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Free drinks while gambling are a staple of the Las Vegas experience and a perk beloved by gamblers. Nothing pairs better with pecking at a slot machine than an ice cold bottle of beer or cocktail of your choice. With Vegas resorts seemingly tightening the screws on comps and freebies while simultaneously driving up fees, many are left wondering if casinos still serve free drinks to those gambling.
The down and dirty answer is yes, casinos in Las Vegas still offer comped drinks to those actively playing in their casino. Below, we’ll touch on where you can earn free drinks in Vegas, along with tips and tricks for making the most of them.
Where to Earn Free Drinks in a Las Vegas Casino
Playing Slots and Table Games: Free drinks are still plentiful at Las Vegas slot machines and table games. As they have in the past, cocktail waitresses make the rounds and take orders from those actively playing in the casino. While some properties are better than others when it comes to frequency, all casinos in Vegas still offer complimentary beverages. It is customary to tip $1-$2 per drink, however, mixing in a few larger tips can help ensure better drink service.
Drink monitoring systems are also catching on as casinos combat free loaders that sit on a machine and play at an excruciatingly slow pace in an attempt to score free drinks. Drink monitoring software is commonly installed on bar top gaming devices and alert the bartender with a light on the back of your machine when a free drink is warranted. We have played at numerous machines with drink monitoring and never had trouble getting a fresh cocktail playing at a moderate pace.
We also expect drink monitoring systems to become more prevalent on the casino floor. Westgate recently rolled out a drink monitoring system casino wide that allows players to order their drinks from the machine to be delivered. No more desperately flagging down a server.
Drink monitoring systems in Vegas shouldn’t be feared by actual players as the thresholds for a drink are relatively low, and it should free up seats by chasing away freeloaders.
At The Sportsbook: Las Vegas sportsbook ticket writers still hand out coupons that can be redeemed for free drinks, although your chances at scoring a comp drink ticket are a little less predictable. As a rule of thumb, you can expect 1 or 2 drink tickets per $100 wagered.
Another rule that tends to hold true is that the more ritzy a casino is, the tighter they tend to be with free drink tickets when compared to older properties or ones off the beaten path that are typically more generous.
There are times that you will place hundreds of dollars in wagers only to see the transaction conclude with no free drink tickets by your ticket writer. Although awkward, we suggest asking if you could have a couple. It usually works.
The best way to gaurentee a few drink tickets when placing your bet is to tip your ticket writer. I will usually add $5 – $10 for them and have never left empty handed.
Tips and Tricks for Getting Free Drinks in Vegas
Tip Well: Sure, $1-$2 bucks will prevent dirty looks, but mixing in a $5 here and there will go a long way to ensure more frequent service.
Order Something New: You don’t HAVE to order your typical bottled domestic beer. Use free drinks at Las Vegas casinos to try something new, or out of the ordinary.
Play VP at a Bar Top: One way to ensure frequent drink service is by playing a few feet away from a bartender. Expect drinks to come much more frequently when playing at a bar than when relying on a server in the middle of a massive casino floor.
Find a Machine With Frequent Service: When you walk into a casino, park at a machine you just saw the cocktail waitress walk by, as they are sure to be back soon!
Order Something High End: Especially at more luxurious properties like Wynn/Encore, Venetian/Palazzo, and Cosmopolitan, quality booze options are often available. We recommend going for gold and asking your server, or bartender if your preferred top shelf option is available. The worst they can do is say no.
Enjoy your free drinks in Vegas! Our biggest piece of advice is to be adventurous and try something new, or top shelf if available. You can have a watered down beer back home.