Gambling FAQ

1. What does it mean to “get rated”?

To get rated means you are letting the casino track the amount of gambling you do while you are in the casino.

2. Why should I get rated?

Two words, “FREE STUFF”. Casinos give away freebies or comps to their customers. When you get rated you are letting the casino track your rate of play. That helps the casinos figure your potential worth to them and therefore they will know what to offer you in comps or incentives.

3. How do I get rated?

It’s very easy. First of all, make sure you get a players card when you arrive at the casino. If you travel on one of our group trips we will have them in you welcome/key packet. If you are traveling individually stop by a players club in the casino and have a card made. Some casinos will make you a card at check-in, so be sure to ask. If you are a table games player, place your card on the table when you sit down to begin play. The pit personnel behind the dealers will take the card and begin the rating process. Slot players should put the card into the slot machines card reader located on each machine. It’s important to make sure the card was inserted properly and the machine has accepted the card. A brief greeting should appear on the display. If not, reinsert the card until it’s accepted. Remember, if you play more than one machine at a time, use a card in each machine. The casino will gladly give you extra cards.

4. What information is the casino collecting during the rating process?

For table players the casino is tracking the amount wagered per hand and the length of time played. By combining average bet, amount of time and the particular game played, the casino calculates your earning potential or theoretical loss. This is the figure they use to determine your comp worth. When playing a machine, the casino’s computer is tracking the amount of money you run through the machine. It tracks the amount of dollars you run through that particular machine. It’s a figure that they call “coin in”. The amount of money run through the machine and the type of machine played will determine your theoretical value to the casino.

5. As a qualified player, what am I entitled to?

The entry level qualified players get airfare and a room comped. The higher your level of play the more you are going to qualify for, such as, meals, shows, special events, tournaments, golf, limos, etc…

6. How much do I have to play to qualify?

Casinos are looking for table players that play at a $75 to $100 average bet for 4-6 hours per day. Slot customers need to generate at least $7000 coin in per day. All these figures are general guidelines and other factors are taken into account.

7. I get offers by mail from the casinos all the time, can Gem Casino Travel book them for me?

Absolutely, give us the offer codes and we’ll book everything for you and double and triple check to see that your reservation is handled professionally.

8. I’m not comfortable carrying a large amount of cash with me. Is it difficult to set up a credit line?

Its very simple, just download the form provided here, send it to us and we’ll see that you have an available line of credit at the casino of your choice.

9. What casino game has the best odds?

In general, blackjack is the most favorable game in the casino. The house edge for blackjack ranges from about 0.15% to 0.45%, depending on the house rules and number of decks. Occasionally, single deck games can be found which give a slight edge to the player. The house edge for other casino games is listed below. In games involving skill, these numbers assume that an optimal betting and playing strategy is used. Note that many forms of video poker are favorable to the player, although these machines are often difficult to find.

  • Video Poker (Jacks or better): 0.5% to -0.7%
  • Video Poker (Deuces Wild): 4% to -1.7%
  • Progressive Video Poker (“8/5” payoffs): 2.2% to -2%
  • Craps line bets with single odds: 0.8%
  • Craps line bets with double odds: 0.6%
  • Baccarat “bank” bet: 1.06%
  • Baccarat “player” bet: 1.24%
  • Red Dog: 2.8%
  • Roulette, double zero wheel: 5.26%
  • Roulette, single zero wheel (rare): 2.7%
  • Keno (estimate): 20% to 25%
  • State Lottery: 50% or more

10. How are “markers” used?

At the beginning of your first trip to a casino after establishing credit, you will be required to go to the cage to sign some papers and let them copy your driver’s license. You will also indicate how you wish to pay for any outstanding markers upon your departure. If it’s your first trip, they may want you to settle before you leave. Later, you may be able to work our some sort of payment plan.

When you walk up to a table, ask the floorman for a marker. He’ll get your name and go away for a little while. When he comes back, he’ll give you a bank check to sign.

This is a counter check, which is a form of bank draft, and has the legal force of a regular check. They may take money out of your account on this check. Additionally, these markers may require manual intervention and attention when presented to your bank for processing. If you don’t want your banker to know where your money is going, don’t leave behind a marker; pay it up with a regular bank check.

If you win at the table (and don’t squirrel chips away :-)), the floorman may ask you to buy back your marker. This is exactly what you do; you give the dealer chips equal to your marker, and the floorman gives you your bank check. In many casinos, markers are not redeemed at the table, but the player must go to the cashier’s cage to buy back the marker. In order for you to establish a credit line, Atlantic City casinos commonly have you sign a statement in which you agree, more or less, not to “walk” with chips when you owe them money for a marker. This also means that you are not supposed to convert chips to cash while they hold your marker. This is usually not interpreted as being on a daily basis, but rather on a trip basis. That is, if you’ve signed markers for $1000, and have 7 black chips in your possession, they do not want you to cash the 7 chips, and walk with their $700 while you owe them $1000. They want you to turn in the chips, and owe them $300.

11. Are chip colors standardized?

Yes and no.

In the United States, almost all casinos use red for $5 chips, green for $25, and black for $100. In Las Vegas, other denomination chips can be any color whatsoever, though $1 chips are generally white or blue.

In Atlantic City, they use the Munsel Color Code system, and is a matter of regulation. In addition the “inserts” or edge marks used by each casino must be different in color(s) than those used by all other A.C. casinos for the same denomination.

Chip value color notes:

$0.50 mustard – never issued
$1 – white
$2.50 – pink Used for paying blackjacks
$5 – red
$25 – green
$100 – black
$500 – purple
$1000 – orange larger diameter than those above
$5000 – gray, same diameter as orange chips

Foxwoods and Turning Stone use the same scheme, though neither uses yellow.