How to use casino credit

Dec 12, 2006 12:20 AM

Want to know about the secrets of using casino credit?

When you’re playing at a craps table you might see someone hand his comp card to a dealer and ask for "a thousand." The dealer gives the card to one of the floor people and the new player gets his money.

Here’s how the pros maximize their casino credit.

The procedure itself is fairly simple. You call the casino cage and ask for a credit application. They can even fax it to you. You fill it out and fax or mail it back. Then they’ll send you a letter a few weeks later informing you how much credit you have.

What the casino did in those few weeks was to check your credit with a credit reporting agency. If you have good credit, they will then call your bank and ask for your current average balance. The higher it is, the more credit you’ll get.

Let’s say you have a large tax refund which you plan on using to pay off some bills. You put off the bills for a few weeks so you have over $5,000 in your account. This is when you should apply for casino credit — when your bank account is at its highest.

If you have over $5,000 in your account, you could get a $5,000 line at most casinos, especially if you’re a rated player.

Having a credit line tells the casino that you’re really serious about gambling. They will be happy to loan you $5,000 every month or so — interest free!

At the casino, when the dealer gives you your money, you need to sign a "marker," which is like a personal check. If you don’t pay back the money by the time you leave the casino, they’ll send you a bill in a month or so. If you don’t pay this bill, the casino will use your marker to collect from your bank and it will adversely affect your credit rating. You should never borrow money from the casino that you can’t pay back in a timely manner.

The big advantage to casino credit is that you don’t have to bring any money with you when you gamble. The casinos like it, because they figure that you’ll bet more this way — but don’t! Stick to your personal buy-in, win goal and loss limit.

You don’t need to use the entire amount at once. If you have $2,000 credit from the casino and break it up into five sessions, you’ll have $400 per session. Your total bets per shooter should then be $40. If you win $120 (30% of $400) you should leave the table. If you lose $120 (also 30% of $400), you should also leave the table.

This means, obviously, that you never play with all of the casino’s money. If you win all five sessions you’ll have $600 ($120 times five sessions) extra, for a total of $2,600. If you lose all five sessions, you’ll lose only $600 (and not the $2,000), which should be about the value of your comps for three days — so you haven’t lost much at all.

Another big advantage of casino credit is that it increases your comps. When you buy in, the dealer records your buy-in, your first bet and your average bet. If your session money was to be $400, you could buy in with $1,000, and put six black chips in your pocket. Only play with the original $400 and never touch the black chips in your pocket. Never go past your win goal or loss limit!

If you buy in with $1,000, you’ll get more comps than if you bought in with $400, even though in both cases you’re only playing with $400. The extra $600 comes from the casino, not you. The casino is paying for your extra comps.

The casinos, of course, don’t mind at all. They figure that most people have no win goals or loss limits. They figure that if you have $1,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you’ll just keep playing until you spend it all. But don’t. You’ve got to beat them at their own game.

So remember, apply for casino credit, and break up the amount they give you into sessions, but bet smaller amounts. Buy in for as much as possible and only use what you’ve determined is your individual session money.

And, finally, have a set win goal and loss limit. This way, your comps should balance your losses.

Overall, playing with casino credit, if managed properly, will give you higher comps and a more convenient way to play.