Earning Comps and Rewards
Comps and player rewards are especially important for video poker players. Since many video poker games allow you to achieve a payout percentage near or at 100%, you can use comps to increase your actual payout percent to over 100% - which means you're actually profiting in the long run. If this is a little bit confusing, we'll explain it more now:
Imaging that you're playing a full pay Jacks or Better machine with perfect strategy. Your long run payout average (if you're playing five coins per hand for the royal flush bonus) is going to be 99.54%. This means that for every dollar you put into the machine, you receive $0.9954 back. So, you're a loser in the long run, but you're very close to breaking even.
Harrah's Rewards Example
Now, imagine that you're also using your player card, which rewards you for the time you spend on the video poker machines. Let's take Harrah's casino for example: Harrah's provides players with one Reward Credit for every $10 you wager on a video poker machine. This includes every bet you make - not just losses. So if you're playing an average Jacks or Better game you're betting roughly $750/hour, which is 7.5 Reward Credits. These credits can then be used to receive free meals, hotel rooms, or tickets to events.
By using your player card to pay for all your meals and hotel rooms, your 0.46% disadvantage all of a sudden becomes a slight advantage over the casino. Also, these rewards programs don't only apply to live casinos, but also to online casinos.
Online Casino Rewards
We'll take a look at Win Palace Casino - one of our favorite video poker online casinos. Win Palace automatically enrolls all players into their VIP program upon sign up. Then, every $10 you wager at the video poker machines earns you seven (7) rewards points. So if you play the average $750/hour, you'll earn roughly 525 points per hour.
You can redeem 2,000 points for $2 cash, so every four hours of play is earning you an additional $2. Also, as you climb the VIP scale you'll earn points much faster, and the rewards are significantly bigger. If you're a Diamond VIP member, you'll earn 13 points per $10 of video poker wagers, which almost doubles your cash back rate.
Although a couple dollars every few hours doesn't sound like much, it really swings the tide when you're talking about a 0.46% house edge. We absolutely recommend signing up for the rewards program regardless if you're playing at a live or online casino.
Player Rewards Myths
Whenever I'm in a live casino I always see tons of video poker players without rewards cards. I've asked these people why they choose not to use a rewards card when it's virtually free money. Here are some of the excuses I've received:
I Don't Play Enough
Tons of players think that since they only play once a week or even once a month, the rewards card isn't worth it. This is absolutely false. The points add up quickly, and even if you're only playing a couple times a year you can still get a few free meals or even a free hotel room out of it. If you're sitting at a machine, you're playing enough to deserve rewards.
The Machine Lowers it's Odds
This is another very common excuse. Some players feel like the video poker machines know when a card has been inserted, and lowers the payout percentage to compensate. This is completely and utterly false, and is nothing more than an old wives' tale.
Overall, player rewards are extremely useful to any video poker player who is trying to increase his/her long run odds. We 100% recommend taking advantage of online and offline rewards/comps programs.