Gambling is a £525 billion dollar industry – so understandably, competition is fierce among the online and land-based operators. Along with their branding, game selection and customer service, enticing bonuses is a key way of drawing customers in.
First of all, what is a comp? It’s basically short for ‘complimentary bonuses’ which are offered to regular players as a means of incentivisation and reward. The more players bet and wager in the casino, the more comps they’ll earn. Comps can take the form of:
· Fashion and entertainment vouchers
· Free meals at restaurants, stays in hotels and flights
· No deposit bonuses and free spins on slots
Gamblers from all over the world have never had it so good – with eyebrow-raising, jaw-dropping comps and bonuses to be had everywhere. However, getting hold of them can be quite tricky, it takes experience and knowledge of how to exploit the system. Nicholas Colon, a professional Advantage Player of casino games, has perfected the art and created a detailed post on how to get casino comps, but this article will go into even more depth and teach you a few new tricks.
Here we reveal the must-know information that’ll transform your casino experience for the better.
Online casino comps
Regardless of how much money you spend with an online casino, they’re not going to offer you a spending spree in their designer clothes store as they simply don’t have one. Instead online casinos usually offer comps in the form of free entry to tournaments – specifically poker ones. If you want to make the most of comps offered online, make sure you sign up with a reputable online operator, as these invariably offer the best online casino bonus.
Here are some other tips:
· Sign up to emails. When signing up to an online casino always tick the box that allows marketing emails to be sent to you. It’s a sure-fire way to receive special offers and comps incentives.
· Look out for special days. Most online casinos experience a decline in user sessions on particular days – so this is when they’re most likely to offer comps. It’s generally easier to find comps on Sundays.
· Watch out for promotion. Welcome bonuses, daily deals and double-your-money offers are regularly offered at all online operator, so keep an eye out for these.
Knowing your bonuses
You may think that bonuses are pretty straightforward – they’re just free spins or cash incentives that encourage you to spend your money with one provider, right? Not quite. Bonuses can be fairly complicated to the uninitiated – because there are so many different types of them.
As almost every online casino offers a bonus of some kind – that’s one of the reasons they’ve been able to do so well. However, there is a huge variation in how bonuses work. Before you sign up to a poor-value bonus, make sure you understand the main types of bonus to look out for.
All bonuses offered at online casinos boil down into two categories: traditional and non-traditional bonuses. Traditional bonuses – AKA cashable bonuses – can be withdrawn in full once the player has met the wagering requirement. On the other hand, non-traditional bonuses have additional terms and conditions attached to them and usually apply to one operator only. Below we’ve compiled a list of the most common bonuses you can expect to receive and a brief overview of how they work.
· Sticky – the most common bonus offered to players. Stickys are usually sent to existing customers to entice them to play a new game, but they can be offered to new customers as well. They’re quite simply free plays or complimentary cash amount to play with. However you’ll only reap the financial rewards if you win with your sticky bonus as you can’t just withdraw the ‘free’ amount.
· Match – this type of bonus is generally offered to new customers. An online casino will agree to match the monetary amount of your first deposit, usually up to a set amount of around £100.
· No-deposit – If you’re not loyal to one particular online casino you can take advantage of no-deposit bonuses with various suppliers. As the name suggests, it’s a no-strings attached bonus. Simply sign up to a provider and you can avail of a gratis amount of cash to bet with.
· Wager requirements – Quite simply, if you wager a certain amount on a certain game, you’ll get a free bet. Just today a notification popped up on my smartphone offering me £15 in free bets if I wagered £15 in a single bet on blackjack today.
· Play-through – these tend to come in the form of huge adverts promising you a free amount of cash if you sign-up to an online casino. In the terms and conditions through they’ll be a minimum wager requirement. A free bonus of £50 could require you to wager 20 times that amount before you can access it – so read the small print.
· Jackpot vouchers – these can be used to bet on casino games and the lottery, enabling you to win significantly more than you’re staking.
· FreePlay vouchers – available across a wide variety of casino and slot games. They do what they say on the tin – let you play for jackpots for free. The vouchers are usually delivered by email.
How do comps work?
The best casinos are keen to reward customers based on their playing time and money wagered. For example, a £10 wager can earn you 1.5 comp points, or a free bet based twice your initial stake.
The most common comps are lower buy-ins to poker games, free-spins, and free bets or – in certain circumstances – free spending sprees.
Comps are calculated with an estimation of how much players can theoretically win or lose in a game. This is based on a player’s total stake and house edge. How can casinos work that out? They give you a Player’s Card which you insert into slot machines. This tells the casino how much you’ve spent and how much comps you’re entitled to. If it’s a table game you’re playing, the pit boss will know how long you’ve been playing for.
Generally, the games that offer the most comps are the ones which require the least skill – such as roulette. Of course, if you get a system in place, you can minimise your losses, while still qualifying for comps from the casino. The key to earning comps is making sure everyone knows how long you’ve been gambling and how much you’re spending – and you’ll be recognised and rewarded as a result.
Land-based casino comps v online casino comps
Bricks-and-mortar casinos vary from their online counterparts when it comes to comps. Here’s how to make sure you’re getting the comps you’re entitled to:
At a land-based casino:
· Pick up a Player’s Card – insert it into the slots machine and it’ll tell the casino how long you’ve been playing · Let the pit boss know you’re there – especially when playing table games as there’s no other way to record your playing time
· Stretch out your bankroll – this will ensure you’re playing as long as possible, earning the most comps
· A variety of physical comps are offered – such as free hotel stays, alcohol, restaurant vouchers and holidays.
At an online casino:
· Find the best online casino and check out their comps and promotions
· Play your favourite games, taking note of the comps points offered
· Earn varying levels of comps based on how much you wager
The best time to find comps
Casinos are just like any other service provider in the world. When the going is good, they won’t be slashing their prices and offering massive discounts or bonuses. When the market is quiet is when you’re most likely to see the best bonuses.
January for example is one of the best times to find a brilliant comp or bonus. The majority of people are counting their cash carefully after month of extravagant spending in December, therefore casinos will offer you big discounts to join their site.
The run up to a major event is also a great time to bag yourself a good bonus. Take horse racing for example – in the run-up to the recent Cheltenham Festival you could barely avoid adverts for online gambling companies.
They were all fighting it out to appeal to casual horse-racing customers who would have a bet on a big event race. It will be the same in the run-up to the Grand National. So if there’s a big poker tournament on the horizon, start comparing the huge amount of offers available to you in the days and weeks leading up to it.
· Make sure you read the terms and conditions before signing up for a comp or bonus so that you’re not left disappointed.
· Mark special events and quiet periods in your calendar as the best times to take advantage of bonuses.
· Don’t be afraid to be disloyal. If your current online casino of choice isn’t offering you great bonuses or comps, look around and find a better one that will.