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Casino Comps, Gambling and You

Comps is casino-speak for freebies. It is slang for "complimentary." Comps traditionally come in the form of rooms, food and drinks. On the internet, comps are given as bonus money, tournament invitations, free gifts, special promos and cashback. Every safe-playing slot player should understand comps and how to make use of them. It can really make a difference between a losing and a winning gambler.

Comps and How They Work

There is something about the word "free" that makes people really like it. That's how it is on the internet and that's how it is in casinos. It doesn't matter if you need to pay an internet bill or gamble $500 per hour to get to the "free" stuff. The word is magic and it works. Casinos are aware of this fact and to get their customers to return, they use comps.

Casinos give the most comps to the most frequent players because overall, they will profit more from high rollers than from low rollers. But even low rollers get nice comps. To give comps, a casino uses a system for rating players. Each casino will have its own system but typical factors include: total playing time, session time, date of play (if you play in an off-peak season, you get rated higher), win/loss ratio and type of game(s) you play.

To track a customer's activities in the house, a casino uses a slot card and other means to record playing time. They can track table games as well if you ask for that to be counted. On the internet, you are automatically tracked since it is all in your account.

To get comps, you must play regularly though it doesn't have to be all day. You should know that some games get more comps than others. Understandably, casinos would rather see you playing slots than video poker since they make more money from the former. So the same plays in both games can reward you differently.

Some casinos give better comps to tourists than locals. They assume that tourists will spend more in the house. You should make sure that the casino you play in is friendly to the type of gambler you are. Further, don't chase comps in a dozen casinos at once or you'll never improve your status. It's better to spend more time in a couple of favorites and work on building a good reputation there.

Comps and Losing Streaks

Losing streaks are those times when the slot machines just won't pay, you're never dealt a winning hand in poker and you're starting to have that nagging filling that it's all rigged. Losing streaks happen to everyone; that's standard deviation. When they happen, comps really make a difference. If during better times you had accumulated enough points to get yourself rooms, food and beverage, then losses become easier to bear. You also get more of your losses back either in the form of comps or cashback points.

Casino Comps and Positive Expectation Games

Comps aren't just consolation prizes for losers. If you are a smart gambler who only plays positive-expectation games, comps will add to your profits. Even if you have many losing months, you will always emerge a winner.

You don't have to play only positive-expectation games. If you play a game with a very high negative payback percentage, say 99.95%, then if you add the comps and cashbacks to it, you actually have a positive return!


In the casino world where nothing is really free, comps are the next best thing. Use them often and win more (or lose less)!