4 Tips for Saving Money on Poker Trips
We're not pros and most of us never have aspirations to become a pro.
As such, we really can't going around spending money at the casino as if we're Phil Ivey or Daniel Negrenau.
Rather, we need to be be careful we don't blow our entire bankroll on a single trip to the casino.
Below are some tips that will help you save money when you do head out on a poker trip.
1. Stay Somewhere Other Than the Casino
One of the quickest ways to save money on your trip is to shop around for you room.
Many players automatically book a room at the casino they're playing at because it is convenient. However, in many cases they can save significant money by shopping around.
For example, the first year I went to the World Series of Poker a typical night's stay at the Rio ran from $99 during the week to over $200 on the weekend -- sometimes even with a player discount.
Just a few blocks away at the Orleans, however, I paid $49.99 during the week and $79.99 on the weekend.
My next year I shopped around a bit more and found I could stay at the Four Queens in downtown Vegas for $29.99 a night during the week and $49.99 on the weekend.
By shopping around I tend to save money without having to grind it out in the cash games for a special rate.
2. Take Advantage of Food Specials and Coupons
While this may sound like I'm channeling my inner Allen Kessler pay attention to food specials at the casinos and check out any coupons they may offer.
Casinos regularly offer specials on meals as a gimmick to get players in the door. The smart players will take advantage of these specials to save a few bucks. For example, one restaurant at the Orleans offers a wonderful steak and egg breakfast for just $1.99.
Most casino hotels have coupon books as a way to get customers to check out other establishments within the casino. Some of these deals include discounted meals, buy one - get one free, and much more.
Players tend to bleed funds eating out on poker trips so finding out where the deals are can help you save money.
3. Self Park and Get Your Own Drinks
Two services that are overused by players are valet services and waitress services. Both are typically non-essential services that will drain your bankroll.
For example, you can expect to spend in the neighborhood of $10 to $20 in tips per day for typical valet parking, and that's assuming the casino doesn't charge for the parking. If they do, add another $5 to your bill.
Next are cocktail waitresses. They come by, take your order, and then bring you a drink that is typically small and watered down. Then you tip them from $1 to $5 per occurrence. This can add up over the course of a day.
When you're thirsty get up and get your own drink or bring it with you. This gives you a chance to get up and get some exercise in addition to giving you a break.
It may help you come back with a clearer head, which can result in bigger profits.
4. Stay Away from Other "Poker" Games
Casinos are sharp and will try to lure poker players to house-advantage games by offering something they're familiar with.
Table games such as Texas Hold'em Poker, Caribbean Stud and others are common in today's casino but are games that have a house edge.
The fact you can stack people at the tables in a poker room does not mean you can beat the casino at Texas Hold'em Poker. That game is luck based and played against the dealer that never folds.
Also, be careful of video poker. While some games have a slight edge to the players, most do not. Even those games that have a slight edge to the player must be played perfectly to utilize that edge.
Playing these games on occasion to unwind for smaller amounts is fine and can be a lot of fun. Just make sure you don't spend too much of your bankroll on them.