Archive for September, 2008

Make Your Casino Visits More Fun with These 5 Great Tips!

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008


The names may change but the goal is the same - keep players coming back to the casino!

The names may change but the goal is the same - keep players coming back to the casino!

•1.       Sign Up for Players Club Cards

                JOIN THE CASINO PLAYERS CLUB and USE THE CARD whenever and wherever you gamble.  Casinos love visitors who play and they want to see you coming back to their casino, not the one across the street, not the one across town.  That’s why you’ll find a “promotions club” at almost every casino you visit.  While these clubs go by various catchy names, they all exist to offer “comps” – based on play levels – that reward players for both machines and table games.  Free rooms, meals, gifts, tournament entries, cash, show tickets and more are given out to reward valuable players and further instill loyalty.  Check out the post on “Comps”   to learn more about how and why to use cards and to see some of the gift booty P.B. and I have gotten for playing with our various club cards.

•2.       Dress for Comfort

                One refrain I hear over and over again in every casino – “Why is it always so cold in here?”  It can be 110 degrees on The Strip in LV or in the Arizona desert and it will still be freezing inside the casinos.  I have heard that the machines function better in low temperatures (just like computers) and I have heard that keeping it a bit chilly keeps players more awake – whether either reason is true doesn’t really matter when you are shivering in your sleeveless top, short shorts and sandals.  Dress appropriately for the cool interiors and, if you plan on playing for a while, take a light sweater or wrap to fend off the inevitable blasts of cold air.  For the guys, a shirt with sleeves that can be rolled up or down is a logical choice.

•3.       Groove to Your Own Beat

                My Apple iPod® goes just about everywhere with me and it’s always in my purse when I hit the casino.  First, I love my music – which is not something I can always say about every casino’s choice of entertainment – and, even better, this trusty little device has saved me on more than one occasion from having to chat with a neighboring player whom I really didn’t want to talk to.  Just put the audio plugs into your ears and you, too, can feign selective hearing as needed.

•4.       Enjoy Your Own Drinks

                No, I am not saying you should BYOB to your local casino but I have become addicted to those single-serve drink packets that you can mix into bottled water.   Some of my favorite flavors are Peach Mango Green Tea and Cherry Pomegranate from Crystal Light® and the Grape Flavor with Vitamins from Propel®.  Since the choice of soft drinks is sometimes pretty limited at casinos, I keep a stash of different drink mix flavors in my purse or I’ll just throw a couple of the slender packets into my pocket.  When I’m ready for a sip, I simply ask the kind drink server to bring me a bottle of plain cold water, add the dry mix, shake and I’m happy.

•5.       Ka-Ching, not Ka-Choooo!  Keeping it Clean

                I think of slot and poker machines much the same way as the exercise machines I use at the gym – better to use a quick rinse with hand sanitizer before and after using them than risk getting a cold from the previous patron.  I’m not a total “germaphobe” but I’ve seen enough people coughing and sneezing while playing the machines to know that a quick squirt of sanitizer never hurts.  A small bottle of Purell® and I’m good to go.

 Next week – 5 More Tips for Casino-Goers

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Casino Comps Sweeten the Deal

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Some of our casino comp "booty" including a Coach® Swing Bag, Sony PSP®, and more.

So, what exactly are “comps”? The term comps is short for complimentary items or “freebies” – those things that a casino literally gives away to regular players. In the competitive casino market, comps have become a favorite marketing tool for both public and Native American gaming venues. Here’s a list of just some of the comps regularly bestowed upon players to encourage casino loyalty and future visits.

  • § Free Drinks and Meals
  • § Free Rooms and/or Room Upgrades
  • § Spa Services
  • § Golf Packages
  • § Tickets to Shows, Concerts, Sporting Events
  • § Everyone’s favorite – CASH
  • § Gift Cards, Gas Cards
  • § Invites to Free Slot, Video Poker and Table Game Tournaments
  • § Private Shopping Events with “Comp Dollars”
  • § Merchandise such as Designer Handbags and Sunglasses, High-End Electronics, Fine Crystal, Jewelry and more

The first step to being eligible for comp rewards is, for most players, registration with the casino’s players club. I am always amazed when I see SO MANY players – some of them casino regulars! – not taking advantage of a casino’s players club membership. Make this your rule – do not put any money into a machine or down on a table without using a player’s club card! Also, even if you don’t plan on playing, go ahead and register and get a player’s card so you are in the casino’s database and have a chance at getting some of the special offers mailed to members who are active players. A casino can’t reward you if they don’t know who you are or how to contact you!

To sign up, ask a floor attendant or casino employee for directions to the player’s club or promotions desk. There, you’ll fill out an application and receive your cards (ask for two now and you’ll have a back-up if one get lost or de-magnetized.) Be sure to ask about special offers for new members as you’ll find that lots of casinos have special “sign-up rewards” like cash or match play just for signing up. Your new cards should come with some printed info that will tell you how you accumulate points and what you can redeem them for once you have them. You can also check out the casino’s website for club card information.

When you are ready to play using your new card, you’ll find a slot on the machine where you insert it followed, most times, with an LED display telling you the card is working.  Usually, the lights around the card slot will also turn green letting you know the card is working. A quick note here – make sure the card is working before playing or you won’t get credit for the money you spend playing.

Join the club, rack up some points and watch the great offers start to flood your mailbox.

Join the club, rack up some points and watch the great offers start to flood your mailbox.

Cashing in on your play can be lots of fun and profitable considering the cool items casinos are offering these days. We recently had an offer from Paris for a comped three-night stay plus a free Nintendo Wii! Considering the popularity and scarcity of those, you can imagine how quickly that offer was snapped up. So now you know why I say do not put any money into a machine or down on a table without using a player’s club card!

No on can talk about casino comps without mentioning Jean Scott, “The Queen of Comps”, and the author of “The Frugal Gambler” along with other great books.  She currently writes a fun and informative blog here on the excellent Anthony Curtis’ Las Vegas Advisor website.

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Las Vegas Travel Tips – What to Pack

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Pack these items

Here are 10 tips for “must-have” items for your next trip to Las Vegas. Whenever you travel – either to Las Vegas or to other warm-weather resorts – always remember less is more. Pack light and leave room for lots of travel souvenirs! (more…)

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