Las Vegas Comps
What are COMPS? How do I get them?
"Comps" is the abbreviation for "complimentaries". Some people think of these as
the "freebies" that the casinos give to you based on your "play" or "action" at
the tables. A "comp" could be just about anything; from a simple key chain to a
weekend hotel stay in a luxurious suite with butler service, full access to a
limo, along with free airfare thrown in. Of course, your gambling will have to
be pretty substantial to get the suite and airfare, etc. Even so, all players
can get some sort of comps if they just ask.
One of the keys to getting "comps" is to become a slot club
member, and to turn the card into the dealer when you're playing a table game so
that you can become "rated". The rating means how much you bet per hour of play
at whatever table game. Of course, this works with the slot machines too, except
the computer keeps a very accurate account of your play.
Almost all casinos in Las Vegas have a slot club card to do
this. Search out the slot club booth in the casino, they will ask you for an ID,
and to fill out a card with your name, address, phone and social security number
and they issue you a plastic, credit card sized card with an ID number on it.
Whenever you sit down at a table game, you should hand your slot card to the
dealer, who will get the attention of the pit boss, he/she logs you in and notes
your average bet. When you leave, they make a note of that too. Whenever you
play at a slot machine be sure to insert your slot club card into the
appropriate slot. Most casinos offer cash back or comps based on the
denomination you bet and your length of play. You earn "points" based on the
number of coins you put into the machine and those points can be redeemed for
various comps from t-shirts to free rooms. Also it should be noted that getting
a slot card puts you on their mailing list, where you will receive exceptional
offers in the mail for free rooms, discounted rooms, and other deals.
Here are some of the types of things you can get comped:
One comp, everyone gets while playing is a "free" cocktail, or drink. While you
are playing you will hear a waitress walk by saying "cocktails" or "drinks", get
their attention, or wait for them to ask you and then you may place your order.
Some casinos offer everything, while others are limited to simple "house"
drinks. If you have a favorite, ask for it, and they'll let you know if they can
get it, or if there's a substitute. If you are at Main Street Station downtown
you can order one of their microbrewery beers. (Remember, it's always a good
idea to tip the waitresses).
Another easy comp to get would be a line pass to the buffet. A
line pass, simply means you can jump past the line, usually there's a sign that
says, "VIP", or "Line Passes". It gets you into the casino guest line, but does
not pay for your food. Maybe a little harder to get is the "Buffet Pass"; but
it's always best to ask for that, as it will include the "line pass" too. Speak
to the casino host, or pit boss, and ask if they'd consider giving you a "buffet
pass" for your party, if they've seen you gambling at all, most will give you a
comp for two to the buffet which includes a line pass. Just go straight to the
casino guest line with the paper they hand you and eat up.
Use the same method to get comps to coffee shops, restaurants,
shows, etc. You find your slot host or the pit boss in the area you're playing
and ask if you've played enough for a comp to whatever. You can also go back to
the slot club booth and see how many points you have available to redeem for a
buffet or restaurant. You will find better success by establishing a
relationship with a host and asking them directly. More often than not, the
points will not be taken out of your account for the meal, or you may be given a
comp when you don't yet have enough points to cover it.
The same goes for getting casino rate or free rooms, etc. When
you are ready to check out of the hotel where you've been staying and playing,
go downstairs and ask to speak to a host. Tell them how much you have enjoyed
playing at their hotel, etc. Then ask if they can take any charges off your
bill. I always charge everything to my room from buffets to restaurants to
specialty drinks in the bar. The "key" is that it never hurts to ask and you
won't get anything if you don't try at all.
Be nice and considerate when you ask for a comp...remember
that the casino host is there to make sure that you have a good time and that
you return to their casino in the future. Many times a casino host will not be
able to give you much at that time (when you're checking out) but they will give
you their card and tell you to call them prior to your next visit. Calling them
before your next trip will almost always result in a discounted room rate
(casino rate) at a minimum. Establishing a relationship with a casino host at a
particular hotel you enjoy will get you more and more comps each visit if you
consistently gamble in their casino.
Please remember that the hosts are accountable for what they
give to the players, so they must watch your play, and then determine what they
can offer to you. Comps are generally computed based on expected loss. If you
played $1000 at blackjack with a 3% expected house edge, they would presume that
you lost $30. They would comp you a percentage of that, usually 20-40%, or
$6-12. Now, that doesn't mean that you have to lose that $30. In fact, you can
be a winner and still gets comps, remember they want you to play at their
There are a number of excellent resources out there about what
slot clubs are best and how best to work them. The Queen of Comps is Jean Scott,
the author of the Frugal Gambler. Her book is an excellent resource in learning
how to work the comp system to your advantage.