Some people have asked whether we play differently if we are using Free Play rather than cash out of our pocket since it is the “casino’s money.” Do we ever “take a shot” at a machine we wouldn’t normally play because it is “free” play.
First of all, we don’t consider Free Play the “casino’s money.” Once it is in our mailbox or loaded on our account, it is our money and we don’t look on it as something we can waste. During the required first play-through, the casino does have some control over that money and we are bound by some of their restrictions, i.e., what games on which it can be used. We have enjoyed some different and fun experiences when it can be used only on slot machines and not video poker.
Once you finish playing it through once, however, you do not have to let the casino decide what to do then. Don’t fool yourself; it is now your money and it becomes a part of your bankroll.
We make it a habit to play Free Play through more than once ONLY if the rest of our play after the first run-through is a “good” play. In some cases, we are going to play more anyway because we need the points to reach some weekly, monthly, or quarterly goal. And there can be another reason we don’t cash out immediately: some casinos will “punish” players who pick up Free Play with no additional play. So in that case we will do at least a little extra play to keep the casino offers – including future Free Play – coming. But in many cases, after the first run-through, the play would have a low EV, below our standards of a “good” one, so we would cash out and “run.”
It takes a lot of self-discipline to make the right play choices, no matter where the money you are playing came from. But if you use your Free Play wisely, just as you do any part of your bankroll, you will have better long-term results.