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.
71 hours, 58 minutes into my 72 hour fast: I sat at the dinner table, my plate of food steaming in front of me. I didn't know how my stomach would take food, so I decided to start with small, easy to digest foods: Olives, raisins, grapes, assorted nuts, steamed broccoli and some salsa for dipping. I had some chicken prepared and ready to go on the grill, but I was going to give that another hour or so.
Sitting in my chair, I leaned over and inhaled deeply. When you don't eat for a long period of time, your sense of smell intensifies. I had gone to a grocery store earlier that day, and it was intoxicating. Walking into the store was like walking into a brick wall. I was inundated with smell, I just stopped and stood in the entrance, eyes closed, taking it all in. Charlie did the shopping, and I just ran from display to display, leaning over and inhaling deep.
I had two minutes left in my fast, and I spent it with my eyes closed, lost in smell. My phone hit midnight, and I began to eat. I was unsure how my stomach would accept food, so I wanted to take it slow. I ate my dinner nut by nut, raisin by raisin, olive by olive. It took me about an hour to finish my plate, but I enjoyed every bite of food to its fullest. I'd let the grapes sit in my mouth for up to a full minute, absorbing the taste, before biting just enough to let the juice leak out into my mouth. I'd finish cleaving the grape in half, and let the two halves wander around my mouth, saturating my taste buds with flavor. The broccoli dissolved in my mouth, and when ever something was dipped in the salsa my tongue was overwhelmed by the sensation. As I neared the end of my dinner, I grilled a chicken breast. I cleaned my plate of the first course just as the chicken finished, and I probably spent thirty minutes on the single filleted breast of chicken.
I learned a lot from my fast, but not all of it I can put into words. A good deal of it was just learning more about my body, becoming closer and more in tune with it.
The first and most obvious thing I learned was that I can go three days with only water without radically modifying my daily schedule. I led and participated in a parkour conditioning session, I juggled, I biked to and from campus several times, and I led a Taekwondo class. I got an average amount of sleep each night and only took one nap.