How Dave & Buster's Gamers Can Make The Equivalent Of $50 An Hour

For those who don't know what Dave & Buster's is: Imagine a Chuck E. Cheese's, but take out the robotic rat and replace the flock of sugar-crazed children with pizza-stained faces with tipsy forty-somethings with wing sauce on their faces screaming at the Dallas Cowboys on TV. The brainchild of David Corriveau's love of game parlors and James "Buster" Corley's bar and restaurant (via The Daily Meal), this adult-friendly restaurant, sports bar, and arcade has been catering to everyone from hardcore football fans to the young-at-heart since 1982.

While food is obviously a large factor in its profits, Dave & Buster's also relies on games to help bring in customers. In 2018, according to The Motley Fool, the company began to emphasize the gaming aspect of their chain to help offset a poor financial season. By activating a Power Card that serves as a reloadable charge card, one can pay for any amount of chips to be put onto the card, allowing you to play any of the multitude of games Dave & Buster's offers until you run out of tokens and pay to refill it again. As you play games and earn tickets, you can cash in on a variety of prizes, ranging from high-end gaming consoles to rinky-dink party favors. 

Although most people are there for wings and arcade games, some are there on serious business. These people treat those electronic games and arcade machines as virtual — and literal — money-makers.

These "arcade kings" are masters of strategy

Known as advantage players, these gamers take to arcade machines with the skill and grace of veteran poker players. Their goal is just like the average player's: win tickets. But not just the measly handful of tickets you may normally win on an average day. No, these players shoot for the big prizes, meaning iPads, iPods, video game consoles, and all of the good high-end stuff that's a thousand tickets or more. 

According to Wired, one of these players, Jon Hauser, explains his introduction to the world of advantage playing began after scoring multiple jackpots off of the arcade game Tippin' Bloks. Hauser used his thousands of tickets to secure a PlayStation 3, worth nearly $400 dollars at the time. He has since spent a considerable amount of time not just playing the games, but studying them. To be an advantage player isn't to rely just on luck or button mashing, but on careful study of your chosen game. You note its quirks and tics, finding the moment to strike when the iron (or in this case, the joystick) is hot. Another advantage player, Michael Lucas, crafted a 44-page guide on the Dave & Busters subreddit to help other players refine their hustle. 

If you think these players are taking advantage of the staff, you'd be happy to know that one of the key rules of being an advantage player is to be polite to other players and always tip the staff 20%.