Casinos around the country are starting to reopen. Most blackjack games are set up with socially distanced seating. This may or may not be good for blackjack players. Everyone playing at a blackjack table with fewer players will see more hands per hour.
Recreational gamblers playing a 6:5 blackjack table will see the house edge increase for the casino with more hands being played. Even though casinos are recommending players wear a mask it will probably be more difficult to count cards. These players often try to hide in the masses. Having fewer players will make it easier for experienced pit bosses to see card counters spreading bets when the count is in their favor.
The one benefit for blackjack players could be extra promotions. There could be an increase in offers in an effort to lure players back to the casinos. Some blackjack players may be able to negotiate a special promotion with a casino. The majority of blackjack players will see normal casino offers that include free play, match bets, and multipliers.
Casinos love to extend free play offers to attract gamblers to the property. Free play is exactly what it sounds like. This is money a guest can use to play casino games. The money must be used to gamble. Free play is typically for a machine game. While it’s mostly used for slot and video poker machines, free play may also be used in electronic blackjack tables and stadium gaming machines.
Free play doesn’t have a cash value. However, there is a way to walk away from gambling with actual cash while using free play. This kind of promotional money must be “played through” a machine. The player may keep any money remaining after the money is played through. For example, a player may have $100 in free play. This means a blackjack player at a $5 machine must play at least 20 hands ($5 x 20 hands = $100). The player may cash out any money remaining in the machine after the $100 is played.
Blackjack and table game players may be more familiar with promotional (promo) chips. This kind of promotion is similar to Free Play but for table game players. Promo chips don’t have a cash value. A player will use the promo chips to place a bet. If the player wins the bet(s) they will be paid with regular chips. Additionally, the promo chips wagered will be replaced with real chips.
For example, a player has $100 in promo chips and uses it all on one hand of blackjack. If the bettor wins the hand, the winning hand will be paid $100 in regular chips. The $100 in promo chips will be replaced with another $100 in regular chips. The player may stay at the table and keep playing or leave the table with $200.
Match play is a popular table game promotion for recreational gamblers. These are frequently part of monthly mailers to players club members. This single bet promotion is just like it sounds. The match play coupon will match however much a player bets on a single game. Match play is typically capped at an amount the guest will normally wager at once.
Using a match play coupon is simple. A blackjack player will remove the match play coupon from the mailer and bring it to the casino. The guest will show the dealer the coupon before placing a bet. Once approved, the player will choose how much they want to bet and place the chips on top of or next to the coupon. If the player wins they will receive twice as much in return. One unit will be the winning bet and another unit will be the bet matched by the casino.
Match play is a nice promotional item but it’s only good for one hand. It’s not rare to see a player walk up to a table, play one match play hand and walk away win or lose. This is the exception and not the rule. Some players will use the coupon on the first hand when they sit down. Different players will wait for a specific time to use it during their blackjack session.
Multipliers are more popular promotions for video poker and slot machine players. This kind of promotion multiplies the number of player club points generated while playing a game. It’s easier to track gameplay on a machine than at a table game.
Machines track all money played without a problem. A pit boss or dealer will do their best to rate how much a player is wagering on average, how long they’re playing, and how many hands are played. The lack of automation makes keeping track of table game players more difficult.
Multipliers are a great way to earn players club points that can be used for complimentary meals, drinks, rooms, etc.