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Drinking Down the House

By MikeE on Thursday, 19th November 2009 1:40am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 9


Max Rubin's Comp City was perhaps the first and only book of its kind teaching table games players the way to squeeze out every last bit of comps.

He argued that playing for freebies was a worthwhile venture for the perfect strategy blackjack player willing to suffer some serious swings. It advised knowing the shifts of the cocktail waitresses, spilling drinks all over the table to slow down game play, and betting big when the pit boss was watching. Its methods may have worked 10 years ago, but comps have gotten tight and calculating game play much more accurate. While the book is still an interesting read, going through the effort to play for comps just isn't as worthwhile as it used to be.

A recent tweet from CanadianCrapShooter asked Chuckmonster and I what Encore was comping back in March when I was putting in several hours at a $15 pai gow poker table. Now, this was long before things there were seriously shaken up, but according to the cocktail waitress at the time, since the area of the casino we were in (the north-western most portion without entering the baccarat salon) was considered "high limit," she could comp Macallan 18.

Scotch that retails $150 a bottle? Whiskey that goes for $25 or more a glass?

Keep in mind, my green chip play means my theoretical loss is about $19 an hour and that's at a generous speed. Combined with the usual comps and a player with a fine taste for high-end hooch has the edge in his favor. No need for Max Rubin's efforts.

Mirage's baccarat salon is another example. As of last month, they had a $25 pai gow poker table in there and with a little urging, comped Johnnie Walker Blue Label, which again, eliminates the house edge.

It begs the question, are Mirage and (hopefully) Encore the only places left in Las Vegas where you can outdrink your losses at the tables? Any VT readers familiar with other spots?



Comments & Discussion:

this must've been one helluva night, cause i don't remember any of it.

Heh, you were asked the question along side me. As for Mirage, my mistake--it was a Friday night in October.

oh wait... now i still don't remember it. mistaken identity? doppleganger?

Hey I was able to get a Pepsi, no Coke, out of the Cannery last week. It was the only casino I was at during a 4 night stay they even had a cocktail waitress come by the Video Poker and Slots section while I was playing. It is kind of hard to out drink the house edge when the cocktail waitresses are few and far between.

I don't know about beating the edge, but I go to the hi-limit areas during the day when the limits are much lower and most tables are empty. A $10 tip up-front and you can't get halfway through your drink without the waitress bringing a refill.

I don't smoke, but Encore comps some pretty nice cigars and hard to find cigarette brands.

I can drink many little glasses of beer at Casino Royale while playing $3 craps!

I was at Encore in August, playing $100/hand pgp and at first they were only comping Macallan 12 but after about an hour they gave the go ahead for the 18.

Now they were pouring at least 4 fingers of the 12 at a time and only 2 fingers of the 18.

At the MGM Grand I was drinking Sierra Neveda at the PGP table but they wouldn't serve it at the $15 BJ table, lame

Next weekend, I try to see if they comp any of the good Scotch at the VP bar at the GN that's right behind Starbucks.

On one of my legendary stays at the Sahara, the cocktail waitress kept bringing me Coronas while I was playing 5cent deuces wild poker. I tipped her a dollar after the first beer and she acted like she had never gotten a tip before. She kept bringing bottles to me every time she walked by. I would be one sip in and she would add another to my collection, then wait for me to dig up a dollar out of my pocket. Even with the tips, I am sure that I beat the house.

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