Everything cowboy the first 10 days of December when the rodeo takes over the town.  Holiday special offers all month. Check all your usual sources for related promotions all over town!


Play for a Buffet is a Tuesday promotion for Las Vegas CZR casinos that is continuing in December. Earn 50 tier credits in a day at any of our Total Rewards casinos in Las Vegas and get one free entry to the Rio Carnival World & Seafood Buffet. (This voucher does not include the Seafood section – that requires paying a $25 upcharge!) Much fine print on this offer – so check the rules at players club at any CZR Vegas property.


Senior Thursdays feature food discounts, special gambling offers, and a free slot tournament. Plus seniors receive 20% off rooms for the entire month of December.


If you like to shop, you may want to check out the Macy’s gift card promotion here from December 1-12. For every 5000 base points you earn you receive one $25 Macy’s gift card, max of 10 cards per account. I don’t know any fine-print warnings yet, but it always pays to check at the players club before you start playing for the written rules for any promotion.


In my last blog entry I discussed the transition of the Palms to take its place under the Stations umbrella. There are still some issues to solve and some programs that have not as yet crossed over. I expect changes to proceed slowly over the next few months – and perhaps some programs will not transfer at all, with some Palms-specific ones appearing. Continue reading

Posted in Casino Promotions, Palms, Slot Clubs | 7 Comments


It’s still transition time. Many changes have been made, but all the kinks haven’t been worked out and some programs and policies have not yet gone through a switch.  Often there are excruciating long lines at the players club, but I will have to praise the patience of the workers there who will go to all lengths to try to solve problems . And when they are unsuccessful to find answers and solutions, they can turn to supervisors who are very knowledgeable and can almost always provide a satisfactory resolution.

Often when I ask a question, an employee will say that this particular issue will probably not change or be settled until January or later. This seems to be the situation Continue reading

Posted in Food Review, Palms, Senior Promotion, Slot Clubs | 10 Comments

Tahoe Adventure

Recently we took a family casino vacation to Tahoe, staying on an offer from Harrah’s.  Although we had been here many times before, this was the first time daughter Angela and her hubby Steve had been here so they kept busy with active choices –  like hiking –  that Brad and I didn’t/couldn’t join in.  They also did a day trip to Virginia City, something we had enjoyed in the past.

One sunny afternoon we all 4 went on a paddleboat cruise sightseeing tour – one thing we had never done in all our previous visits.  This gave us an amazing view of Lake Tahoe and surroundings from the “inside.”  Here are some photos from the dock and onboard the M.S. Dixie II.



We consider Tahoe one of the prettiest places in the country in which to take a casino vacation.  And it just so happens that we will be visiting a casino in December which gives Tahoe a run for the money in this category –  the Cherokee Casino in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.  And, as usual, this will be a very special visit, a holiday reunion with our GA family.  There is nothing better than combining family  and casino fun!

Posted in Family News, Non-gambling Activities, Non-Vegas Casinos, Travel | 7 Comments

More Promotional Tidbits

Today – Thursday the 10thSouth Point is jumping the gun with a free Veterans Day buffet a day early.  This offer is one of the few that includes a free meal for both the veteran and a guest.


Work fast if you want to take advantage of the offer House Seats is running – two years for the price of one.  It expires tomorrow November 11.  A very frugal way to see lots of Vegas shows!


Glittering Lights at Las Vegas Motor Speedway” opens tomorrow, November 11.   Special offers for free admission, with official valid ID:

Nov. 11 – Free for Veterans.

Nov. 13 – First 200 cars get a “kindness pass” for a future visit or to give away.

Nov. 14 – Free for military families and veterans – active and inactive

Note:  Weekday tickets are cheaper than weekend ones.


Word from a knowledgeable Palms employee: A senior benefit program will not start until the first of the year. I do not know the details or whether it will be the same or similar to the ones at other Station properties.

Posted in Casino Promotions, Non-gambling Activities, Non-gambling Promo, Senior Promotion | 1 Comment


Watch for free casino buffet offers for veterans on November 11th, Veterans Day. Most are for the veteran only; a few include a free meal for a companion too. Some casinos have given details on this promotion in the regular monthly mailer or on their website; others may wait and put this in a newspaper ad closer to the date. Google “Veterans Day promotions” and you will see many sites that list extensive freebies, both in and out of casinos,  with qualifying details.


BOYD PROPERTIES (The Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, and Sam’s Town, and sometimes their downtown properties.)

The Orleans and Gold Coast are continuing their “B Loyal to the Royal” promo, Sunday-Thursday the whole month of November.  See details about this and other promotions at the Gold Coast here.   Check the websites of the other casinos and click on “promotions” to see what is going on in each one, which can be property-wide and/or property-specific ones.



“Bounty Bonus Bucks” is a popular promotion running at South Point the whole month of November.  Continue reading

Posted in Casino Promotions | 4 Comments

Using Math to Choose a VP Play – Part 3

In this series I have been giving examples showing how to figure the basic math calculations and then how to add some easy-to-figure extras, like multiple-point bonuses, to increase the value of a play. There are other valuable extras but many of them are more complicated to figure out.   (Notice I round down my figures, a “safer” more conservative action for the great majority of players.)

Let’s talk about bounce-back (BB) benefits. This is an extremely complicated benefit that I covered in detail back in my September 13 blog titled “Not So Simple.” I suggest you go back and read that if you want to review the many problems you will encounter in trying to maximize this benefit.

However, IF you know or at least can fairly accurately estimate, perhaps based on past experience with a particular casino, how much BB you will get for playing a certain amount, then here is how you can figure how much this benefit will add to your total play. Take the BB amount and divide it by the coin-in (CI) amount you have to play in order to get that. And if your grade school arithmetic is rusty, here is my simple rule for people who are scared of math: divide the little number by the big number!

Example: you find a miracle situation where you have to play only $10,000 a week in order to get $50 BB each week. Okay, divide the $50 bounce-back amount (the little number) by the $10,000 coin-in amount (the big number). It’s okay to use your calculator! You will get .005. You do have to remember how to change a decimal into a % – I’ll help you out here: Move the decimal point two places to the right – and you now have .5% which you can add to your other figures, like this:

99.5% – JoB 9/6 – the game you want to play

.1% – the basic players club point value where you want to play

.5% – the value of the BB

100.1% – the positive total of the whole play

To give a more realistic example, you are more likely to get $25 a week for this same coin-in and the best game might be 8/5 Bonus:

99.1% – 8/5 Bonus

.1% – Club points

.2% – BB

99.4% – Total value of play

This formula can be used for any benefit IF you know exactly the value of the benefit and how much play it takes to get it. Let’s take comps, for example. You can substitute comp value for the BB amount in the above examples. However, how comps are valued depends on personal factors. A $50 food coupon for a steak house may be worth only $25 to those who prefer to eat at less expensive restaurants.

In fact most other benefits are not one-size-fits-all when you are trying to figure out the mathematical value. They depend so much on personal factors like bankroll considerations, individual goals, and time scheduling. And often you don’t have enough exact details of a possible benefit, like the number of people you are up against in a tournament or how many entries are in a drawing. Then it becomes guesstimation instead of exact math.

This is the end of this series, since my goal was to cover only the basics. However, I have written at length about how to maximize your use of extra benefits in my books, especially in More Frugal Gambling and Frugal Video Poker. Although both of these books, and also Frugal 1, were written some years ago and obviously contain some outdated material, they still have enough valuable information that if someone hasn’t read them, they might be a worthwhile purchase, especially since they can be ordered at shopLVA  at a very frugal discounted price.

Posted in Casino Promotions, Video Poker | 1 Comment

Using Math to Choose a VP Play – Part 2

Last week I gave examples of the basics – game EV + players club base points. However, that is rarely the end of the calculations for a wise player. Our financial success over the last 30+ years is largely due to the “extras” we add to that base.

Let’s talk about one of my favorite extras: multiple -point promotions. This is probably the easiest way to cut your losses and even gain an edge over the casino – and it is one of the most frequent promotions in Las Vegas and in other areas where there are multiple casinos competing for your business. Continue reading

Posted in Casino Promotions, Video Poker | 2 Comments

Using Math to Choose a VP Play – Part 1

I promised to give you examples and now I am going to do that. However, first I must emphasize that I am not saying math is the only factor you might want to consider when deciding when or where to play VP. Math is the main factor I consider, but you may have different goals that I do. You may put more emphasis on entertainment value, convenient locations, suitable scheduling – various other personal factors. I’m not here to judge your choices.

However, for everyone, knowing the math is the best place to START in looking for a new play or re-evaluating an old play that might have changed. Once you know the mathematical expected value (the EV) of a play or a group of possible plays, you will know how much money it will cost you to deviate from the mathematical “best” play.  Then you can make a knowledgeable decision if your reason for deviating is worth that much to you.

Let me give you a simple example. Let’s say you have the choice to play at two casinos: Casino A is two miles from your house and Casino B is 8 miles from your house. Let’s say the best game at Casino A is 8/5 Bonus (EV 99.1%); the best one at Casino B is NSUD (EV 99.7%). Continue reading

Posted in Slot Clubs, Video Poker | 8 Comments


First an explanation about the Gold Coast promotion I mentioned in the last blog entry:  Tuesday 6x points is only for those players that receive monthly mailers.  This is a case in point that I have discussed many times.  Boyd properties – and sometimes other multi-casino companies – do not always run the same promotions company-wide.  You need to check your individual mailer and/or casino-specific websites.


Discount show tickets

Good article about earning table game comps.



Earn 2017 tier points in 2016!

Get a jump start on maintaining your Tier Status for another year. For every 500 Tier Credits you earn between October 1 and December 31, we will give you a 100 Tier Credit bonus for 2017. Make sure to opt-in and that we have your email address to be eligible for this bonus.  Continue reading

Posted in Casino Promotions, Gambling Resources, Slot Clubs | 1 Comment


Actually today’s entry is really just a short detour from the subject I have been concentrating on for several weeks and plan to continue – that is, how to figure the value of players club points.  Before you can figure the worth of a promotion, you need to know the base numbers on which you add the promotion numbers.

In my last entry, I talked about using vpFREE2 to find the EV and location of a game and also the players club point percentage.  I also warned that casinos change so much that this is only the beginning for your research, that you always have to double-check info with eyes-on scouting. Some players did that and found that the Spin Poker I mentioned at Silver Sevens, with the 10/7 Double Bonus, was gone.  They also found out that machines that contained 8/5 Bonus Poker didn’t qualify for point multipliers.  Fortunately they reported this and vpFREE2 updated the database. I strongly encourage this reporting; the more players who submit new information, the more helpful that resource will be. 


BOYD PROPERTIES (The Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, and Sam’s Town, and sometimes their downtown properties.)

I constantly drum on the warning to always read the fine print – and this is always especially important when you are checking on Boyd properties since they often vary promotions from one casino to another.  Continue reading

Posted in Casino Promotions, Slot Clubs, Video Poker | 11 Comments