We certainly do our share of talking about slots around here, but that’s not all we talk about, and today’s question is a great example of that:
Do casinos ever allow you to use your players card on table games? I enjoy playing table games but I feel I lose all my incentives I get with my players card because I’m still spending the money like I do on the slots. Shouldn’t that be tracked also and players able to get the perks you get on your players card?Kevin
The good news is that casinos generally will track your table play when you present your players card! The bad news is that means you’ve been missing out.
The situation with table games has certainly evolved over time. Players cards started out as slot clubs, and therefore originally only applied to slots. The reason for this was it could be electronically managed and measured – the original slot clubs printed tickets after a certain amount of wagers were made, and over time moved to the cards we know now.
But slots (and other electronic games like video poker or video keno) always had perfect knowledge of what was happening – they knew how much you put in, exactly how much you bet overall and how much per spin that works out to be, the precise house advantage of the game you are playing and so on. This makes it easy to then have programmed a tier credit earning rate, an earned comp dollar earnings rate and so on that can be precisely calculated from play.
By comparison, tracking table games was a lot harder. Pit bosses have to watch the amount being bet and track when players come in and out, as well as how much cash was converted to chips and how much in chips were taken away when colored up.
Initially for many casinos this was done on paper, with pit bosses writing the average bets down and other information like when players started and stopped, and then that data being manually processed later. Understandably many casinos decided to only rate players betting above a certain level to keep the amount of overall work down.
More recently, and now the standard, there are devices at each pit or, more commonly, at each table. Players hand over both their money or chips to use for the game, and with that their players card.
With computerized systems it’s much easier to choose a seat, link that seat to a players card, enter how much has been taken in, enter the average bet periodically, and all of this will generate a calculation that leads to tier credits and comp dollars being accumulated. Table rules tend to be stable at the per-table level, so the computer at that table can also know the expected house advantage for a game of Blackjack, Roulette, etc. in play.
Games like craps are more complicated – they may rate different types of bets differently; the pass line will get less tier credits than some of the bets with very high house advantages.
It’s been quite awhile since we’ve seen a casino that didn’t rate players or players below a certain bet level; it’s the norm from what we’ve witnessed to be asked for a players card if one isn’t presented upfront with the cash or chips being converted for play.
In the recent past we’ve played at Blackjack tables with minimums as low as $3 in casinos, and $6 on cruise ships, and had our play rated. That’s not to say there aren’t exceptions out there still, and perhaps that’s what you are encountering if for some reason your casino isn’t rating table players.
But casinos love to have as much data as they can on players, so it’s generally the case nowadays that they will happily rate your table play. Some casinos don’t give comp dollars for table play, given the lower house advantage over slots, similar to how some casinos choose to not do this for video poker.
But overall, table players will get offers, comp dollars, tier credits and all the perks slot players do, albeit at a slower earnings rate given the lower house advantage vs. slots.
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