HOWTO: Boosting your comps ‘Part 2’: Some feedback from actual pit bosses

image The other day I benignly wrote a blog post that surmised that one’s casino rating was possibly skewable using a number of methods that I’d witnessed others using in the casinos (Hey – there’s not much else to do other than observe others in the casino once you’ve thoroughly chatted to your tablemates and the dealer) and while I hadn’t actually tried some of them, I’d seen people do it and assumed the reason was to ‘up’ their play ratings.

Welllllllll, that was a few days ago.  Since then much to my surprise, I’ve been contacted by a few people that were actual former casino pit bosses at Las Vegas strip casinos (Boy, you guys surf a lot! [grin]) about this post and got… well… a lot of interesting lessons about how things really work, not to mention more than a pocketful of advice.  (Translation:  There were a lot of people willing to school me Tony Montana-style for many of the inaccurate bullet points I wrote up.  Sorry guys.)

So here’s some of the corrections to what I originally wrote:

  • THE VALUE OF AN INITIAL BET IS A TOTAL MYTH
    A common thread amongst folks that wrote was that your initial bet is hardly the only bet recorded and really over a normal period of time doesn’t do much at all for your average if the pit boss tracks your bet level with the correct frequency, which almost all will.  They observe, record, and make judgments about your behavior on a consistent basis… which is their job.
  • HOTEL BILLING IS ENCOURAGED ONLY TO MAKE COMPING EASIER FOR HOSTS
    One person noted that the only reason hosts want you to put things on your hotel room is so that when you ask to be comped, they can simply slash it off your bill.  Having services purchased on your hotel charge and having it comped by a host is apparently a easier thing to rationalize instead of outright handing someone a free dinner or spa treatment.
  • RATHOLING IS ULTIMATELY WORTHLESS
    The general consensus is that removing chips off the table or ‘ratholing’ is a well-known & obvious practice to 100% of all pit bosses.  Sure small amounts could be very slowly ratholed but these low numbers make the result not worth actually doing anything and only results in unnecessary risk. (i.e. the wrath of the pit bosses & managers for trying to mess with their work)
  • CASHING-OUT/BUYING-BACK-IN IS EASY TO DETECT
    The technique of cashing-out & buying-back-in (the thing that the woman that was sitting next to me during my last trip was doing) raises your overall buy-in but this number is compared to your “actual win/loss” when you walk away.  In other words, disproportionate buy-ins are relatively easy to detect.  It went unsaid however I assume that the implication here is that this is pretty much pointless unless you lose a lot, in which case – who cares what you’re being rated at since, well, you’re losing.
  • CASHING-OUT/BUYING-BACK-IN IS REALLY ABOUT GETTING A LOAN
    I was told by a couple folks that the real reason I catch people ratholing chips is because they’re trying to cycle time through the casino with cash borrowed on casino credit i.e. markers to ultimately take out an interest-free 30 day loan without actually gambling the money borrowed. 

    Huh???  Yeah – that’s what I said.  It apparently has nothing to do with the player’s comps.  Call me surprised, but for my part, I’ve always had more than enough casino credit everywhere I’ve played and this isn’t something that I’d even fathomed a player doing being that I always have the cash in the bank to back up any marker I place. (I’m just too lazy to withdraw the money and take it with me to the casino)  Apparently, and I guess not surprisingly, a lot of people in Vegas need money loaned to them in these increments and this is, I guess, an easy albeit unethical way to do it – not to mention a quick way to destroy your credit across town.

One interesting thing was that all the individuals I talked to seemed… uh… frankly a little angry about my post, despite having “retired” from the casino industry, which I found interesting.  In talking with them, some seemed a bit hardened by their time working as a pit boss, others seemed at relative ease, being almost jovial about their former employment.  But they all sounded like by writing that post, I’d committed an injustice that needed to be rectified – hence their immediate desire to IM me, email me, or post a comment.  My guess was that they either felt compelled to quash my ignorance (regardless of my ultimate insignificance), or they felt some loyalty to the “cause” of pitbosses & dealers everywhere, which I guess is understandable.

Either way, in case any of them are reading this, I did appreciate the information.  Really.  Thanks everyone for having the patience to answer my questions.

Now, on a positive note, my dear reader, one of these former pit bosses told me a variety of ‘very interesting things’ that I’m still debating as to whether I should post for fear they could find their way back to that person.  Apparently, as one would surmise, knowing how things work ‘on the inside’ can provide a great deal of opportunity for… what said person called, ‘mischief’.

How about this:  If you know me, just ask me the next time you see me and I’ll tell you what this person told me.

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