The Horseshoe casinos across the US are sending promotional offers to players for August. There are other offers and promotions, but I’m going write about this one because I did not find out the value of the promotion until it was too late.
The promotion is the players choice of one of three offers: $110 in free table games play, $110 in slot play, or $110 in the form of an Amazon gift card.
$110 isn’t going to change my life, but I was just curious as to which of the three offers was the most valuable.
Let’s start backwards with the $110 Amazon gift card. This card is worth $110 if you regularly purchase on Amazon. Last year, I spent around $14,000 on Amazon, so the card was worth the full $110 to me. If you don’t purchase on Amazon, then this card isn’t worth it, as you’ll have to pay shippping, you’ll buy useless trinkets, or you might lose or forget about the card.
The $110 slot play is worth about $99 based on a 10% house edge on the slots. The 10% is a guess based on what I observe on the slots. It’s an educated guess, but a guess nonetheless.
The $110 table play is what I was most interested in, since I mainly play table games. However, the offer was unclear as to what type of chips these were, as there are three types of promotional chips: the dead chip, also known as the nonnegotiable chip; the promotional chip; and the match play chip. I’ve seen casinos use the term ‘promotional chip’ as a catch-all for all three types of chips.
The value of this offer varies depending on what what type of chip this was. If it’s a dead chip, then the player keeps the chip when they win, bringing the chip to about 98% of it’s face value.
If it’s a true ‘promotional’ chip, then the chip is worth slightly less than half of its value.
I went up to the cashier, where I was supposed to receive my bonus, and asked her if these were promotional chips or dead chips. She did not know the difference, so I asked her, ‘if I win, do I get to keep the chip, or do they take the chip, regardless if I win or lose?’
She did not know the difference. I was already late for a dinner reservation, and since it was 7pm and there was a line in the platinum check out line, I didn’t want to go ask the floor for the answer. I decided on taking the table games chips.
She didn’t have any $25 denomination promo chips, either. So she give me these chips…
After dinner, I ran into one of the floorpersons who explained to me that these are true ‘promotional chips’, meaning the house takes the chip, win or lose.
I ended up picking the least valuable option. This $110, in the picture above, is really only worth about $52. I would have been better off taking the $110 slot free play, run it through the slots once, and I would have ended up with about $99 cash.
So I took the chip to the cashier and asked a supervisor if they had $25 promotional chips, luckily the cashier was able to find four $25 promotional chips and exchanged me for the $100 promotional chip.
I ended up betting making four $25 pass line bets with $2500 odds (using my own money). I won two bets and lost two bets, bringing me out ahead because of the odds bet.
Final bet, I made a $10 pass line bet with the promotional chip and $1000 odds bet. I ended up losing that bet.
Long story short, if you use Amazon, take the gift card. If you want to gamble, take the free slot play, and run it through the slot machine once, even if you don’t play slots.