Make sure you get your share of comps!

Mar 26, 2002 1:25 AM

When you gamble, wouldn’t you like free rooms, free food and free shows? Well, a lot of gamblers get these things at absolutely no cost. The good thing about these benefits or “comps” is that they are not reserved for the rich and famous. Or even high rollers, for that matter. You can get comped if you are just a $5 bettor.

Want to learn how? The first thing you need to know is that there is a big difference in the way a casino rates you. Some casinos rate according to “spread” while others rate according to “bet.”

For example, if you bet $5 pass line (with $10 odds), two $5 come bets (with $10 odds each) and place $6 on six and eight, you are just a $5 bettor at the “bet” casinos and will not receive any comps. However, at a spread casino, your bets are totaled and you are now a $55 player ”” and most likely eligible to receive free food, free rooms and free shows for your gambling. Just ask a casino host or anyone in the pit for details.

You should never play strictly for comps, but if you do play, shouldn’t you get all the comps and other benefits you’re entitled to? Is it fair that the person next to you, betting less than you do, gets a free room while you get zilch? If you have questions about comps, call your favorite casino and ask for a casino host.

If you don’t have a favorite casino, you can choose one rather easily. First, make sure it comps on spread not bet. You might also ask them if they have different room floor plays; you wouldn’t want to get bored staying in the exact same room all the time. And how about good shows and restaurants? Don’t settle for anything substandard; if you play consistently at the same casino, then you deserve the best.

When you are actually playing, you need to get a “comp card” and have your play rated. Introduce yourself to the boxman, the dealers and if possible, the floor people and the pit boss. Always look at their name tags and call them by name whenever you make a bet. After you are there a few times, they will remember your name and may bump up your comps a little, because they want you back!

Finally, when you are finished playing, you can get your rating from one of the floor people. If your time or average bet is incorrect, you need to correct it right away. You can also ask the boxman for meal or show comps. Your room will be taken care of by your casino host when you check out. You can pick up any house phone, ask for a casino host, and make sure that everything is taken care of.

If you received a free room for two nights for free, you probably saved about $300. If you received nine meals (three per day) for free, you probably saved about $180. And if you received two show tickets for free, you probably saved $100. That’s a total of about $580 in goods that you received for free. Even if you lose $500 playing, you can still come out ahead. See how valuable these benefits are? You need to treat comps like they are yours, which they are.

It’s just a matter of making sure the casino agrees.