The casinos, since they want to give you comps, make it very easy to get on the comps. Every casino has a slot club or players club. The casino looks on the players club as one of its major marketing efforts. The procedure for joining is simple. Just ask any employee where the player’s club booth is. The person manning the booth will fill out a membership card for you and ask for some photo ID. You will be issued a credit card sized players card in your name. It is now time to invoke the first rule of comps, “Obtain an additional players card”. Just ask for one, if the employee balks, tell them that you like to play two machines at once. Players cards are disposable. They will issue you another one or two just for asking so don’t worry if you lose one.
When you go to a slot machine, insert your card in the card reader, making sure that the card is accepted. You are now connected to the players club computer which will start to track your play. All you have to do is go about your normal play. The reason you got two cards is that many people gamble with a partner. Give the extra card to your partner and you will rack up double the amount of points. This is a much better method than both of you joining the club. There are other reasons for the greedy and unscrupulous to get an extra card, which I will cover later.
Most casinos combine their table play and slot play onto one card. When you sit down at a table game just place your player’s card on the table along with your cash when you buy in. The appropriate casino employee will record your presence and track your play. An entry will be made later in the players club computer, crediting you with the appropriate amount of points. The two players/one account trick described above does not work so well for table play. Casinos print your first and last names on the cards and, if your wife sits down to play blackjack, the pit boss might be sharp enough to realize that she is not Arthur Small. You can, however, gamble at the tables yourself, and still have your wife, or whoever, rack up points for you on the machines.
Collecting your comps is just as easy as earning them. When you are ready to collect, just go over to the players club booth, present your card, and ask if you have anything coming. The employee will check your account on the players club computer and tell you what you are entitled to. If you have a comp coming, they will issue it on the spot, usually a free buffet, or two, or a credit at a casino restaurant. Some casinos have prize books that catalog the prizes. Instead of a price for each comp, the catalog will quote a certain number of points that are needed, for example 1,000 points for a room or 200 points for a buffet breakfast. The employee will tell you how many points you have and it is a simple matter of choosing your comp out of the catalog.
The most technologically advanced casinos have taken a further step and automated the comps reward procedure. These venues have installed comps kiosks that look and work just like ATM’s. Instead of dollars in a bank account, however, they are tied into your comps account. You insert your players card, tap in your PIN and the comp kiosk will tell you what comps your are entitled to. At that point you can ask for a meal comp of, say $50, and the machine will print it up for you. Just trundle off to the buffet with your comp and chow down.