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HOME > > Ask the Slot Expert: Cashless gaming workarounds

Ask the Slot Expert: Cashless gaming workarounds

18 January 2023

By John Robison, Slot Expert™

Cashless gaming isn't always a seamless experience today, but we'll get there. Remember when using your credit card meant giving your card to the cashier, who would put your card and a credit card sales slip in the endorsing machine and run a roller back and forth over your card? Today I just hold my card -- not even that, my phone -- in front of the card reader.

Here are workarounds for some of the problems you might encounter.

Cashless gaming is not supported on the machine you want to play

This problem is rare today and will disappear completely in the future. Cashless Gaming support will be standard equipment on a slot machine, like a bill acceptor is today.

Although I've mostly seen stickers that say that cashless gaming is not available on a machine on older machines, I have seen the stickers on a few new machines. I don't know why a new machine would not support cashless. The software in the older machines, on the other hand, doesn't understand the cashless gaming messages.

I tried an experiment on an old video poker machine that had the sticker at Suncoast. The card reader display gave me the option to transfer my credit meter to my cashless account, so I tried it. After about 20 seconds, the screen displayed "SAS Protocol Timeout". I guess the sticker wasn't kidding.

One workaround to play a machine that does not support cashless is to just carry some cash. That defeats the purpose of cashless, though, so maybe there is another option.

I wanted to play the Silver Strike machines at Red Rock a few days ago. I couldn't do a Cardless Connect on the machine, so cashless was not an option. (These are old machines.) I had plenty of money in my cashless account, but I had only small change that I didn't want to spend in my wallet.

I went to the cage to withdraw some money from my cashless account. There was a line there that I didn't really want to wait in. Then I realized that there are over a thousand ATMs on the casino floor.

All I had to do was go to a machine that supported cashless, download the session amount I wanted to the machine, then cash out a ticket. I had my bankroll for Silver Strike before the line had moved.

The workaround works the other way, too.

I hit four deuces on the old video poker machine I mentioned before. As I said, I wasn't able to transfer that mini-jackpot to my cashless account. I had gotten the money to play the machine by using another machine to access myy cashless account, so let me do the same thing in reverse.

I cashed out a ticket and put it in a video slot machine. Then I tried to transfer the credits to my account. I got an error message saying that the amount exceeded the maximum transfer amount.

That would be really unfortunate if the maximum were around $1000. Dollar deuces or bonus poker players will frequently cash out tickets for more than $1000.

I went to a video poker machine and tried the transfer again. No problem.

Easy peasy, no more fees-y

I don't think players should have to pay a fee to gamble. Parking should be free. Casino credit is free of charges. Getting money into and out of your cashless account should also be free of charges. (Okay, I understand that casino credit is completely internal and the casino has to pay a fee to a third-party processor to handle the money transfers.)

I realize that this next workaround eliminates the primary advantage of cashless gaming -- not having to carry cash into or out of the casino. But here goes. There are more ways to fund your account than transferring money from a checking account or credit card. (Don't take a cash advance on a credit card even though it is an option!)

You can avoid the external transfer fee by bringing cash to the casino. You can then go to the cage to deposit it to your cashless account or you can use one of the thousands of ATMs on the slot floor to get the cash into your account.

I'm currently trying to transfer some of my deuces winnings back to my checking account. I had transferred $500 from my checking to stake me at NSU. Now I want to use $500 of my winnings to cover that transfer.

Unlike the STN Cash app, the Boyd Pay app does not have a feature to transfer money back to your checking account. (I had hit two sets of deuces at Red Rock two weeks ago and used the STN Cash app to transfer a good chunk of that windfall back into my checking account.) According to the FAQ on the Boyd site, I have to go online to access my account and do the transfer. I should have received an email telling me how to access my account after the account was created. I never received the email and I'm currently waiting for help from tech support.

Until we get my account access worked out, there's only one way to get money from my cashless account to my checking account: cash out and redeem a $500 ticket and go to the bank.

I started playing today with the other half of the deuces money. I had a good, long run keeping my credit meter a bit above or a bit below $500, but then a cold streak hit. I considered calling it a day when I was at $250, but it was a point multiplier day and I had a small edge and I wanted to earn more points, so I continued playing.

My luck changed. A few premium hands had me back in the $400s. I wanted to cover the $500 transfer I had made before, so I figured I would quit if I could get the credit meter back to $500.

It was a real nail-biter roller coaster ride. I hit a few hands and got above $450, and then fell back down again. Then I hit a few more hands and got above $475, and then fell back down again. I got close to $500 and then fell back many times.

Finally, the stars and the winning hands aligned and I hit a straight flush at $470. I was over my goal at $520. I played the surplus $20 for as long as it lasted -- which was not very long -- and cashed out a ticket for $500. I redeemed it at a kiosk and will deposit it at the bank tomorrow (because I forgot to stop at the bank after grocery shopping today).

As I said before, reverting to cash negates the primary advantage of cashless gaming, but if it avoids fees charged for putting cash into or taking cash out of your account, at least it's no worse than what we did before cashless.


Here are the latest Covid data. There is a difference in the hospitalization data for US versus NV. The CDC reports total number of Covid hospital admissions. Nevada reports current hospitalizations, not total admissions.

All data comes from the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_totalcases, https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#new-hospital-admissions), except for Nevada current hospitalizations (https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/).


Totals Weekly Changes
US NV US NV
Date Cases  Hosp. Adm.  Deaths  Cases  Curr. Hosp.  Deaths  Cases  Hosp. Adm.  Deaths  Cases  Curr. Hosp.  Deaths 
 01/17/23   101,518,229   5,827,677   1,095,149   880,235   292   11,823   423,559   34,014   3,965   4,117   (18)   45 
 01/10/23   101,094,670   5,793,663   1,091,184   876,118   310   11,778   472,614   47,332   2,703   0   6   27 
 01/03/23   100,622,056   5,746,331   1,088,481   876,118   304   11,751   405,073   43,313   2,284   2,001   (23)   46 
 12/27/22   100,216,983   5,703,018   1,086,197   874,117   327   11,705   511,888   35,600   2,918   2,473   (18)   28 
 12/20/22   99,705,095   5,667,418   1,083,279   871,644   345   11,677   463,446   42,585   2,807   3,014   (14)   20 
 12/13/22   99,241,649   5,624,833   1,080,472   868,630   359   11,657   464,429   28,934   3,169   4,224   19   27 
 12/06/22   98,777,220   5,595,899   1,077,303   864,406   340   11,630   295,669   34,108   1,524   2,660   55   6 
 11/29/22   98,481,551   5,561,791   1,075,779   861,746   285   11,624   307,187   27,584   2,664   2,209   31   24 
 11/22/22   98,174,364   5,534,207   1,073,115   859,537   254   11,600   284,712   24,272   2,168   2,064   (2)   20 
 11/15/22   97,889,652   5,509,935   1,070,947   857,473   256   11,580   284,889   22,561   2,280   2,771   92   10 
 11/08/22   97,604,763   5,487,374   1,068,667   854,702   164   11,570   274,976   24,829   2,316   1,741   23   15 
 11/01/22   97,329,787   5,462,545   1,066,351   852,961   141   11,555   266,430   23,562   1,199   1,661   15   11 
 10/25/22   97,063,357   5,438,983   1,065,152   851,300   126   11,544   260,881   22,914   5,111   1,096   (12)   8 
 10/18/22   96,802,476   5,416,069   1,060,041   850,204   138   11,536   267,788   22,644   2,537   1,005   6   6 
 10/11/22   96,534,688   5,393,425   1,057,504   849,199   132   11,530   285,222   23,034   3,061   1,322   14   21 
 10/04/22   96,249,466   5,370,391   1,054,443   847,877   118   11,509   330,300   24,415   3,054   702   3   15 
 09/27/22   95,919,166   5,345,976   1,051,389   847,175   115   11,494   366,858   26,055   2,857   1,042   (28)   48 
 09/20/22   95,552,308   5,319,921   1,048,532   846,133   143   11,446   400,929   29,165   2,973   1,839   0   19 
 09/13/22   95,151,379   5,290,756   1,045,559   844,294   143   11,427   506,189   34,540   2,978   1,758   (40)   16 
 09/06/22   94,645,190   5,256,216   1,042,581   842,536   183   11,411   534,380   30,772   3,526   1,762   (8)   20 
 08/31/22   94,110,810   5,225,444   1,039,055   840,774   191   11,391   600,148   35,692   3,297   2,434   (44)   32 
 08/23/22   93,510,662   5,189,752   1,035,758   838,340   235   11,359   655,186   38,778   3,198   2,550   (51)   20 
 08/16/22   92,855,476   5,150,974   1,032,560   835,790   286   11,339   719,100   40,762   3,375   3,561   (92)   77 
 08/09/22   92,136,376   5,110,212   1,029,185   832,229   378   11,262   937,985   42,621   3,822   5,729   (69)   41 
 08/01/22   91,198,391   5,067,591   1,025,363   826,500   447   11,221   828,560   43,943   2,695   28,360   (5)   16 
 07/26/22   90,369,831   5,023,648   1,022,668   798,140   452   11,205   905,096   45,024   3,072   5,468   (61)   41 
 07/19/22   89,464,735   4,978,624   1,019,596   792,672   513   11,164   890,226   42,620   3,035   7,077   (20)   37 
 07/12/22   88,574,509   4,936,004   1,016,561   785,595   533   11,127   912,596   44,750   2,575   8,611   78   67 
 07/05/22   87,661,913   4,891,254   1,013,986   776,984   455   11,060   683,630   30,500   2,476   8,713   53   34 
 06/28/22   86,978,283   4,860,754   1,011,510   768,271   402   11,026   809,381   33,856   2,580   6,189   (8)   36 
 06/21/22   86,168,902   4,826,898   1,008,930   762,082   410   10,990   648,857   30,459   2,040   8,081   95   41 
 06/14/22   85,520,045   4,796,439   1,006,890   754,001   315   10,949   757,093   29,971   2,630   9,809   42   40 
 06/07/22   84,762,952   4,766,468   1,004,260   744,192   273   10,909   813,916   30,146   2,190   6,818   55   26 
 05/31/22   83,949,036   4,736,322   1,002,070   737,374   218   10,883   670,041   24,555   2,285   5,738   16   41 
 05/24/22   83,278,995   4,711,767   999,785   731,636   202   10,842   756,047   25,027   2,317   5,324   37   28 
 05/17/22   82,522,948   4,686,740   997,488   726,312   165   10,814   680,888   21,183   2,097   3,693   35   26 
 05/10/22   81,842,060   4,665,557   995,371   722,619   130   10,788   534,465   17,934   3,932   2,802   32   11 
 05/03/22   81,307,595   4,647,623   991,439   719,817   98   10,777   432,666   14,755   2,448   2,213   (6)   49 
 04/26/22   80,874,929   4,632,868   988,991   717,604   104   10,728   348,507   12,597   2,446   1,447   (22)   46 
 04/19/22   80,526,422   4,620,271   986,545   716,157   126   10,682   266,330   10,525   3,308   1,232   (37)   497 
 04/12/22   80,260,092   4,609,746   983,237   714,925   163   10,185   228,465   10,343   3,627   1,228   23   53 
 04/05/22   80,031,627   4,599,403   979,610   713,697   140   10,132   203,709   10,312   4,105   1,059   (52)   76 
 03/29/22   79,827,918   4,589,091   975,505   712,638   192   10,056   206,914   9,572   4,083   1,187   5   40 
 03/22/22   79,621,004   4,579,519   971,422   711,451   187   10,016   200,627   8,502   8,178   742   (71)   83 
 03/15/22   79,418,377   4,571,017   963,244   710,709   258   9,933   253,069   17,393   5,492   24,844   (20)   113 
 03/08/22   79,165,308   4,553,624   957,752   685,865   278   9,820   310,308   24,471   9,870   2,099   (101)   116 
 03/01/22   78,855,000   4,529,153   947,882   683,766   379   9,704   465,845   33,261   14,988   6,421   (189)   196 
 02/22/22   78,389,155   4,495,892   932,894   677,345   568   9,508   551,462   46,726   12,797   4,023   (297)   173 
 02/15/22   77,837,693   4,449,166   920,097   673,322   865   9,335   1,005,691   67,963   17,059   5,280   (375)   149 
 02/08/22   76,782,002   4,381,203   903,038   668,042   1,240   9,186   1,769,556   92,750   18,185   11,144   (387)   235 
 02/01/22   75,012,446   4,288,453   884,853   656,898   1,627   8,951   3,193,570   121,420   17,885   26,555   (344)   191 
 01/25/22   71,818,876   4,167,033   866,968   630,343   1,971   8,760   5,102,999   143,329   16,393   57,574   99   133 
 01/18/22   66,715,937   4,023,704   850,575   572,769   1,872   8,627   4,983,654   147,105   13,301   25,927   (1,787)   99 
 01/11/22   61,732,283   3,876,599   837,274   546,842   3,659   8,528   5,421,565   139,572   12,168   32,486   2,594   100 
 01/05/22   56,310,718   3,737,027   825,106   514,344   1,065   8,428   3,501,427   104,272   8,867   20,966   276   61 
 12/28/21   52,809,291   3,362,755   816,239   493,378   789   8,367   1,693,987   63,185   11,127   7,977   89   56 
 12/21   51,115,304   3,569,570   805,112   485,401   700   8,311   1,063,296   55,734   9,102   5,639   9   110 
 12/14   50,052,008   3,513,836   796,010   479,762   691   8,201   853,262   57,885   8,946   5,008   17   91 
 12/07   49,198,746   3,455,951   787,064   474,754   674   8,110   821,215   66,191   8,575   5,011   23   125 
 11/30   48,377,531   3,389,760   778,489   469,743   651   7,985   563,746   28,426   6,309   3,343   (50)   55 
 11/23   47,813,785   3,361,334   772,180   466,400   701   7,930   667,924   41,145   10,754   4,784   (24)   86 
 11/16   47,145,861   3,320,189   761,426   461,616   725   7,844   604,748   63,164   7,862   4,577   22   85 
 11/09   46,541,113   3,257,025   753,564   457,039   703   7,759   516,764   33,219   8,290   5,539   34   103 
 11/02   46,024,349   3,223,806   745,274   451,500   669   7,656   555,915   38,028   9,226   4,327   45   109 
 10/26   45,468,434   3,185,778   736,048   447,173   624   7,547   488,829   42,265   9,842   4,753   (87)   96 
 10/19   44,979,605   3,143,513   726,206   442,420   711   7,451   578,396   11,963   4,381   136 
 10/12   44,401,209   714,243   438,039   7,315   795,586   14,067   15,710   149 
 10/05   43,605,623   700,176   422,329   7,166   554,194   10,642   3,852   121 
 09/28   43,051,429   689,534   418,477   7,045   817,218   14,463   6,160   165 


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert™, at slotexpert@slotexpert.com. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

Copyright © John Robison. Slot Expert and Ask the Slot Expert are trademarks of John Robison.

 
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming's leading publications. Hear John on "The Good Times Radio Gaming Show," broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoons. You can listen to archives of the show online anytime.

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