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Frugal Gambler
by Jean Scott
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Though Jean Scott was well-known to a select few Las Vegas aficionados throughout the '90s, it wasn't until the publication of The Frugal Gambler in 1998 that she became a household name to casino players across the country. Her frequent national publicity, her long-term success in casinos around the world, and the solid low-rolling advantage-play techniques she's divulged along the way have all helped catapult The Frugal Gambler into the ranks of best-selling gambling books. The new revised edition includes a completely revamped chapter on video poker, updated coverage of getting the most out of slot clubs, recent examples of exploitable gambling promotions, and a brand new Resources section, identifying the best sources of player information available-from books to software to the Internet.
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Casino Safari Preparations

Some years ago a friend once saw me empty out my shoulder bag after I had completed a daylong visit to many casinos. He remarked that I gave new meaning to the phrase “everything but theJean ScottJean Scott is known as the "Queen of Comps" and encourages smarter casino gambling. She appears on network and cable TV, especially on the Travel Channel. Her down-to-earth practical suggestions will save you both time and money in your quest to make your trip to the casino more fun and more profitable.  Jean's website is  kitchen sink.” Since we now live in Las Vegas (and are getting older and slowing down a bit), we don’t do those all-day “death marches” the length of the Strip like we did when we were visitors without a car. But we still like to get in our daily exercise so we often park our car and visit a cluster of casinos.

I still prepare for a “casino safari” with an expandable carryall, expecting to ”bag” extra items along the way. And then out come the plastic ziplock bags, in various sizes, the most important item in organizing our totes. Here are some of the items we pack

Paperwork – I will use one large plastic bag as a portable “file,” organizing it by filling with smaller bags. One holds strategy charts for many video poker games – you never know when you might come across one that you usually don’t play. The coupon bag is always full: cash-back that we need to collect; matchplays; and coupons for free souvenirs, food, and drinks. We won’t end up using them all; but I have them “just in case.” Then I have one small baggie for essentials, like a driver’s license, credit card, emergency information.

Slot cards – We have a huge inventory of slot club cards, so we sort out only the ones for casinos that we will be passing that day. Although we do not plan to play at every casino we pass, we never know when we might need our slot cards and, although we could always go to the club booth to get a replacement, this is a bother.

Notebooks – I always carry a small spiral notebook that is loaded with important information. I have a page (or two) for a list of the casinos where we have food comps in our casino bank, earned from previous play. Another page lists all the current promos, gleaned from slot club newsletters, the Internet, the local newspaper, and the freebie tourist magazines. Another section is for individual casino information, such as the names of slot hosts, the number of points we each have there, the video poker machines that have good paytables, and the bonusing slot machines to check out. I also have a separate calendar notebook with notes on our gambling for the day, i.e., name of casino, games and time played, win/loss figures, all of which I transfer to the computer each night while it is still fresh in my mind.

Comfort items – Although many casinos have packages of moist towelettes at the cashier cage and change booths, you often can’t find them quickly when you really need them so I carry a supply in my “comfort” Ziplock. They are great to wipe out the coin tray after the last person used it as an ashtray, to clean sticky buttons, or to shine a streaky video screen. One of my friends who is prone to infections always wipes down his whole machine.. I add a few paper napkins; why do cocktail waitresses almost never provide them, even with drink glasses that sweat?  I include an apple or banana in each bag for a healthy snack when we get the munchies, and we never leave without a bottle of water for each of us. And the most important for me is lip balm and hand cream for the dry casino environment.

If you think our tote bags are pretty full when we start off on this casino trek, you ought to see them when we get back home; they have expanded mightily. There are always several new freebie magazines we picked up, casino giveaways, and gift shop items we got with coupons or “bought” with our slot club points.

Start prepared and organized – and you will be surprised at the goodies you can collect in a few hours on a casino run.
Want to read more that Jean Scott writes about gambling, especially comps and video poker?  Go to to order her books.
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