One of the most valuable assets of playing myVEGAS games is the ability to trade in your LPs for rewards. One of the most concrete values out of the options is to trade for Freeplay and casino play, primarily in markets like Las Vegas.
But when it comes to figuring out what to do with those Freeplay rewards, it can be challenging. Do you want to swing for the fences, or do you treat it like cash and try to walk away with as much cash as you can? Depending on your goal, you’ll want to choose different sorts of games.
We’ll go through a few options in this post, helping you understand your options based on the rewards that are available.
First Things First: Understanding Your Reward Options
As it stands, the myVEGAS games have a few different types of Freeplay and casino play, based on various scenarios, most specifically if you’re staying at an MGM property, and if you’re staying as a comped guest or a paying guest.
All casino play rewards are counted as Premium Rewards. In 2019, myVEGAS broke MGM-based rewards into Premium and Non-Premium buckets. Effectively, items that were totally free, such as Freeplay, count as a Premium Reward.
Players get at least 3 Premium Rewards every 30 days, but can get up to 6 depending on their purchase history within the various games/apps. More Premium Rewards mean you can purchase more freebies and redeem them within your trip.
Rewards for Paying Guests
If you are staying as a paying guest, there are three rewards per property you can redeem:
- $25 Freeplay (2 night paid stay required)
- $50 Freeplay (2 night paid stay required)
- $100 Freeplay (3 night paid stay required)
If you are a paid guest staying for three nights, you can redeem all three; if you are staying for two nights you can redeem the $25 and $25 Freeplay together.
Freeplay Rewards for Anyone
If you’re staying as a comped guest of MGM, or staying elsewhere in Las Vegas, the myKONAMI app specifically has a set of rewards called myKONAMI Freeplay. They have a different colored background than the standard Freeplay, and are more expensive to buy with your LPs, but there are much fewer restrictions.
You can buy a $25 myKONAMI Freeplay for each casino up to your Premium Rewards limit. The only real restriction is you have to go to each MGM Rewards desk at the casinos you wish to redeem, and you must play the $25 at that casino. These can be great for those who don’t have anything else they wish to redeem their Premium Rewards on, as it’s a guaranteed value.
Match Play Rewards for Anyone
One last option that exists solely at Park MGM is two match play reward options, both only eligible to be played on a Blackjack table:
- $15 Match Play
- $25 Match Play
These rewards cost a lot less than the myKONAMI rewards, and similarly can be redeemed by anyone, paid guest or not. However, unlike the Freeplay, you must match the bet with your own money (so $15 for the $15 Match Play, for instance). It’s a single wager, on Blackjack, and the voucher is resolved, win or lose, at the end of the hand.
Analyzing Best Use of Casino Play Options
So, how do you make the most of all these options? Your choice of game will have a lot to do with the range of possible outcomes.
Match Play: One and Done
Let’s get the table games one out of the way first. If you are more of a table player, the Match Play option is pretty straightforward – it’s one bet on a nearly 50/50 hand (two hands if you buy both rewards), and you’re putting some of your own money at stake to resolve it.
If you win, you effectively triple up your money because you get paid for both your wager and the Match Play. So a $15 match play would leave you with $45 at the end, and $25 would leave you with $75 (presuming you win the hand). In the event of a Blackjack, you get more, of course.
This can be attractive for those who wish to be quick about their Freeplay, or those who aren’t big fans of slots. But it is putting money at risk, something the Freeplay options don’t require.
If you don’t know how to play Blackjack, this may not be the best approach, because if you make a mistake you could cost yourself the money you put up with the Match Play. But there are also strategy cards you can buy that can tell you the best way to play each hand.
Freeplay Option 1: Video Poker (Less Risky)
If your goal is to convert the Freeplay into as much cash as you can, but with as little risk as you can, Video Poker is a strong option. MGM Rewards is helpful in that it allows Freeplay to be played (and earned) on Video Poker. Some casinos aren’t as generous in that regard.
Its payback percentage will be higher compared to a similar wager on slot machines. If you pick a version like Jacks or Better or Deuces Wild, the games tend to be more rewarding with the more common hands, making converting that Freeplay to cash more likely.
Like Blackjack, if you don’t know how to play Video Poker, inaccuracy can cost you winnings. But like Blackjack, you can get cards that tell you how to play each hand. There’s also apps like the free Best Hold app for iOS and Android, which you can punch in your starting hand and it tells you which cards to keep and which cards to discard.
Freeplay Option 2: Lower Volatility Slots (Less Risky)
When it comes to slot machines, one aspect that determines how a game plays is called volatility. In short, a game’s volatility is determined by how easy or difficult it is to get wins on a slot. Lower volatility games tend to provide smaller payouts, but more often, whereas higher volatility games tend to provide bigger payouts, less often.
When you have Freeplay from your rewards, you may have anywhere from $25 (your cap at any given casino on myKONAMI) up to $175 (if you can redeem all three paid night rewards at a single property). If you’re doing $1 a spin, you’ve got 175 chances to achieve a win on that slot machine. A lower volatility machine will give you steady, but smaller, payouts as you go.
Examples of lower volatility slot machines will include games like:
- Quick Hit machines (look for ones with a max bet of $1.50, since that will make you eligible for the progressives too)
- Quick Spin machines
- Wonder 4 machines (you’re spreading your bet across four games, with smooths things out somewhat)
Freeplay Option 3: Higher Volatility Slots (More Risky)
Conversely, higher volatility slots are going to be tougher, but if you can get a bonus or the right sorts of line hits, it can pay quite generously. Some players like to take a swing at a bigger win with Freeplay precisely because it’s not cash, and particularly with the myVEGAS rewards because they’re not a casino offer that’s factored into their play.
Examples of higher volatility slot machines will include games like:
- Various Link games: Lightning Link, Dragon Link, Dollar Storm, Ultimate Fire Link, Lock it Link
- Buffalo series of games, especially many of the newer ones like Wild Wild Buffalo, Buffalo Link and Buffalo Chief
You can counterbalance the volatility by betting lower and having more chances, but many of these games let you bet very high, so it’s up to you what type of risk you want to take with these.
Freeplay Option 4: Higher Denomination Slots (More Risky)
When you have $175 or less of Freeplay, it might be tempting to walk into the high limit room, or just outside, to tackle higher denomination slots. But the more each bet costs, the less number of tries to have a game payout you have.
If you pick a 5-line $1 slot, at $5 a spin, you could have only 5 spins if you have $25 of Freeplay, or 35 spins at $175. That’s not a lot of chances to make something happen, but of course if it does you’ll have a chance at winning something well above what you started with in Freeplay.
Like the higher volatility slots, you can counterbalance things by finding games with a lower top limit. There are $1 slots that only take two credits and are therefore $2 a spin, for instance. So game choice, which is completely in your control, can determine what your potential chances for a good payout will be.
Not all casino games are made equal, and so when it’s time to redeem those Freeplay rewards, it helps to think about what you’re hoping to accomplish. If you want to get the most cash with the least difficulty, try a lower volatility slot or Video Poker. If you want to swing for the fences, try a more risky game or pick a higher denomination option.