Did you know that when you play at a casino, the amount you wager and time you are at playing are calculated into what is called a theoretical loss,  often referred to as a â??Theoâ???

Casinos use your â??theoâ?? to determine what comps you have earned.

Your â??theoâ?? is calculated as follows:

Average bet x hours played x decisions (hands played) per hour x house advantage = theoretical loss


So, how does the casino know what your average bet is? Well, chances are, you have noticed when you site down at a table game, they ask for your players card. Using the card, the pit boss or floor supervisor will then track your play on a card by recording your first wager, and then a few per hour after that until you cash out. This gives them an idea of your average bet and allows them to determine if you are eating steaks and seafood or a deli sandwich with a bag of chips.


Most casinos will determine your â??theoâ?? based on 60 decisions per hour although a supervisor can override this and use a higher figure if say a player is playing alone where the number of decisions per hour can be as high as 200. Most casinos use either a 1% or 2% figure for the house edge. Some players are very skillful and the house edge can be as low as 0.5% while other less skillful players may be facing a 2% house edge. However, because a supervisor doesnâ??t have the time to spend watching each player to determine their skill level, they usually will use the 1% or 2% figure for the casino advantage.


So letâ??s see how this equation plays out in the real world. Suppose you play four hours of blackjack with an average bet size of $25. The supervisor will assume 60 decisions per hour and a casino advantage of 1%. If you plug these numbers into the above equation you arrive at a theoretical loss of $60. Your actual loss will either be higher or lower than $60. But for the purposes of determining how much in comps they will give you, casinos will use this number. Usually, casinos will return 20-40% of your theoretical loss in comps. This means for a $60 theoretical loss, you can expect to get a comp worth $12 to $24.


It is important you get specific information on casinosâ?? comping policies for table players by asking a casino host. Find out what they comps for your level of play and how you long you need to play to get a specific comp. Some high end casinos wonâ??t bother to rate $5 and $10 players. If that happens to be the betting level that you feel comfortable with, then you need to shop around and play in a casino that values $5 and $10 players.


Here are some additional tips that can help boost your rating.

  1. If the floor supervisor is looking your way, make a large bet. He will record that large bet which will give you a higher rating, then revert back to your normal bet size when he walks away.


  1. When you are finished playing, ask the floor supervisor what he rated you for on average bet size. If he says $20 and you know youâ??ve made some big bets along the way, bring that point up to him (he may have not noticed and recorded them). If youâ??ve made a few tip bets for the dealer, tell the supervisor to check with the dealer (usually if youâ??ve tipped a dealer, she will be on your side when it comes to vouching that you made some large bets during your session). Often times the supervisor will bump up your rating after you bring this to his attention because he wants to keep you happy.