How To Get Free Drinks In Casinos

How To Get Free Drinks In Casinos

If it’s your first time heading to Vegas you’ll, no doubt, have heard from anyone that’s been before about the fact that you can drink for free in the casinos.

It’s not true!

Well, it is but you’re going to have to gamble some of your money (or look like you are) to get your comped booze. You’re also going to have to tip your server but, hey, you should be doing that anyway.

The important thing to understand here is not to gamble just to get free drinks… you may end up spending $100 on a Heineken!

How do I order?

The process is pretty simple;

  • Deposit funds into the slot machine/on the table
  • Keep an eye out for a passing cocktail waitress
  • Smile
  • Place your order
  • Have tip ready for her return
  • Accept drink and give her the tip
  • Rinse and repeat

What drinks can I get?

This varies between casinos so, if you’re after something specific, don’t be afraid to ask the waitress. In general you’ll be fine with most beers, wine, spirits, and soft drinks.

All casinos will have most popular domestic and foreign beers. Budweiser, Miller, Heineken, Stella, Coors and Corona are all prevalent along with their Lite counterparts. Most properties are now also carrying a varying range of craft or speciality beers.

Wine is also readily available. There will usually be a selection of each colour of wine, so ask for a Chardonnay, Merlot etc. Unless you’re playing in a High Limit room don’t expect to be able to ask for a specific brand.

Spirits fall into 2 categories, Well and Call. Well drinks are a basic, generic brand of your chosen tipple. They’re generally low quality but that doesn’t always mean that they’re bad. If you simply ask for a Gin & Tonic, you’ll get the house version.

Call drinks, on the other hand, are the more popular, branded varieties and all casinos will have a huge range. As a rule of thumb, the higher end the casino, the ‘better’ the brand you’ll be able to Call. If you’d like a Woodford Reserve and Coke, simply ask for that. If its not a brand they comp, the waitress will tell you and may offer alternatives such as Jack Daniels in this case. Don’t haggle, she doesn’t make the rules.

If you fancy a cocktail, you’ll be well catered for. Every casino will comp regular, well known cocktails but they will be made with Well drinks. Remember to specify a brand if you want something in particular. Many places have their own specialities, don’t be afraid to ask.

You can also get most hot and cold soft drinks… but why would you? Soda, water, energy drinks, tea, coffee, hot chocolate and more are available should you fancy a change of pace.

How much should I tip?

As with all tipping situations there’s no defined minimum, or indeed maximum. The accepted practice is simply $1 per drink.

Now, whilst that’s perfectly reasonable, there are occasions when you could, and should, tip more.

If you order something complicated, if she takes time to list choices for you, if she gets you a drink not normally comped or if you order a beer and a water, these are all examples of times you really should at least double your tip.

If you’re planning to have a bit of a session, tip $5 or more on the first round and politely say that you’ll be there for a while and could she bring you another each time she passes. You’ll usually then get another drink as she goes by on her ordering round as well as her delivering round. You can tip the usual $1 for each additional drink. Bear in mind that you’ll need to ensure you’ve finished one before the next arrives… it’s the rules.

Never let your gambling losses get in the way of tipping, you were going to gamble that money anyway. Conversely, should you win well, feel free to tip more, good karma and all that!

Remember, you can tip in cash, chips from that casino, or cash out tickets from slot machines in that property.

What if I’m playing video poker at the bar?

This is often a better strategy if you want better, more frequent drinks.

Once you’ve deposited cash in the machine simply place your order with the barman. He’ll expect you to be actually playing the machine not simply sitting with money in it.

One advantage of sitting at the bar is that you can physically see the drink selection. This is useful if you’re after a specified beer or spirit. It enables you to have the conversation with him about which ones are comped.

Another advantage is, as long as it’s not too busy, you can get chatting with him and, as long as you’re tipping, the drink selection available to you may well increase.

When he brings your drink he’ll put a glass in front of you with a receipt in it. The ticket is automatically printed off for accounting purposes and may have a line through it or be torn. However it’s presented, you’re not expected to pay for the drink, just place your tip in the same glass and enjoy.

Wynn/Encore is the only property that doesn’t comp drinks at the bar. Some other casinos have a light on the back that goes on when you’ve played enough to qualify for a drink whilst others actually issue drinks tickets depending on rate of play.

If you’re unsure how it works in any casino, just ask!

The bottom line!

Be nice to your waitress or barman and they’ll look after you. They’re real people just doing their job. Don’t do any of the things in this article and you’ll be fine.

Check out this page for my suggestions of the best casinos for gambling and drinking.