Comps and Craps
Most people look at craps as a negative expectation game and, even though playing is a lot of fun, they maintain that in the long run, you always lose at craps. There is, however, one way that you can almost always win at craps - but you have to take full advantage of the extra "perks" offered by the casinos - called "comps," or complementaries to do it. And now, with some casinos offering "double comps," craps is quickly becoming one of the most profitable games ever for the knowledgeable player!
The first thing you should consider before you play craps is your choice of casino. You should choose one that gives you credit for "spread" instead of "bet." For example, if you like to wager $10 pass, $12 6 & 8 and $5 field, you will be counted as a $10 player at "individual bet" casinos, but at the casinos that give you credit for "spread," you will be a $40 player - and get lots more comps!
It is also important to play where you get maximum odds on pass/come and don't pass/ don't come bets. If you normally play at the $25 level and make a pass line bet and take 2X odds you will have $75 in play. If you win, for example, on a four point you will get back $25 for your flat bet and $100 for your odds or a total of $125.
However if you play at a $5 minimum 20X odds casino, you can make a pass line bet for $5, take $70 in odds, and get back $5 for the flat bet and $140 for the odds, a total of $145! You bet the same amount of money but win $20 more!
You should try to find a casino that gives you at least 5X odds and comp credit on those odds. Just call your favorites on their 800 numbers and ask for a "casino host" - he's in charge of comps and he will be happy to answer any questions for you! Be sure to ask him about a credit application - having credit at a casino means you're a serious player, and it will improve your comp status.
When you play for four hours a day with $25 bets, the casino will usually give you a comped room. If you play at the $50 level you could get free room, food, shows and beverages! Now let's look a little closer at this. The value of a good meal or show for two is at least $50, and sometimes quite a bit more. If you eat twice a day for three days and see two shows, this means you will have $350 in comps! Plus, if your hotel's weekend rate is $150 per night and you stay there for two nights, this gives you $300 for the rooms and $350 for the meals and shows - a total of $650 EXTRA for just playing craps the way you normally would!
Here is a chart listing some of the comps available at typical casinos:
Average Bet Hours Per Day Complementaries Extended
$25 4 Room Only
$50 4 Room and limited food/beverage
$75 4 Room, food and beverage
$100 4 RFB and $150 airfare reimbursement
$125 4 RFB and $250 airfare reimbursement
$150 4 RFB and $400 airfare reimbursement
$175 4 RFB and $575 airfare reimbursement
$200 4 RFB and $750 airfare reimbursement
Double comps is a fairly new development, brought on the intense competition between the larger hotels such as Hilton, Starwood, Holiday Inn, and others. When you stay at casinos owned by the larger chains, you can get "frequent visitor" points, and use these points for free stays at other hotels in the chain. In order to apply for this, you would call the hotel first on their 800 number, and request an application form, which you usually can fax back to save time. You'll usually receive a temporary number right away, and then, a few weeks later, a permanent card similar to your comp card. When you arrive at the hotel just present this card when you check in. As in gambling comps, the rewards vary - some hotels will give you a free room for five complete stays and some for any five days - a big difference!
Let's see now what a real difference comps can make. Let's say you don't have a comp card and bring $1000 (along with your family) to play pass line with two come bets. At the end of the three day weekend you're ahead $100 playing craps, because you stuck to your system and played very conservatively. But, you've also spent $400 on food, $100 on drinks, $100 on two shows, and $300 on two nights lodging. So $900 was spent for food ($400), drinks ($100), shows ($100), and lodging ($300).
You left with $1000 and came home with only $100, even though you won!
Now let's say you have a comp card, and bring $1000 with you, and play pass line and two come bets. You still play conservatively and win $100 over a three day weekend. But this time, you get a free room, two free shows, and all your food and drinks free, so you save all of these expenses. Instead of going home with $100, you go home with $1100 - You not only made money but gave your family a terrific free vacation! And if you go to a hotel that offers "double comps" you've got some credit for a future stay also!
So remember- Before you play, you should plan on maximizing your comps by utilizing four methods - (1) Choose a casino for comp credits based on spread, not bet. (2) Get maximum odds and credit for those odds. (3) Apply For Casino Credit, and, (4) Join the casino's frequent visitor program so you get "double comps."
And, as always, good luck at the tables!