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Las Vegas Bonus Whoring: Cosmopolitan Edition

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Las Vegas Bonus Whoring: Cosmopolitan Edition

This blog is the second in a series. For the first installment (Bonus Whoring Tropicana), go here:

Please note that these two promotions are very similar (though not identical), so much of the material will be duplicated.

If you don't know what "bonus whoring" is, please read the description in the first part of the series, linked above.

This is Part 2 in a series. In these bonus whore blogs, I will give my experience with a particular casino's promotion, suggest what I believe to be the optimal strategy, and give a letter grade for the quality of the promotion.

I will do more bonus whoring blogs as I personally experience each promotion (or talk to someone reliable who has done so). Also keep in mind that some of these promotions are short-lived, so always check with the casino that the promotion still exists before going down there.

The Grading Scale

All casino promotions reviewed on this site will get a letter grade from A to F.

The breakdown of grades is as follows:

  • A: Great promotion! It's a complete freeroll, and you instantly get back any cash that you lose. The worst you can do is break even
  • B: Good promotion. It's a freeroll, but there is some effort required to get your money back if you lose.
  • C: Okay promotion. There might be some risk in losing money, but the odds of winning are still on your side. Also, any reimbursement of lost money may not be instant.
  • D: Lousy promotion. There are too many restrictions and problems. It's likely not worth the trouble, even if the odds of coming out ahead are slightly in your favor.
  • F: Terrible promotion. Not at all what they appear to be advertising. This is a complete waste of time, and perhaps also your money. Stay away!

The Cosmopolitan $100 Slot Loss Rebate Promotion

At first glance, this looks like a great promotion. This heavily-advertised promotion supposedly allows you to get reimbursed for your first $100 in losses at the machines at the Cosmopolitan. So is this a freeroll where you either win or break even? Not quite.

Here is the way the promotion actually works:

  1. You sign up for a new player's card at the Cosmopolitan. If you already have one, you're not eligible.
  2. You go to any eligible machine in the Cosmopolitan casino, and start playing. From the moment you start until 11:59pm that same day, the promotion takes place. Once midnight strikes, the promotion turns into a pumpkin and is over.
  3. If you are up money when the promotion is over, nothing further happens. Congratulations, you're a winner!
  4. If you are down money at the end of the day, or whenever you decide to quit the promotion (which you can do any time), you are eligible for free slot play, based upon your losses. You are awarded free slot play equivalent to your overall loss, up to $100.
  5. You need to cycle your free play through at least once in order to cash out. For example, if you earn $100 in free slot play, you need to make at least $100 in bets with the free credits before you can cash anything out.

Flaws With the Cosmopolitan Promotion

This is a decent promotion -- better than the similar one offered by Tropicana -- but is NOT a freeroll.

The flaws of this promotion are:

  1. It's not a freeroll. It's very possible to lose money, even if played optimally.
  2. You don't get reimbursed in money. You get free slot play, and that has to be cycled through in order to cash out.
  3. Not all machines are eligible for the promotion. However, to be fair, most machines in the Cosmopolitan are part of the promotion, including video poker.

Optimal Strategy

The key here is to "Go Big or Go Home".

That is, unless you actually enjoy playing video poker or slots, there's no point to waste your time grinding limits you'd typically play with a $100 bankroll.

The reason for this is the fact that you're trying to do one of two things -- either win a lot of money without having to use the reimbursement feature (the best result, obviously), or lose your first $100 quickly while trying.

There is no point to "grind", because you're not trying to eke out a small profit. Remember, unless the clock strikes midnight, YOU choose when to quit when you're up. It would be foolish to quit when just a few dollars up, since you'd be costing yourself the chance to win a lot more money on dollars they'll (sort of) reimburse you if you lose. Your goal should be to win enough to where you're not likely to do much better from that point forward, even with the "free" $100 behind. Otherwise, you should bust the entire $100.

The best way of accomplishing this is to do what poker players are always told NOT to do: Play above your bankroll.

First, make sure you have ample time to play. It doesn't have to be early in the day, but make sure it's earlier than 10:30pm.

Next, make sure you bring AT LEAST $200 to the Cosmopolitan. What if you can't afford to lose $200? No problem. The most you can possibly lose here is $100, and even that is unlikely. But you will need $200 seed money in order to make this work properly.

Next, go to the promotions desk, sign up for the card, and let them explain everything to you.

Stroll yourself into the high limit slots section. Your best bet odds-wise is to play $5-per-credit, Jacks or Better video poker, and max bet, meaning it will be $25 per hand. If you don't like video poker (or suck at it), you can also play slots with similar limits. Note that the variance will be huge here, which is actually what you want.

You will need to insert your player's club card, as well as YOUR OWN $100. Don't worry -- you'll probably get it back. If you brick the first 4 hands, you're down $100 and need to quit, because the promotion is automatically over. Be very careful to NOT ever be down more than $100.

If you start doing well (i.e. are up $200 or more), quit immediately. You've just achieved the desired result. You've made money without having to cycle free slot play. The reason you're playing high limits is because it's easiest to get up the desired amount quickly, plus the odds are usually a little bit better in that section. Also note that, if you won, you also have $5 in freeplay on your card. (This vanishes if you claim the free $100 after losing, though.) You might want to take the card to a smaller-limit machine and run the $5 in freeplay, if you care about it. For instructions on how to do this, go to Step 2, except only insert $5 in the machine instead of $100.

If you don't win, at least you got to Step 2 quickly, without having to endure the long, torturous grind of playing $100 through video poker or slots until eventually losing it.

Step 2

If you do lose the $100, go to the "Identity" desk where you got your card. You will immediately get $100 in free slot play. Now it's time to grind. Go to the $1 machines (which are not in the high limit area).

Once there, you will need to insert another $100. Before you start playing, load your $100 "Identity Play" into the machine! If you don't know how to do this, ask a slot attendant for help.

Once you have done this, you will see at the bottom of the screen an "Identity Play" counter, which will start at $100 and move down as you play each hand (regardless of whether you win or lose). Once it gets to zero, it means your freeplay is finished and you need to quit. Basically, this "Identity Play" counter reimburses you the cost of your hand/spin each time.

When you're done with this, you will have AT LEAST $100 in the machine. This is because you will get reiumbursed $100 through the Identity Play, so there's no way you can finish with less than that, even if you lose every hand. If you have more than $200 in the machine, that means you won overall, because you inserted $200 and now have more than that. If you have less than that, subtract from $200, and that's what you lost overall.

Don't try to win the money back if you don't finish with $200 or more. Just cash out the money and be done with it.

Once you blow through the first $100 and need to resort to the free play, your expectation is to LOSE at that point. You are not likely to lose the entire $100 (or anywhere close to it), but you can easily lose half of it. However, since you will also win hundreds of dollars right off the bat a fair amount of the time, this promotion is definitely positive expectation for the player.

As an interesting aside, I had an exciting moment when I ran my $100 in the High Limit section. I got dealt 4-to-a-Royal, and needed the Jack of Clubs to win $20,000. Sadly, I was dealt the ten of spades, and got nothing.

Overall Grade: C+. It's a bit annoying that this isn't a freeroll, as their highly misleading ads would have you believe. Despite this, it's still worth doing, and the odds are definitely on your side.
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