Saturday, April 6, 2013

How to get "free" drinks

So...another question I get all the time is how to get "free" drinks when you are in Vegas.  I always like to put that word in quotes because there ain't nothin' free in this world, particularly in Las Vegas.   Here's my advice.

First of all, casinos aren't giving out drinks because they think you are a stand-up dude or lady.  They are giving them to you because they want you stick around, get tipsy and lose money.  Now some of the really nice casinos are going to expect you to lose more money than the middle-of-the-road places, so they are going to be a hard sell on the free drinks.  So don't expect to get drunk at the Wynn playing nickel slots.  That cute waitress is not going to be making the rounds in your little corner of the casino very often and that friendly bartender isn't going to be too impressed with that quarter bet you're making on Caveman Keno.  Now if you're the kind of person betting $100 a hand at Blackjack or playing $5 a pop at the Video Poker machine, you aren't going to have that problem, but, if you are reading this, that probably isn't you.

So, if you want to get drunk for "free," you need to find a casino that isn't too snooty and you need to be there when it isn't too busy.  Of course, most of the cocktail waitresses are just going to assume you are some cheap-ass loser until you "make friends" with them.   And how do you make friends with them?   You give them money.  Now if you want to make friends fast, you can start out with a ridiculous tip.  And, honestly, throwing $5 at them the first time they drop off your Coors Light will definitely encourage them to come by early and often.  I've never done that but it should work.  Otherwise, you'll have to be patient.  Order a drink every single time they come by and always be polite and give them a dollar.  You'll be surprised how often they find their way back if they realize that you are an alcoholic and are going to give them a dollar every 15-20 minutes.  This can even work in really nice casinos because you would be surprised how many of the so-called high rollers are actually cheapskates.  Unfortunately, not only does this take a bit of patience, but it requires you stay on the same machine or, at least, in the same area so that the waitress can get to "know" you.  And, if you are unlucky, just about the time you've become her new favorite drunk, she gets off work and you have to start all over again.

My favorite strategy (and it pains me to say this) is to bypass that really cute cocktail waitress and just head straight to one of the casino bars.  Usually the bartenders are not really cute and, most of the time, they are guys, but they are usually less than 20 feet away from you at all times and they know they aren't cute, so they are more than happy to take care of your drinking needs, as long as you are betting enough to satisfy their bosses.  You will rarely, if ever, find a nickel machine at a casino bar but, if you are willing to drop a twenty or two in the video poker machine, they will notice you pretty quickly and offer you a cold beverage.  They will also notice when your beverage is gone and offer you another one as long as you "make friends" with them and, by now, you know what that means.  Now, if you are going to be staying or playing in the same casino for several days, you might even introduce yourself to your server and banter with them.  That isn't necessary but it might help them remember you and, once they remember you and your money, it won't take long for them to set you up with your favorite beverage and keep them coming.

Another strategy that can be a good one is to sit in the fabulous Keno lounge and plant yourself there for a while.  Most casinos that have a Keno lounge are pretty good about sending a waitress around frequently.  Now Keno is a terrible game in terms of odds but it is also a game that goes very slowly and that you can play for a dollar or two.  Trust me...you'll lose a lot less playing a dollar every 5 minutes than you will pumping 3 quarters into that Wheel of Fortune machine every 5 seconds.   Either way, therein lies the rub.  If today isn't your day at the casino, those 6 Bud Lights could end up costing you a few hundred dollars and that sure as hell isn't free.  So try to find a game where, even if you end up losing, you can do it slowly instead of quickly.  Video Poker is usually a good choice but $5 Blackjack can be good too.

Well...I hope that helped all of you out.  If you are enjoying these posts, please keep checking back or follow me to stay up to date.

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