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.
I had never gambled before and knew nothing about it, but I'd gotten too many e-mails like it. I was at my parents house for winter break during my first year at UT, and I was bored.
"Free $50 just for downloading our casino!"
Hmm. That doesn't seem very risky. I might as well download to see what it's all about.
It's an unfortunate fact of being a professional gambler that your weekends and evenings tend to be some of the busiest work periods. It's the Easter bank holiday weekend here, and most 9-5er's are enjoying the rare occurrence of a 4-day weekend. For anyone betting on sports markets for a living though, this weekend is no longer than any other. Add to the fact that this was the first year horse racing has been allowed on Good Friday, and it's been a pretty busy couple of days so far.
Most sporting events take place over the weekends, in the evenings or on major holidays. Take the christmas period for example. Whilst many people will be putting their feet up and enjoying the festive period of indulgence, this is a hot time for betting. Theres several high profile racing meetings, and a lot of Premier League football action. As it's a holiday, the bookmakers tend to take the opportunity to think up some festive promotions and try to squeeze some cash out of the punters pockets whilst they sit back and watch the action. This means rich pickings for advantage players, however it comes right at the time of year when family are around, and the opportunity cost of working is high.
It's another example of the glamour of professional gambling being all too misleading (which I wrote about here). Ask most people if they'd be happy to give up their entire Saturday morning and afternoons for work, and you'll get a fairly consistent 'no'. Add to that giving up most major holidays, and it's starting too look decidedly less glamourous.
The freedom to take holiday whenever you like is also a double edged sword. As anyone who is self-employed will tell you, the cost of taking holiday is two-fold: The expense of the holiday itself, plus the loss of earnings from not working throughout the duration of the holiday. This makes it harder to justify time away from the desk, and coupled with the nature of seasonal promotions, makes you holiday at times others are likely working. Great for cheap holidays, bad for spending time with family and friends.