There was considerable discussion recently on the vpFREE Internet bulletin board on the subject of which was the best option for the video poker
player: cashback, bounce back or free play.
CashbackBob Dancer is one of the world's foremost video poker experts. He is a regular columnist for Casino Player, Strictly Slots, and the Las Vegas Review-Journa land has written an autobiography and a novel about gambling. He provides advice for tens of thousands of casino enthusiasts looking to play video poker. Bob's website is www.bobdancer.com
refers to "same day" cash, where you can immediately withdraw whatever cash you've earned --- often subject to a $5 or $10 minimum. Most Strip casinos have this. Bounce Back (found at Harrah's) is a form of cashback that gets mailed to you a week or more after you've played. You go to the casino cage, show your ID, and redeem. Free Play is like Bounce Back, except it is redeemable at the machine. Usually you need to play the money through the machine at least once before you can cash it out.
If you're a tourist who will not return to this particular casino in a timely fashion, you definitely want same day cash back. Bounce Back and Free Play are only valuable if you are able to collect it. Flying 1,000 miles to a casino to collect $30 in Free Play isn't very practical.
Players differ on their reaction to Bounce Back versus Free Play. Most players like cash in their hands. They seem to negatively remember turning $50 of free play into $0 far more than they positively remember turning $50 of free play into $300. Personally, I STRONGLY prefer Free Play to Bounce Back simply because with Free Play, either Shirley or I can pick up the cash for both of us. We get it at enough different places that it's efficient to sometimes have one or the other of us "double dip". With Bounce Back, we BOTH have to show up and present IDs to collect. This convenience of Free Play far outweighs (in my mind) the fact that you have to play it through once before you can collect it.
Some players expressed strong, angry emotions about being "forced" to play free play through the machines. They felt the free play was an entitlement based on past play and should be given with no strings attached.
Shirley likes to say "emotions aren't right or wrong," and I suppose she's right, but getting hung up on this isn't very productive. Casinos are in the business of generating repeat business, and they will design their promotions accordingly whether you like it or not. My personal reaction is to try to understand the rules and to adapt my play according. Spending time worrying about whether I would like it better if the casino did it a different way doesn't help me figure out how much I'm going to play at this casino and when.
Some casinos (Palms, Sam's Town, among others) base your future free play at least partly on whether or not you play on the days you pick up your free play. Whether you like this or not, it's a fact of life in today's casino environment and winning players make adjustments to their playing schedule at such casinos. Other casinos (Station, Fiesta, for example) base your free play STRICTLY on how many points you earned during the relevant time period and so you do not need to play extra on the days you pick your free play unless you feel it's to your advantage to do so.
Other players insisted that they ONLY play at casinos that offer same day cash back. This is an okay strategy, but it greatly limits where you can play. In many cases casinos with non-cashback slot clubs are excellent places to play, at least on occasion. If you refuse to consider these casinos, or are unable to analyze how to benefit from their slot clubs, you're giving up considerable profit potential.
Deciding whether I like or dislike some aspect of a slot club is a luxury I rarely take time for. It's enough of a job for me to figure out how to win. Casinos will regularly make changes to the games they offer and the nature of their slot club. Keeping up with all of that is a full time job for me.
Casinos are no more "greedy" than intelligent players are. Both sides continue to make adjustments in order to make a profit. Players who aren't able to keep up with the changes are prone to complain about "greedy casinos." So be it. I believe that casinos are WONDERFUL places to allow me to make a lot of money without having to get a regular job.