Twenty-one years--that’s how long Brad and I have been frequenting casinos. We definitely know the ropes. We’ve become very experienced in getting a mathematical edge. Shoot, I’veJean Scott is known as the "Queen of Comps" and encourages smarter casino gambling. She appears on network and cable TV, especially on the Travel Channel. Her down-to-earth practical suggestions will save you both time and money in your quest to make your trip to the casino more fun and more profitable. Jean's website is www.queenofcomps.com
even written books on how to play smart when you gamble. So, it stands to reason that we should always do the right thing at all times when we’re in a casino. Right?
I may be called a queen, but any statue of me would definitely have feet of clay. Perfection in any area of life is impossible--we’re all human, after all. But nowhere is this more evident than in the complex world of the casino. First of all, this arena is constantly changing; just when you think you know all there is to know about a particular game or policy, the casino changes it! A player has to constantly scramble to keep up.
And more importantly, smart gambling has a never-ending learning curve. You cannot “do a Popeye” and swallow a can of casino knowledge to become an instant gambling strongman. We’ve been studying this whole 21 years and we continue to learn. Every day I read gambling magazines, or talk to other gamblers who have new information, or go online to read casino news. Smart gambling demands the ultimate continuing-education program.
Obviously, we made more mistakes in the first years of our casino visits. Back then we did all the wrong things that pikers do when they first come to Vegas. We played too many hours a day and lost too much sleep. We chose the marathon-session technique and didn’t take bathroom and meal breaks until our stomachs and bladders were crying out in pain. We soon found out we could’t play games of skill accurately, and therefore profitably, when we were tired and hungry. So we learned to extend our Las Vegas
visits as much as possible—staying longer, but actually gambling fewer hours in a day. After shopping, sightseeing, exercising, showgoing, napping, we went to the games with the physical freshness and mental sharpness required to be successful financially.
Another early mistake we made was to take everything we read about gambling at face value. Like all gamblers, we really wanted to win—and those “sure-fire” systems that promised big profits with little effort sounded good to us. Fortunately, I’m an avid reader, so I read every book and magazine on gambling I could lay my hands on. I found out that the more I read, the easier it became to tell what was right, as opposed to merely slick. I looked for information that was based on sound mathematical principles. I quickly learned to dismiss any information that claimed to be “easy.” Smart gambling is NEVER easy.
Probably my biggest mistake lasted for the many years when we were quarter video poker players. In those days, we rarely used a slot host. Although we quickly reached the point where we could get all of our rooms and food comped indefinitely through the slot club
and mail offers, to do so required a tremendous amount of time and effort. I kept elaborate files of casino offers and endlessly juggled dates. I knew about slot hosts, but I thought we weren’t “big enough” players to merit their special attention. What I didn’t realize until after we graduated to dollar machines was that a quarter player who plays long hours may be putting just as much money through the machines as dollar players who play for shorter periods of time.
We’re certainly more knowledgeable than we were 21 years ago and we gamble a lot smarter these days. But mistakes? Despite our best efforts, we still make them.