Yeah, You Know Me!
I am probably seriously dating myself with the song referenced by the title of this Article, but not really, considering I wasn't even ten years old at the time the Naughty by Nature song hit the airwaves, cassette tapes and those new compact disc things.
Okay, now I've dated myself. Cassette Tapes?
In this case, though, I'm not referring to, "Other Peoples' Property," rather I am referring to, "Other Peoples' Cards," which are actually not the property of the cardholder at all, but rather, property of the casino.
NOTE: None of this is meant to encourage or otherwise condone the use of other peoples' players club cards at any casino property as such use is almost always against the Terms & Conditions of a given house.
In fact, not only is the use of OPC against the Terms & Conditions of virtually every casino I've ever heard of, (with occasional exceptions for spouses) it is even illegal in the State of Pennsylvania and constitutes, 'Theft by Deception.' Illegal or not, it is important to note that the use of such violates the Terms & Conditions of virtually every casino and could lead to such consequences of being no-mailed, having accrued points on yours and that person's card negated, or possibly even being 86'ed from the casino.
Granted, there are many cases where a person could plausibly argue that it was an honest mistake, especially if it actually is. For example, a person may hold onto a friend's players club card in case the friend were to forget to bring it one day, and that argument holds even more water if it is at a casino in which the players club is not open 24/7. If Table Games are open 24/7, regardless of whether or not the players club is, generally someone there could print a new card for a player, but players who do not play Table Games at all (or even some that do) wouldn't have any reason to know that.
It is important to remember that no excuse or reason in conceivable prevents the casino from taking adverse action against you for the use of another person's players club card. While I do think that some excuses are going to be viewed in a more favorable light than others, (particularly for a first-time offender and/or known good player) ultimately a casino doesn't even need a reason to cancel out your comps and/or 86 you, so you're at their mercy at the end of the day.
Even with that in mind, there are a number of reasons that an Advantage Player (or even some non-AP's) would WANT to use another person's card in spite of the possibility of adverse consequences. I'm not going to go into any details on the absolute litany of reasons for this to be the case, other than to say that it often is. If you fit into this category, then here is my list of tips to try to make getting caught a little less likely:
1.) Do What Regular Customers Do
Granted, 'Regular Customers,' would not be using multiple players club cards to begin with, but we're going to cast that point aside for a minute and focus on what regular customers would otherwise do.
The first thing to note is that a regular customer is not going to play on a given machine with his/her players club card for a given length of time, remove his/her players club card and place it in a purse, wallet or pocket and then immediately pull out another copy of his players club card and put it into the same machine. If nobody is paying any serious attention, then you might get away with that a few times, but eventually, you're going to get yourself caught.
The thing that a player must understand is that players club systems and the technology on the slot floor has become increasingly sophisticated. With many systems, a slot attendant (or supervisor) can easily pull up the players card number for a given machine, and quite possibly, see who else was on the machine before that. I think it is fair to say that, regardless of how busy a given casino may be, players do not generally hop onto a given device within seconds of another player. In the event that they do, you usually are not going to see a device organically have five different players in the same hour all starting within seconds of when the previous player left.
This is not a simple matter of paranoia, this is a matter of me saying, "If you MUST use OPC for one reason or another, do not be completely careless about it!" Granted, a given person probably would not be caught on the first occasion of doing this, even using as many as five cards within a very short period of time, but eventually you're either going to be entirely too blatant about what you are doing, or someone looking to score points with the brass is going to be going out of their way to notice something. You're it.
Thus, you do what regular customers do! Get up and go to the bathroom, grab something to eat, (if paying doesn't hurt your value too much, more on that later) get something from the self-serve beverages (if applicable) walk around like a looky-loo for a bit, just take a break from playing. By the way, the bathroom is also an excellent place to switch out cards and to keep your cards (depending on how many you have) in order. If you walk in carrying your card, or you walk in while tucking your card into a pocket and then you walk out with a card or walk out and pull a card from the same pocket, then nothing looks suspicious on the face of it.
2.) Switch Machines if It Won't Kill Your Value
If there is a reason that you are multi-carding and you can move from one area of the casino to another, then by all means, do that if it won't kill the value of whatever it is you are multi-carding for. The reason for this is the simple fact that slot techs (in a big enough house) are usually relegated to a general area, as are cocktail waitresses, so the general idea is that you're not going to be seen by the same person more than is absolutely necessary to do whatever you are doing.
In a smaller house, sometimes you're just going to have to take that risk if you think the EV of whatever you are doing is worth taking the risk, but if it's not, then just don't do it.
I should also point out that switching machines still falls under the purview of, "What Regular Players Do,' so it is doubly good in that sense. Even if you have to switch to a slightly worse paytable or a game that may be slightly less because you don't know how to play it optimally, that small fraction of value is going to be worth less to you than the value you could potentially lose in the event that you get caught being down with OPC.
3.) Switch up Your Days and Shifts, If You Can
This is something that Blackjack and other Table Game AP's talk about all of the time, and that's because you simply do not want to become familiar to a given set of employees to any extent greater than that which is absolutely necessary. The extent to which this is imperative is largely dependent on how many cards you are running in a given place and for what reason. You also have to have some concept of the potential for, 'Heat,' on a given floor. I'm not going to pretend to know everything that a slot tech does when he or she goes to the computer, but if I notice that the techs tend to go the computer a good bit in a given casino, I'm going to be a bit more cautious.
4.) Don't Go Out of Your Way to Interact with Staff, but Don't Be Dismissive
It should be pretty obvious that you don't want to make a habit of chatting up every member of staff if you go from being, 'David,' one minute to being, 'Brenda,' five minutes later, (more on that for number five) but at the same time, you don't want to be standoffish because that makes you just as memorable as being a particularly chatty person. If the cocktail waitress comes over to you, I would suggest not blowing her off every single time, (maybe grab something and tip a buck one of every three to four passes) because that is not going to completely stop her coming around. It is the job of the cocktail waitress to check if people want drinks or not, even if she thinks that you are not going to, and if she perceives you as a suspicious person for any reason, then that could potentially draw her attention. She could notice things that she might not otherwise notice.
Once again, that all goes back to doing, "What Regular People Do," order a drink and do not tip too lavishly nor stiff the cocktail waitress. You want to behave as though you are not doing anything out of the ordinary because that is what you want the perception of the staff to be. I mentioned the computers, earlier, but for someone to take a really hard look at your device means that you have likely disregarded some aspect of the, "Do What Regular Customers Do," mantra.
While it is true that over-tipping could buy you some quid pro quo favors, to a certain extent, that is going to be for a player to decide on a case-by-case basis and I am not going to offer any advice regarding that one way or another.
5.) Be Especially Cautious When You Are the, 'Wrong,' Gender
In the case of playing as the, 'Wrong,' gender, you need to pay extra heed to all of the above tips I have discussed above with the exception of number four because you really want to avoid staff as much as possible in this scenario. You also want to balance being cognizant of where the staff are at any given time to behaving as though you are just a regular customer to the greatest extent possible. In this case, you also want to avoid eye contact unless the person is relatively close to you and avoiding eye contact would actually be a, 'Tell,' that you are doing something that the casino might think you shouldn't be doing.
You should also be cognizant of other things going on around you. For instance, if someone hits a hand pay of some kind in your row of machines, then you might do well to pull the card and cash out and go elsewhere. You know that staff is going to be coming by, right? Some might argue that the staff is going to be too busy dealing with the handpay, but usually there are two members of staff present and only one of those two is actively doing anything.
Finally, when playing as the, 'Wrong,' gender, I would advice limiting that to only one card on a given shift in a given day if such limitation is at all feasible. In the event that you are questioned, you could perhaps say that it is your girlfriend's card, or your wife's card, or something along those lines, but that's not going to fly if you go from being Brittany to being Alyssa in the matter of a few minutes.
6.) In Terms of Counter-Measures, Permission Doesn't Matter
Casinos can ban you or void your comps/points for any reason they want. If you are multi-carding, then having the permission of the cardholder to have/use their card is not going to be an acceptable excuse.
7.) Do Not Play a Machine Upon Which a Handpay is Possible
Do I really need to explain this one? Actually, if you can, you should also know the casino's policy on handpays. In some casinos, particularly on certain devices, a $1,000 hit (sometimes less) is going to trigger a handpay, but perhaps not a W2G. Either way, you want to avoid unnecessary attention.
8.) Do Not Play on YOUR Card That Day
If the casino gets suspicious about a certain set of players club cards being played in the same way on the same day(s), and yes, many casinos can actually check that if they have suspicions, you want to make sure that your personal card is not one of them. If the casino is looking into the possibility that a certain set of cards is being multi-carded, then there is already a good chance that you have set yourself up to get nailed without even knowing it, but the last thing that you want to do is somehow have your card being used in close range of these cards be a common thread. Whatever you might normally do on your own personal players club card, save it for a different day, or at least a different shift.
Generally speaking, a given person is not going to get nailed for multi-carding unless they are being patently stupid about the whole thing, or if it is in the course and scope of something that is already being investigated. While it is true that a player will usually not run into trouble for multi-carding, especially if it is on a very small scale, the use of the above tips are going to make it even less likely that you will find yourself in trouble if you have a reason to be multi-carding.