Rattlesnake Finish

Okay, okay – here is “the end of the story” so many of you have been clamoring for:

Not very dramatic – saw no rattlesnakes, but that is probably a good thing! We saw some Pokemon Go players there but Kaity considers them way down on her adventurer list, no comparison to geocaching!

And if you have never heard about geocaching,  here  is Kaity to explain it for you:

Posted in Family News, Non-gambling Activities | Leave a comment

Awesome Outdoor Art

After 31 years of visiting and then living in Las Vegas, Brad and I are a bit jaded on the subject of “Vegas Sights” – been there seen that! But this week we were surprisingly awed by a relatively new in-my-opinion-must-see Vegas attraction.

We didn’t immediately think a fluorescent “Stonehenge” in the middle of a barren desert was worth a 10-mile ride down south Las Vegas Boulevard, way beyond civilization that ends at the M Resort. But, as usual, with family in town, we were looking for new sightseeing adventures, so off we drove to see “Seven Magic Mountains.”

When these colorful columns appeared in the horizon, such a contrast to the dull desolate desert landscape, it was a moment of astonishment and amazement for all of us. We had seen pictures of this, but they couldn’t capture the real-life intense effect. Both my daughter Angela and granddaughter Kaitlynn are avid photographers. In fact, Kaitlynn is beginning in the fall her master’s program in Video Production. So they couldn’t wait to begin their shooting.

It is just a very short walk from the primitive parking lot to the actual columns so you can not only enjoy the longer-distance full view of the installation, but you can get up close and personal to it – hug a column if you wish. The temperature was 110 degrees this afternoon we were there, with the sun so bright even our sunglasses didn’t keep us from squinting in most of the pictures. And Brad posed for just a couple of minutes and then tromped back to the car and turned on the air-conditioner to wait for the rest of us.

7 Magic Mountains - 1

Jean and Brad – Above

Grandma Jean and Granddaughter Kaitlynn – Below

7 Magic Mountains - 4

Later, when Kaitlynn has time to work on the video she shot, I will post that, which will describe “the rest of the story,” which includes venomous rattlesnakes.

Posted in Non-gambling Activities, Travel | 6 Comments

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Nothing like getting rid of a 15-year-old desk and filing cabinets to bring back memories. Slot cards from casinos we haven’t entered for many many years, some of which don’t even exist anymore. Strategy charts from games we won’t ever play again. Win/loss records for our 30 years of gambling – a perfect example of the “long term.”

Thank goodness I have my Mom-you-don’t-need-to-keep-this daughter visiting me for a couple of weeks. She is a master organizer – wonder where she got that? – but a tough taskmaster when it comes to reigning in a squirrel.

And here is my favorite memory find, a 2003 receipt from the Palms Kids Quest. Grandkids Kaitlynn and Zachary were 9 and 10 and I had signed them up for “unlimited” comps at this child care center. They were already experienced comp hounds so had no problem running up the bill!

Kids Quest


Fast forward to today. Kaitlynn is in town visiting, along with her mom Angela – you know her as the Frugal Princess – co-author who helped me write More Frugal Gambling. And you might not be surprised to learn that since Kaitlynn has now turned 21, our plan for the day is a major coupon run.

Posted in Comps, Family News | 3 Comments


Perhaps I should just write an on-going blog called Promotional Perils.  Casinos seemed to want to provide me with new fodder every month!

BOYD PROPERTIES (The Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, and Sam’s Town)

Lots of promo lessons here every month.  This is getting to be a monotonous pounding on the same drum here.

Not all properties under the same ownership umbrella offer the same promotions.

Check casino websites EVERY month.  Many promotions change frequently,

I wrote this last month (June):  “Different casinos may offer different multiplier days.  And each casino may have its own capping rules on the multipliers.  And there can be different caps on multipliers in the same casino depending whether it is a “corporate” promotion (like the Young at Heart) or a specific-to-that-casino promotion.  For example, at the Gold Coast you can get the mystery multiplier on the Young at Heart Wednesday for up to a cap of 10,000 points for VP.  But on multiplier Mondays in June (it might be another day another month!) you face a cap of 5000 points.  This fact might be a surprise to you if you didn’t get out your magnifying glass to read the fine print since in the past months the cap was 10,000 points.”

I may be psychic: Continue reading

Posted in Casino Promotions, Slot Clubs | 3 Comments

A Trip Report

I probably rightly could have titled this “Using My Own Advice.” Sometimes people question whether the casino information I write about is actually usable in real-life situations. So I decided to report on a recent trip Brad and I took to Harrah’s Cherokee and how we put into practice a lot of the frugal hints and recommendations I have written about for years. (I will put those in red!)

First, some background about this trip. Granddaughter Kaitlynn was graduating from college and she liked the idea of celebrating with a family “adventure” rather than a party. Brad and I had taken her parents to the Harrah’s casino in Cherokee a few years before and she had heard us rave about this beautiful Smoky Mountain resort. So this outdoor adventure gal was thrilled when we decided to make this place headquarters for our family and some of Kaitlynn’s friends to celebrate her graduation. It would be the perfect place to use one of our Harrah’s Seven Stars tier annual trips. Continue reading

Posted in Comps, Family News, Non-Vegas Casinos | 4 Comments

Boyd Property Father’s Day Multipliers

Not all the multiplier limits are the same at each property:

Gold Coast – 5K limit on VP

Orleans – 5K limit on VP

Sam’s Town – 10K limit on VP

Suncoast – 25K limit on slots and VP




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Response to your Comments

Today I want to blog about a subject that presented itself to me in the “Comment” section a few weeks ago.  I did not “approve” this comment – and thus it didn’t go public – because it was much too long, and much of the ranting and raving would not help others.   (Keep your comments pretty short, don’t insult personalities, and try to give information that might help other players.)   However I do want to address some of the points in this except from his longer post, highly edited with some details redacted:

Your success rate has been much, much higher than that of the vast majority of players (myself included) over the past couple of decades, and as a result, you can afford to dump in the massive amounts of coin-in needed to get anything more than a complimentary doughnut.  I assume that since XXX casinos have absolutely no good video poker anywhere across the breadth and length of this great land, that you have figured out a way to make it profitable to play there nonetheless. One of these days, you’ll have to detail for us just how you’ve managed to make that work. The absolute best game you’ll ever find at a XXX property is 9/6 JOB (at very high stakes), and I’m truly curious as to how you squeeze a full 1/2 percent in extras out to make the play worthwhile.

Other people have raised some of the same issues as the poster above so I think they deserve a discussion.

First, Brad and I have had a higher success rate down through the years than many other knowledgeable players because we have always looked for a bigger advantage than many require.  A play with a .1-.2% advantage is a positive play but one might not live long enough to get to the long term and achieve that positive result.  That is the reason we don’t play as much as we used to.  We can’t find many plays with a bigger advantage.  We do some small lower-denomination plays with a lower edge than we would have done in the past – and that shows up in our records:  more losing streaks and lower profits.  🙁

Another reason for our success is that we never used gambling profits for “living expenses” – we either had a job or, in later years, retirement savings.  We have always lived quite frugally so when we hit a jackpot we didn’t think about how we could “spend” the money for some luxury item.  We kept plowing our profits back into our bankroll and this allowed us to go up in denomination where the profits would be even bigger.

Second, people are always talking about “no good games in that casino.”  We don’t waste our time looking for 100% EV games; there are few anywhere.  We are looking for good plays.   That means looking for not-quite-so-good games and then piling on the extras – players club benefits, promotions, bounce-back, and anything that will add value to the EV of the game.  And how do we find some of those almost-good games so it isn’t so hard to bump up the value with the extras?  We scour the information in vpFREE2.   Have you ever studied it casino by casino?  You might find some of the hidden gems we play.

Third, I have written three books and more articles than I can number – thousands? – “detail(ing) for us just how you’ve managed to make that work.” I can’t reveal every specific detail at every casino where I have played because some extras depend on long-term relationships with casino employees, play levels higher than for the average player, extra knowledge learned by many years of experience, and the personality, circumstances, and goals that differ for each player.  However, I really don’t have that many video poker “secrets.”  It’s mostly spelled out pretty clearly in my writings – and in much detail – for anyone to study and use. It’s up to you how far you want to run with this information.

Posted in Bankroll, Comments, It's Personal, Video Poker | 12 Comments

New Players Club Information

Penn National Gaming Casinos, including the M Resort and Casino and Tropicana Casino in Las Vegas

Penn National Gaming  has many casinos all over the US and the players club in each is called Marquee Rewards. However, they state: “Each Marquee Rewards casino offers benefits unique to that location, in addition to the universal benefits available everywhere.”

This fact requires that a player who wants to become knowledgeable about any one property be very diligent in researching on the Internet.   The Marquee Rewards website   will give you some information.  However, it pays to go to the individual property websites to find more specific information, which is often in the fine-print rules and/or “disclaimer list.”

For example, the M Resort and Casino in Las Vegas has some special benefits and exceptions and their program is much different than the one at the Tropicana Casino, a recently-added sister property also in Las Vegas.

I find this players club incredibly complex and confusing.


The “New” MGM Resorts Players Club

The newly-named M life Rewards players club has announced new rules and benefits. Again like above, anyone who wants to find out the details should go to the website to see whether the changes are good for them if they are already a member or good enough to become one. Continue reading

Posted in Slot Clubs | 1 Comment

June Brings Promotion Perils

This month I was going to write a promotion blog called Promotional Perils.  Well, I AM going to be writing on that subject but sad to say I will have to use very recent examples, some just encountered for our June play, which will show why smart players will need to stay alert. Not constantly monitoring players club changes and promotion details can be dangerous to your wallet.



Last month I wrote about the new benefits at the M Casino called Marquee Comps.  I gave the link for the dedicated website that covers the Marquee Rewards players club program for the many Penn National Gaming properties across the country.    I also made this comment:  “Notice that it does not include their recently-acquired Tropicana casino, which hasn’t as yet been folded into this players club system.” Continue reading

Posted in Casino Promotions | 2 Comments

Changes Coming to MGM Players Club

From an e-mail we received:

M life is now M life Rewards

The name may be changing, but don’t worry—the great rewards, benefits and service you’ve come to expect aren’t. Everything else stays the same—your current M life card is still valid, your status is unchanged and you’ll continue to receive the best we offer—just a small name change. After all, the best Rewards are what we’re known for.

Earn M life Rewards Faster

Please look for a special announcement in early June, when we’ll introduce an exciting new way to earn more rewards. We think you’ll agree that the new name fits us: M life is truly becoming more rewarding.

I’ll let you know when I have more details.

Posted in Slot Clubs | 4 Comments