I’m writing this a little bit late and backdating it, but let’s try to pretend that it’s still Friday 8th August, 2008.
The eight of the eighth, oh eight. Gimmicks ahoy in Las Vegas.
There were plenty of food and drink deals like $8.88 buffets and 88c beers.
For live poker, Station casinos offered an $8,888 jackpot for anyone hitting quad eights that day, or the same prize for bingo if you won in certain games with a full house on ball B8.
But the promotion I was most interested in was an 8x points multiplier at all Coast Casinos properties. It ran between 8am and 8pm of course.
There are no points multiplier coupons for these casinos and since they introduced the new tierred slot club scheme the benefits have been sliced to a fraction of what they used to be – unless you are in the highest ranking tier.
As you only retain your status for 6 months at a time, there didn’t seem to be much point in me going mad and trying to cycle through $125,000 just to be able to increase the comp rate (only for anything I played above this level) and get a line pass to the buffet.
Occasionally, Sam’s Town has one-off 6x points days which usually make it worth a special trip to play their full pay deuces wild machines.
However this 8x day added a new dimension of value.
When you play video poker with a payback greater than 100%, you only earn slot points at half the speed.
The earning rate for comp is then a paltry 0.083% (one twelfth of one percent), whereas the normal rate if you play on a "negative" machine or any slot machine is 0.167% (one sixth of one percent).
Multiply this up, and the 8x day gives you an extra 0.67% back on positive games, but 1.33% back on negative games.
So you could play full pay deuces wild (FPDW), and turn 100.76% payback into about 101.4% (almost doubling the expectation), or the slightly negative 9/6 Jacks or Better (JoB) and turn 99.5% into a roughly 100.8% game (turning a losing game into a decent winner).
Clearly FPDW is still a better game dollar for dollar. However, that bank of "positive" machines has the speed control locked way down whereas "negative" JoB deals almost twice as quickly. With this in mind, JoB was the game of choice to start with.
However, the multiplier even made it profitable to play 8/5 Bonus Poker (99.2% payback, now worth 100.5%). This game is available in $1 denominations as well as 25c triple play, which was a particularly attractive option.
Being able to pummel money through the system more than three times as quickly at 100.5% than at 101.4% actually gives this game a slightly better hourly rate than Full Pay Deuces Wild, and that’s before you take into account the progressive jackpots for a royal flush. A bottom line royal was worth a a massive $2200 and the others stood around the $1200 mark (vs the usual $1000 payoff).
On a 6x points day, the 99.2% Bonus Poker is effectively worth 100.2%. 8x points doesn’t seem like that much better deal, but it actually makes that game more than twice as profitable.