I have been a professional Advantage Player of casino games for almost 20 years. And during this time I have gotten casinos to comp me Suites, five stars gourmet meals, concert tickets and even flights to and from casino gaming cities like Atlantic City and Las Vegas. A common question I get from novice players is how to get casinos to give you luxurious comps. It is pretty simple if you know how the system works. In this article I’ll tell you not only how the system works, but also how to exploit it so that you can get the maximum benefit from it.

There are five steps to crushing the comp system:

  1. Get a partner 
  2. Make it look like you are betting more than you are
  3. Make it look like you are playing longer than you are
  4. Make it look like you are losing more than you are
  5. Make it look like you are a degenerate gambler

Even the most novice casino gambler knows that what a casino gives you in terms of comps is a direct result to how much you are betting, how much you are playing and how much you are losing. These are pretty straight forward steps. But how can we achieve these 5 stated objectives?


The first step to maximizing your comps is to get a partner. A wife, a girlfriend or a friend each work well. You and your confederate will play games with offsetting bets.This means that when you win your partner loses and vice versa. This is easily done in games like Roulette where one player can bet red and the other bets black or one can bet the 1-18 wager and the other bets the 19-36 bet. Similarly this can be done in Craps where one player bets the Pass Line and the other bets the Don’t Pass Line. This approach will minimize losses but won’t eliminate them completely. On average the offsetting roulette bet will be a wash 36 of 38 spins on a double zero wheel and 36 out of 37 times on a single zero wheel. For the offsetting bets in Craps you will lose half of the total bets wagered 1 in 36 rolls. This occurs when snake eyes (two one’s) comes up on the come out roll. When this occurs, the Pass Line Loses, and the Don’t Pass Line is a wash.

Man and woman are betting in a casino's blackjack table

The second step is to make a the pit bosses who are in charge of rating your play think that you are betting more than you are. This is not as difficult as it sounds. Pit bosses are lazy and they all pretty much hate their lives so fooling them is straight forward. Generally pit bosses are pretty busy pretending they are actually doing something, but this is just a ruse. They often just watch the first 2 or 3 bets of your action and fill it in this as your average bet. They will then forget about you until you leave. To capitalize on this all you have to do is have you and your ally make bigger bets for your first 3 or 4 bets. If you plan on betting a nickel chip regularly bet a $25 chip at the start and if you plan on betting a green chip regularly bet a $100 at the start. The offsetting bets will occur greater than 97% of the time so your loss on these is roughly $3 for a 100 bet and $0.75 for the $25 initial wager. This is a small price to pay for the higher rating you will receive on your remaining wagers.

The next step in maximizing your comp rating is to make it look like you are playing a lot more then you are. To create this illusion you play on days and at times when the casino is crowded. This is usually in the evening of a weekend or over a major holiday, but at the very minimum you should play in the evening after 7pm. Locate a crowded Roulette or Craps table where there is a lot of action on it where you and your partner can exchange cash for chips. You and your partner should work out who will be betting which color, section of numbers or pass and don’t pass line before hand. Each of you should be as far away from each other as possible as to minimize casino personal making a connection between the two of you. The crowded table serves two purposes, first it camouflages the player by just having them blend into the crowd, and it also allows the two players to wager every other bet or every third bet and not get noticed. To complete the deception you move your chips to various bets on the table and ultimately retract them from the felt prior to the dealer saying "no more bets" in Roulette or before the shooter gets ready to roll the dice in Craps. No one, especially the pit boss, will notice that you are not making any bets, but you still get credit for the bet from the perspective of the comp system.



The fourth step to hacking a casinos comp system is to make it look like you are losing more than you are. This can be done in several different ways and ultimately works best when you combine the methods. First, complain excessively to other players when you lose. This draws the attention of the pit bosses, and because casinos are places of social interaction you will blend right in. Pit bosses will give of a glare of satisfaction because they know you are destined to lose. Next employ a technique called “rat holing chips.” This means you casually take chips from your stack and put them in your pocket, being careful not to draw attention to yourself in the process. This is done most effectively by palming chips and placing them into your pocket. When you “color up” your chips to signal you are leaving the table you will display to the pit boss an amount that is less than you actually have. This shows to the pit boss that you lost more than you actually did. You then can cash out all your chips at the cashier cage. This leads to the next point: you should “re-buy in” with cash every time you step up to play at a new table. This gives the illusion that you are continuously losing when you play.


The final step to getting great comps from a casino is you have to make it look as if you are a degenerate gambler. This means going to your casino of choice with your partner 2 or 3 times a week. After you play for a while you will start receiving bonuses and free play vouchers in the mail. Depending on your level of play this can range anywhere from 10 dollars to 300 dollars. The best way to utilize these coupons is to use them in the higher denomination slot machines, mainly the $1 or 5$ slot machines. The high denomination machines have higher payback percentages then the lower denomination machines. To verify this you can go to the gaming board websites for the jurisdiction that you play in. They by law are required to list the payback percentages for each denomination machine. Also, these vouchers are treated just like cash by the comp system and because these machines are not subject to advantage play, those who play them are considered by the comp system and casino personal as pure gamblers. It also provides great cover for comp hustlers because according to the pit bosses Advantage Player’s do not play slots.


The methods here will cause you to hack the comp system and you will start accumulating some great comps, over time. The comp mailers are sent out approximately every month, so after this amount of time you will start receiving mailers for all sorts of goodies. If you live in town then you will get coupons for food, free play and show tickets. If you live out of town you will receive offers that include free nights at their resort and free play or match play. Every comp system is different but these are the expected perks. Some properties even offer a variety of house ware items for their local regulars. The possibilities are endless. If you are particularly anxious you can even track down a casino host and ask for a free meal and you will get it if you use these tactics. It’s important to understand that you will lose a little bit of money, but you will more than make it up in comps. If you and your partner lose100 dollars between the two of you in a month but each of you get 600 dollars in comps over that same time period, it more than makes up for the loss. The field of economics teaches us there is no such thing as a free lunch, but using these methods you will get very close.

Nicholas is a 17 year veteran of the casino gaming industry. He is former player manager with the infamous MIT Blackjack teams and is a regular attendee of the Blackjack Ball, a gathering of the world’s top professional gamblers.

He is the Managing Director of the Alea Consulting Group, a leading gaming consultant company with a focus on gaming economics and, is a frequent contributor to world class business publications like Forbes and Entrepreneur magazines’ and over 15 gaming trade publications. He is also the founder of Casino Exploits a player centric casino gaming site.