Casino players cards started hitting the market over 20 years ago. These are used as marketing tools to attract and retain players. Perks are given to players that use a loyalty card while in action.
Simultaneously, the casino is collecting data on the player. The information casinos gather from players cards include the type of games played, the theoretical house edge based on bet size and house edge, and length of sessions.
Some players do not use players cards. The reasons include wanting to stay anonymous and not playing enough to generate any advantage by using one. However, this may be a mistake.
New player offers
Many casinos offer new players card members perks just for signing up. This may include $5 or $10 in free play. Some casino players cards have tiers where patrons that earn a certain number of points in their first day of action receive bonuses. A few offers include loss rebates.
Slot and video poker points
Players that used a loyalty card receive immediate benefits. Points are earned while playing slots and video poker. Some casinos pay slot points on electronic and stadium table games. This may include video blackjack, craps, roulette, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em.
Slot points have multiple uses, depending on the casino. Players can usually exchange points for free slot play, cash, food, and anything else on the property. A PIN is required for most slot point transactions.
Casinos often have tiers that award a player more perks based on the level of play. This may include earning slot points faster, or giving more freebies away, like monthly or annual meals and hotel rooms. Higher casino loyalty card tiers allow for free parking in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Players that do not use a players card miss all these additional benefits.
Mailers with free offers
Casinos rate players based on their action in previous sessions. A theoretical value is given to the player. Offers are made from this play. These are usually mailed to players. Some casinos have member areas where players can log in to see available perks. These include free slot play, free table game play, hotel rooms, and food offers.
Getting a casino host
The casino does not know who you are if you don’t tell them. It is nearly impossible to get a casino host if the casino can’t see your play. Once you have a host, awards are given based on action that go beyond what is available in the casino players club. The host helps with getting VIP players into booked shows, hotels and restaurants.
Replacement of lost tickets and wins
Using a players card can help the casino locate you. That may not seem like a good thing. However, if you used a players card when buying a sports or horse racing ticket, and you lose it, then it can be reprinted because it is tied to your account.
In an usual twist, a player won $230,000 at Treasure Island and did not know it. Nevada gaming regulators were able to track the player down. However, had the patron used a players card, it would not have taken weeks to find him. And if the player hopped in a cab and paid cash, he may have never been found.
When to not use a players card
There are instances when you should not use a players card. If you plan on playing for a short time, it could mess up your average daily theoretical value. This could hurt your free play. Also, you should not visit a casino with the intent of getting the free play and quickly leaving unless you need the cash. This could keep you from getting future offers because of the drop in value of the average play.
Some players think that using a card can change the outcome of a slot or video poker game. This is inaccurate. The part of the machine that reads your players card and reports stats to the casino is completely separate from the one that determines what symbols or cards will appear. Using a players card does not affect this.