The Complimentary Drink Illusion at Casinos


A question often posed by casino newbies or anyone visiting for the first time is more often than not “How do I score free drinks?” Seasoned casino goers would probably have heard this question a thousand times, and might even be tired of it. Yet as it turns out, many experienced players do not get as annoyed about this as much as people think they do. They still have recollections of their first time going to the casino as a 21-year-old. The first few times, in fact, most have three objectives – gain money, obtain some complimentary drinks and meet some ladies.

Having been in their shoes, it is completely understandable why newbies would ask a question like this and many veterans are more than willing to offer help. In some warped sense, it’s their way of returning the favor from when they themselves first started out and had the same question.

The focus of today’s article will hence be to discuss the optimal methods you can use to obtain drinks for free at the casino. The changes over the years as well as some crucial pointers from experienced players will also be shared. As Vegas casinos are usually the basis on which other casinos operate from, they will be the focus of today’s discussion, though do consider checking out these online casinos with a no deposit bonus since the onset of Covid-19 means everyone should be isolating themselves to stay safe.

The drinks are not free

It’s common knowledge that in a majority of casinos, waitresses are often wandering around to serve drinks to people playing games at the table. While you are exactly not paying for the drink itself, you are obligated to give a standard dollar tip. Otherwise, you can expect to not be getting more drinks anytime soon into the night.

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The costs are often hidden in the money you eventually lose while waiting for the drink. After spending a couple of minutes going around the table, they take additional time to return with your drink order. In the time that they are gathering others and preparing them, you have an obligation to continue playing while waiting for your free drink. This is exactly what they want you to do and the reason why you are even getting the complimentary drink at all.

While this is not a huge deal if you already had intentions to gamble in the first place, this may put you in a difficult situation if your agenda was to avoid paying extravagant drink prices. You might find yourself losing even more money than you were looking to save by waiting for that supposedly free drink by the time you have been served. In other words, while the drink may be free, it might just cost you more than what you could have saved.

Free drink hacks

Free drink hacks

If you’re still thinking about how you can cheat the system, don’t worry. While plenty of casinos have begun to limit free drinks, there are many ways that you can still use as a workaround to get your money’s worth at those places.

Pre-drinking is key.

The best way to get cheap drinks is to have them outside before entering the casino. If you choose to stay near the casino, transform your room into a low-budget bar! And I’m not talking about the mini bar fridge. We’re going extremely economical here and buying drinks from the nearest grocery store and drinking before you leave for the casino. Don’t forget to bring some cups if you’re expecting company and use the ice machine to get free ice.

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Always choose the full casino tables.

Being the only player at a blackjack table usually means that every round is going to go by really fast. You will have more time to wait for people to make their move if you sit at a table filled with other players as opposed to if you were the only person sitting at the table. Normally, people who want to get their rounds done quickly would be annoyed at an arrangement like this, but it will be the best option for those who want to get tipsy while getting their money’s worth. Alternatively, you can fill the table yourselves if you bring friends along.

Tip your servers.

Even though servers are disallowed from bringing you more than a drink at one go, a small tip can earn you both a drink and shot served to you at once. How this works is that you take a shot, return the glass, and then they serve your drink, which technically is one drink at a time. Make an effort to tip a bit more than what most people are tipping, and sure enough, the servers will be back at your table faster than you expect.

Get your complimentary drinks from playing the slot machines.

Take your time when it comes to playing these machines as the servers make their way around. Remember, casinos have noticed trends and are now requiring a minimum betting amount that qualifies you for the free drink.

There are indicative lights at the side of the slot machines that only light up when you reach the betting minimum that will signal the servers to serve you. Fortunately, this only happens at certain spots so just choose a casino that does not do this.

Another tip when playing on casinos on The Strip is to station yourself at a slot machine outside the staff entrance which leads to the bar. What you should then do is to tip one of the servers 5 or ten dollars and an additional two bucks whenever the server brings a shot. This way, you can satisfy yourself for 10 to 20 bucks, which is the same as what buying one or two drinks would have costed you in the first place. Spin the slots very slowly when you do this, and only spend a penny for each pull. If you choose to tip for every drink, you’re normally entitled to another drink for anyone who is watching. This only works at certain times and is not guaranteed. If you are gambling and your girlfriend is watching behind you, try casually asking her if she wants anything when the server is taking your order. Most times, the server will fulfill both of your orders. However, you have to tip the server for your drinks and maybe add another dollar or they most likely won’t allow it anymore.

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Rotate your orders.

Rotate your orders.

What this means is when you’re being served your drink, be sure to let the server know that you want another one the next time. Doing this would make sure that you’ll be the fastest to get your drinks. It would also be helpful to tip extra on the first few rounds so that the drinks keep coming.


The main goal of going to the casino is so that you are having fun, and people spend more when they’re enjoying themselves. While it’s not wrong to have a strategy to cut costs, just don’t go crazy saving several dollars. If you are that short on money, casinos are probably the last place you should be going to!


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