Resources for Slot Players

I wrote in a recent blog about how even VP enthusiasts like Brad and me enjoy playing slots once in a while just for fun. And for many purely recreational players this is their primary game choice.  So since this blog is for gamblers who play many different casino games, I like to provide a variety of helpful resources.

I recently came across one for slot players that graphically explains how a slot machine works. Make sure you press the 360 degree button and move the graphic in and out with your mouse.  Maybe these pictures aren’t worth a thousand words but they are a great supplement to the long chapter in my new book, The Frugal Gambler Casino Guide, explaining all about playing slot machines.

Posted in Gambling Resources, Slots | 1 Comment

Bumped – or Dragged – From Airplanes

Several people have asked my opinion about the current United Airlines debacle. I guess, because down through the years I have written much about the possible financial benefits of being bumped from an airline flight, they feel I am an “expert” on all airline subjects.

Actually I really have no opinion on the current controversy and certainly have no advice for United. I’m sure they have a multitude of lawyers and PR people working on the problem. And this issue is with the airlines “involuntary bumping” procedures, that is, denying people a seat when they already have a firm pre-paid reservation. Brad and I are experts in the total opposite procedure which is volunteering to give up our reserved seats. In fact, when Brad and I first saw the dragging video on TV, we looked at each other and immediately had the same thought. Too bad he and I weren’t on that flight; we could have saved United possibly millions of dollars they may have to be shelling out because of this incident – and scored a nice financial bonus ourselves!

We don’t earn “airline comps” – what we have called volunteer bump money – as much as we used to when 33 years ago we started flying from our home in Indianapolis to visit casinos in Las Vegas and all over the US and overseas. For one thing, Continue reading

Posted in Non-gambling Activities, Transportation, Travel | 8 Comments

Free Fresh Air

Yes, there is more in Nevada than casinos – some would say many healthier places to spend your time. And during the next two weekends these places are FREE to enjoy.

In celebration of National Park Week, the National Park Service will offer free admission to national parks all over the US on the weekends of April 15-16 and 22-23. National parks in Nevada include Great Basin, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument. Not terribly far away there are choices in Utah, California, and Arizona. Click here to find a list of national parks near you.

Red Rock Canyon, near Las Vegas, is not exactly a “national park” but a National Conservation Area. However sometimes there is free admission there in conjunction with national park promotions. I haven’t been able to find out if that is the case for the above-mentioned dates. I’ll let you know if I find out this information closer to the time.

Posted in Health, Non-gambling Activities | 3 Comments

Multiple Points for Night Owls

“Moonlight Multipliers” all of April at the Palms, midnight-6 a.m., Monday-Thursday.  10x on slots and 6x on VP with no limit on the number of points you can earn.  Swipe at any kiosk to activate.  Not available on 100% payback machines.

Posted in Casino Promotions | Comments Off on Multiple Points for Night Owls


First an explanation about these blogs in which I discuss casino promotions. Obviously I talk about only a tiny percentage of casinos in Las Vegas. I often have more personal and detailed information about just the very few where we play, but I sometimes hear or read about interesting/helpful promotions in others where we never or rarely play so I include them as well.  One reader wrote about being disappointed that we don’t play downtown: It almost sounds to me like you are abandoning those out-of-towners like my wife, myself, and our daughters who prefer to stay in the Fremont and do our video poker playing downtown. Please don’t throw us in the briar patch.

Just because I don’t mention your favorite casino doesn’t mean I think it is not a good place to play. Each player has his/her own personal goals and where one chooses to play depends on so many different factors, including such things as location, level of play, kinds of benefits. The choice of casinos for locals – like us – are often much different than those for tourists. However, I report on promotions for both groups. I particularly like to mention those that might be suitable for out-of-towners but haven’t been widely promoted except locally.

Also another note, for those who have been hunting for Scot’s multiple-point list on the new LVA website. It has been moved. From the homepage, click on “Gambling with an Edge,” then “The Games,” and then “Players Club Bonus Points.” Continue reading

Posted in Casino Promotions, Slot Clubs | 2 Comments

This and That

People often ask when they might run into Brad and me in a casino. One of our usual casino visits is on Wednesday afternoons at the Gold Coast, where we are playing NSUDs until the virtual drum closes at 4:15 for the Young at Heart Drawing. After that is a good time to stop and say hello and/or have me autograph books when we are waiting around for the 4:30 drawing. I don’t carry any copies of my new book with me – too heavy! But you can always bring any of your own copies.   And Brad and I are always glad to chat with long-time and new frugal friends.

Another scheduled casino visit:  We will be at Harrah’s Tahoe April 30-May 1.


A recommendation for those who might be interested in knowing what goes on at the famous annual Blackjack Ball, here is a detailed article that Henry Tamburin wrote and published in the March issue of his “Blackjack Insider Newsletter.

Anyone can read the first seven pages of the report, which describes everything that went on at the recent Ball. What they can’t read without a subscription is the 21 Blackjack Ball test questions, which is at the end of the report. I recommend a subscription to this newsletter even if you don’t play much blackjack.  It contains articles on VP as well as fascinating stories by gambling experts and those who know the inner workings of the casinos. It is only $19.95 for 12 issues.

Posted in Blackjack, Public Appearances | Comments Off on This and That

For Anyone Who Ever Plays a Slot Machine

I know you never mention The Slots, but I am no good at poker machines. We read your column, anyway.

This was a recent comment on one of my blogs. First, I want to thank you for being a loyal reader even though I have seemed to neglect your favorite casino game. Actually I have mentioned slot machines occasionally down through the years, referring to the times I have joined family members in playing them during purely “entertainment times.” And I have talked about playing slots as research for writing about them.

However, you might see Brad and me at a slot machine now and then these days, not only for the two above reasons, but for a rather new one. Continue reading

Posted in Slots | 9 Comments

The Boyd “YAH” Drama

If you have been following the Boyd “Young at Heart” drama, you know that I have been trying to keep you up to date on the details as they have been frequently changed since “Black Wednesday.” That is what one person called March 1 when the YAH program drastically changed by disqualifying out-of-towners to fully participate.

You will need to frequently check on the separate rules for the Downtown properties and those in the outlying areas. Continue reading

Posted in Boyd Gaming, Casino Policy, Casino Promotions | 9 Comments


Sometimes casinos do take note of player complaints.

I’ve been a little hard on casinos lately, especially critical of some of the policies of local ones in Vegas. However, today I want to give out a note of praise to Boyd Gaming, who reversed the change they had put in place March 1 restricting their Young at Heart (YAH) promotion to locals only for their four non-downtown properties.  I guess the outcry, especially on the Internet forums and blogs, was loud and fierce enough to reach the powers that be!

Here are the latest updated rules for The Orleans, Gold Coast, Suncoast, and Sam’s Town that will make a lot of out-of-towners happy again.

I am not as familiar with the YAH program at the three downtown casinos because I don’t play at any of them, and I’m not sure if any of their rules have changed. You need to check this updated rule sheet for Main Street Station, California and Fremont.  Their programs are for locals only, but this may have always been the case.


Posted in Boyd Gaming, Casino Policy, Casino Promotions | 10 Comments



Although their loyalty card and some advertising and promotion mailings still sometimes use the name “Boarding Pass,” marketing seems to be favoring the term “My Rewards” in many instances. I wonder if they eventually want to permanently get rid of the railroad image? Too old-fashioned? I guess “My Rewards” sounds more modern – and perhaps more lucrative? The problem with sounding more valuable makes a lot of players feel betrayed and not very rewarded when benefits are being cut right and left!  :(

Major change in their Wednesday senior program, “My Generation.” Continue reading

Posted in Casino Policy, Casino Promotions | 41 Comments