How to Get ‘Free Play’ at the Casino

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How do casinos evaluate how much Free Play you get? 

Carol E.

Well to start off, Free Play is basically defined as credit to play in a slot machine for free in order to win real money. Anything you make off of the Free Play, is yours to keep…or play with.

Casinos have learned that they can lure you in with a Free Play offer ($75 is what I got in the photo above), and that usually gets us to the casino, with the hope that we will stay for a while. It’s a similar tactic to sending you a free gift offer. 

Free Play is based upon your previous playing history. It can generally take 2-3 months for your offers to reflect your most recent play. Contrary to popular belief, generally the amount that you are gifted has nothing to do with how little or how much money you win or lose. It’s all about timing!

Casinos want to know that you are spending time in the casino. If you walked in the casino and lost $1000 in 5 minutes, you may get $5 in Free Play next month. But if you played 50 cent bets for 4 hours and lost $200 – your offer would most likely be higher. Casinos are interested in the time you spend in the casino and the “money in” that you play with. Time IS money in this case. So even though the 50cent player used and lost less money, they probably recycled a couple thousand dollars over a longer period. That is more valuable to the casino because you have a larger opportunity to lose more money (since slots are always in the favor of the casino!). There are exceptions of course. I know of a person who won a LARGE jackpot and his next Free Play offer was ridiculously huge because the casino wanted him to return to win their money back! 

Now to get even more technical, the mathematics of how much you are offered is decided by computers to determine what is called your ‘theo’, or theoretically how much you will most likely lose on a trip.  How this is determined varies by casino, but they know what you are worth to them. They will ‘reward’ you with comps (hotels, food, concerts, gifts, Free Play) with your theoretical loss, so you’re technically paying for it, haha. Of course you can have a theo of $10,000, even though you actually won on a trip. But the math doesn’t lie, and the casinos know exactly what they are doing. They know we love to be pampered and be provided gifts that we earned, and that most likely we will come and lose our butts in the end. 

So for the best Free Play odds, plan to play for at least a 4 hour period to keep that theo good and high. Stretch your bets out if you have a smaller budget. And BEWARE the worst thing you can do. NEVER go to a casino just to use your Free Play and leave. Because that $10,000 theo you worked hard for on your last trip, will now go down to zero, because they can theoretically win $0 with you betting $0 in real cash. Once again, it’s all about timing!!

Line it up,


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