Anyone that has played in a live casino is probably familiar with a player’s card. Sometimes also referred to as a loyalty program, player’s cards have been used by live casinos for many years. They have even started to appear in a virtual version for online casinos that are legal in the United States. The truth is that casinos want you to use a player’s card. The reasons for this are not always in your favor.
What is a Casino Player’s Card?
A player’s card in a casino is a just a piece of plastic. In looks a lot like a credit card. Whenever you play a slot game the card is inserted into the slot machine so that players can earn rewards points. The card can also be presented to a table games casino dealer so that you can get credit for your play.
To get a player’s card, simply visit the rewards center that you will find on the casino’s main floor. Most live casinos will make it easy for you to find the desk to sign up. You only need to provide a valid ID and agree to certain terms and conditions. A host or hostess will print your plastic card in a matter of minutes, and you can begin using it immediately.
How the Player’s Card Replaced the Junket
The origins of the player’s card can be traced to an older marketing program that was referred to as the junket. In the 1970s junkets were a popular way of enticing frequent players to return to Las Vegas to gamble. It was a simple program that worked very well for many years.
Basically, the casino would offer to pay for your flight to Las Vegas, a hotel room, and provide free or discounted meals. In exchange, you agreed to spend a certain amount of dollars wagering at the casino. If you failed to meet your wagering requirements, the casino could charge you for the entire trip.
As the 1980s dawned, a new model for Las Vegas casino operation was beginning to emerge. This model sought to eliminate the junket and reward players for their loyalty. Instead of offering the freebies up front, the casino created the player’s card to allow players an opportunity to earn their rewards.
This system also came with an added benefit for the casino. It made it possible for casinos to track the activity of players to a greater degree. Smart players, whales, minnows, and every other player type could be spotted in a moment by looking at the data on a casino player’s card.
Sophisticated Player Tracking or Innocent Marketing?
A casino will tell you that player’s cards are just a marketing strategy. They will tell you that casinos have been using marketing methods for many years to entice players. Both are true statements. What they won’t tell you is that casinos want you to use a player’s card. The main reason is that you will be providing the casino with a complete snapshot of your gambling activity.
Player tracking has never been easier for a casino than it is today thanks to those little pieces of plastic. They can be used to piece together a complete picture of every moment a player spends in the casino. They are used when playing games, when redeeming comps, when checking into the casino’s hotel, and even when valet parking. Best of all, they tell the casino how much a player is winning and losing.
Casinos can also use player card data to determine which casino games are preferred such as if you enjoy blackjack, Craps or a game such as pickem poker. They can tell the casino if a player is skilled at blackjack or baccarat. Information is power, and these cards give a live casino access to a wealth of information.
The Pros of Using a Player’s Card
There are a few advantages of using a player’s card when you are playing in a live casino. These include:
- Earning points for comps
- Getting discounts on casino shops and services
- Free valet parking
- Entries into special tournaments and drawings
- Invitations to special events for card members
The Cons of Using a Player’s Card
Each player should also weight the disadvantages of using a player’s card. These include:
- Tracking of all your casino activities
- Profiling by casino staff
- Identification of advantage players and card counters
- Possible tax liability
What About Player’s Cards and Blackjack Card Counting?
One of the things we are often asked is how casino player’s cards can affect the blackjack card counter. We strongly advise against using a player card if you are playing live blackjack in a casino. You will be giving the casino too much information that can be used to identify your methods.
The casino can use a player’s card to track how much you use to buy in and how much you cash out. It can see when you have changed blackjack tables, and it can also track the time you spent playing. Most platforms allow the pit bosses to use a computer to add notes about your play. They may remark that you often adjust the size of your bets.
The other thing that you should know is that casinos reward slots players at a much higher rate than table games players. The free meal or hotel stay that you may receive from playing blackjack is not worth risking being banned as a card counter.
Are Player’s Cards Used in Online Casinos?
At an online casino there is not an actual player’s card that can be used. Online casinos don’t have need for such a platform because it is much easier for them to track online activities. But there are some online casinos which have loyalty programs. You can still earn points and use them for free spins, drawings, or even free cash. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of the casino’s VIP program.
Casinos want you to use a player’s card for a very simple reason. It allows them to keep an eye on you and your gambling preferences. It also tells them if you are a winner or a loser. Keep these things in mind before you sign up for an account. If you do not already have an account at an online casino, I can recommend you read the Casino Max review, Miami Club review , High Country casino review, Cherry Jackpot casino review, or Roaring 21 review to name a few. All have nice casino bonus offers at this time.