What is "casino play" worth?

Old Dec 18, 15, 8:21 pm
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What is "casino play" worth?

I keep getting offers to do free blackjack and poker tournaments at Bally's after I attended for a conference.

I'd be on the hook for airfare and resort fees, but if I won I could get into the high 5 / low digit range in "casino play", and it could be a fun way to spend a weekend.

So how does that work? Can I take my casino play, ask for it in chips, play one hand at $5 blackjack?

Basically, how do I value Total Rewards casino play? (Sort of like how you can assign a value to an airline mile)
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Old Dec 20, 15, 3:15 pm
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What do you mean "casino play"?

If you're talking about a promo you received that gives you freeplay there are promo chips (table games) and slot dollars (slots). The players that tend to earn the larger offer for promo chips and slot dollars are usually the bigger players. Not a good idea to play for freeplay unless you're playing at a rate that you usually play at.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 8:36 pm
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Originally Posted by greggarious View Post
I keep getting offers to do free blackjack and poker tournaments at Bally's after I attended for a conference.

I'd be on the hook for airfare and resort fees, but if I won I could get into the high 5 / low digit range in "casino play", and it could be a fun way to spend a weekend.

So how does that work? Can I take my casino play, ask for it in chips, play one hand at $5 blackjack?

Basically, how do I value Total Rewards casino play? (Sort of like how you can assign a value to an airline mile)
Those tournaments used to give cash awards if you won. They now give "casino play" which are either free slot play or free promo chips. We normally get $500 or so in free casino play for most of our trips. We take the slot play. We get 10 $50 "reel rewards" tickets that you put into a machine just like cash. The only caveat is that you have to play all $50. You can't just put the ticket in and hit "cash out". A couple weeks ago we took the $500 in free play and played some $5 slots and several $1 slots. Ended up cashing out $750 in real cash! We won $2,000 of casino play in a drawing a couple years ago about a half hour before we had to run to the airport to fly home. Went straight to the $5 slot room and started slamming away on the machines. We walked away with about $1,500! The chips are the same way. You bet with the promo chip and win real chips.
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Old Dec 21, 15, 6:29 am
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Originally Posted by Jimgotkp View Post
What do you mean "casino play"?

If you're talking about a promo you received that gives you freeplay there are promo chips (table games) and slot dollars (slots). The players that tend to earn the larger offer for promo chips and slot dollars are usually the bigger players. Not a good idea to play for freeplay unless you're playing at a rate that you usually play at.
Yeah, it's a poker tournament where you'd win 150k in "casino play".

Originally Posted by FFMilesJunkie View Post
Those tournaments used to give cash awards if you won. They now give "casino play" which are either free slot play or free promo chips. We normally get $500 or so in free casino play for most of our trips. We take the slot play. We get 10 $50 "reel rewards" tickets that you put into a machine just like cash. The only caveat is that you have to play all $50. You can't just put the ticket in and hit "cash out". A couple weeks ago we took the $500 in free play and played some $5 slots and several $1 slots. Ended up cashing out $750 in real cash! We won $2,000 of casino play in a drawing a couple years ago about a half hour before we had to run to the airport to fly home. Went straight to the $5 slot room and started slamming away on the machines. We walked away with about $1,500! The chips are the same way. You bet with the promo chip and win real chips.
So if I want to cash out my casino play I'd have to gamble it all? :/
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Old Dec 21, 15, 9:53 am
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Yes, you need to gamble it all. If you have any luck at all, you should be able to get around half of it back. If you get on a lucky streak then you should get all of it or more back. If they gave it to you all at once in cash, they would give you a 1040-G or 1099 for the full amount, but since you are getting casino play, you will only receive a 1040/1099 if you win over $1,200 at any one time (on the slots).
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Old Dec 22, 15, 2:09 pm
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I mean, many games have close to 100% payouts. (IIRC blackjack is ~99% return)
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Old Dec 22, 15, 7:25 pm
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In TOTAL REWARDS when you use (free play) = (casino play) in LAS VEGAS, you still earn TIER CREDITS (needed for status: GOLD, PLATINUM, DIAMOND, 7*), in Atlantic City i.e., only "real" cash earns TCs.
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Old Dec 23, 15, 9:19 pm
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OP should verify whether or not the "casino play" is of the 'keep until you lose' variety. Typically, winnings from tournaments given in chips are of that type, but some promos are single play only (i.e., bet on BJ, casino takes your original bet whether you win, push, or lose).

Originally Posted by FFMilesJunkie View Post
Those tournaments used to give cash awards if you won.
Ya, the good ol' days of Vegas. Now it's a joke. I remember one recent Bellagio 'million dollar BJ tournament' was actually something like 100k in promo chips plus four 50k sports bets and a 200k Super Bowl bet, of which all five had to be won to get the last 500k.
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Old Dec 24, 15, 7:33 pm
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What is "casino play" worth?

The poker tournaments are usually $150k in total prizes, I'm sure that's what it is. Not $150k to the winner. I won $2,000 at one at Paris earlier this year. Was one round away from the final table. The winner got $25k, I think. The freeplay I took was paper printout vouchers that I inserted into a video poker machine. Ran them through and cashed out $1,700-and had very little luck.
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Old Dec 28, 15, 12:34 pm
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One thing to note is that freeplay will not generate a W-2G. Of course, you are obligated to report your net cash winnings after you run the freeplay through a machine, and if you happen to hit a jackpot on the machine that pays $1,200+ you will get a W-2G from that.

The requirement is that you need to run the promo money (freeplay or promo chips) through one time. So you are only obligated to subject the money to the house edge one time. You may need to manually track your play (for machines) to know when you have played it all through. And as noted, make sure that any chips are of the "keep until you lose" variety, or you are effectively getting only 50% return (actually 50% - the house edge). If you can get the right type of chips, then Baccarat or craps is a good choice for using the chips. Blackjack is an even better choice, but only if you are willing to invest a few hours to learn basic strategy, or to print out a table from the interwebs.
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Old Mar 8, 16, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Soccerdad1995 View Post
One thing to note is that freeplay will not generate a W-2G. Of course, you are obligated to report your net cash winnings after you run the freeplay through a machine, and if you happen to hit a jackpot on the machine that pays $1,200+ you will get a W-2G from that.

The requirement is that you need to run the promo money (freeplay or promo chips) through one time. So you are only obligated to subject the money to the house edge one time. You may need to manually track your play (for machines) to know when you have played it all through. And as noted, make sure that any chips are of the "keep until you lose" variety, or you are effectively getting only 50% return (actually 50% - the house edge). If you can get the right type of chips, then Baccarat or craps is a good choice for using the chips. Blackjack is an even better choice, but only if you are willing to invest a few hours to learn basic strategy, or to print out a table from the interwebs.
Aha! Makes sense, thanks for helping me understand. Yes, I agree blackjack would be best. (Unless there's some way to use that free play on more poker, in a non-tournament setting)

Though there's always the comedy option of putting it all on black
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Old Mar 13, 16, 11:54 pm
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Originally Posted by greggarious View Post
Aha! Makes sense, thanks for helping me understand. Yes, I agree blackjack would be best. (Unless there's some way to use that free play on more poker, in a non-tournament setting)

Though there's always the comedy option of putting it all on black



Depending on your priorities/tolerances for things like trading EV for reduced variance and/or value of time, you could also try doing something like video roulette or video craps and place offsetting bets in amounts where the payout would be under the W2G limit.
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