What Happens When I Use Someone Else’s Free Play?

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Agua Caliente players card slot

Free Play is issued to players as a way to entice them to the casino. But what happens when it’s not your Free Play?

if a friend gives you their free play to gamble and by some miracle you win a handpay jackpot, who gets the money? You or the friend?


For most casinos, it might actually be option 3: Neither of you get it.

Do you ever let someone else use your free play?

We’ve talked about how casinos will generally pay a jackpot out to the person who pushes the button. These presume cash wagers – a casino can’t know whose cash it was so the way they ensure a uniform policy is to have rules like this in place. Of course, different casinos have different rules but there’s usually a rule.

Here’s the problem when it comes to Free Play: It’s issued to the person who’s name is on the account, and only that person. It’s an offer from the casino to entice that specific person to play. So when Free Play is being used by someone other than the person it was issued for, it’s considered a violation of the rules.

So, presuming the casino spots that it was Free Play, and then ask you for your ID and realize it’s not the same player, it’s a pretty serious issue. Some casinos have banned players for using someone else’s Free Play, and sometimes have also banned the player to whom it was issued if it was done with knowledge of the player to whom it was issued. 

At the very least the original player’s offers could be revoked since the purpose of the offer – to bring that specific player in – didn’t happen and in fact led to rule breaking.

Some casinos take it farther than just using free play. Using another player’s card at all could lead to no jackpot being paid. See this sign snapped by a player at Pala Casino for instance. This is not as common, and of course there may be discretion based on someone accidentally leaving a card behind vs. a deliberate decision to use someone’s card, but these policies are important to know about.

Of course, casinos can’t check each and every player who’s using Free Play on the floor, and a jackpot on some small amount of free play spins isn’t particularly probable. But it is certainly possible, so we advise against players letting others use their Free Play, or using someone else’s Free Play, to avoid any major issues.

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6 Replies to “What Happens When I Use Someone Else’s Free Play?”

  • Stephen E. Juhasz says:

    Our local Jack casino in Cleveland Ohio, has started a policy of taking your free play rewards. They tell you it’s “expired.” This is your hard earned rewards and I am only a small player. With the thousands at the casino weekly if they only take 10 % of the players rewards that adds up to major amounts of money that they steal directly from your pocket. I lost about $130 and if they did that to 100 people it adds up to a lot each week. Possibly $100,000.

  • Melanee Maloles says:

    How about you have someone else’s card in but you are pushing the button and the owner of card is just next to you , who or will you get paid if you hit the jackpot?

    • FlipTheSwitch.com says:

      Rules will also vary by casino, but generally this is less of an issue because the player whose card is in the machine is there. Who gets paid the jackpot will fall back to the casino rules – some go by who pushed the button, while others are fine with whoever’s card is in the machine.

  • Denise L Penta says:

    My husband and I had our own card #’s, but we had our accounts linked. If I hit a jackpot using his card, he would have to be the one to appear in person to claim it. No exceptions.

    • FlipTheSwitch.com says:

      Hey Denise – card linking can cause this to happen at certain casinos. Others will link two accounts but each player would still have a card of their own. So it will depend on the casino and their rules!

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