Advantage Play

Understanding Advantage Play, Part II: Casino Promotions

Offers from Foxwoods
Written by Joshua

In the first part of this series we looked at Advantage Play as a whole and its definition, and what Advantage Play slots are. When given the right scenario, an Advantage Play slot can give you a chance to get ahead of the game quickly.

But sometimes it’s not what you’re playing, but what the casino gives you as an incentive to come play. Casino marketing teams will use all sorts of tactics and techniques to drive you into the casino. Depending on the promotion, some can be more valuable than others to you, but can take the question outside the realm of playing the right machine at the right time, but simply showing up to play.

Examples where an Advantage Play situation may crop up include:

  • Points Promotions: Most casino players club lets you earn points that can be redeemed for freeplay, food and beverage, resort spending and more. When points promotions are run, you can sometimes win additional points at an accelerated rate. Smart players know that these points effectively are part of your payback when you gamble; if the points promotion is strong it can pay you at a high enough rate to justify playing that day vs. a standard one. When points promotions are eligible on traditionally low house edge games such as Video Poker or Blackjack, it can be particularly exciting as you could have a scenario where the theoretical payback is over 100%, meaning you’re coming out ahead. Those situations are rare, but happen, and so it pays to read your promotional offers carefully.
  • Free Gaming Money: Casinos will woo existing players in with offers that give you some free gaming money as an incentive to return. Normally these are calculated based on a percentage of your normal spend at their casino, but for those whose offers vary, going on days where you have the strongest offers can improve your opportunity.

    The main ways that casinos can offer you such promotions are:
    • Free Slot Play: When you receive free slot play you usually have to bet the entire amount through on one or more slots machines, and what you win is yours to keep. If you get, say, $10, you can play $10 through a single machine, or split it between multiple machines. If on that $10 of spins you get $5 or $50, whatever that amount is can be yours to keep, or to play on. For as long as you make that money last, you’re playing with money compliments of the casino, so that is effectively bonus bankroll for your trip.
    • Match Play: Table games players will often see offers for Match Play, which is an Advantage Play situation for a table game for each time you use it, as if the Match Play is $10, you bet $10 with the coupon, and if you win you’ll win $20 instead of $10. Similar to Free Slot Play, you can opt to stop or use the money to keep playing, and as long as the money lasts you’re playing on the house.
    • Free Bet: For table players even more exciting than Match Play is a free bet – you put nothing on the line except your Free Bet vouchers, and if you win you get a real money payout.
  • Combining the Two: If you can combine a point multiplier with access to free play, you can accelerate your point count while leveraging house money. You don’t get points when making the initial free play bets, but you do get points once you’ve played through the value of it one time.
  • New Player Promotions: Casinos always want to attract new players, and with a card in hand they get a lot of useful data about you that they can use to draw you back. So usually new player promotions are generally sweet enough to get people to take the plunge and register. Depending on your timing, a casino may give you free merchandise, or some of the free gaming money types listed above.
In this example, Excalibur is using a free room, resort credit and freeplay as an enticement to bring a player back.

“Teaser” Offers: Once a casino gets you registered, they’ll want a second visit. As such, most casinos will send you a more generous than normal “teaser” offer after your first visit to get you to return and hopefully spend more the second time out. The more often you visit, not only do they have a chance at winning your money, but they learn how much and how often you bet. This data helps them decide what offers to send you. But while they’re learning more about you, the marketing team will bribe you a bit more to have a chance at that data, and you in turn can have a bit more money to play with.

What is the best casino offer you’ve ever received? Share in the comments below!

About the author

Joshua

My name is Joshua, and I’m a 30-something 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, games that give you a potential edge, casino promotions and systems and how you can get the most out of it.

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