Do let reward cards get better of you

Oct 9, 2006 4:14 AM

To many video poker players out there — and I know there are millions — they go to sleep thinking about all their colorful little slot club cards. They dream of their balances, their club status, how much and what they can get for all those points, and start beaming at the thought of all those triple point and other promotions just waiting for them tomorrow. It’s almost like a dream come true — only the one true thing about it is how much you lost accumulating all that jazz.

The debate about the slot club cards usually comes down to two specific areas: perception and common sense. Players who see them as a method of getting "something for nothing" truly have an aching problem. One need only go onto a video poker forum such as vpFREE to verify this point.

While it is a vehicle of vast information in the video poker-playing community, you’ll find the bandwidth cluttered up with the anxiety of many-a-player — beginner to recreational to professional and guru — constantly yakking about their collection of slot club junk, their status at certain casinos, how very special they get treated because of their being considered VIP’s, and all the rest of the gibberish that comes with losing money they wish they hadn’t lost.

Even more telling is in how most of the posters have a burning propensity to constantly moan about how they "got cheated" out of 50 points here, or "what does it take to get a two-fer-one meal" at some obscure local joint, or "why don’t I get as many comps as you say you do even though I play just as much?". I wonder where they get the idea that playing for points is what it’s all about. It is truly a lesson in what not to do and why.

The only responsible and intelligent way to look at your slot club card is to pretend it’s a credit card. If your local grocery store put up a huge advertisement saying "$75 credit applied to your AMEX card on any purchase over $500" are you going to load up on groceries just to get in on the fancy sounding promotion?

Well, it’s the same story with those who frequent casinos and worship their slot cards. By default, these players have allowed reality to slip and the world of fantasy to reign. They are no longer playing for the money, as the savvy promotions have turned their feverish efforts into playing only for the goodies.

It boggles the mind, does it not? I mean casinos by definition are places we go to risk OUR money for the chance of winning THEIR money. What has the slot card done to these folks?

No, my playing career has not been immune to these traps, and in some ways I hope the jury is still out — at least in the eyes of the casinos. As a budding "expert player" during the years I constantly lost, benefits meant a bundle to me and I chased them wherever and whenever I could. But that’s how I learned my faults, and because I wasn’t selling anything I had no reason to continue following that sad path.

One attains the plateau of success in this game by playing on one’s own terms and no other way. Saying you need to add in slot card value to win anything at all is a major cop out and is on the lips of every loser as they enter their graves. Play to win money TODAY my friends, and leave the point-tallying to the casino accountants. I guarantee you’ll turn your video poker frown into a v-p smile for a long, long time.