips”, chips that you lose every time you bet them (I think Silver Sevens lets you keep them in case of ties, but I’m not sure). On top of that, you are only allowed to bet them on even-money bets. That means no bets on 3 or 11 in craps which would have extracted 83.33% of their face value. In craps you can either bet on pass, don't pass, come, or don't come, or you may play them at blackjack (which I assume would pay 1-to-1 in case of a natural blackjack).
Considering we are focusing on craps for this article, I checked James Grosjean’s famous article “Beyond Coupons” to find the value of the chips as played on different craps bets. The article says churning them on Pass gets you 49.29% of their face value, while churning them on Don’t Pass, assuming the chips are saved on ties, gets you 49.30%. (I just found out that the Wizard of Odds also has a page on the value of the chips. Their numbers on craps agree.) But there is a chance you lose the chips on ties (I am not certain of the rules for that at Silver Sevens). In that case, playing them on Don’t Pass will only get you 47.93% of the chips’ face value. So it’s probably safer to try and churn the chips on Pass. This means that in practice, this is not really a 7% loss rebate, but a 7%×49.29%=3.4503% loss rebate.
The Game
As I said earlier, your choice of games is between craps with 3-4-5x odds and 6-to-5 blackjack.
The blackjack game is dealt from 8 decks, the dealer hits soft 17, you can double any two cards, you can double after splitting, you can split up to four hands, you only get one card when you split aces, and you can resplit aces. I forgot to ask if they have surrender, but my guess is they don’t. Minimum bet is $10. Maximum bet is $300. They have the TriLux Bonus side bet which pays 9 to 1 for 3-of-a-kind, straight flush, straight, and flush, as well as the EZ Bust side bet. I don’t know the minimum and maximum bet sizes allowed for the side bets. Either way, we’re ignoring blackjack for this article so that’s it for now.
The craps game is standard craps with a smaller table. The minimum bet is $10 and the maximum bet is $300. The odds are 3-4-5x for Pass and 6x for Don’t Pass. But there’s a caveat: there’s a second limit on the Odds bets. You can only bet a maximum of $500 on the Odds. So you can not bet $300 on Pass, roll an 8, and take the Odds for $1500.
I could think of five strategies for playing the loss rebate promotion on craps. I wanted maximum volatility, with the lowest house edge. Those are the conditions which can extract the maximum value from a loss rebate.
Strategy 1: Bet $300 on Pass. Repeat.
Strategy 2: Bet $300 on Don’t Pass. Repeat.
Strategy 3: Bet $100 on Pass, take the full Odds (at $300, $400, or $500). Repeat.
Strategy 4: Bet $83 on Don't Pass, lay the full 6x Odds (at $498). Repeat. This is the optimal bet for maximum use of laying 6x Odds, but it’s quite weird and suspicious. It’s probably better to bet $75 instead and lay the odds at $450. (Although that would result in a lower expected value from the promotion.)
Strategy 5: Bet $300 on 2 (or 12), which pays 30 to 1. Repeat. This gets you maximum variance, which is usually a good strategy for loss rebate promotions.
There’s probably other things you can try at the craps table, but craps has many bets with a large casino edge. I believe you can not overcome a large casino edge with a small loss rebate. I think you need a loss rebate percentage larger than the casino edge.
I ran my loss rebate software on the above five strategies to figure out which one works better. It was not easy. The loss rebate software has been written with video poker paytables in mind, and in order to fit craps in it, I needed to figure out all potential outcomes of the bet as well as their probabilities.
For example, in the case of Strategy 3, betting on Pass and taking full Odds, the maximum loss after each wager is resolved would be $600. Such a loss happens when you bet $100 on Pass, roll a 6 or an 8, take the Odds at $500, and then fail to make the point. So I assumed the real bet you are making is $600 and depending on what happens during the resolution of the wager, you either lose the whole $600, lose parts of it (when the come out roll is 2, 3, or 12 you lose $100 of it; when you don't make the point on 4, 5, 9, or 10 you lose $400 or $500), or win some money up to $700 (when the come out roll is 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 and you make the point).
All in all, Strategy 3 can be considered equivalent to a weird video poker game with $600 bets and six possible results: in 15.15% of hands, you win nothing (that is, you lose all of the $600), in 13.33% of hands you win back 1/6 of your bet (that is, you lose $500), in 11.11% of hands you win back 2/6 of your bet, in another 11.11% of hands you win back 5/6 of your bet, in 22.22% of hands you win back 7/6 of your bet, and in 27.07% of hands you win back 13/6 of your bet.
That was what I had to figure out for each scenario and feed into my loss rebate software. Since I’m not an expert on craps, here are the two paytables I came up with for Strategy 3 and Strategy 4, so you can double check my work. They are displayed the way a video poker paytable would.
Here is the table with the potential results for Strategy 3:
Betting Pass and Taking 3-4-5x Odds |
||
Result |
Probability |
Scenario |
13/6 |
27.07% |
Roll a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 and then make the point |
7/6 |
22.22% |
Roll a 7 or 11 |
5/6 |
11.11% |
Roll a 2, 3, or 12 |
2/6 |
11.11% |
Roll a 4 or 10 and then don’t make the point |
1/6 |
13.33% |
Roll a 5 or 9 and then don’t make the point |
0 |
15.15% |
Roll a 6 or 8 and then don’t make the point |
And here is the table with potential results for Strategy 4:
Betting Don’t Pass and Laying 6x Odds |
||
Result |
Probability |
Scenario |
13/7 |
15.15% |
Roll a 6 or 8 and then don’t make the point |
12/7 |
13.33% |
Roll a 5 or 9 and then don’t make the point |
11/7 |
11.11% |
Roll a 4 or 10 and then don’t make the point |
8/7 |
8.33% |
Roll a 2 or 3 |
7/7 |
2.78% |
Roll a 12 |
6/7 |
22.22% |
Roll a 7 or 11 |
0 |
27.07% |
Roll a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 and then make the point |
I then had to figure out the comps you get by playing the game. Since there was no easy way to measure it, I assumed the comps to be zero. If your play takes some time, you will get some comps. But I think any optimal play of this loss rebate would be quite short, so any comps would be negligible.
The Results
Here is what my loss rebate software figured out for the various strategies listed above:
Strategy |
Expected Value |
Loss Limit |
Win Limit |
Bet on Pass |
$0 |
-$900 |
$0 |
Bet on Don’t Pass |
$0 |
-$900 |
$0 |
Bet on Pass with full Odds |
$12.79 |
-$1300 |
$1300 |
Bet on Don’t Pass with full Odds |
$10.98 |
-$1079 |
$1162 |
Bet on 2 (or 12) |
$0 |
$0 |
$0 |
What the table above shows, is that there are no benefits in betting on 2 (or 12). The loss rebate can’t help at all. Betting on Pass or Don’t Pass with no Odds is not beneficial either, but if you are already behind some money because of playing another game, there may be a benefit in playing them until you lose a total of $900. (But seriously, don’t. Strategy 3 is better. See below.)
As you can see, Strategy 3 has the highest expected value among the ones I could come up with. Bet Pass, take the full Odds, and repeat. Quit when you won a total of $1300 or lost a total of $1300. Make sure your buy-ins are properly recorded so you get the chips when you come back next month. Your efforts would be worth about $12.79 in expected value, plus whatever you get in mailers or comps.
Note that the loss rebate calculations assume that you always take or lay the full Odds in Strategies 3 and 4. For example, if you have already lost $1200 playing Strategy 3, bet another $100 on Pass. If you roll a 6, don’t assume you should avoid taking the Odds because you’d already be behind $1300 if you lose your bet. Take the full $500 Odds. You may win it, and continue to play. Or you may lose it, and you’d be behind $1800 and now you would be done for the month.
The Coupon
Finally, there's a coupon in this year's Las Vegas Advisor coupon book that pays 2-to-1 on your first natural blackjack for bets up to $25. You can figure out the value of that coupon yourself based on the information available on the Wizard sites. (Post a comment if you figured it out, and see if you can beat others to the correct value.)
In case you want to play the Las Vegas Advisor coupon and the loss rebate promotion in the same trip or the same month, note that your loss at all table games for the whole month is the number that will be considered for the loss rebate promotion. So it's probably better to play the coupon first to see how much you win or lose. Based on that, you can figure out the value of the promotion from the table below and decide if you should play it or not (read the table horizontally).
Win or loss |
EV |
Win or loss |
EV |
Win or loss |
EV |
-$1300 |
$0 |
-$1275 |
$0.03 |
-$1250 |
$0.13 |
-$1225 |
$0.24 |
-$1200 |
$0.34 |
-$1175 |
$0.45 |
-$1150 |
$0.57 |
-$1125 |
$0.69 |
-$1100 |
$0.82 |
-$1075 |
$0.94 |
-$1050 |
$1.08 |
-$1025 |
$1.22 |
-$1000 |
$1.36 |
-$975 |
$1.50 |
-$950 |
$1.66 |
-$925 |
$1.81 |
-$900 |
$1.97 |
-$875 |
$2.13 |
-$850 |
$2.31 |
-$825 |
$2.50 |
-$800 |
$2.68 |
-$775 |
$29.62 |
-$750 |
$28.98 |
-$725 |
$28.33 |
-$700 |
$27.69 |
-$675 |
$27.06 |
-$650 |
$26.45 |
-$625 |
$25.84 |
-$600 |
$25.23 |
-$575 |
$24.63 |
-$550 |
$24.04 |
-$525 |
$23.46 |
-$500 |
$22.87 |
-$475 |
$22.29 |
-$450 |
$21.73 |
-$425 |
$21.17 |
-$400 |
$20.61 |
-$375 |
$20.06 |
-$350 |
$19.53 |
-$325 |
$18.99 |
-$300 |
$18.46 |
-$275 |
$17.94 |
-$250 |
$17.44 |
-$225 |
$16.94 |
-$200 |
$16.44 |
-$175 |
$15.95 |
-$150 |
$15.49 |
-$125 |
$15.02 |
-$100 |
$14.56 |
-$75 |
$14.10 |
-$50 |
$13.66 |
-$25 |
$13.23 |
$0 |
$12.79 |
+$25 |
$12.35 |
+$50 |
$11.94 |
+$75 |
$11.52 |
+$100 |
$11.11 |
+$125 |
$10.70 |
+$150 |
$10.31 |
+$175 |
$9.92 |
+$200 |
$9.53 |
+$225 |
$9.14 |
+$250 |
$8.78 |
+$275 |
$8.42 |
+$300 |
$8.05 |
+$325 |
$7.70 |
+$350 |
$7.37 |
+$375 |
$7.04 |
+$400 |
$6.70 |
+$425 |
$6.38 |
+$450 |
$6.08 |
+$475 |
$5.79 |
+$500 |
$5.49 |
+$525 |
$5.20 |
+$550 |
$4.95 |
+$575 |
$4.70 |
+$600 |
$4.45 |
+$625 |
$4.21 |
+$650 |
$3.98 |
+$675 |
$3.75 |
+$700 |
$3.52 |
+$725 |
$3.29 |
+$750 |
$3.08 |
+$775 |
$2.87 |
+$800 |
$2.65 |
+$825 |
$2.44 |
+$850 |
$2.25 |
+$875 |
$2.06 |
+$900 |
$1.86 |
+$925 |
$1.67 |
+$950 |
$1.50 |
+$975 |
$1.33 |
+$1000 |
$1.16 |
+$1025 |
$0.99 |
+$1050 |
$0.84 |
+$1075 |
$0.70 |
+$1100 |
$0.55 |
+$1125 |
$0.41 |
+$1150 |
$0.30 |
+1175 |
$0.19 |
+$1200 |
$0.09 |
+$1225 |
$0 |
Note three things from the above table:
First is that depending on your win or loss from the blackjack coupon, in some scenarios playing this promotion would be worth more than the $12.79 you would be getting if you played this promotion starting from zero. The promotion could be worth up to $29.62.
Second is that the value of the loss rebate promotion jumps up rapidly between -$800 and -$775. This is expected. It’s because at -$775, you haven’t earned any promotional chips and by just losing $2 more you’d be earning some chips. In contrast, at -$800 you already have earned some promo chips and the marginal value of earning more such chips is relatively small.
Third is that while I said the win limit is $1300 for Strategy 3, it’s actually $1225 if you calculate it to the closest $25. This doesn’t make any difference when you are just betting $100 black chips on craps, but if you already have a win or a loss from blackjack, you should use the more accurate number $1225. In short, consider whatever you win or lose in blackjack a part of your craps game. For example, if you end up winning $225 playing blackjack with the coupon, play until you win at least $1000 ($1225 minus $225) or lose at least $1600 ($1300 plus $225 rounded up) in craps.