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By Frank Scoblete

Alene Scoblete is the CEO of Paone Press, which sells gaming books and tapes at discount prices. She also writes for Her husband, Frank Scoblete, is the #1 best-selling gaming author in America. Frank’s books and tapes have sold over a million copies. For a free brochure call: 1-800-944-0406 or write: Frank Scoblete Enterprises, Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank’s websites are and

With apologies to Neil Sedaka’s signature song ("Breaking Up Is Hard to Do"), for some casino gamblers not breaking up their play, and their comps, is probably the worst thing they can do. One casino does not fit all and as a "sometimes player," one casino probably won’t fit you either. Nor should you play certain comps in the structure in which they are doled out to you.

Breaking Up Your Match Play and Free Bets

If you are not a player who goes frequently to casinos (say every week) but only a few times a year, "free bets" and "match play" can be a sad thing when you lose them. Many players don’t know that these can be broken down into smaller denominations at some casinos.

For example, suppose you get a match play for $250. You should go to the casino cashier cage and ask the cashier to split the ‘comp" into smaller units. Usually in the casinos where I play, you can split five times so you can ask for five $50 comps based on the above amount. The same holds truefor ‘free play" in some casinos. You get $250, again ask to break that up into smaller coupons. (The worst a supervisor can say is "no." )

By breaking up your "match play" and "free bets," you give yourself a chance of changing the pattern of wins and losses (NOTE: the more you play, the more the math will catch up with you) --- and thus you have a decent shot of not losing all the money at once using those coupons. It is truly annoying to bet all your "match play" on one single decision if your next casino trip is five months away. Losing that one bet is a true downer.

So break it up if the casino lets you.

Now, if you will be going back to the casino next week and the week after that and after that ad infinitum, then you don’t have to break those "match plays" and "free bets" up because everything will iron out over a prolonged period of time.

Breaking Up Other Comps

Break up when you ask for a comp and when you leave a table game. Casino floor people and pit bosses want you to play longer because the longer you play the better chance the casino has of being ahead. So do this.

Say you intend to leave in 10 minutes. Ask for a comp 10 minutes before you leave to give the impression that the floor person or pit boss has extended your time at the table. Let them think they cleverly kept you there. Now at the end of the 10 minutes, do not get up but stop playing and sit there. Casinos want those playing spots open and sitting there might stimulate the suits to hand over a comp.

When you ask for a meal comp, ask if the comp is breakable. That means if they give you $50 for lunch and you only spend $35, will the remaining $15 go back into your comp account. If yes, then eat your $35 worth; if no, then take $15 worth of something or other out of the restaurant (you might have to package this yourself, as some casino restaurants are not allowed to package take-out food).

Breaking Up For Slot Players

Play the minimum necessary if you are a "low roller" to get what you want, and then go to another casino and do the same. How do you find out if you have played the minimum and what that minimum is and what you can get for it? Ask the slot host. I am sure he or she will be happy to help you. As a small roller, the more casinos you qualify for comps, the more comps you’ll get. A couple of nights of a free room here and a couple of nights of a free room there is a great mini-vacation.

More Breaking Up at Table Games

Now in general, at blackjack and other table games, breaking up how you play the game is a smart move when you do not have an edge. Break up your play by going to the bathroom, getting cell phone calls, sitting out a hand or two in card games per half hour. In addition, you can sit out a spin or two per half hour at roulette. The less you play the better for you. If you are subtle in how you break up your table-game play, then you’ll get the same comps for less time at the table.

Maybe in "couple relationships," breaking up can be hard on an individual but in casino play? Breaking up is usually a great thing to do.

Note: Frank Scoblete’s newest book,Confessions of a Wayward Catholic, is available on at


This just in. The Atlantic Club Casino will close Jan. 13th. Here’s a link to the story: More details in my Atlantic City Report in February BJI.

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