The Art of Getting Free Drinks at Casinos

Written by: Ashley Grasse, Casino, Games, and Trends Specialist
4 minute read
Are Casino Drinks Free? –  Free Drinks at Casinos (header image)

Free drinks at casinos are a long-standing tradition at gambling establishments. An endless stream of booze translates into a steady flow of money from buzzed gamblers’ wallets. Despite complimentary cocktails more than paying for themselves, casinos have quietly begun to roll out drink monitoring systems.

Some establishments may limit a gambler’s consumption based on the game they are playing. But can you score drinks for free? What other perks can you enjoy at land-based and online casinos? Keep reading to find out.

So… Are Drinks Free at Casinos?

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The short answer to this question is yes. However, the money you spend gambling is undoubtedly paying for your “free” beverages and then some. Don’t expect freebies if you’re standing around. Even the type of game you play may determine how much you get served.

Those seated at game tables or slot machines have no trouble receiving a steady supply of alcohol as they gamble. However, if you use video poker and bartop machines, you may find your consumption restricted.

Coded lights on the back of games send signals to bartenders when you have spent the minimum required for your first free drink. The same systems also monitor how slow or fast you play. On average, most people still receive 2-3 drinks per hour with this automated system.

Other Complimentary Items

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Often high rollers are rewarded with more considerable perks, such as free stays or complimentary meals. The best way for the average gambler to cash in on these bonuses is to sign up for a player’s reward card, which keeps track of all bets, wins, losses, and money spent.

The threshold for such perks may be lower than you think. It doesn’t hurt to ask the pit boss or casino host since they may surprise you with an enticing offer.

5 Tips to Get Free Drinks at Las Vegas Casinos

Though drinks are free to most, they’re not always easy to come by. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks to increase your odds at Las Vegas casinos.

  • Go With The Crowd

    Play in a populated area of the casino. Servers go where the money is, and you might not get noticed in a corner by yourself.
  • Leave Good Tips

    You should tip, and if you want servers to check on you regularly, it is wise to tip well. One larger tip on the first visit will ensure good service, after which most people leave $1-$2 per drink.
  • Play at Full Tables

    Avoid empty table games. A full table means slower playtime and yo spend less money while they drop off your beverage.
  • Choose High Roller Games

    It’s no secret that spending more money guarantees more attention from the staff. Higher limit games equal more frequent beverages and possibly other perks like discounted meals.
  • Bonus Tip – Order Better Drinks

    If you have caught the attention of a server, now is your chance to order something a little nicer. Steer clear of complicated drinks, but you might as well try that top-shelf liquor you don’t usually get to enjoy.

Do Online Casinos Have Freebies Too?

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With the uncertainty of travel safety during COVID, perhaps you’ve considered gambling online. Although you’ll need to pour your own cocktails, there are a ton of other perks online casinos have to offer. There are hundreds of games to choose from, unlike land-based establishments, and many have better rewards.

Free spins, reward multipliers, and VIP programs are just a few of the extra benefits you’ll find. Most online casinos also offer a welcome bonus that matches your first deposit. While you may not get free drinks, the money earned back in the form of promotions can buy you multiple bottles of that top-shelf liquor you tried in Vegas.

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Save Your Money and Gamble at Home

Some say the scenery in Las Vegas is changing for the worse with the implementation of drink monitoring systems. Perhaps this is the future of all casinos, and gamblers will have to adapt. If you choose to visit Sin City, you now know how to make the most of your money to get free drinks at casinos.

However, if you’re at home, online casinos remain a constant when it comes to maximizing your perks. That means more money you can put towards your next bet. So pour yourself a strong one, and take advantage of all that internet gambling has to offer.

Ashley Grasse

Ashley Grasse Casino, Games, and Trends Specialist

Ashley Grasse is a research writer and casino entertainment expert. She's a game theory enthusiast, and an expert on information accuracy, making difficult concepts easy to understand, dissecting casino games, and reviewing games, software, and online gambling sites.

Learn More About Ashley