Earning comps is one of the most-entertaining parts of playing casino games. Land-based casino comps are especially fun, because you can earn everything from meals to free hotel stays.
You can rack up plenty of these rewards by playing slot machines. Slots have bigger house edges than many other games, which is why they lead to more rewards.
Of course, the first step to earning these comps is signing up for the slots club. And there are pros and cons that you should consider before doing so.
That said, I’m going to discuss 5 reasons why you should and shouldn’t join a loyalty program. But first, I’ll go over the steps to signing up for a player’s club.
How to Join a Slots Club
Many beginning slots players are confused about how to earn comps. These same gamblers often sit down to a machine and start playing with hopes of earning a free meal or better.
Instead, all they’ll end up with is free drinks. One has to actually sign up for a slots club before enjoying the top benefits at land-based casinos.
You can either join the player’s club inside of a casino or signup online. When joining in person, you must visit the player’s desk and fill out the necessary forms. Once you’ve completed the application, you should receive a player’s card that you can use on any slot or video poker machine.
It’s even quicker to sign up online before you visit a casino. All you need to do is go to the gambling establishment’s website and fill out the required details.
Here’s an example of joining a slots club online:
- I want to sign up for the slots club at MGM Grand.
- I google “MGM Grand slots club.”
- The first result is a link to the “M Life Rewards” program.
- I fill in account details like my name, email, phone number, etc.
- I complete the account and get approved.
- Rewards include up to 20% off rooms, discounts at retail shops, and the ability to earn slots comps.
If you sign up at a large corporate casino (e.g. Caesars or MGM), then you can use your player’s card at any of their properties.
As for online slots, you don’t have to make a special effort to join the rewards program. Instead, most internet casinos begin rewarding your play as soon as you start making real money bets.
In rare cases, gaming sites offer invitation-only slots clubs. This means that you have to play for a while before you’re eligible to receive VIP rewards.
I suggest finding a different online casino in these instances, because you don’t want to make countless slots bets with no idea on when you’ll receive comps.
Reasons Why You Need to Join a Slots Club
The obvious reason why you want to be part of a loyalty program is so that you can earn more than just free drinks. But what are the in-depth benefits of joining?
Below you can see the best five reasons to join the slots club at your local casino and begin playing towards the best comps.
1 – You Can Get Cash Back
Every slots player loves to get money back based on their play. And cashback is one of the most-common perks of any rewards program.
Cashback sees a percentage of your overall wagers returned. Many slots club start you at 0.1% cashback, which you can improve upon by moving up in VIP status (covered later).
Here’s an example on how you’d earn while playing:
- A casino offers a 0.1% cashback rate on total slots bets.
- You make $1 wagers and perform 600 spins per hour.
- This means that you bet $600 each hour.
- You play for five hours.
- 5 x 600 = $3,000 in total wagers
- 3,000 x 0.001 = $3 worth of points
Earning $3 in comps for $3,000 worth of play doesn’t seem like a lot, but these rewards add up over time. If you play at this rate for 10 days, you’d receive $30 in comps and be able to get a meal or something else worthwhile.
You’ll especially make out in a slots club if you’re also receiving free drinks on top of points.
2 – You Earn Other Perks like Free Bets and Tournament Seats
Player’s club benefits don’t end with cashback and points. You can also look forward to other offers, such as free bets, tournament seats, and show tickets. Everybody enjoys receiving free slots play. You can use this offer to try and generate free winnings on your next casino visit.
A tournament seat is perfect for those who want to enjoy slot machines in a different format. For example, a casino might email rewards club members about a free $1,000 slots tournament.
Show tickets give you the ability to see concerts, musicians, and other acts for free. These tickets are quite a bargain if you’re looking for a cheap, entertaining night.
Of course, casinos benefit from these offers by drawing you back into their establishments. But if you already enjoy playing slots, competing in tournaments, and watching shows, then it’s a win-win for both sides.
3 – You’ll Receive Other Cool Comps
As if receiving cashback, show tickets, and tournament entries isn’t enough, you can also look forward to plenty of other slots club rewards.
Some of the other benefits include free meals, hotel stays, limousine transportation, and nightclub bottle service. Many rewards programs give you the option to choose what you’re interested in. For instance, you may have no desire visit a crowded nightclub, but you would love a free steak dinner.
Whenever the case is, you’ll have the opportunity to work your way towards better rewards by playing more slot machines.
4 – You Can Move Up in the Slots Club
Both online and land-based casinos divide their slots clubs into tiers. The lower levels are basic comps like free drinks and possibly meals, while higher tiers get more extravagant perks.
An example of the latter includes free play worth up to hundreds of dollars per week, complementary gifts, penthouse suites, a VIP host, and even travel packages. Casinos commonly refer to their higher loyalty levels as room and food (RF); and room, food, and beverage (RFB).
You either have to play a large volume of slots and/or use very high coin denomination machines to attain either RF or RFB. But higher loyalty statues provide incentive for those who play high stakes slots already.
Also note that your cashback rate can increase as you move up the levels. For instance, you may go from a 0.1% rate to 0.3% if you frequently play slot machines.
Here’s an example on how quickly you’d accumulate rewards with a high cashback rate and big coin denominations:
- The casino offers you a 0.3% cashback rate based on your higher loyalty status.
- You make $5 bets and perform 600 spins per hour.
- 5 x 600 = $3,000 wagered per hour
- You play for 6 hours.
- 6 x 3,000 = $18,000 in total wagers
- 18,000 x 0.003 = $54 in comps
Receiving $54 isn’t going to get you the penthouse suit and 24/7 limo transportation. But generating this much cashback per day will earn you $540 within 10 visits.
5 – Highest Members Get VIP Service
Earlier I mentioned that one of the perks to a slots club is that you can get a dedicated VIP host. It’s worth expanding on this luxury for anybody who dreams of receiving special treatment at their favorite casino.
You can speak with host about what your specific player level gets you in terms of rewards. These conversations can lead to customized perks that better suit your tastes.
Of course, slot machine players don’t have as much wiggle room to negotiate for higher rewards. The slots club tracking system monitors your play and assigns rewards that are appropriate to your loyalty status. However, you may be able to work out a more-favorable deal by speaking with a host, especially if you’re a high roller.
I recently read about a big-time gambler who convinced a casino to change a specific slot machine’s coin denomination from $5 to $25 denomination within 24 hours. Given that doing so required ordering a new chip for the machine, the casino definitely went out of their way for this gambler.
Reasons Why You should Overlook the Slots Club
I’ve just discussed some compelling reasons why you should sign up for slots loyalty programs. Above all, it’s great to be rewarded for your play if you’re going to spin the reels anyways.
But there are a few considerations worth noting before you rush to join a slots club program.
1 – You Don’t Earn That Much Money Based on Your Play
It’s always fun to earn comps at casinos, no matter if it’s just a free drink or a few dollars in cash back. Keep in mind, though, that you most likely won’t receive much from your play. This is especially true if you don’t play slots most days of the month and/or gamble on high-coin denomination machines.
Earlier I demonstrated an example where you’d only received $3 in cashback after playing for five hours. Of course, it’s still nice to get something back from your play, but you can’t do much with $3.
Many slot machine players don’t even gamble this much per session. Therefore, the average player goes home with a dollar or two in rewards.
2 – Many Players Overvalue Slots Comps and Chase Them
One of the most-common mistakes in gambling involves chasing comps. Far too many players think that they should continue gambling just to earn a specific reward.
A player may realize that they’re close to earning enough points for a free meal. Therefore, they continue spinning the reels two hours longer to reach this comp.
I have no problem with people continuing to play slot machines and their enjoying themselves. But I hate to see gamblers play slots longer than they want just for comps alone.
The key thing to realize here is that the rewards are never worth the theoretical losses you’ll spend to reach them (covered next).
The best way to collect comps is by earning them naturally. Don’t extend your session by an hour or more just because you want a bigger reward.
3 – Slots Comps Don’t Make a Dent in Theoretical Losses
The biggest downside to chasing comps is that you’ll rack up more losses when doing so. And you can do the math on your theoretical losses to see just how much damage is caused by chasing rewards.
Here’s an example:
- The casino is offering you a 0.1% cashback rate.
- You’re playing a slot machine with an 8% house edge.
- You bet $800 per hour.
- 800 x 0.08 = $64.00 in hourly losses
- 800 x 0.001 = $0.80 in hourly comps
- 64 / 0.8 = 80
- Your theoretical losses are 80x greater than the rewards.
You can see here that the cashback’s value is dwarfed by how much you’d lose on average to reach the rewards.
Many gamblers don’t understand the math involved with theoretical losses, which is why they continue pursuing comps long after they should quit a session. I can’t stress enough how important it is to let rewards come naturally and avoid the temptation to gamble just for the next level of comps.
Any time you get this temptation, just remind yourself that you could buy the meal or pay for a hotel room 80 times over when compared to how much you’ll spend in theoretical losses.
4 – You Need Lots of Points to Move Up
I’ve mentioned how many slots players leave the casino disappointed, because they expect more rewards. The same gamblers are often shocked to find out how much they must wager before they’re eligible for better comps.
You’re not going to go from earning free drinks at the lowest level to RFB overnight. Instead, you’ll have to gamble hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars before you’re eligible for top-shelf rewards.
Every casino has their own standards on how many points must be earned to reach each level. But you can guarantee that moving up in loyal status is no small feat at any casino. I suggest closely examining a slots club and the requirements for every tier. This not only allows you to see if you have a chance at higher comps, but also to compare different programs to each other.
Comparisons are important so that you get an idea on which casino is offering the best value. Sure, a certain gambling establishment may not have the best steakhouse or most-vibrant nightclub. But if they offer new players a 0.15% cashback rate versus 0.1%, then they’re definitely worth considering.
5 – Slots Clubs Offer Less Than Ever Today
Casino gambling opportunities used to be few and far in between. This allowed famed casino destinations like Atlantic City and Las Vegas to truly capitalize on gambling.
But casinos have spread like wildfire across the United States and other countries. Therefore, gaming establishments can no longer rely on simply offering slot machines and table games to draw customers.
Of course, there are still some casinos that cater to gamblers first. These establishments are especially common in downtown Las Vegas, which doesn’t have the glitz and glamour of Vegas Strip casinos. But by and large, the majority of brick-and-mortar casinos are most interested in diversification. Therefore, they don’t give away as much through slots clubs as they once did.
It wasn’t uncommon in the past to start out at a 0.2% or 0.3% cashback rate. These days, though, the norm is a 0.1% rate. You can still earn a fair amount of rewards if your playing volume is high enough. But the days of casinos showering just any slot machine player with rewards are long past.
I’ve just presented an equal amount of points on why you should and shouldn’t join a slots club. The average person definitely needs to consider signing up for a loyalty program. It’s common sense that you should take advantage of rewards if you’re already going to play slot machines. Even if you only earn a dollar or less back on your play, it’s better than nothing.
You can really cash in if you’re a high-volume gambler or somebody who bets big coin denominations. The more you wager, the larger your rewards will be. The only reason why I present contrary opinions on joining a slots club is because these programs aren’t for everybody.
If you’re somebody who has trouble chasing losses and/or extending sessions too long, then you’ll likely have trouble with pursuing comps. I’m not saying that you should absolutely avoid slots clubs if you struggle with this problem. But don’t do anything that encourages you to gamble beyond your means.
If you do sign up for a VIP program, then maintain realistic expectations. Slots clubs offer small rewards when compared to how much you’ll lose on average.
Nevertheless, it’s still worth collecting these comps if you love playing slot machines. And your rewards may just turn into extra profits if you get lucky and hit a big jackpot.