The Big Play

Loss-rebate deals are among the juiciest of casino promotions, almost always coming with $100 maximum rebates. The Tropicana runs an offer for $200, and the Palms does it for $500 (Clark County residents aren’t eligible for that one). But no one’s ever seen the likes of what they’re doing at the Riviera right now—a $1,000 rebate.

Locals are eligible for the Riv’s “Grand Guarantee,” but if you’re already a member of the players club, you can stop reading now, because it’s open to new members only. When the deal debuted last month, you could also participate if you hadn’t played there for two years, but that changed quickly. If you’re not sure of your status, head down and ask.

If you are eligible, all you have to do is sign up and gamble, then keep whatever you win and get up to $1,000 in losses back if you lose. It’s a flat-out freeroll that’s 10 times better than the norm. There are two minor negatives: First, the rebate is paid in two installments—50 percent on the day you play and the balance on or after the third day of the following month (valid for one year). That means you have to be in a position to possibly be without $500 for a couple of weeks. If you aren’t, then be sure to lose only what you can afford to be out of pocket between collections. And second, the rebate comes in the form of slot free-play that you have to play through the machine once before cashing out. It’s not a foolproof winning play, because you can lose some on the play-through, but the comparison of potential upside to down isn’t even close.

Strategy? This deal is so strong, it doesn’t really matter whether you play the best video poker schedule in the joint or a random slot, but take care that you’re playing an eligible machine. Denominations higher than $1, multi-line video poker and electronic blackjack, craps or roulette are not allowed. Protect yourself by scouting out what you want to play first, then confirming during sign-up that it’s eligible. Getting all your money back from the rebate is only the second-best result. The best is hitting something big before reaching the loss threshold and banking the profits, so firing away is the only strategy you need to know.

With the rebate set so high, there’s little reason to play anything but dollars, so at the very least, you’ll get the $1-level experience if you’ve never played that high before. Remember to stop when your loss hits $1,000 and don’t forget that you can walk any time you’re ahead. Bring a friend or two and partner on the combined results to enhance your chances of booking a winner. You’re a big favorite on this one.