When using your players club card at a casino you may receive free play offers in the mail. In addition, when you sign up for a players club card in Las Vegas, the casino may give you some free play coupons as a bonus for signing up. Usually free play is only allowed to be used on machines, but sometimes you will receive free play for table games.
How Should I use the Free Play that I am given as a casino comp?
The 2 best options are video poker and video blackjack. The expected value (EV or average return using optimum strategy) for video blackjack is -2.50% because almost all video blackjack machines only pay even money when you get a blackjack. Conversely, 9/6 JOB video poker has a better EV of -0.46%. There are many video poker games to choose from. The important thing is to play the best video poker game you can find and use the optimal strategy for that game.
Let’s assume that you receive $100 in free play and that you have decided to play $1.25/hand for 80 hands and then cash out. Most free play comps require you to play the free play coupons through a machine at least once before cashing out. You can expect to cash out $97.50 playing video blackjack and $99.54 playing 9/6 jacks or better video poker using optimum strategy.
Without going into too much more statistics, I will ask you to trust me that using standard deviation you can estimate the likelihood of cashing out various amounts.
|Video Blackjack||9/6 JOB Video Poker|
Reading the table above you can see that there is a 95.4% chance that on video blackjack you will receive between $69.47 and $125.53 but between $0.30 and $198.79 playing video poker. So if you are very unlucky you will get basically $0 from video poker but will get close to $70 playing video blackjack.
To make your decision on what to play, you need to decide if you are playing for the long-term, in which case video poker is your best bet. If you just want to have the best chance of cashing out some money, video blackjack is your best choice. A good source of these coupons is the American Casino Guide.