CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

author's picture
 

Tipping Casino Hosts, Best Casinos Downtown Las Vegas

18 March 2004

Love your newsletter.

I would just like to know what an appropriate tip would be to give a Senior Casino Host that has been kind enough to comp me a few days stay and some concert tickets. I know that you had a newsletter recently outlining some tipping suggestions, but I accidentally deleted it off my computer.

Thank you,
June

Dear June,

Thanks for the kind words about the newsletter. All of my columns are archived at Casino City Times (robison.casinocitytimes.com), so you can always search for past columns there.

We didn't talk about tipping hosts in the previous article about tipping. Hosts usually are not allowed to accept cash. There is also usually a maximum to the value of a gift that a host can accept. You'll have to ask a host at the casino to find out what the tipping regulations are for hosts.

Now, it sounds like you don't have a long-term relationship with this host and it also sounds like the host didn't do anything extraordinary for you. You didn't mention that this was a concert that had been sold out for a long time or that your seats were right on the stage. I may get in trouble with the casino hosts who read this column, but I don't think a tip is necessary.

On the other hand, I may win the hosts back by saying that what I think you should do is write a letter to the host and say how much you enjoyed the concert and thank her for making the arrangements for the tickets. You can also mention that you're looking forward to your next visit to the casino and that your host's hospitality is one of the main reasons why you like this casino.

Casino employees have told me that these sorts of letters help them get promotions and raises--and those are "gifts" that keep on giving.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Hi, John,

I have no questions, only one sincere comment:

I've been around the casinos and gaming actively for forty years. I've relied on the Web for reference, research and advice since it became mature (early '90s).

You are almost unique and invaluable as a resource. Your info is honest and straight-on with no B.S. I devote only about 10% of my ($100K) annual gambling budget to slots. But I'm still constantly startled by the candor and brilliance of your letters.

Occasionally you deal with my forte (obviously blackjack) but that doesn't matter as much as the fact that all my experience and knowledge lead me to constantly sit up and take notice of your great value to players. Good for you!

Most sincerely,
Ed

P.S. From my pretty catholic and quite intensive experience, there's only one other person 'on your plane' in our universe, and that's Henry Tamburin. If I knew how to reach him I would forward a similar note to him. He does a little more with 'commercials' than you ... but you guys have to make the money required to support your superb efforts, and no one can begrudge you that -- if they have minimal brain cells functioning.

P.P.S. Since I'm in this realm of thinking, and in the (very rare) spirit of communicating, I'd also like to extend my kudos to Alene Paone and her husband. They're damn good, too.

Dear Ed,

Thank you very much for the compliments about my column.

I'm glad you also acknowledged Henry Tamburin, and Alene Paone and her husband, Frank Scoblete--I think this is the first time Alene has gotten top billing. I would also like to add John Grochowski, Don Catlin, Fred Renzey, and the other fine writers who contribute to the Frank Scoblete Network to the list. We all tell it like it is and try to help others have as much fun in the casinos as we do.

Henry Tamburin's e-mail address is htamburin@aol.com. I'm sure he'd appreciate knowing how much you appreciate his work.

Thanks again for your kind words. I really appreciate them.

John


John,

What's the best place downtown to play nickels? Or should I go bigger money?

Just lead to me to the right casino!

Martha

Dear Martha,

Without knowing what exactly you mean by best and what tradeoffs you're willing to make (for example, El Cortez may have incredibly high-paying slots, but some people don't feel comfortable playing there), I'll make two comments.

It's been a few years since I've been downtown, but I don't think much has changed.

The Golden Nugget used to be the hands-down winner for cleanliness and classy atmosphere. It remains to be seen if the new owners are maintaining the property to the same standards as when Mirage Resorts owned the property. The Nugget is not known for having the best paybacks and rules on the table games.

Most of the people I know who spend a lot of time downtown recommend Main Street Station. They tell me that the rooms are nice and relatively easy to get comped. They also tell me that the slot club, food, and machine selection are all good to very good.

As for whether you should move up to quarters, only your bankroll can answer that question. If you play mainly reel-spinning slots, it won't take much of an increase in bankroll to go from 15 cents per spin to 25 cents per spin--assuming you go from playing three coins per spin on the nickel machine to one coin per spin on the quarter machine.

If you like playing video slots, you will probably need to beef up your bankroll quite a bit to jump up in denomination. There's a big difference between playing nine nickels per spin and playing nine quarters per spin.

One last thing to consider is that most casinos have a better selection of reel-spinning slots in quarters than in nickels and the opposite is true for video slots--most casinos have a better selection of video slots in nickels than in quarters.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Good Evening, John, from Ohio,

I read your column and enjoy the information. My wife and I along with another couple just love going to Las Vegas.

My question is this: Is it better to get a handful of coins and random play machines or just sit and wait for one to hit. I usually have more luck if I just put a couple of quarters or dollars in a machine and move on if it does not hit.

Dewey

Dear Dewey,

The choice is up to you. Neither option is better than the other.

I always turn to the math behind the games first to see if one option is better than the other. There's no mathematical reason to leave a machine after any number of losing spins. The odds haven't changed. The machine is neither more nor less likely to hit after a series of losing spins.

The math doesn't help us choose, so I say you should use your emotions. If you want to try to bully a machine into paying, go for it. If you'd rather switch than fight, then do that. When the math doesn't favor an option, we can follow our emotions without damaging our bankrolls.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net.

John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots