When I posted the following article, I was asked by several people if slot play was applicable to the methods described in the article. I’ll answer it here for everyone to read.

Specifically, the question is reflected in Kevin’s comments:

What about slot only players who use players cards? Any advice for them on how to try to take advantage of better casino comps?

How Don Johnson Won $15 Million: Using a Loss To Your Advantage



The answer is yes. If anything, slot play might work even better; however, there are some challenges, which I’ll go over. At the end, I’ll add a rather controversial method of increasing your comps and free cash. Some seasoned slot players might already know based on what I just wrote; while some seasoned but HIGHLY ethical slot players are collectively rolling their eyes right now.


To take advantage of comps, the slot player must know his worth to the casino. So I’ll clearly explain your worth to the casino.

Slot players are highly valued patrons for a casino. On the qualitative side of the equation, slot players are valuable because the nature of their interaction and engagement is cheaper than comparable costs for table games players. Simply stated, slot players play slot machines. Slot machines do not require an hourly wage (although that’s arguable with some revenue sharing slots), they do not require health insurance or benefits, they can’t sue for employment or work-related issues, they don’t require regular lunch or smoke breaks, etc.

Now let’s talk about the quantitative side of the equation…

In addition to a form of patron interaction that has relatively low costs to the casino, the slot machine also carries a higher house edge. Here is a survey on that issue, obtained from the Wizard of Odds website: https://wizardofodds.com/games/slots/appendix/3a/

Notice the usual house edges for slots is 10% and higher. Compared to that of a table game such as craps, where the house edge averages anywhere from 1% to 3% for the average player (since most players prop bet), and blackjack where the average game has a house edge of around half of 1%.

Then add to the above benefits to a casino, slot machines carry a higher house advantage per machine. Check out this report from the University of Nevada Las Vegas: https://gaming.unlv.edu/reports/NV_1984_present.pdf

The TL;DR version is that in 2017, the state of Nevada won $11,574,114,000 from slot players. For those who hate numbers, that’s over 11 billion dollars. Of that $11 billion dollars, $7,431,841,000 (over 7 billion dollars) was won from slots. That’s means that over 64% of revenue for casinos came from slot machines. Without slot players, casinos would be in a lot of trouble.

My point is that if you are a slot player, casinos need you!

Use this knowledge to your advantage and ask, ask, and ask some more. I often receive the question, ‘what gift do I give my host around Christmas?’ My answer is that I call up my host, wish them a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holidays, and then tell them that I want to go skiing and that I expect reimbursement for air and car rental, free play upfront, and food and room. In other words, my play is the gift.

If you are a slot player, you should be even more direct and more demanding. You are valuable. Don’t ever forget that.


Before I divulge this information, let me disclaim that I didn’t invent this method, and I neither endorse or condemn the play. There are some slot players who consider this to be an unethical play, while there are some who consider it gray area and aggressive, but not unethical. Because there is some room for gray area and room for debate, I’ll discuss it here. You just have to be able to sleep with yourself at night.

The method is to use your player’s cards and leave it in a machine. You can obtain several players cards. I own several myself, and they’re all active. It’s not like a credit card, where only one can be active at a time.

What you do is take your players card, put it into the machine, enter your code, and just let it stay there, even after you leave the machine. If you pay attention, you’ll find that certain areas with certain players are more likely to play without a players card. If done selectively and intelligently, you can rack up a ton of free points and free slot play.

I’m not going to tell you how to pick the machine. That’s going a bit too far and may be a bit too controversial. But I will say that if you watch slot players, you’ll start to notice a trend. That’s all I will say on the selection portion of this play. What I will tell you is that a friend liked to leave his card in an area with heavy tourist foot traffic, an area like this where people come and go often and might drop some bills and play as they’re walking through. Leave the card in overnight, and if you get lucky, wake up and voila, it’s like dropping a fishing line overnight and waking up to a big fat catfish in the morning.

Heavy foot traffic through a casino area that is accessible via walkway bridge in Las Vegas. Notice the people carrying bags.

The argument as to why this play isn’t unethical is that if a player doesn’t use their player’s card, the credits and free play is just going to waste, anyway. So you may as well just take the credits. Also, arguably, it’s easy enough for the player to just take out your card and insert their card. That’s the argument at least.

Do Not Use This Method in Colorado

Some players consider this to be a form of scavenging, while others see it as free play. My only warning about this method is that you should NOT do it in a Colorado casino. In Colorado, they can be aggressive and selective about enforcing their gaming laws. While this play is not illegal, Colorado players have been prosecuted for playing money left over in a slot machine.

Colorado casino customers prosecuted for playing abandoned slot credits

While it’s easy to argue that leaving your players card is not the same as playing existing credits, the law reads broadly and it can be construed that you are scavenging credits. They might ignore you the first time or even the 20th time, but when they have video of you doing it hundreds of times, year in and year out, and have player records of you making thousands of dollars profit from doing so, there might be an overzealous prosecutor who might want to test the envelope. You don’t want to be the test case.


Hopefully, you are able to use some of this information to your benefit. There is skill to playing slots. It’s usually not in the actual play portion of the game, itself, rather the skill comes in how you select the game and the things you do to add positive value to your slot play.

Most importantly, don’t forget that when you ask your casino host, remember that you are valuable to the casino. So argue from a position of strength and ask for more. Have this argument ready: my friend/husband/RoadGamblerGuy/buddy played $1000 and you gave him free play! All I get is room and food on a Wednesday and Thursday! I want free play and some cash for driving/flying to you or I’m not coming back.

Of course, be polite, use some diplomacy, and never make ad hominem attacks against your host. Keep it business related, not personal. There’s an art and skill to diplomacy. You’ll learn as you do this more often.

Good luck at the machines!


Posted in: Casino, Gambling, Slot Machine

0 thoughts on “Aggressive Comps and Free Play Hunting at Slots

  • As for “forgetting the players card” in a machine, can’t that backfire in that the casino might rerate your play. Example: I play $5 wof 2 credit game $10/spin buy in for $500 a session play til it’s gone, now I “forget” my card in .25 wof 5 line game $1.25 spin, if the action isn’t as high as in the $5 game won’t the casino lower my rating with them thus potentially losing comps & other perks?

    • Kevin,

      You are thinking from the perspective that you are the sole player, which is not the way to think about it. The method described has multiple players, and it can only raise your ADT, and thus your comps. It will probably lower your average bet, but average bet is only one variable in ADT.

      Your concern would be valid if you decided to cut back your play in lieu of other players playing for you; rather, what you’re doing is using their play to augment your play.

      You are adding those additional player’s points to your points, which means at the end of the day, you will have more, not less.

      BTW, even if you decided to reduce your play because you are collecting points from other player’s play, and your host cuts off some of your comps, you’ll still be better off reducing your slot play. Except for rare circumstances, with slots the HE is too high to overcome. You’re better off getting fewer comps, as the cost of the goods and freebies, some of which you must now pay for out of your own pocket, will be significantly less than the money saved by reducing your play.

  • In AC if you leave your card in a machine and there is no activity for a period of 5 minutes it will not register any play until you remove and reinsert the card. I think they finally caught on to this and developed a plan to stop it.

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