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The Match-Play Coupon Circuit

Part I 

Just a quick note before we jump into this new subject.  I originally wrote this article in 2002. Some of the items discussed may no longer be available or as widely distributed as they were then.   In particular, Gaughans Plaza match-plays are almost extinct.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If I told you that there are a number of people who make a modest subsistence living by using match-play coupons, you probably wouldn’t believe me.

It is true, and in a minute, I’ll show you exactly how some of them do it.

Here’s a hint:

Match-play coupons turn the normal -0.8% negative-expectation game of craps into a +49.3% positive-expectation game!  And that is before you factor in any of your Precision-Shooting skills.

A +49.3% positive-expectation in ANY casino game should warrant a further look.

What are Match-Play Coupons?

Match-play coupons are popular promotions that are used to bring people into the casino. They allow you to match your bet with a coupon that effectively doubles the face-value of your money.  It “matches” your bet.  If you bet $10, then a $10 match-play coupon in effect doubles the amount you have on the table to $20.

How Are They Used?

They are used at gaming tables on most even-money bets.  If you win, you are paid for the total of your cash plus the match-play, but the dealer takes the coupon. So a $10 bet with a match-play coupon pays you $20.  If you lose the bet, the dealer picks up both your money and the coupon.   In that case, you lose $10.

Are There Restrictions on Using Them?

Yes, you can usually only use one of them per day per casino, but in a moment, we’ll discuss a couple of ways around that.  In addition, you cannot use a match-play to “top up” the minimum allowable bet.  For example, you can’t use a $5 coupon with $5 in cash to reach a $10-game minimum bet.

There are some casinos where they don’t restrict the number of coupons that you use each day.  In that case, the challenge is coming up with enough match-plays to generate maximum table-profit while minimizing your coupon-searching efforts.

Why Do Casinos Offer Them?

Like I said, they are a POPULAR casino promotion that attracts people to the tables.  It’s used as an incentive to get people to play a game.  The casino corporations figure that once a person starts playing, they will continue to play…and hopefully lose.

It also gets people to try new games that they wouldn’t otherwise attempt.  While a new player may not have the first clue about HOW to play a certain game, they are drawn by the something-for-nothing appeal of match-play coupons.

How Do You Get Them?

There are quite a few ways to get match-play coupons.

      Sign-up for a Players Card at EVERY casino that you enter.  Quite a few casinos offer sign-up “bonus” books.    Look in the book for the coupons.   Some casinos stipulate that the coupons are only valid if you tear them out of the book in front of the dealer. This helps to avoid counterfeiting efforts.

      If you are already a Players Card member, check at the Players Club booth to see if they have anything for current club members.  Often you will see discarded bonus-books nearby.  People look for the 2-for-1 buffet deals, or the 99-cent hotdog & Heineken specials and toss the rest of the book onto a nearby slot-carousel.

      You can also call Players Card member-services using the toll-free number on the back of your card.  They occasionally send out freebies for those who ask or show up.  Keep in mind that easy-going kindness tends to bring in more results than rude or arrogant demands.

      A lot of casinos do monthly mail-outs to their Players Card membership list.  Frequently you’ll find both gaming-chip vouchers and match-play coupons attached.

      When you check into a casino-hotel, ask if they have a “fun-book” or other discount coupons.  This is a great source for the premium-value match-play slips at virtually all of the mega-hotels, except for Bellagio and Venetian.

      Likewise, ask at the bell-desk and at the concierge desk of each hotel.  Check both of those places, not just one or the other, as they are commonly a good source.

      At some hotels, you can often get a fun-book even if you are not a guest.  Just go to the check-in desk in the lobby.  Always ask at any and all properties that you enter. 

      Some people keep their old credit-card style room-keys, so that they can “flash” it when they ask for a fun-book at a hotel where they are not currently staying.

      Often times, you might sign up for a Players Card and be given nothing. Then if you go to the front-desk where the hotel guests are registering and politely ask for a fun-book, you’ll receive one.  Just flash your Players Card and be polite. Remember, the worst they can say is “no”.

      Truck-stops and rest-stop areas on the highway leading into Nevada are excellent sources for match-play coupons.  Just look for the rack with all of the free brochures.  The best gas station/truck-stop locations are:

         Mesquite, Nevada

         St. George, Utah

         Beaver, Utah

         Needles, California

         Kingman, Arizona

         Bullhead City, Arizona

         Cal Nev Ari, Nevada

         Jean, Nevada

         Ontario, California

         Searchlight, Nevada

         Pahrump, Nevada

         All along the “Cathouse Alley” brothel trail in Armagosa Valley, Nevada.

      Visitor Centers at the state-line are another terrific source.   Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority locations offer a wide variety of match-play coupons at:

         Las Vegas Visitor Information Center

3150 Paradise Road in LV

         Laughlin Visitor Information Center

         1555 Casino Drive in Laughlin

         State of Nevada Welcome Center @ Boulder

100 Nevada Highway in Boulder City, near the Dam 

         State of Nevada Welcome Center @ Jean

On Interstate-15, Exit 12 (State Route 101 East)

         State of Nevada Welcome Center @ Mesquite

On Interstate-15, Exit 122 (460 N. Sandhill Blvd.)

 

      There is also a LV Visitors Center on the Las Vegas Boulevard Strip near Polo Towers, across from Monte Carlo Casino-Hotel.  It has a dizzying array of brochures in the hundreds of racks.   If you ask the info-person at the reception desk, they usually keep a further supply of certain fun-books under the counter.

      At McCarran Airport main information desk.  This info-stop is located between the two main sections of baggage carousels as soon as you get to the bottom of the escalator on the Arrivals-level of Terminal One.  On the Departures-level there is one near the “A” and “B” gates security checkpoint.

      For international flights and some charters at McCarran Airport, the Terminal Two brochure-rack is also located in the Baggage Claim area, but the info-booth is tiny, usually unmanned, and is easy to miss.  It’s located right against the wall, diagonal to the Lost Baggage office.

      Most taxis have a brochure-holder on the back of the front-seats.  Thumb through the magazines for more coupons.  Some English-speaking cab-drivers may be helpful in locating more of these items for you.

      Another great source for match-play coupons is the free magazines that are found in your hotel room, or in some hotel lobbies.  For example, the Plaza Hotel-Casino magazine rack is near Subway Sandwiches and Mcdonalds.  The brochure-rack at Gold Coast is beside the bell-desk (across from the check-in desk).  In addition, they have a magazine rack just inside the bell-desk office.  These two stops should load you up with a dozen match-plays for various casinos.

      Here are three “pay” magazine sources for additional match-play coupons:

        Casino Player Magazine (casinoplayer.com)
subscription sign-ups or renewals.

        American Casino Guide (americancasinoguide.com) book purchase comes with a horde of them.

        Las Vegas Advisor’s (lasvegasadvisor.com ) “Pocket of Values” (POV) has 39 gaming coupons, but not all of them are useable at craps.

These hard-copy publications can be bought on the internet and delivered to your home or office. 

      Smaller “grind-joint” types of casinos have tons of free match-plays that aren’t normally found at any of the above-noted sources.  They use “flyer-guys” near their establishment to hand out coupons to passers-by.  Again, this is a great way to get tourists into their casino if it normally isn’t on the patrons planned itinerary.  Casinos with “flyer-guys” include:

         Imperial Palace

         Lady Luck

         Fremont Hotel

         Fitzgeralds

         O’Sheas

         Barbary Coast

         San Remo

         Boardwalk

         Casino Royale

         Westward Ho

         Slots ‘o’ Fun

         Sahara

         Palms

         Rio Suites

         Barley’s Brew Pub

         Las Vegas Club

         Terrible’s Hotel

         Tropicana Resort

         Riviera Hotel

         NewYork, New York

The flyer-guys aren’t always located in front of the hotel that they represent.  In the case of The Sahara, they usually stand at the McDonalds near Stardust, and across from The Riviera.

The San Remo Hotel-Casino guy stands on the overhead walkway cattle-chute that connects NYNY, MGM Grand, and Tropicana.

The Barbary Coast guy stands near the moving-sidewalk entrance in front of Ballys, or at the bottom of the escalator to the overhead walkway in front of Bellagio.

If you are interested in Fitzgeralds Hotel-Casino match-plays, just look for “TALL” Elvis in his star-spangled banner jumpsuit.  He usually has a handful of vouchers that will get you their time and play-activated fun-book.

Obviously the flyer-guys aren’t out 24-hours a day.  Some are only out during the busy prime weekends, while others are only around during selected convention or special-event periods.  However, it seems that the more “obscure” or smaller the casino is, the easier it is to find their match-play coupons.

      Las Vegas On-Line (lvol.com) has a fairly active Coupon Exchange Message Board, but you won’t find too many match-plays available there. 

      In addition, billhere.com offers a coupon clipping-service.  The coupons are free, and they either come directly from the hotels, brochure racks, from the “flyer-guys”, or from some of the magazines that I list below.  Even though all of the coupons are free, you have to pay for shipping and handling. Bill offers an honest and reliable service, and he usually has the following match-play coupons available:

         Aladdin Hotel-Casino has a coupon to get a free scratch card at the Aladdin Promotions Center.  If you ask nicely when you redeem it, they’ll usually give you a couple of match-plays, but be sure to specify “craps” because their blackjack and roulette coupons are much more difficult to obtain.

         CircusCircus has a free fun-book that has a “$10 payoff if you win a $5 Field bet” coupon.  And YES, before you ask, it pays QUADRUPLE if the “2” or “12” shows up.  These are excellent payers if you are a Precision-Shooter who throws lots of crap-numbers.

         Excalibur Hotel-Casino Fun Book has a total of 28 coupons in it, and contains the same “2-for-1 Field Bet” offer as “C-2”.  There is no limit on how many of these you use every day.  How you get them is up to you, but I’ll give you a few “hunting and gathering” tips later on.

         The south-strip Mandalay Bay Group Resorts (Mandalay, Luxor & Excalibur) also have a fun-book placed in every room upon check-in.  It contains the higher-quality $5 and $10 match-play coupons.

         The Slots-A-Fun Funbook has 12 coupons in it, and also contains that “2-for-1 Field Bet” offer.   They start to get a little crazy if you pull out a stack of these “2-Fer’s” when you start to shoot.  They’ll tolerate about four or five wins, then they’ll tell you to save the rest for “next time”.

         Four Queens coupon-sheet has eight items on it, but the craps coupon is occasionally M.I.A., so here’s what you do.   DO NOT go to the Players Club booth near the “$40-for-$20-slot-play” promotional area at the front doors.  Instead, trek all the way through to the back of the casino near the hotel check-in area.  Take a sharp right-hand turn towards their converted bingo hall/showroom/convention center, and you will find their VIP Players/Reel Winners booth.  Ask for the match-play coupons there.

         Also at the Four Queens, if you take their “free spin” at the front doors near the westernmost corner (closest to Fitzgeralds), they give out a different funbook there.  However, it too doesn’t always contain a craps match-play in it either.

         Hard Rock Hotel’s famous “six-pack” coupon sheet, has a double-pay on any even-money table-game bet, but you are only supposed to use one per month.

There are actually two match-play versions.  The “six-pack” one has a $10 match-play, and the other is for an “unlimited” match-play.  

The upside for the once-per-month “unlimited” coupon is that there is no max-bet limitation, so it’s not unusual to see some 21-year old goateed kid come in and throw down $5000 on the Pass-Line with the “2-Fer” coupon laid at the top of the cash-pile.  It’s a fairly regular occurrence at the beginning of each month.

Overall, that bet has an expected value of $7395 for a flat $5k wager.

         Billhere.Com also offers a blackjack-only match-play in the coupon book from The Klondike Casino, which contains a great meal deal for one free 1/2 broiled chicken dinner with soup or salad when you purchase a beverage for $1.20.  Hard to believe, but nonetheless true.

         The free Lady Luck Hotel-Casino fun-book has 15 coupons, but if the match-play coupons are not in it, simply go the Mad Money Players Club booth and ask.  They’ll give you a voucher which you take over to the casino-cage and they’ll convert them into match-play coupons.  You can make this maneuver once per day.  What a deal!!  

In addition, table-game players should ask for a separate “Players Card” which may get you premium treatment and additional coupons from the Casino Host on duty.  This is a laminated black-cardboard item which Line-of-Credit, “Front-Money”, and premium table-game players use instead of the normal plastic credit-card “Mad Money” slot version.

Lady Luck is currently in a state of transitional flux as new owners take over, so their policies are apt to change on a daily basis.

         New Frontier has a free coupon book containing an excellent craps-coupon.  I’ll tell you a little more about this item in a moment.

         Primm Valley Resorts has a free fun-book.  The coupons are good for Buffalo Bills Resort, Whiskey Pete’s Casino and of course Primm Valley Resort.  They hand out fun-book vouchers every day at the Fashion Outlets Mall which is connected to the Primm Valley Casino.

In addition, when you pick up your car from valet parking at NYNY, they usually give you a Primm Resorts match-play voucher.

         The Riviera Hotel-Casino has a two-sided coupon that gives you a free deck of cards or mug on one side, and on the other side a free Fun Book.  However the coupon is for one of those lower value “$7-payoff-if-you-win-a-$5-craps-bet” deals.  It’s not quite as good as a full match-play, but it still offers a premium player-edge, and you can use as many of those as you want every day.

         Sahara actually has two funbooks.   Both the “Book of Riches” and the “Passport To Fun” has some match-plays, and you can have one of each per day.

         Here’s an additional Sahara hint.  If you open a Line-of-Credit or a “Front Money” account, they’ll give you a separate Players Card that is entirely different than their normal “Club Sahara” slot card.  This laminated Players Card opens up a world of opportunities.  If you go to the Players Booth just up the two steps near Jitters Gourmet Coffee, they keep a horde of match-plays under the counter that are available for “Players Card” holders, but not “Club Sahara” slot card holders.

         Stardust has a Gambler’s Choice fun-book which feature those cheaper “$7 pay-off for a $5 bet” coupons. With out-of-state ID, you are entitled to one book per day.  Some of the other Boyd Hotels (Fremont, California, Sam’s Town, Main Street Station) have the same type of books, but they seem less generous in making them readily available.

         Terrible's Hotel Casino fun-book has one of my absolute favorites; an ”Up to $25” match-play that is useable at any table game.  You can get one of these each day if you have valid out-of-state photo ID.

         Stratosphere has a fun-book for first-time Player's Club sign-ups only. It contains one of those cheaper “bet $5 and win $7” craps coupons.  Again, if you take a quick glance around the area of the Players Booth, you may spot some surplus books lying around.  The free drink, free Tower ride, and 500 slot points coupons may have been poached, but match-plays may be intact. 

What Magazines Have Match-Play Coupons?


The following free magazines offer an ever-changing selection of match-play offers that are contained in the Fun Books that are touted therein.  That means that you usually have to sign-up for a Player Card or turn in one of the magazine ads to get the coupon-books at the casinos of your choice.  The best freebies are found in:

         24/7 Magazine

         Best Read Guide

         Las Vegas Style

         Where Las Vegas

         Gaming Today (weekly)

         Las Vegas Today (weekly)

         Showbiz Weekly (weekly)

         Today in Las Vegas (weekly)

         Tour Guide of Las Vegas (weekly)

         What’s On in Las Vegas (every two weeks)

In a few hotels, you will find Asian versions of a couple of those magazines.  Even if you don’t speak or read Mandarin, Shanghainese, Nihongo, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Tohoku, Southern Fukiense, Minnan, Shikoku, Chaouzhou, or Cantonese, you can still take advantage of the multilingual match-play coupons found therein.

How Often Can You Use Them?

You are usually limited to one match-play coupon per game, per day, per casino.  Even if you have a pile of $10 vouchers, you are generally only supposed to use one per day.  In practice, you can almost always use at least one per shift, and sometimes even changing tables where a different Floor Supervisor is overseeing the game is usually enough to allow multiple coupon-plays.

At other casinos, there is no limit on the number of coupons you can use per day, but they have to be legitimate coupons, and it is a criminal offence to counterfeit them.  Photocopies (even high-quality full-color laser copies) obviously are not permitted.

Can You Make Money From Them?

Yes, on Pass-Line or Don't Pass with no Odds, $10 in cash (or chips) will become $30 in 49.3% of your matched plays. This gives your $10 an expected value of $14.79.

Match-play coupons turn the normal negative -0.8% expectation game of craps into a +49.3% positive-expectation game!  And that is before you factor in any of your Precision-Shooting skills.

A +49.3% positive-expectation in ANY casino game should warrant a further look.

A big “THANKS” goes out to Alan Krigman (Winning Ways) and Mike Shackleford (The Wizard of Odds) for supplying the math.

How Much $$$ Can You Make?

Let’s take that $14.79 in “EV”, (expected value) one step further. 

There are obviously many LV casinos that offer these coupons.  If you travel the “match-play circuit”, it isn’t unusual to yield upwards of $150+ per day.  A concerted effort can obviously yield more.

Like I said earlier, this is a subsistence living for some Vegas residents who have a “low-overhead” lifestyle. 

I suppose it is similar to an African peasant who scrapes out a living by cultivating a half-acre or so of semi-arid soil to feed his family on maize, sorghum and cassava.  Likewise, most people on the “match-play” circuit don’t make a great living off of them.  Instead, they just augment their service-industry income or pensions with reliable coupon earnings.

Shortly, I’ll show you exactly how they do it.

Of course, there is nothing to say that you won’t lose every bet that you make with the coupons.  However, with sheer luck, you should be able to win at least half of your attempts each day.  If you combine that positive-expectation with even modest Precision-Shooting; then you should yield an even better rate-of-return.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to stay and play.  All it takes is one line-bet; then wait for the outcome.   A strict “shoot ‘n’ scoot” playing method should produce a reliable dividend.

Reduce Your Risk & Increase Your Chances

Most players use their match-play coupons as intended, however, here is a way to further reduce your risk, and increase your chances of winning:

      Ask a player who is already in the game if you can add your match-play coupon to their line-bet.

      You do this when the Point hasn’t yet been established.

      You slip the coupon under his line-bet chips.

      If it wins, he picks up his winnings and he gives you your share. 

      You haven’t ventured dollar-one of your own money, yet you win “free money” by piggy-backing on his. 

      If the bet loses, you say your thanks to the player, and you walk away.  You haven’t lost a dime!

Okay, I’ll give you one more example.

Station Casinos (Boulder Station, Palace Station, Santa Fe Station, Sunset Station and Texas Station) each have their own Coupon Sheet, but it is for new Players Card sign-ups only.

Their Coupon Sheet includes $5 in free cash, and some great match-plays.  One guy I know hangs out near the Players Booth at his favorite Station Casino, and asks those new sign-ups if they are craps players.  If they aren’t, he asks them if they would be willing to give him their craps coupons.  Most people are quite willing.  He manages to get about ten of those per hour.  He then goes to the tables and “spends” them.  That is his entire daily routine.

He does this during the busiest sign-up times during the day, and especially on the weekends.  In the “off-hours”, you’ll find him at the craps tables.  He is a decent enough Precision-Shooter, but I can tell you that if he wasn’t making the match-play routine part of his game-approach; then his income would hardly ever approach it’s current $60 per hour average.

Are There People Who REALLY Do This Everyday?

YES, there are quite a few who do this every single day of the week! 

Other than the chap mentioned above, there are numerous LV-regulars who augment their income with match-play coupons.

If I’m playing at a popular match-play house like the Frontier Hotel-Casino (or Riviera, Terrible’s, Lady Luck, Imperial Palace, Fitzgeralds, San Remo, Stratosphere, Tropicana, etc.) it isn’t unusual to see the same faces step up to the table, and make one Pass-Line bet with cash-over-coupon (a $10 bill placed over a $10 match-play coupon).  Win or lose, they leave right after the hand ends, on the way to their next match-play destination.

And YES, they do the same thing at the same places virtually EVERYDAY!

You won’t get rich doing stuff like that, but for some players it provides a steady income and it keeps them from living under bridge-overpasses out on Interstate-15.

For others, it is a way of adding even more money to their Precision-Shooting efforts.  If you play four days each week and you make $500 a week from your match-play ventures; then the additional $25,000 per year when added to your Precision-Shooting income can help to make things a little more enjoyable.

Again, you are NOT going to get rich by using these coupons, but it certainly broadens the number and scope of casinos that you will find yourself in on a regular basis. 

For some players, I suppose that makes craps into more of a “job” instead of an entertaining diversion, but for some people, that is exactly what they want. 

For others, it can provide additional profit-predictability for their Precision-Shooting labors because it smoothes out the “off-day” volatility of bad-shooting.  It is certainly something to think about if your current dice-shooting ability lacks consistent reliability.

A Couple More Profit Opportunities

Here are some further examples of what coupons are out there:

      If you are a Player's Card holder at Casino Royale, simply go to the Club Royale booth, which is around the far corner of the bar (nearest The Strip).   The entrance to it is across the casino floor from Subway sandwiches.  You will be given a sheet of discounts, which contains at least one $5 match-play.

      When you check-in at any PPE-property (Bally’s, Paris, Flamingo, LV Hilton, etc.) always ask for a fun-book.  It contains Paris and Bally's $10 match-plays, or Flamingo, O’Shea’s and LV Hilton match-plays of the same value.  The coupons are NOT interchangeable between all properties, and none of them are redeemable at Caesars.

      Frontier has a great craps match-play in their booklet.  DO NOT go to their Players Card booth.  Instead, you have to go to the time-share booth beside the keno lounge to receive one discount booklet everyday. 

Do not go to this booth with your spouse…go alone…otherwise you’ll be roped into a time-share spiel.  Just tell them that you might be interested after your current bankruptcy is settled, or that your parole officer won’t let you invest in real-estate just yet, or your plane is leaving in two hours…they’ll give you the booklet and leave you alone. 

If you ask for a “fun-book” at the Frontier check-in desk, they’ll usually give you some loose meal coupons and a couple for match-plays.

If you go down the hall past the Sports Book Deli, you’ll see an Allstate show-ticket & tour desk.  They almost always have some great freebies. 

      Allstate Show-tickets as mentioned above, has several other locations around town, which sport multi-racks of freebie magazines.  You’ll find their booths at:

        McCarran Airport- South Baggage Claim Area

        Boardwalk Holiday Inn-located by the escalators leading to the buffet.  The Boardwalk Player's Club occupies the same location.

        Caesars Forum Shoppes-sports two locations:

(i)                  next to the Endangered Species store.

(ii)                near the giant winged-horses fountain.

        Flamingo Hotel

(i)                  near the Valet Parking escalator.

(ii)                in the Tour Lobby.

        Harrahs Hotel-Casino also has three locations:

(i)                  at the end of the front Check-In counter.

(ii)                beside the 3rd floor Clint Holmes Showroom.

(iii)              Outside, between Harrah's and Imperial Palace in Carnival Court.

        Westward Ho-the booth is near the front entrance.

        Las Vegas Convention Center- the booth location varies with each convention, but is generally just inside the entrance doors to most marquee conventions.

        Sahara Casino Resort also has three booths:

(i)                  directly in front of the front lobby Bell Desk.

(ii)                located by the main rear Valet entrance.

(iii)              located upstairs across from the Buffet.  This one is quite a hike to get to.  If it feels as though you have walked halfway to Los Angeles, that means you are almost there.

        Stratosphere- Their booth is located upstairs on the way to the tower-elevator.  It’s on the left side behind the front-desk Check-In and between the Budget Rent-a-Car office and the Stratosphere's own Box Office. 

If you venture far enough into the Strat’s World’s Fair Shoppes, you’ll find the Tower-Ride ticket booth.  They usually give a match-play with every thrill-ride ticket purchase (must be 21 years old to qualify).  To find the booth, just keep walking past the sports-memorabilia store and the slot-machine/video-poker machine store, and you are halfway there.

        Palace Station- located in the east-end of the hotel lobby, across from the gift shop.

      Tropicana has a fun-sheet at their “$40-of-slot-play-for-$20” promotion desk.  You don’t have to stand in line; the free sheets are usually in a page-size brochure holder on the counter.  It has a $5 match-play on it.  They also keep some fun-books under the counter where they hand out and bag the merchandise from that slot-play promo.

      If you are downtown, but not under the Fremont Street Experience roof, they hand out two great match-play flyers for the Four Queens and Lady Luck.   The best place for these is at the corner of Fremont Street at 6th Street near the 7-11 convenience store. 

      Another good spot is at 4th Street and the FSE in front of the new Neonopolis entertainment-complex.  This is midway between the El Cortez Casino-Hotel, the “Hilo Hatties” Hawaiian shirt store, and Fitzgeralds Casino.  The guys handing out the fliers are so happy that you actually WANT one, they’ll happily give you a handful.  The $5 match-plays for Four Queens have a one-a-day limit, while the Lady Luck $5 ones are not limited that way.

      Harrahs and Rio coupons are handed out daily in the Carnival Court of Harrahs from mid-afternoon to early evening.  In addition, when Cook E. Jar is performing his free weekend shows at midnight, the performing-bartenders give them out with any premium “call-drink” that you order.

      Speaking of generous bartenders; they do the same thing at the Riviera Hotel during the 1 a.m. Lon Bronson All-Star Band shows during weekend.

      If you buy your gas at Terrible Herbst gas stations or your groceries at Von’s Supermarkets, they occasionally have promotions where they give out the $25 match-plays for Terrible’s Casino.

      Imperial Palace always has on-going match-play specials.  Their current Winter promotion gives you twenty $5 match-play chips that you can play at any table in any amount up to the full $100.  The only catch is that you have to do your buy-in at the casino-cage, and you have to buy a full $100 worth of real $5 chips, which they “match” with $100 worth of $5 match-play chips.   It is a true and amazing bargain that is currently bringing a lot of action into their house.

      A little further out of town in Laughlin, Harrah’s has some fantastic $25 match-play coupons.  For “Total Rewards” players-club members, you are usually entitled to at least one, if not more, when you book a comped room using your comp-points.  However, those match-plays offered in the Casino Perks “gambling edition” discount-book have been discontinued due to counterfeiting.  This fact alone may give you some idea of how valuable and sought after these coupons can be.

Still need more sources for these valuable coupons?

      Shuttle Buses which run between “related” resorts are often good suppliers.  The Gold Coast-Barbary Coast-Orleans-Suncoast shuttle-drivers occasionally have some.  The “Boyd Bus” (Stardust-California-Fremont-Main Street Station-Sam’s Town) shuttle-drivers may have some for their resorts or for San Remo Hotel-Casino on-board.  The Harrah’s-Rio bus rarely has match-play coupons available.  The Hard Rock Hotel shuttle-driver almost always has a ton of “six-pack” coupons available.

      The free Tour Buses to Laughlin, Mesquite, Jean and Primm are also excellent places to receive match-play coupons.  These are the buses where you pay $10 upfront, then they give you a cash-voucher for $10 at the casino destination, together with a buffet voucher, and a fun-book which contains the match-plays.

      Tour desks where you book shows and excursions, like the small booths you’ll find in virtually every hotel, usually have coupons or at least free magazines which contain those coupons.

      On-line Casino Guestbooks are another great source.  You know how you visit, say, the Hard Rock Hotel-Casino website to see their upcoming concert schedule at The Joint?  Well if you sign their guest-book, they’ll usually send e-mail offers which include those “unlimited” match-plays.

      Likewise, Terribles Casino-Hotel and the Imperial Palace have some of the best e-mail offers going.  The free gas (Terribles only), free cash, free food, free rooms, and match-play offers from both are quite astounding.

      Another on-line freebie that pays dividends is to sign-up for various casino newsletters.  Gaughans Plaza Hotel & Casino has a super $25 match-play that they send out four times each year.  NYNY, Jerry’s Nugget and Aladdin also do the same with $5 and $10 match-play coupons.

      If you are a shareholder-of-record for any of the major gaming stocks (MGG, MBG, PPE, STN, BYD, AZR, HET, etc.) then you should be receiving quarterly fun-books, along with a once-yearly coupon-pack with the Annual Report to Shareholders from each of these companies.  If you show up to their annual Shareholders Meeting, they also have tons of them there.

      If you are a frequent-flyer on Southwest Airlines (SWA) or JetBlue Airways (B6), take a look at their in-flight magazine for a small host of LV coupons or convertible vouchers. 

      If you take the Eiffel Tower elevator at Paris or go to the Top of the World at the Strat, they usually give you a $10 or $25 match-play too.

      Anytime you go to see any show in Vegas, be sure to check the back of your ticket-stub.  In a lot of cases, it is a $5, 10, or $25 match-play ticket from the host casino.

      If you are a conventioneer who goes to COMDEX, MAJIC, CES, or any of the other major whore-fests…I mean conventions, they usually have a number of match-plays in your trade-show Welcome Pack. 

      Likewise, if you go to any of the major fraternal-organization type of conventions like Shriners, Lions, Moose, Masons, VFW, Legionaires, Tailhook, etc., then you should be receiving like or similar coupon-packages. 

Again, some guys hang around the convention-registration areas looking for discarded fun-packs.  In my article entitled The Mad Professor's Dictionary, this could be loosely defined as “fielding grounders”.  Here’s a short excerpt:

        FIELDING GROUNDERS- to search the ground for already-smoked yet salvageable cigarette butts, or to look for cashable tickets that have been accidentally discarded in the sports-book or race-book area of the casino. This is usually performed by the homeless.  As in "Hey Tommy, isn't that your dad fielding grounders over there?"

      If you fly into Vegas on a vacation-package, the charter company usually includes several vouchers for either fun-books or direct coupons in your ticket-pouch folder.

The Match-Play Circuit

In “Part Two” of this article, I’m going to tell you about a couple of people who actually make a modest living on the match-play coupon “circuit”.

I think a number of you will be surprised at just how much money this can all add up to in just one week or even one day.  While it takes a fair bit of time, and a decent amount of short-trip driving and walking, the results are pretty amazing considering that it is all done in a casino at a craps tables.  Some people would rather be no where else.

Okay, One Last Source

You’ll laugh at this one, but Ms. MP discovered a great source of match-play coupons one day when she was leaving a housekeeping tip for our maid at Luxor Hotel-Casino. 

We were staying in one of their mini-suites in the newer ziggurat tower.  We normally leave a tip everyday, and the housekeeping staff clue into the names of regular clientele on the room-cleaning manifest who are considerate on the “tipping” end of things. 

The maid asked Ms. MP if she wanted any of the unused coupons in the standard-issue Mandalay Bay Group fun-books that had been left behind by departing guests.  Knowing that the originals that are put into every one of MBG’s 15,000+ rooms contain a valid craps match-play, Ms. MP wisely said yes.  She proceeded to eviscerate the stack of used fun-books and liberated all of the unclaimed craps-coupons.

She then volunteered to go on a coupon-redemption campaign to see how many she could bet, and how many she could win.  It was a fun change of pace for her. 

Normally it is hard to get her to play more than 20-minutes or so, a couple of times each day despite her ample Precision-Shooting talent.  For this task, she was totally enthused, and proceeded to bet most of them over a four-hour period spread over the three south-end MBG locations (Mandalay, Luxor & Excalibur). 

Her profit yield was pretty much in line with the ~50% profit advantage cited by gaming-math experts Krigman and Shackleford.  She didn’t even throw the dice once.  Instead she just picked a table, waited for the Come-Out roll, and then laid down the coupon with the required $10 in cash.

A total of 43 coupons produced a net profit of just over $200.  Like I said, you are not going to make a living off of these things, and you can’t always luck into scoring a huge pile of them.  Instead, if you find them, don’t be shy about using them…a +49.3% positive-expectation should not be ignored.

Good Luck & Good Skill at the Tables…and in Life.

Sincerely,

The Mad Professor

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