Using a Players Card at Electronic Table Games

Baccarat ETG Stadium at Encore in Las Vegas, NevadaBaccarat ETG Stadium at Encore in Las Vegas, Nevada

The number of Las Vegas electronic table game installations continues to grow. Every Las Vegas Strip casino has at least one. Every downtown casino except Four Queens has some. Most major locals casinos do, too. These devices deal games like baccarat, big wheel, blackjack, craps, and roulette. Three Card Poker and pai gow poker are also available.

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Some stadium machines have live dealers. However, most Las Vegas electronic table games are automated.

One common feature of these games is that players club slot points are restricted. Most Las Vegas electronic table games do not pay any slot points. Some pay substantially less than video poker. Only a handful pay the full amount, usually on games that offer poor returns like big wheel and roulette.

Slot club point restrictions are often posted on the machine where the card reader is. This may be a discouragement from using your players card. However, it is more complicated than that.

Players still get rated on most electronic table games

The slot card readers on electronic table games still serve a function even when no points are awarded. The player’s action gets rated by the system. This includes the coin-in, theoretical hold, and the type of bets made. This can benefit players.

The pit supervisor rates play at live table games. The same methods are used. The average bet size is observed. The types of bets made are also included. This means a player who makes side bets gets rated higher than one who only makes the standard ones. The length of play and the skill used, if applicable, all play a part in how the player gets rated at live table games. This is used to determine if players qualify for future offers like free hotel rooms, free play, and food comps

In most cases, electronic table games are more accurate and are no different. The card reader records all the same type of information without the need for human involvement. Some can grade a player’s skill. At the end of a session, the system determines the theoretical and actual wins and reports it to the players club. Mailers and other comps are based on this action.

Some regional markets and small casinos do not have point restrictions on electronic table games. These are great options at those casinos. The larger bet size and lower house edge can be perfect for building players club tiers. Point multiplier days are especially lucrative in these situations. 

I made Diamond Plus on Caesars Rewards for years by playing video blackjack at regional casinos. I stopped playing at all Caesars properties after those machines disappeared, though that was not the only reason. There are still options at casinos like this for that opportunity. Play at regional casinos can help trigger offers at destination ones within the same company.

Full pay video poker is different

There are hundreds of full-pay video poker machines in Las Vegas that return fewer points than standard games. Some do not award any slot points at all. Vegas Advantage recommends not using a players card in these machines. It may affect mailers. Some casinos with 100% games tend to “no-mail” players who frequent those machines, meaning the days of free slot play and point multipliers may be over. 

There is no reason to alert the casino that you are savvy enough to play these machines over ones with worse paytables. Once your players card gets removed from mailers, it is unlikely to ever return to good standing.