10 Tricks Casinos Use to Get You to Spend More Money

Casinos are all about the money.

They want you to have a good time, but the bottom line is they want you to spend more money.

The best way to get you to spend more money is to get you to play more.

I've collected 10 tricks the casinos use to get you to spend more money.

1 – Free Drinks

Casinos don't give free drinks because they feel charitable.

People gamble more when they've been drinking and make less intelligent decisions.

Both of these things lead to more profit for the casinos.

Everything casinos do is designed to improve their bottom line. If giving free drinks didn't make more money than the cost of the drinks they'd stop doing it.

Don't make the mistake of thinking all the drinks cost the casino the same amount you pay when you buy one at the bar. The drink that you pay $5 for at the bar probably only costs the casino $1. Even if the drinks cost the casino $3 each, consider how much more an average gambler will lose after five drinks.

If five drinks cost the casino $15, most gamblers would only need to play an extra half hour or lose another bet or two to make it profitable for the casinos.

When some gamblers are betting $100 per hand at the blackjack or baccarat table or $5 a spin on the slot machines, the economics behind the free drinks quickly becomes clear.

You should take advantage of the free drinks if you like to drink, but don't let them change your loss limits or length of your playing sessions.

2 – No Daylight

Once you get a few feet away from an entrance, most casinos are designed so you can't tell if it's day or night outside.

Windows don't exist on most casino floors.

The casinos want you to forget about the outside world and just think about trying to win your next hand or jackpot.

It's easy to lose track of time when you don't have the natural day light or dark to guide your senses. Make a habit of checking your watch or the time on your phone every hour or so. That way you'll always have an idea of what time it is.

I try to take a short walk every couple hours while I'm playing to stretch my legs. If you take a short walk, go outside and breathe in a bit of fresh air. It'll do your lungs and mind good.

3 – Free Rooms

Wouldn't it be great if you could get a free room because of your play?

Do you know how much you have to play in order to qualify for a free room?

The amount of play required to get a free room varies from casino to casino, but one thing they all have in common is they don't really want you to know how much you need to play.

If you don't know, you're more likely to play more than you need to.

Even if you know exactly how much you need to play to get a free night, it's a tactic used to get you to play longer.

4 – Player's Club Levels

Some player's clubs are designed with levels. The bottom level might be bronze, with the next level being silver, then gold, etc. The more you play the higher you move up the levels.

Of course the best benefits are at the top level, so all the players want to climb the ladder.

This is just another way to get you to play more and spend more money.

You should always join the player's club or slot's club because you're going to play anyway. You might as well get something back for your play.

But you should never alter your play based on the player's club. Set your limits before each playing session and stick with them no matter what.

You should always set loss limits, time limits, or other session limits.

5 – No Clocks in Casinos

Have you ever noticed that no clocks seem to exist in a casino? This kind of goes with the no daylight trick above, but if you forget about what time it is you'll usually gamble longer than you would otherwise.

The easiest way around this is set a solid stop loss or win.

Here's an example.

If you plan to play blackjack, decide to stop if you lose $200 or win $100. Then stop immediately if you win $100 or lose $200. Just get up and leave the table.

Once either of the two things happens, get up and walk around, go outside, or head back to your room. It doesn't mean you can't go back and play another session in a little bit, but you don't have to worry about playing longer than you intended to.

6 – Bonus Hands

Though I see this in the poker rooms more than anywhere else, casinos also run promotions on their other games from time to time also.

During certain times players may win a bonus for getting some hands at the poker table. I've won a bonus for hitting four of a kind and a straight flush before.

Some rooms have set bonus amounts and others have a wheel you spin to see what you win or some other form of random device.

Speaking of poker, many poker rooms give you a free entry into a big tournament if you play enough hours in a week or month or other set time. This is just another way to get you to spend more money and play longer.

If you're going to play anyway it's great, but don't play longer just to try to get something that costs more than the play is worth.

I know you think you're a winning poker player, but start tracking your play to see how much you really win or lose per hour. If you lose $10 per hour on average and have to play 20 hours to get an entry into a $100 buy in tournament, you shouldn't play an extra 10 hours just to get a free entry.

It could be argued you shouldn't play an extra five hours to get an entry, but I can understand if you decide to. It's like trading $50 for $100, but the reality is if you don't finish in the money in the tournament you still lose the money.

7 – Advertise Big Progressive Jackpots

How many times have you been walking through the casino and see a bank of slot machines with a big advertisement showing a million dollar or higher jackpot?

Haven't you wanted to try a few spins? After all, it's kind of like a lottery ticket.

The casinos know that if they can just get you to sit down and try the first spin on the slot machine they have a good chance of getting you to take the net spin and the next. Before you know it you've dropped $250 on chasing the big jackpot and have lost an hour or two of your time in addition to the money.

8 – Celebrity Poker Tournaments

Everyone likes to meet movie stars, famous poker players, and other celebrities.

The casinos know this so anything they can do to associate with celebrities they're willing to try to get more players. You see this with the acts and shows they host, and popular movie and television show themed slot machines.

They also recruit celebrities for poker tournaments. A common set up is having a celebrity at every starting table.

Even if you're not a tournament poker player, you might consider playing just to rub elbows with a famous person.

Take a minute to think of one or two people you'd pay to meet. How much would you be willing to pay to meet them?

See how easy it can be to get you to spend more money?

9 – Slot Machine Tickets Instead Of Coins

When casinos started switching their slot machines to give paper tickets instead of coins they claimed it saved money and made things easier.

What it really did was make it more likely the players would put the ticket in another machine before making their way to the cashier cage to cash out.

I don't play many slots games, but even I've had a few tickets with a couple dollars on them each and played them in another machine instead of cashing them out. It just seems like a waste to cash out $2.53 here and $3.47 there. Why not take a shot at hitting something bigger?

If 1,000 players a week take this same attitude the casino has added over $5,000 to their bottom line.

If you had the cash in your hand you'd just slip it into your purse or wallet.

10 – Win a Car Slots

Have you seen a new car surrounded by a group of slot machines in a casino? What about one tied to entries for playing any casino games?

For some reason people are drawn to the chance to win a new car. I recently saw the most recent variation of Family Feud with Steve Harvey. If the family of five wins so many times in a row they win a new car. Not five new cars, just one new car. How do five people split a new car? I don't know the answer either, but they all act like it's a great prize.

The casino lets you have a chance to win a new car by playing slots or by earning entries to a drawing. The more you play the better your chance of winning.


Casinos know every trick in the book to get you to spend more money. Most of these are directly tied to getting you to play more.

Now that you know many of their tricks, keep an eye out for them and plan to play on your terms, not theirs. It's easy to set time limits, win limits, or loss limits on your play. Once you set them, stick with them, even if the casino tries to alter your plan.