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Best of Eric Rosenthal

Gaming Guru

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Group gambling

8 September 2018

One of the easiest ways to increase your comp offers is to increase your perceived worth to the casinos. Casinos track and measure your worth in terms of the theoretical loss you should have on an average trip or an average daily basis. But increasing your “theo” does not necessarily mean you need to gamble more or have more at risk personally. How? This is where group gambling comes in.

I’m a huge fan of group gambling. It’s when a group of people pool their bankrolls for the purpose of sharing risk and, in many instances, volatility. If done right, you can take turns pooling resources with others and appearing to be a much bigger player than you really are. By taking this approach, you will receive much larger comp offers than you would if playing on your own. Put another way, the comp offers gained from group gambling will be worth much more than the sum of the offers gained from players gambling individually.

Take this example: In many places, it’s relatively easy to reserve a table with a $500 per hand average bet. One $500 bettor will be afforded comps and courtesy (in terms of the gambling conditions) not available to each of the five $100 bettors individually. Having a reserved table allows all five bettors who have pooled their bankrolls to participate in the fun and most likely earns an RFB trip — a trip with rooms, food and beverages comped — with sufficient time spent at the table.

This can be easily accomplished at most Asian table games: Low house edge, slow games, and easily reserved tables are wonderful for group gambling. Blackjack works well too, but can create tension if not everyone is proficient in basic strategy.

Even easier is to pool resources for electronic gaming and video poker. Generally, when playing high-limit slots, the house edge drops fairly significantly once you get to the $100 denomination or higher.

Having a relatively large bankroll with “partners in action” allows one to drastically reduce house edge and shows significantly more play on one card, making that player substantially more valuable to the casino. Full pay video poker seems to be disappearing from many casinos, except at fairly high denominations.

Using the group gambling strategy allows one to access games possibly out of individual players’ comfort zone while reducing the house edge. Not every casino will recognize full-pay video poker for comps; but at a high enough level, hosts can generally offer discretionary comps.

So, group gambling can yield comps that are generally harder to come by on your own, especially if your gambling budget is somewhat limited. When showing play that warrants RFB comps, as long as you’re reasonable about using them, meals for everyone will probably be taken care of. Also, getting extra rooms through one’s host will be much easier for one player perceived as highly valuable to the casino than for multiple players perceived as relatively less valuable.

In order to be fair to all who group gamble, we rotate the player getting the rating based on the casino we are in and the slot program/player card. Each of us has our own casino or brand of choice, and we make sure to make that player look great to that casino or brand.

Group gambling is particularly effective at taking advantage of promotions that can be quite lucrative if timed correctly. Many promotions offer substantially more return as you ascend through casinos loyalty programs’ tier levels, and allows all to participate with the highest probable return. It’s potentially lucrative activity that friends can do together.


Eric Rosenthal is a co-host on the Vegas Confessions podcast and is a featured speaker at ZorkFest.
Eric Rosenthal

Eric Rosenthal is a writer, podcaster, gambling and travel enthusiast. By combining his knowledge of travel and casino loyalty programs, he teaches people how to travel and maximize value for their gambling dollar. Eric is one of the featured speakers at the Casino and Travel Loyalty Conference ZorkFest, where he shares his passion for what he calls Comp Harvesting.
Eric Rosenthal
Eric Rosenthal is a writer, podcaster, gambling and travel enthusiast. By combining his knowledge of travel and casino loyalty programs, he teaches people how to travel and maximize value for their gambling dollar. Eric is one of the featured speakers at the Casino and Travel Loyalty Conference ZorkFest, where he shares his passion for what he calls Comp Harvesting.