Seven Stars With Video Poker
An anonymous reader (a reader!—I’m a new writer so having a reader is so thrilling), wants to know if video poker is a cheaper way to earn Seven Stars by Total Rewards status than baccarat or live poker. That is a very good, though complicated question.
Earning Seven Stars
Achieving Seven Stars (the top tier in the Caesars casino loyalty program) takes a lot of play and a lot of bankroll unless you’re on a lucky streak, no matter what game you are playing. If you are earning Seven Stars from live poker play, then I assume you are a very good player and your skill overcomes the variance and the rake. Bravo! I’m not really familiar with baccarat so I looked it up. It seems the variance is low and that if you place all your bets on banker, the house edge is 1.06%. I started reading some advantage strategies for baccarat and the founder of this blog is a baccarat player so I think I will pick his brain, the next chance I get. I am a video poker expert though, so I will speak to what Seven Stars will cost for VP play.
The Numbers – $$$$$
You must earn 150,000 Tier Credits and be invited to become a Seven Stars by Total Rewards member. The Total Rewards standard rate for earning 1 Tier Credit is $10 coin in on video poker so that would be $1,500,000 coin in. For so much play, it would be advisable to earn the maximum Tier Credit Bonus each day that you play, which is a 10,000 Tier Bonus for 5000 Tier earned for a total of 15,000 Tier in a day, which earns you Diamond Status. Do that 10 times in a calendar year (and get the invitation—the invitation thing, with this much play, really gets my goat) and you are Seven Stars.
$50,000 coin in, ten times equals $500,000 coin in required for Seven Stars, but not so fast. Caesars Entertainment Corporation often raises the coin in requirement for a Tier Credit on machines with good video poker, meaning on games with a low house edge. In Atlantic City (which is my home base) you earn 1 Tier Credit for every $20 or $50 coin in on good machines, the best game being full pay Jacks or Better, which has a long term theoretical pay back of 99.54% with perfect play. The lowest denomination that you can find with full pay Jacks or Better that earns 1 Tier Credit for every $20 coin in is dollar VP in multi-denominational machines that also have $2 and $5 games. So, you would have to play $100,000 coin in on 10 days (and be invited) to become Seven Stars.
So, $100,000 divided by $5 a hand equals 20,000 hands of dollar VP in one day. Really concentrating, I can probably play 850 hands an hour. With focused attention and a fast machine, I can probably get that up to 1000 hands an hour. That’s, uh, 20 hours and I could probably only play for two hours accurately at that speed. If I played 800 hands per hour, that would take 25 hours with no breaks and is longer than the gaming day. So, I would have to play $5 VP at $25 a hand. $100,000 divided by $25 is 4000 hands, which is much more feasible. 600 hands per hour accurately, is a realistic goal for a new player. So 4000 divided by 600 is say, 7 hours with breaks. Playing accurately for 7 hours at 600 hands per hour, on 10 different days is doable with motivation but how much is it going to cost theoretically?
Well, the house has a .46% edge, but they probably have a higher edge because who plays perfectly? We try, but really! Rounding it off to a .5% house edge, you would be down $5000 after one million coin in (theoretically), but 20,000 hands is only half of a royal flush cycle and even that is not a prediction of what your results will be. (See : Risk of Ruin) Your bankroll should be at least four $5 royal flushes or $80,000 and over 20,000 hands, you could lose more than that. It is not unusual to lose a quarter of a royal flush in a day’s play and you are going to be playing for a minimum of 10 days.
If you are adequately bankrolled, maybe the comps and the thrills that you get from playing are worth the financial risk, but you will still have to consider that the system will show that you did all your play on a full pay game. Even though you are already penalized by earning 1 Tier Credit for $20 coin in rather than $10 coin in, your marketing offers will be based upon your play, and not upon your status!
Your marketing offers are based upon your PLAY, not your status. That is worth repeating, because marketing offers are the meat and potatoes of casino offers and I have not yet gotten to marketing offers in my TR series.
Seven Star Benefits
The benefits of Seven Stars status are well spelled out. Depending on your home casino and what benefits you take advantage of, you may be able to reap enough rewards from status alone to justify the theoretical risk you are taking with the games you play. In my opinion, you’ve got to LOVE video poker (or any other game you play) or be very well bankrolled to earn Seven Stars. It comes down to a personal decision about how you view your time and your money.