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Casino credit and money management6 September 2014
To establish a line of credit with a casino, you must complete a credit application. What the casino wants to know is the particulars of your bank account. A casino representative will contact your bank to obtain your average six-month balance in your account and with this information, set your credit limit (note that casinos are usually liberal when establishing credit limits).
Once your credit has been approved, you’ll be given a VIP card that you can use at the tables to get chips (your bankroll). You’ll also have to sign a marker, which is a check that is written on your bank account. When you are done playing, you are expected to give the chips that the casino gave you back to them before you head home. When you do so, they will destroy the marker. If you don’t have enough chips because you’ve lost, you have a specific time period (usually 30 days) to send a check to cover the marker, or you could pay them by check before you leave the casino.
In the worst case, if you leave without paying off your marker, the casino collection agency will send you friendly reminders to pay up. If you don’t, the casino will simply cash the marker you signed when you got your chips (remember the marker is nothing more than a check that you signed, made out to the casino, with your bank account on it).
Each casino handles casino credit a little bit differently, so it’s best to contact the VIP department of the casino and get all details directly from them.
The disadvantage of casino credit is that if you use it in casino A you are limited to playing in casino A. Moreover, if you lose a lot you can often have the casino extend you more credit, which means you could lose more than you intended to. And of course, there is always the temptation to use your casino credit when you shouldn’t (like when you are really short on cash). Finally don’t ever think of stiffing a casino. In Nevada, for example, the courts have upheld that markers are checks and if you don’t pay up you could be subject to civil and criminal prosecution.
Managing Your Money
Once you’ve got your gambling bankroll in place and start using it, now you better know how to manage it. Let me state clearly up front that no money management system alone is going to eliminate the long-term house edge against you. What it will do is help you make your bankroll last longer so you can play longer, and that is what most casino players want.
Here are some tips to manage your money.
1. On an extended gambling trip, set aside a portion of your bankroll to use each day. If you lose the amount you earmarked for day 1, then you must stop gambling on day 1. (Do some nongambling activities.)
2. Establish session (or timed) stop loss limits. If you’ve set aside $300 to use for gambling on day 1 and you plan on two sessions, only bring $150 to your first session. If you lose the $150 then you quit playing. However, you’ve still got another $150 that you budgeted for session #2.
3. Don’t overbet. Playing dollar slot machines with a hundred-dollar bankroll just isn’t going to work. If you really want your money to last, play at a lower denomination.
4. Don’t “chase your losses,” meaning betting more in the hopes of winning it all back quickly. This is a common mistake made by most gamblers.
5. Don’t lose back the money that you’ve won in a session. Easy to say, but sometimes hard to do. Here’s a plan that can help. Set a win goal equal to some percent of your session stake. Let’s suppose your session bankroll is $100 and you would be happy if you could walk away with a $50 profit. If luck is going your way and you exceed the $50 win goal, go ahead and keep playing but increase your win goal to $100. As long as you keep winning keep incrementally increasing your win goal. Now here’s the discipline – when the tide turns and your winnings drop below the previous win goal you should leave the table with profits intact (i.e., take the money and run).
6. Get in the habit of setting aside the money you win from a gambling session to bring home. If you lack the discipline to do this, then place those winnings in an envelope in the hotel safety-deposit box, where it stays untouched until you leave for home. If you need more push, convert the winnings to traveler's cChecks and immediately mail them home. The point is, don’t put into play any hard-earned money that you’ve managed to win (don’t think of it as playing with the “casino’s money” – once you’ve won it, it’s your money).
Getting Your Bankroll Converted Back to Cash
At the end of your gambling trip, if you’ve played smartly and managed your bankroll wisely, you’ll have a bankroll that needs converting into cash.
1. If you’ve won a lot of chips at a table game, be sure to color up before you leave. This means the dealer will convert your smaller-denomination chips into larger chips, so there will be fewer of them to bring to the cashier.
2. Many slot and video poker machines will dispense a ticket when you cash out. Take care not to lose the ticket and be forewarned that they expire. So it’s best at the end of your trip to take that ticket to the cashier and get cash rather than bring the ticket home where it could get lost.
3. If you’ve won a lot of money at the tables then you should ask the casino to issue you a check for your winnings. It’s a lot easier and safer leaving for home with a check in your pocket than a wad of cash (note that the casino cashier will confirm with the pit supervisor that you indeed won those chips at the tables).
4. Likewise, if you hit a big slot-machine jackpot, make sure you tell the casino employee that shows up at your machine that you want to be paid by check (or you could ask for some of the jackpot in cash and the rest paid by check).
5. If you insist on converting your chips or machine winnings into cash and you have a lot of it, to be safe, ask casino security to escort you to your car.
6. If need be, you can always go to a local bank and convert your cash to traveler's checks, which is a much safer way to get your money home.
If you want more details on how to manage your money in a casino, check out the books "More Frugal Gambling" (Jean Scott) and "Comp City" (Max Rubin).
It’s your hard-earned money that you gamble with in a casino; therefore, doesn’t it make sense to use it wisely?
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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