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Ligaz11 Review of Comp City




One of the first things that first time visitors to Las Vegas notice is that some folks at the casino get much better treatment than they do. Most people assume that one would have to be a high roller to get free food, free rooms, and limo rides to the airport. Max Rubin tells us in Comp City that it isn’t necessary to let the casino have a shot at a big bankroll to do this, but it is necessary to make the casino think they will.


If The Frugal Gambler tells the reader how to take advantage of high expectation situations (expecting to win or lose just a little) in order to get free trips to the buffet, free weekday rooms, or small amounts of cash back, Comp City deals with the other extreme, giving the illusion of a large amount of blackjack action in order to secure RFB (room, food, beverage), airfare reimbursement, and all the other top level perks that come to the casinos’ favorite customers.


My guess is even someone skilled in playing this game will learn a considerable amount from this book. There are a lot of tips and techniques on how to maximize the casino’s perception of how much is being wagered while minimizing risk. Some of the suggestions probably won’t work quite as well today as they did when the book was written, still, there are some powerful methods for those who care to play at this level.


One interesting observation I made were the places where techniques were similar and dissimilar to those used by blackjack card counters. The card counter wants to not be noticed by the pit, the comp counter wants to be noticed only at key times. The card counter wants a fast dealer, the comp counter wants few hands dealt each hour. Both vary their bets, although for different reasons. Both are trying to beat the house. The book mentions that one can combine low level card counting with these techniques and deliver a powerful one, two punch.


I have only two serious criticisms with this book. The first one is the price. At forty dollars, it may have shut out the casual reader, so I’m not sure it’s a great deal for the low roller. On the other hand, if one plans to bet at the $25/bet level, there’s no doubt that it can pay for itself in a short period of time. Still, I see no reason that the book couldn’t have been printed in paperback at $25 a copy.


The second objection I have is that a lot of Rubin’s suggestions get a bit piggish for my taste. While it’s true that one can get away with a lot on a coffee shop comp, it doesn’t mean that one should. While I certainly advocate someone enjoying their comps to the fullest, I can’t recommend ordering things that one is unlikely to eat just because the opportunity is there or to be vindictive. Eventually, what comes around goes around. If a significant fraction of the folks given comps abuse them, it will eventually just raise the bar for everyone.


Also note that even though one doesn’t have to play $100/hand ligaz11 blackjack for eight hours a day to appear to be giving this much action, one still has to put a not insubstantial amount of money in play. These techniques are not for the truly risk averse, and if the reader gets a queasy feeling in the pit of their stomach when betting more than $5 at a time, one can only go so far applying these techniques. This is not to say that they won’t work or that the book won’t be valuable, but in this case the reader may be better off with Anthony Curtis’ Bargain City or Jean Scott’s Frugal Gambler.


Rubin has written a very entertaining book, however. A lot of his sections are downright funny. It’s a bit pricey to buy just for entertainment, but if there’s a likelihood that one will play at a high level, the book will probably prove worthwhile.



Max Rubin has written the definitive book for how to get the maximum comp value with the minimum risk for the medium roller on up. This entertaining, though a little pricey book provides powerful techniques for the comp conscious, some of which are sure to be new even to the most veteran RFB player. If one plans to play big, this book will pay for itself if its advice is followed.