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Best of Jerry Stickman

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Bye-bye, comps

10 August 2019

Stickman,

For the past five years I have lived within 10 miles of four different Indian casinos. Over time I have accrued a decent amount of weekly free play as well as a weekly “gift” from each of these four casinos. As you know, the amount of free play and quality of the gift is determined by the amount of money played.

These past two years have seen no noticeable changes in my routine. As such, I’ve received the same amount of free play and know which day to receive my weekly gifts.

Last Tuesday when I arrived to receive my gift I was told I do not qualify to receive a gift this week. I knew there must be some mistake on their part since my routine has not been altered and my free play has stayed the same.

I reported the “oversight” to the casino hostess who upon looking my player number up on her computer was as surprised as I to discover I did not qualify for this week’s gift. She then invited me to accompany her to the Rewards desk so we could both get an explanation as to why I did not qualify. This is the reason given:

"I am sorry, you do not qualify for these gifts any longer because our records show that over time you win more than you lose."

What is going on?


STICKMAN ANSWERS: What is going on is the casinos don’t want winners – at least not consistent winners.

If it helps at all, you are not alone. Most of the players with which I have contact are experiencing similar situations. Of course, they are mostly disciplined players. By that I mean:

They play only the best games — the games where the house has the lowest edge.

• They play video poker with pay tables that give the house no more than about a one percent edge.

• They do not play standard slot machines.

• They play blackjack games with the best rules to keep the house edge around one-half percent or less.

• They tend to stay away from carnival table games that have house edges of over 2 or 3%.

• They play pai gow poker only if they can “bank” every other time – which cuts the house edge below 2%.

They make only the best bets. For example:

• In craps they only bet the pass line or come with maximum odds or as much in odds as they can afford. The house edge is under half a percent.

• They stay away from side bets in blackjack.

• They stay away from the fortune bonus bet in pai gow poker.

• When playing baccarat, they avoid the tie bet and its 14.36% house edge.

They only bet money they can afford to lose – not money for the house payment or next week’s groceries.

They only play when rested, do not chase losses, and set (and adhere to) a session loss limit.

They try to maintain a schedule as close to normal life as possible.

By following all these guidelines, these players have the best chance of winning. If they do not win, they lose the least playing this way.

Many of these players have not only lost their free gifts, they have had their free play as well as other comps drastically reduced, if not eliminated entirely. Most of these players were not consistent winners. However, these players also lost much less than normal casino goers.

Casinos are big business. They want to make money – and they want to make a certain minimum amount of money from each player. If not, management feels they do not want them around. Short of barring them (which casinos have the right to do), they prefer gradually lowering the comps until either their playing habits change, or they look elsewhere.

It is a sad reality of casino life, but, unfortunately, that’s the way things are.

You may not get a “free” gift. You may not get the comps you once did. But you are beating the casinos at their own game – you are actually winning. The vast majority of casino-goers would gladly change places with you. Enjoy the highly unusual situation you are experiencing.

May all your wins be swift and large and all your losses slow and small.

Jerry “Stickman”

Jerry “Stickman” is an expert in craps, blackjack and video poker and advantage slot machine play. He authored the video poker section of "Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Pai Gow Poker!" You can contact Jerry “Stickman” at stickmanjerry@aol.com.
Recent Articles
Best of Jerry Stickman
Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com
Jerry Stickman
Jerry "Stickman" is an expert in dice control at craps, blackjack, advantage slots and video poker. He is a regular contributor to top gaming magazines. The "Stickman" is also a certified instructor for Golden Touch Craps dice control classes and Golden Touch Blackjack's advantage classes. He also teaches a course in advantage-play slots and video poker. For more information visit www.goldentouchcraps.com or www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 1-800-944-0406 for a free brochure. You can contact Jerry "Stickman" at stickmanGTC@aol.com.

Jerry Stickman Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com