Winning With Win Cards


Casino gambling incentives come in many forms, including match play, free-play, cash back, loss rebates and other bonuses. But one form of coupon that you may not know about is Win Cards.

Win Cards have been around for decades. They aren’t coupons; they’re strategy cards of sorts that provide advice on how to play, along with bet-payout details for blackjack, craps and roulette. The strategies espoused aren’t detailed enough to make you a winner, but something else about the cards will.

Win Cards typically sell for $10 and come with $15 in chips that are good for play on live table games. The chips are “non-negotiable,” which means that you can’t just take them to the window and cash out. You have to play them on the casino floor, where you’re paid with redeemable chips on each winning wager.

The important property of these chips is that you continue to play them until you lose, so the same chip can play again and again, collecting real chips on every winner. If you get hot, the profits add up, though in the long run, it works out that these chips are worth a fraction less than face value. Hence, $15 in chips for the $10 cost of the cards yields a $5 expected profit. Plus, each package also comes with a “tip slip,” which works as a $1 tip for the dealer when placed alongside one of your bets.

There are currently five casinos in Las Vegas that sell Win Cards. At Circus Circus, Tropicana and the Four Queens, they’re $10 and come with $15 in chips. At Mandalay Bay and Riviera, it’s $20 with $30 in chips, raising the expected profit from $5 to $10. If you set up a mini “coupon run” by visiting all five casinos and buying Win Cards at each, your expectation is to win $35.

Of course, it’s possible to lose, given that you have to invest $70 for the five sets of cards. The best strategy to avoid a loss is to play the chips at the smallest minimum possible in order to get the most plays. If you play as a couple, the combined average win doubles to $70. Even better, go with a few friends and split the winnings—the more players involved, the less likely it is that a bad run at the tables will leave you short at the end. Even when things go wrong, you’ll still have five sets of Win Cards to hand out to friends.

Win Cards are usually sold in the gift shop, and the deal is so good that there are restrictions on how frequently you can do it—often once per year, but sometimes once per month. It’s another only-in-Vegas way to have a little fun while getting paid to do it.

Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and