Myths vs. Reality Understanding Comps

Is There a Basic Formula to Getting Free Slot Play?

Players card inserted into a machine
Written by Joshua

On one of the slot forums I frequent, someone asked a very simple question:

Is There a Basic Formula to Getting Free Slot Play?

Yes. There’s a lot of them, in fact, and that’s part of the problem.

But at a very high level, gamble more, with your player’s card inserted in the machines and registered as active, and you’ll see your offers increase.

Offers are based on your gambling history, and are designed to entice another trip based on that history. Casinos look at an average of your trips and are banking on the expectation your next visit will generate play in a similar range to your average. If your play is below that average, your free play will likely go down; above your average and it could go up.

Most casinos budget between 20 and 40 percent of your expected loss as an offer enticement. So if they think you’ll bring in $100, your offers will likely fall into a range of $20-$40. But that’s a very high level, simplistic number and doesn’t factor in all sorts of various things that can impact offers which include:

  • The mix of things they give you – gifts, free play, room discounts or freebies, food/beverage credits, etc. that go into an overall offer
  • The level of competition in a certain market
  • How many hours you play per visit
  • What you wager per spin on average
  • Your total win/loss for each visit
  • The house edge of the game(s) you play on a visit
  • How much history you have with them, and how old that history is
  • Whether a casino cares about actual win/loss or theoretical loss based on the amount bet

Each casino company puts emphasis on the things they believe are important, so your offers are likely to differ in some ways, even from the exact same play, location to location, even within the same casino ownership sometimes. But given the above, it stands to reason the more you play in a visit, the longer you play, etc. will all have a positive impact.

And most importantly – don’t play for comps! But if you do play, make sure you’re using your card so you can get the most comps available to you for play you would do anyway.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

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