What is a casino slot host, and what do you need to know about them?
If you restrict your gambling to the table games, you don’t need to worry about the slot hosts because you won’t be dealing with them anyway. You’ll have a different kind of host.
But a slot host is an employee at the casino who specifically deals with players who primarily play gambling machines. They’re the employees who invite you to the casino, offer you special promotions, and welcome you to the casino.
Having a casino slot host on your side is a good thing if you spend any time on the machines at all.
Casino Slot Hosts Are One of the Best Things About Casinos
Savvy gamblers love casino slot hosts, as they should, and the reason why is simple.
Of course, you have to put on a little bit of an act sometimes to get the good stuff, but that just adds to the fun.
Slot hosts have parameters within which they work, and those parameters are set by the casino.
But those parameters are generally flexible compared to those of the other employees in the casino.
Knowing What Casinos Like and Dislike
To get the most out of your relationship with your casino slot host, it helps to know what casinos like and dislike. Some of this is obvious. For example, casinos prefer players who lose more money over players who lose less money.
The implications of that are easy to figure out, too. They like slot machine gamblers better than video poker players. Savvy gamblers aren’t the only ones who know that video poker has a much lower house edge than slot machines.
The casinos also prefer players who gamble for higher stakes. The more you’re betting per wager, on average, the more money the casino plans to make from you in the long run. The difference between someone playing dollar slots versus quarter slots is significant. And of course, casinos love players who are willing to bet $5 and up.
This doesn’t mean that you must gamble all day every day and lose a lot of money on the $5 slots to get free goodies from the casino slot host, though.
You just need to look like you fit the profile of a big gambler better than other gamblers.
How to Get More Stuff From the Slots Hosts
One way to get more stuff from the slots hosts is to just tell them about your adventures on some of the games even if you haven’t played them. They might or might not check your players club card to verify these tales. But as often as not, they won’t.
Of course, if you’re an advantage player who sticks exclusively with video poker, you’ll leave a trail that’s hard to miss on your players club card.
But you could still try telling your slots host a story about how you were playing a $5 slot machine game at another casino. You could even complain that the games at that casino are way too tight.
You can do this even if you’ve never played a $5 slot machine game in your life.
How does this fit into your value system as it relates to honesty and integrity?
That’s for you to decide. If you play regular poker, you probably already know that in some kinds of real money gambling, a bit of deception is good for your bankroll.
I never suggest actual cheating, but I think the casinos operate at such a huge margin and take such cruel advantage of some of the less savvy gamblers that they can afford it if you give them the impression that you’re a bigger slots gambler than you actually are.
After all, the comps they award you are bought at wholesale. That buffet coupon that amounts to a $20 value?
It only cost the casino about $7 in food costs.
What’s Your Story?
If you come to the casino and act and dress like a middle-aged man with a boring job and a wife waiting patiently at home, the casino slots host might categorize you as the type of conservative player who will only lose $300 in a single trip to the casino.
On the other hand, if you let on that you like to drink and party, and you’ve been divorced four or five times, the casino might assume that you’re more likely to be a “big player.”
I read a story in a Bob Dancer book where he suggests that a casino slot host is going to treat you really differently if you tell him, “My wife and I won big yesterday, and she wants to go home because we never quit winners.”
Such a story will often motivate a casino slots host to extend some goodies your way to get you to stay and keep gambling. The casino wants you to lose that money that you won yesterday.
Being Likable Has Its Perks Too
Anyone who spends much time in a casino should read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It’s still one of the best books you’ll ever read about how to get people to like you.
Here’s the truth about casino slot hosts:
They’re just people like you and me, and they try harder to do more for people they like.
If you’ve ever worked in customer service, you know how much leeway you probably have in terms of how well you take care of your customers.
Slot hosts are no different.
So, don’t hesitate to learn the slots hosts’ names, ask questions about their lives, and pay attention to the answers.
Some serious gamblers take this as seriously as salespeople who keep files on their leads. You might keep a notecard with salient details about your slots hosts. If your slots host is a Dallas Cowboys fan, and you’re from Texas, you might bring an appropriate small gift like a t-shirt to your host on your next trip.
You’ll probably get way more than the $20 or so that the t-shirt cost back in terms of an improved relationship with your host.
Also, you should avoid asking for free stuff immediately when you arrive at the casino. Give them some action first. No one likes someone who’s greedy and needy, least of all slots hosts.
How Does Your Players’ Card Factor Into All This?
It’s not enough to develop a relationship with the slots host, though. Modern casinos track your play via your players club card, and they do have parameters they must work within.
These parameters are based on your theoretical loss per day, though, rather than your actual losses. They don’t care if you win; they care whether you keep playing.
The casinos know that in the long run, if you place enough bets and put enough money into action, they’ll see the theoretical return on their games come back to them.
Keep in mind, too, that it’s not just about how much you lose on a single trip. It’s about how much their entire customer base loses over the course of a month.
By incentivizing their rewards based on the amount of gambling you do rather than on the amount you expect to lose, the casinos put their long-term mathematical advantage to work to guarantee big profits.
What Kinds of Free Stuff Can You Expect From a Casino Slots Host?
Everyone qualifies for free drinks when you’re gambling in Las Vegas. You don’t even need a host for that. If you tip generously, you won’t lack for a drink while you’re gambling.
The higher the stakes you’re playing for, the more likely you are to draw the attention of a casino slots host. And it’s not always just about denomination.
Let’s say you stick with the nickel games, but you’re betting five coins per line on a nine-payline game. This means you’re betting 45 nickels—$2.25 per spin. You can lose $100 to $150 per hour on games like this easily.
If you’re playing for quarters, you can also usually count on getting a free meal at the restaurant. You can often just earn that using your card and without getting a slots host involved.
When you start playing dollar slots and $5 slots, you’ll start getting attention from the slots host. Don’t think that just because you develop a relationship with the host that you can get more than you’ve earned via your players club card.
You can maximize your perks by being friendly with your slots host, but you’re limited by the amount of action that you’re bringing to the casino.
Casino slots hosts can make your trips to the casino more enjoyable. It’s not like the old days where you could get friendly with a host and get all kinds of free perks even though you don’t play much.
With players’ cards being ubiquitous now, you have to actually bring the casino some action.
But you can maximize your perks by being friendly with the host and putting on a little bit of an act.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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