This is video of promo chip play at Sandia Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Casinos send out promotions send out all sorts of inducements to get you to go to the casino. Sometimes, they’ll offer…

  • Free hotel rooms…

  • Offers to blackjack tournaments…

  • Offers to video poker tournaments

  • Free kitchenware, which currently are a very popular weekday promotion…

  • Copper pans are popular, I get lots of these offers…

  • Airfare Reimbursement

  • Dining offers…

  • Free cruises, which are usually terrible offers for too many reasons to list here…

Those are just some of the offerings I receive. The best offering is always cold hard cash in the form of free play. Usually, free play requires you to ask the host. Most casinos try really hard to not offer free play, and if they do, they amount of free play is usually pretty minimal. To get the really good free play, you usually need to press your host and ask them if they have free play programs available.

They’ll try to say no, and if they do, there’s a way to argue back. I’ll go over how to get that additional free play in a future article. This article is focused on what to choose when you get any free play.

When the casino offers free play, it usually comes in the form of three options: the gift card, slot free play, or table games free play.

Here’s one example…

If you are a regular shopper of the gift card carrier, then get the gift card. I’m usually not a fan of gift cards, period. Gift cards  make for horrible personal gifts because they cause the recipient to throw away the little bit of money on the card or spend an extra amount to use up all the money on the card. Oftentimes, people lose the cards. All that leads to extra money for the company that issued the gift card.

Anyways, I digress…

Take the slot free play because the slot free play is worth about 90% of the value of the slot free play. Even if you don’t like slots – you savage, you – play out the slot free play and then take the resulting money to the tables. You’ll typically end up with 90% of the free play amount, unless you are really lucky or unlucky. I’ve ended with 20x the free play once, and zero a few times.

The problem with table games free play is that the chips are known as ‘promo’ chips, which are typically worth about 45%-48% of the value of the chip. Yea, that’s half the value of the slot free play.

The reason is that win or lose, the house takes the promo chip.

I’ve told you about promo chips in the past. You’re going to see promo chips in action. It’s one thing for me to tell you about them, it’s better to watch it win real life.

This is where the above video comes in.

Be aware that some casinos do not allow promo chips to be played on anything other than a bet that pays even money. I was at Sandia in New Mexico where they allow promo chips on any bet.

Enjoy the video, and let me know if you have any questions or comments.


Before I go, I should let you know about an exception to the rule about promo chips. There is a type of table games free play known as ‘dead chips’, which are the best type of free play.

Dead chips are worth about 95% to 99.99% of the value of their face.

Dead chips are like promo chips, but with the exception that the casino does not take the chips if the player wins. I’ve never run into dead chips in the United States. Promo chips are usually offered to very large whales as part of their deal.




Posted in: Casino, Craps, Gambling, Hotel

0 thoughts on “Casino Promotions and Real Footage of Free Play with Promo Chips

  • Just curious. Why are the cruises not good offers. I’ve received the offers. Haven’t taken up on them.
    Keep up the good work. Hopefully your great advice will keep me balanced in LV in a few weeks.

    • I taken a free cruise. Here is the deal. The cruise dates are usually off season and you still have to pay port charges for each guest.

      It still is a good deal if it meets your schedule.

      I would say it is closer to 50 percent off instead of being “free”.

      • What Darrell says is very true, among other reasons.

        This question has shown up in my email 9 times now. I’ll answer the question shortly.

  • They were recently bought out by El Dorado, and may have changed their rules since I was there about a month ago, but Isle of Capri in Lake Charles Louisiana would let you play promo chips on the Black Jack bonus which pays nine to one if it hits. I tried it with real chips for the Black Jack bet and one promo on the bonus and was lucky enough to hit a couple of times. I asked about playing odds at the craps table and they told me only even money bets for promo chips. Different rules for different games I guess.

    Coushatta Casino in Kinder Louisiana offered free play so I used that at video poker and played long enough to be able to cash out with a few dollars more than the free play amount. They also offer cash for table games which is in the form of a paper slip with the dollar amount which you could take to any table game and present with ID and players card and they will give you real chips for that amount which if you choose you could take straight to the cashier for cash. I am there to play so I never choose that option.

    Happy Rolling

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