Tynan wrote a post about a year ago regarding taking advantage of a casino loss-redemption promotions in Las Vegas. Read that post for full details.
I just left Vegas and unfortunately it looks like many of the promotions now refund your loss over a period of time (1/2/3 days at 50%/25%25%) or, at the Palms, over a longer period of time (I believe 1 day/14 days/90 days).
If you've been successful in exploiting this promotion please share your strategy and results.
Tynan, I know you recently had success with the Palms $1k promotion both at the tables and slots (a total of $2k in "insured" high-stakes betting). I'd love to hear how you played this through (or would have if you had lost the initial bet).
Those tiered loss programs are still great, even if you don't go back to Vegas. I would play them all even if I only got the first tier.
The first phase is playing with your own money, where you get rebated if you lose. In this situation, you want to play the game with the best odds, and then maximize your chance of losing. Sounds weird, but makes sense if you think about it-- you get $1000 only if you lose, so a 50% chance of loss makes the deal worth roughly $500, a 70% chance of loss makes it worth $700, etc.
At the same time, increasing your chance of loss also increases your variance. So if you have some friends visiting Vegas with you, agree to all play the same strategy and split the winnings/losses.
For the first round on tables, play roulette. The odds are okay and you can control your chances of loss fairly precisely. When I did it, I bet on thirds (first 12, second 12, third 12). If you have a friend there, have him play at the exact same time and bet on a different third. Looks sort of fishy, but we got away with it. They might say something if you cover all the thirds, but maybe not.
For the first round on slots, play the biggest video poker you can find. Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, or Bonus Poker are good choices (in that order). In an ideal world you'd want to find a machine that would let you play $200 "coins" so that you could just play one hand and be done with it., but that doesn't exist. Probably you'll get a $25 machine, or, if you're lucky, a $100 machine. Multiplay machines can also allow you to bet large amounts. Pick a multiplier up front and stick to it-- i.e. don't quit until you triple your money. The higher a multiplier you chose the better your EV is. I always do 3x.
When you get your refund, you must play it through. On the table side they give you $25 promo chips, and on the slot side they give you credit.
For tables, play roulette and bet only on individual numbers. You get the winnings from the chips, but not the actual chips. That means that on a 50/50 coin toss game (like betting on a color in roulette), you're only getting about 50% of the value of the chips back. When you bet on numbers, you'll get back over 95% of the value, on average. Bet as many numbers as possible in one spin to maximize your chance of actually hitting one (same EV, less variance).
For slots, play a 100 play video poker machine with relatively small coins. Cash out periodically, as it will always let you cash out what you've played through.
My flight is at 7:25. At 6:30, instead of being at the airport, I'm mashing on the buttons of a video poker machine at The Tropicana, playing $125 hands of video poker. I haven't become a compulsive gambler-- I just found out about a casino loophole worth hundreds of dollars, and I'm trying to cash in before heading back to San Francisco.
The loophole is a promotion that several casinos have implemented to draw in new business. The terms are so favorable to the player that, with correct strategy, it is virtually impossible to lose any significant amount of money, but very easy to win hundreds.
Here's how it works at Cosmo, a new casino on the strip with very straightforward promotion rules: if you lose $100 playing machines, they will refund your $100, which must then be played through once. Most people will play this promotion suboptimally, making the promotion worth only around $20. Many more will succumb to compulsive gambling and lose the $100 refund as well.
Derek Sivers is holding a one-time class to teach you the "magic touch" in business, with examples, war stories, and lessons you can apply right now to do better by your customers and profit as a result of it -- and all the proceeds will go to charity.
The class will be on February 19th at 5PM California time (8PM East Coast). You can find out more at GiveGetWin by clicking here.
The Mentality Behind the Magic Touch; Derek Sivers interviewed by Chiara Cokieng
Derek Sivers sold CDBaby for $22 million dollars in 2008. In this interview, he explains what he's been doing now, how he's engaged with his new projects, and -- most excitingly for business owners and entrepreneurs -- the mentality behind the "magic touch" he had that made CDBaby so loved by its customers, and a huge part of how it grew so quickly. Here's Derek --
In 2008, when I sold CDBaby, I was about to start a new company immediately. Literally the day after I sold CDBaby, I was ready to start my next company. I incorporated it, I started programming, got a few months into building it, and then realized that if I were to do that, I wouldn’t be making any real change in my life.