Online casino comps

The "comps" system
Games and house edges revisited
Intercasino UK
Dash casino
Virgin casino
Hundred Percent Gambling!

The "comps" system

All casinos, both on land and online, offer player reward systems of one kind or another. On land the format depends on whether you play table or machine games and is beyond the scope of this article. Online, you simply get a certain number of points for a certain amount wagered, and these points are then convertible into cash.

For example: Casino Average offers one point for every $10 wagered, and will give you $1 for every 100 points. So, in order to earn a dollar in comp cash, you need to wager $1000 in total. One dollar in a thousand works out at 0.1%. Now, just add this to the return of the game in question, and you have the overall return, with "comp points value" included. For example: a Jacks Or Better video poker game, at 99.54%, improves to 99.64% with 0.1% comps. 

For the VAST majority of players, these comp points really don't amount to much relative to the games they play; if you play slot machines with a player return of 95%, the fact that you get 0.1% in comps (or 0.5%, or even 1% or 2% for slot players) really doesn't matter a jot. However, for our purposes these comps represent a significant addition to the overall return, because the house edge on the games we're considering is already so low; for example: a 99.90% game jumps all the way to a 100% break-even game, with just that relatively tiny comp-value factored in.

Games and house edges revisited

Now let's look back briefly at the games and the numbers:

Cryptologic single deck blackjack: 99.83% (add the composition-dependent exceptions for 99.86%). Recommended casinos: InterCasino and InterCasino UK.

Microgaming single deck blackjack: 99.87% (99.90% including the composition-dependent exceptions). Recommended casinos: Dash and 32Red

Playtech "blackjack switch": 99.84%. Recommended casino: Totesport Casino

Wagerworks "Power blackjack": 99.77%. Recommended casino: Virgin.  

Betfair zero blackjack / roulette / baccarat / video poker: 100%. Recommended casino: Betfair

And now let's take a look at the reward systems and work out the final numbers - all information correct at the time of going to press. Remember, when we see the magic "100%" figure, we have the edge!

♠ InterCasino ♠

Update January 2016: comp points are no longer available for the Intercasino single deck blackjack game.

♠ InterCasino UK ♠

Update January 2016: comp points are no longer available for the Intercasino single deck blackjack game.

♠ Totesport ♠

Standard Playtech comps offer 1 comp point for every $10 wagered in blackjack switch - then $1 in "comp cash" for every 100 points. This equates to $1 for every 1000 wagered, or 0.1%.

Blackjack Switch 99.84% + 0.1% = 99.94% overall return. 

♠ Dash Casino ♠

Every 50 wagered earns you one point, and 1000 points earns you $10 in comps. This works out at a rather miserly 0.02% comp value, or 1 for every 5000 wagered. 

Single deck blackjack 99.87% + 0.02% comp value = 99.89% overall return. Factor in the Microgaming composition-dependent strategy variations and we arrive at 99.92%.

♠ Virgin ♠

The standard deal: one point for every 10 / 10 wagered, and 100 points earn you 1 /1. This equates to 1 per 1000 wagered, or 0.1%. 

Power blackjack 99.77% + 0.1% comp value = 99.87% overall return.

♠ Betfair ♠

No comps. However, with a 100% return, these are the best games of any. 

Hundred percent gambling!

You can see that EACH ONE of these games, utilizing perfect strategy combined with comps, returns from exactly 99.87%% to as high as 100.04%. Still: nobody's perfect. It's likely you WILL make mistakes along the way. The video poker games are not easy until you've got some good practice and experience under your belt - I still make mistakes myself, even when playing simple blackjack. It happens. Practise the blackjack games in "free" mode, and use a good video poker programme like Winpoker until you're proficient at the game. You'll get there. In time, and with a little sweat, you'll be playing in the knowledge that your game is actually giving you a small edge over the house.  

Speaking from experience, it's a good feeling!

Page top