Casino comps explained

You know how people say: “it’s the little things that make the biggest difference”? Well that’s what comps are: little things that make a big difference. Just how big is all down to how much comp you’re getting though.

Comps are what the online casino and land-based casino world hands out to entice gamblers into their establishments and reward them for playing. While this may seem to make comps just another bonus offer, they can actually be used to get some pretty sweet deals from the casinos.

The crew are about to break down exactly what comps are, how to use them to your benefit, and show you some of the most ridiculous comps out there.

What are comps?

Comps are complimentary (hence the word ‘comps’) items and services that casinos give out to players. Some comps can be small, a token that the casino sees you and wants you to keep playing. Other comps can be huge.

The size or quality or quantity of your comps depends completely on how much money you are spending or are able to spend at a casino. The more you spend, the higher your level, the better your comps.

casino comps

How do comps work?

Comps are given to regular and/or high roller players to keep them coming back to the casino. But even first-time visitors can get in on the comp action. If you are visiting a land-based casino, sit at the slot machines or at a table and ask a waitress for a free drink. The casino is usually more than happy to bring you a complimentary beverage or two to show their appreciation for you playing there. Beware though, drunk players tend to make stupid mistakes and lose lots of money so take that free drink but don’t take too many.

Every casino (even online casinos) has a casino host who will manage the handing out of comps and the value of the comps being issued. They also tend to keep an eye out for big spenders, the high rollers and the whales, to offer them some fancy incentives and keep them coming back.

An even easier way of earning great comps is to sign up for the casino’s loyalty programme or get a player’s club card. This programme or card monitors how often you play and rewards you for your time.

Are comps only offered by land-based casinos?

No, online casinos also offer comps to players although these are (mostly) free spins or cash or access to VIP tournaments due to the online casino being a very digital world.

There have been cases, however, where online casinos have really gone all out to bring in a high roller by getting them special seats for sports or entertainment events. Some of the bigger online sports book websites offer impressive comps like ringside seat tickets or invites to very prestigious events or concerts as part of their upper tier loyalty packages. 

What casino comp levels are there?

Comp levels range from low to high.

A low-level comp would be giving a player a free drink at the casino. Most casinos offer this to anyone who is gambling.

The next level of comp normally includes things like free parking, player lounge access and meals.

This is followed by comps that are referred to as RFB (or room, food and beverage). This level of comp includes more expensive drinks, better meal options at fancier restaurants, a room in a hotel (which can also vary from a basic room to a suite) and access to VIP lounges.

High-level comps – well, now the world is your mollusc and it comes with a guaranteed pearl! The real high rollers can get pretty much anything they want. Ringside seats to sporting events, prime tickets to entertainment events like concerts or theatre productions, penthouse suites with accompanying butler in the ritziest hotels, top-shelf liquor (like the kind that costs thousands), VIP limo services, or even private jets to get you to and from the casino.

But remember, these high-level comps come with an understanding that the player will put big cash down at the casino, often to the tune of millions.

Casino comps

Is there a way to maximise comps?

There is. There is even a term for those players who use the comp system to really squeeze the maximum value out of a casino while risking losing the minimum amount of money – comp hustlers.

But you don’t need to be a comp hustler to take full advantage of comps.

The first step is to get yourself a player’s club card or sign up for the casino’s loyalty programme.

Next is to play regularly – keep in mind, unless you’re a whale (a truly big high roller) the casino just wants you to keep coming back and play consistently.

Whales are a different story – for them, the casino wants them to put down big cash and to show other players that they’re playing with big cash!

To give yourself the best chances of earning good comp points while not losing big loot, play games that have a low house edge and that take time to play. A good example is blackjack. You can spend ages at a blackjack table, losing some, winning some, having fun and earning comps. Compare that to a slot machine where you can lose your whole bankroll really quickly.

Finally, use your loyalty/club card everywhere – especially at resort casinos. Every time you buy a coffee or a meal or when you check into the hotel, any time you spend a cent really make sure you show your card. You’d be surprised at how many of the affiliate stores and amenities are linked to the casino programme and can earn you comps.

So, what about these ridiculous comp stories?

Some of the truly huge whale have made some truly ridiculous demands of casinos – and got them.

Don Johnson

Don Johnson (the scammer, gambler and business executive, not the 80s actor) once demanded that two separate casinos give him very favourable rules at the blackjack table before he would play. On his part, he guaranteed he would bet a maximum of $100,000 per hand.

His terms included:

  • A hand-shuffled shoe with six decks
  • Doubling down on any total
  • 20% rebate on losses of $500,000 or more
  • Free bet of the dealer makes a mistake

Don Johnson apparently took these casinos for $15,000,000 in profit!

Larry Flynt

The King of Porn once got the richest man in the world tossed out of a penthouse suite.

Steven Cyr, the so-called Las Vegas Super Host, once had Bill Gates bumped out of the Westgate penthouse because Larry Flynt was a bigger spender at the casino.

Lots of special deals

Kerry Packer, the Australian tycoon and famous gambler, would get special deals like private high stakes tables at the biggest casinos. Just one perk when you reputedly lose upwards of $30,000,000 in a weekend or win the same in an evening.

Whales like Larry Flynt also get favourable treatment on their losses. According to Steven Cyr, if Larry Flynt loses a million dollars and pays his debt to the casino within 30 days, he gets a 12% – 15% discount. That’s $120,000 to $150,000 ‘discount’. Add in things like flights to the casino and a ‘sweetener’ of $50,000 in chips for every 4 hours he plays and he actually comes out doing alright at the end of the night.

A comp

While we can’t offer you private jets and caviar on solid gold plates, we can tell you that online casinos also offer some pretty sweet comps – especially our favourite online casinos. Try them out and see how the comp system can help your playing.

Always remember, play responsibly and walk away if you need to. There’s always tomorrow, or the next day, or the next week – and the comps will still be waiting for you.


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