Zcore13
Zcore13
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August 21st, 2019 at 9:44:16 PM permalink
I wrote some articles for an online gambling website about 2 1/2 years ago, but it seems that site has disappeared, so I thought I might post a few of the articles that still might be relevant. Fairly basic info, as it was meant for new gamblers, but still maybe useful to new visitors/members...

In 30 years of gambling and 10 years in the table games business I've learned a lot about casino games, gamblers, gambling, table games dealers and table games supervisors. There is no other business that has the same dynamic as a casino. The customers are trying to take something from the business. Some legally and some illegally. The dealers have a very specific job to do with a lot of rules that if they don't follow will get them in trouble, but at the same time they have to seem friendly, fun, interested and hoping for you to win for a chance at a tip. The supervisors have to watch everyone and everything. Dealers, players, non players and even other staff are all a risk to the casino and the supervisors job.

So, as a player, how do you balance everything that is going on on the other side of the table and behind the scenes and get the most possible payback for your play at the tables? There are definetly some things that you can do to help your chances at getting a little bit higher comp calculation or even get a free drink or meal. These tips should apply at every casino, no matter where you go and they really don't take much effort to accomplish.

1. Use a players card. To get the most value from your play you have to have a players card. The only exception to this rule is if you are a high roller. A high roller can get pretty much anything they want and the casino just wants them to play there. Aside from that, the players card lets the casino know who you are, when you play, how often you play, how much you bet and more. They want that information for their marketing database. In exchange for that information you will get comps, discounts and other offers. A players card is a must if you are going to play somewhere even occasionally.

2. When you arrive at the table, present your money and your players card to the dealer at the same time. The dealer will get you chips and most likely call out to the supervisor that there's a new player with a players card at the table. Your best bet is to have a higher than normal bet in action on the table when the supervisor slides your card through the card reader or returns from entering your information at the podium. This doesn't work 100% of the time, as some supervisors will continually monitor your play and adjust your average bet multiple times during your play. But the vast majority of supervisors are going to look at what you are betting when you first sit down and never pay much attention again. Knowing this, having an increased bet amount when the supervisor first rates you and mentioning to a supervisor if you later increase your normal bet amount, will always help you get more comps than the average player.

3. Be nice. One factor that plays into your rating, whether you like it or not, is how nice you are to the dealer and other staff. Player rating is an estimate in table games. It's not like in slots where a card with a data strip keeps all the statistics of your play and every piece of information about your play is exact. Table games supervisors estimate your average bet amount during a session. The average bet and the length of time you play are the two biggest keys to comps. So when estimating an average bet amount, it would seem natural that someone that is pleasant and good to the staff might get a little benefit of the doubt compared to an angry, unpleasant customer. If I saw a player betting $10, then $15, then $10, then $20 and maybe a rare $25 or $30 and they are respectful and pleasant, I might give them an average bet of $25, just for that reason. Whereas, if the player is mean, grumpy, cussing and/or unpleasant, it might be a $15 average bet.

4. Tip once in a while. Tipping is not required. Tipping is also not expected if the dealer is not pleasant and attentive. But, if you want a chance at more comps, tipping can make a difference. Supervisors notice people that tip. Supervisors know that tippers help the dealers and at some casinos also help the supervisors due to them getting a percentage of total tips. Just like in real life, if you help someone, they are more likely to help you back. Just like in the example above about being nice, tippers can get the benefit of the doubt on average bet calculations. It doesn't have to be a large amount or every hand either. A $1 bet for the dealer along with your bet every 10 minutes or so is more than enough to get a supervisors attention.

5. Play at a busy table. As mentioned above, 2 key components of comp calculations are average bet and time played. Average bet has already been discussed. To get more time played for your dollar, play at a busier table. A blackjack table with only you at it might get you 400 hands dealt an hour. A busy table with 4 other players on it might get each player 80 hands an hour. You will risk way less money and have a chance to play for longer, thus earning more comps at a table with more players. The same applies at games like Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold'em and other poker based table games. The slower the game is dealt, the longer you can play on your money and earn more comps.

With use of these five tips, or at least a combination of a few of them, there is no doubt you will earn more comps when playing table games than a player not following these guidelines. One last bonus tip that might come in handy as well... ask. It never hurts to ask a supervisor for a free drink or food. The worst that can happen is you'll get a no. And if you are following tips 3 and 4 above and play for a while, you'll be surprised how often you'll get a yes.
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
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August 22nd, 2019 at 2:19:08 AM permalink
All good tips, I think. Starting strong is good. Courteous buy in with high bet and a toke bet is good. Floor sometimes shows up a bit late though.
Busy versus slow table is a decision one should make based on a variety of factors, effect on comps is just one of them.
Mosca
Mosca
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August 22nd, 2019 at 8:39:20 AM permalink
I havenít found the ďtipĒ and the ďbe niceĒ suggestions to have much effect. Not that they arenít the right thing to do in any instance, but they arenít helpful in getting playerís points. They certainly donít hurt, and being nice makes a game more fun. but I donít see it getting me more comps. I would guess that bad players get tagged in the system. Iím not sure good players do.

However, being nice and tipping are helpful in asking for a dinner comp. Every time Iíve asked, Iíve got. You canít be playing table minimum and ask for Old Homestead, but you can get a couple buffets for yourself and the missus, easy.

I always look for a busy table. First, they are more fun. Second, itís fewer hands per hour at a negative expectation game.

I like the suggestion to bet more when the supervisor hands back the card. I might not throw out $25 at Mississippi, but now I will do $10 instead of $5.

Thanks!
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Mosca
Mosca
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August 22nd, 2019 at 8:41:43 AM permalink
Quote: FleaStiff

All good tips, I think. Starting strong is good. Courteous buy in with high bet and a toke bet is good. Floor sometimes shows up a bit late though.
Busy versus slow table is a decision one should make based on a variety of factors, effect on comps is just one of them.



When I play the carnival games, I always make a first bet $5 dealer bet on the 3 Card bonus. Over the last 20 years Iíve hit 3 straight flushes and 1 3oak. It makes an impression.
NO KILL I
Zcore13
Zcore13
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August 22nd, 2019 at 8:45:57 AM permalink
Quote: Mosca



I like the suggestion to bet more when the supervisor hands back the card. I might not throw out $25 at Mississippi, but now I will do $10 instead of $5.

Thanks!



I'd do it a little earlier. Some Supervisors don't hand it back until after they've entered everything and have already looked up to see what you're betting. In a perfect world, the Supervisor comes over while you are getting your chips from the dealer or right after and your first bet at the table is the one seen. You have to quickly assess the situation.


ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
UCivan
UCivan
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August 22nd, 2019 at 9:48:41 AM permalink
I would add "buy more chips in the beginning". Buy $500 or at least $300 to start even if you mostly play $3 or $5 a hand. Don't do $100 at a time. Also, use marker if you have one.
MDawg
MDawg
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August 22nd, 2019 at 10:07:16 AM permalink
I think in the old days giving the pit boss a "happy handshake" and tipping the dealer might have resulted in an over all discretionary tilt in your favor when it came time to turning in your play, but nowadays things are so computerized that pit bosses can't even direct the cigar girl to hand you a cigar without punching it up on your player account, i.e. everything they do is watched too closely.

Still, if you're say jumping between 100 and 3000, the pit boss on your side will put you down for 1500 all the way while the one who isn't so much your friend might tilt you towards a 1000 average, and in either case, the decision might be justifiable.


I am not even sure what would happen nowadays with a happy handshake - back then (which wasn't really THAT long ago) they'd all take it some without a word sly as a fox, some would laugh, one used to say "You're crazy." but none would turn down the C note. On one big run a massive winning trip I actually folded five hundred into a handshake, and that took some effort and careful folding in the bathroom. I half imagine a pit boss today acting indignant like a cop you just tried to bribe. I am almost afraid to try these days.
I tell you itís wonderful to be here, man. I donít give a damn who wins or loses. Itís just wonderful to be here with you people.
Zcore13
Zcore13
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August 22nd, 2019 at 10:31:46 AM permalink
Quote: UCivan

I would add "buy more chips in the beginning". Buy $500 or at least $300 to start even if you mostly play $3 or $5 a hand. Don't do $100 at a time. Also, use marker if you have one.



Buying more chips does nothing. We see it every day. It's all about average bet.


ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
bobbartop
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Mosca
August 22nd, 2019 at 11:57:11 AM permalink
Quote: Zcore13

Buying more chips does nothing. We see it every day. It's all about average bet.
ZCore13




One place I play at has only recently put in a kiosk, a kiosk where I can check what I got in comps about five minutes after I leave a table game. So I have started writing down details, especially which employee was doing the monitoring of my play during each session. Surprisingly, to me, is that there is a lot of difference between how it is recorded by different employees. Some lean more generous, some less so, some I can't get a handle on, and one is consistently cheap. Now I have learned to adjust to who is working each shift. When I go to the casino I have two objectives. Either put in some machine play towards my monthly mailer, or put in some table play for the benefits that that can garner. I never know who to expect will be working any given night. But now I am armed with knowledge of their individual traits. If Mr.Generous is working, put me up for table game. If Mr. Tightass is working, I pass by the tables and go straight to machines. That new kiosk is very handy, and I can check my info without bothering anyone. There have been times when I played same money, same time, and the comps from Mr.Generous were exactly double what Mr.Tightass gave me for the same play. An edge is an edge is an edge.
'Emergencies' have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded.
Zcore13
Zcore13
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August 22nd, 2019 at 12:13:10 PM permalink
Nice. Good knowledge to have. Some Supervisors have been taught to only count the mandatory bets, some are taught to count an ante and side bets, but not the play bets. There's definitely a difference between Supervisors.

I would teach, main bet, side bets, plus most of play bet. Three card poker players generally play 66% of hands. High Card Flush 75%, UTH 90%.


ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.

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