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Free Drinks in a Vegas Casino (How & What to Order)

The casinos in Las Vegas have a reputation for offering freebies or “comps” to certain visitors and hotel guests. One of the most prominent of these complimentary services is free drinks.

So, are drinks free in Las Vegas casinos?

Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are free in Las Vegas casinos if you are actively gambling. Playing a slot machine or table game will ensure you are approached by a server for a free drink. Note: Free drinks are only served by the roaming cocktail waitresses, never at the bar.

Keep reading, and I’ll show you how to score free drinks in any Las Vegas casino and keep them coming. I’ll also share how and where to find reduced-priced drinks on or near the Las Vegas Strip.

Are drinks free in Las Vegas casinos

How to Get Free Drinks in Las Vegas Casinos

Free drinks are one of the legendary perks available to you at casinos in Las Vegas if you meet the requirements. Here are some of the easiest ways to get them at casinos up and down the Strip and throughout Las Vegas.

Free Cocktails While Gambling (Casino Floor)

Casino owners know that the more alcohol customers consume, the more inclined they’ll be to spend their money at the tables and slot machines.

I often wonder how frequently an inebriated person walks past a roulette wheel, for instance, and plunks down $20, $50, $100, or more on a long-shot bet with terrible odds.

After losing, they stumble off without giving it another thought. I’d imagine that that scenario plays itself out countless times every day.

So the bottom line is, Casinos don’t give out free drinks for no reason! Every “free” drink, on average, makes a profit for the casino.

Fortunately, however, you don’t have to be a high roller (or even much of a gambler at all) to get complimentary cocktails, beer, wine, or spirits. All you have to do is sit down at a machine and play.

Before long, a cocktail waitress will come by and ask you if you’d like a drink. Boom! You just got your first free drink at a casino in Las Vegas.

Wendy and I aren’t actually much for gambling. It’s not really our thing, but on occasion, we like to go out and put a couple of dollars in a penny or nickel video poker machine (see, I told you we weren’t big gamblers) and get a few free drinks.

How to Get Free Drinks in Las Vegas Casinos
Wendy and I with our free drinks at The Palms Casino.

We actually have a pretty good record of playing for a while, having a good time, and then moving on with our drink once we break even or are possibly even up a couple of bucks.

That’s the best way to gamble, in my opinion.

BUT if you like to play for longer and appreciate a few free casino drinks, here are a couple of tips and suggestions to help you out.

  • Don’t rush your games. If you’re in it to have some fun and have a couple of complimentary cocktails, take your time. You don’t want to lose all your money before you’ve gotten your fill of the casino’s free drinks. A free beer or cocktail isn’t worth much if you’ve poured a ton of money into a machine before your drinks arrive.
  • Only one drink at a time. The cocktail waitresses will only give you one free drink per person at a time. I’ve tried ordering a “shot and a beer” multiple times, and it’s a no-go.
  • The cocktail waitresses are often slow to return. Once you’ve received your free drink, you may find it takes quite a while before you see the cocktail waitress again (that’s on purpose). If your goal is to have several drinks in a short span of time, you’ll likely have to head to the bar, where the beverages are most definitely NOT free.

Drink Monitoring Systems at Casinos

Some Vegas casinos may have drink tracking systems. This isn’t very widespread, but at least one casino (Westgate) uses a tracking system in the machines to monitor how much you’re gambling and decide if you’ve played enough to earn a comped or free drink.

I’m not sure if these systems will become widespread or not at other Vegas casinos. If they do, this will certainly cut down on the number of free drinks. Only time will tell.

How To Get Free Drinks in Sin City Casinos For Non-Gamblers

Fortunately, there is a way to get free drinks in Las Vegas without gambling. Just hang out with a friend that is gambling.

Sometimes, you don’t even have to be the one playing at the casino to get a complimentary drink. You can get a free drink just by being an enthusiastic cheerleader for your gambling companion.

The casinos understand the impact a friendly face can have on a player. So, they’ll be happy to serve you drinks free of charge if that’s part of what it takes to keep you and your high-rolling friend at the table or machine.

This technique doesn’t work very well at the penny slot machines, but it can work at the craps table, other table games, and bigger denomination slots.

What Kind of Complimentary Drinks Can You Get

What Kind of Free Drinks Do Las Vegas Casinos Offer

You can pretty much order anything you want as long as it’s simple. So steer clear of complicated mixed drinks like Manhattans or Cosmopolitans.

Cocktails, beer, spirits, and wine are all readily available. However, be forewarned when ordering wine and spirits that you’re not getting served from the top shelf.

It’s not poor-quality alcohol, it’s just not the high-end stuff. For instance, ordering a shot of tequila is going to get you Jose Cuervo Gold or something similar.

Don’t expect Gran Patron Anejo Burdeos. (At $458 a bottle, that’s not on the complimentary drink menu!)

If your refined tastes require a certain brand label or a complicated mixed drink made to your exact specifications, you’re better off heading to the bar for premium drinks.

Types of Gratis Drinks to Order

In addition to beer and wine, a casino’s free drinks will include:

  • Margarita (on the rocks or blended)
  • Tequila Sunrise
  • Whiskey Sour
  • Screwdriver
  • Pina Colada
  • Martini
  • Mimosa
  • Gin and Tonic
  • Mojito
  • Lemon Drop
  • Old Fashioned
  • Mai Tai
  • Paloma
  • Bloody Mary
  • Mint Julep
  • Daiquiri
  • Long Island Iced Tea
  • and many more!

In addition to the above drinks, you can also ask for several types of non-alcoholic drinks, including:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soda
  • Seltzer

And, if you’d like a non-alcoholic cocktail, no problem, just ask!

Best Strip Casinos For Comped Drinks

While most every Las Vegas casino offers its players free drinks, not all casinos are equal when it comes to how fast you get your drink or how frequently the cocktail waitress comes back to offer you another round.

I’ve found that medium-sized casinos are where you’ll find the most free drinks in Las Vegas.

It’s the medium-sized casinos with big (but not huge) gaming floors that you’re more likely to experience a regular flow of drinks. Some of the best casinos for free drinks in Vegas include:

  • Horseshoe
  • Flamingo
  • The LINQ
  • and Tropicana

Many of the casinos downtown on Fremont Street will also fall into this category. So, keep that in mind when looking for a place to game and get free drinks in Vegas.

Resorts with big casinos seem to have fewer cocktail waitresses covering their large casino floors (some of these are well over 100,000 sq. ft.), so it sometimes takes forever before they come back again to offer you another round.

On the other end of the spectrum are the casinos with tiny gaming floors. Because of their small size, they have less of a profit margin and don’t seem to want to offer as many complimentary drinks.

Always Tip Your Server, Even if the Drink is Free

Cocktail waiter and waitress serve free drinks in a Las Vegas casino.

If you’re getting free drinks, please don’t cheap out on tipping your waiter or waitress. They work hard, and your tips make up a large majority of their paychecks.

In most cases, a $1 or $2 tip per drink will suffice.

Also, people tend to forget how significant tipping is when it comes to getting quick and friendly repeat service.

At some point during your stay at the casino, the waitress will stop offering you drinks unless you hand her a tip every time she does. So keep tipping your waiters and waitresses, and you should have a fairly steady flow of free booze.

Another suggestion is to tip your server well from the get-go and they’ll be likely to be back sooner to check if you need another drink. It’s just human nature.

Check out our complete Las Vegas Tipping Guide to find out Who to Tip, When to Tip, and How Much to Tip in Vegas.

DON’T Go to the Casino Bar and Ask for a Free Cocktail

If you’re looking for a free drink, whatever you do, don’t try to get one directly from the casino bar.

If you walk into a casino, stroll to the bar, and ask for free drinks from the bartender, they’ll refuse. This is because the entire concept behind complimentary drinks at Vegas casinos is for customers to gamble before receiving drinks on the house.

Stick with the servers on the casino floor if you don’t want to pay for cocktails, beer, and wine in Las Vegas. They’ll come to you as long as you’re sitting at a slot machine or playing at a table.

They want to see you busy adding value to the casino before offering free liquor. 

Vegas Happy Hours at Bars & Restaurants For Cheap Drinks

Are there free drinks in Las Vegas casinos
Happy Hour Drink Specials | Image by hua lam

What if you want to drink but don’t want to spend your time in the casino? Drinks and food on the Strip can be expensive! The best way we’ve found to enjoy low-cost drinks and top-quality meals in Las Vegas is by taking advantage of Las Vegas happy hours.

If you don’t want to gamble but you’d still like a deal on a drink, many restaurants in the city offer happy hour drink discounts and appetizers every day. Here are a few of the most popular options along Las Vegas Blvd.:

  • Sushi Roku at The Forum Shops at Caesars gives discounts on drinks from Sunday to Thursday ( 4 – 7 PM) and Friday to Saturday (4 – 6 PM). (google maps)
  • Cabo Wabo Cantina at the Miracle Mile Shops (Planet Hollywood) has half-priced drink specials Monday – Friday from 3pm to 5pm. (google maps)

Affordable Bars in Las Vegas

Another effective way to save money when you go out in Las Vegas is to visit the most affordable bars in the city, alone or with your friends. The following are the best bars that offer drinks for under $5 apiece:

  • Bird Bar at Flamingo (they also have .50 cent happy hour beers (google maps)
  • O’Shea’s pub at The LINQ (google maps)
  • Dino’s Lounge (google maps)
  • Flight at the Luxor (google maps)
  • Fat Tuesday (Bally’s, Stratosphere, Venetian, MGM, Planet Hollywood, Mandalay Bay, and more)

For more affordable bars and happy hours in Las Vegas, check out our article: 18 Cheapest Bars on The Strip (Cheap Drinks & Happy Hours)

Save on Drinks By Making Them in Your Hotel Room

Besides taking advantage of a casino’s free drinks and Las Vegas happy hours, a sneaky way to save a lot of money on drinks is to hit up a local liquor store for supplies and make drinks in your hotel room.

You can make a drink in your room and then walk around the hotel, casino, or out on the Strip with it. As long as your drink isn’t in a glass container you’re good to go. Nobody will hassle you, and you just saved a ton of money for doing other things.

How to Save Money When Going Out in Las Vegas

Getting free alcohol is just one of the many ways you can save money while having the time of your life in Las Vegas. Entertainment on the Strip appears to be getting more expensive with each passing day, but you can save money and still have a ton of fun with the following tricks. 

Get a Casinos Players Card (They’re Free)

At casinos owned by MGM Resorts, for instance, you can pick up an MGM Rewards Card. This player’s card is associated with all MGM resorts in the country. These cards establish your membership in MGM’s loyalty program.

When you reach a particular tier, you get to enjoy free parking at all MGM resorts in Las Vegas. Check out our article here to find out how to do it.

All of the casinos in Las Vegas have their own player loyalty cards. If you’re going to be playing, get a free card at the closest guest services desk and put it in the machine you’re playing at.

While you’re sipping your free drink you can be acquiring points on your card that will get you discounts on dining, hotel rooms, parking, etc.

Take Advantage of Las Vegas Hotel & Casino Benefits

Nightclubs in Las Vegas are expensive. Fortunately, some hotels in the city offer free passes and other benefits to their hotel guests.

This won’t get you free drinks in the club, but it will help get you in the door for free.

You can find out more about clubbing in Las Vegas in our article here.

Las Vegas hotel guests can sometimes also get free or discounted access to events, buffets, or affiliated stores. Ask the staff members nicely about the perks available to you as a guest in their hotel.

Additional Tips for Going Out in Las Vegas

Here’re a few extra tips to remember next time you go out to explore the streets of Vegas:

  • Look for the best food and drink discounts online.
  • Stay in hotels that are in the center of the Strip. This tip will save you transportation costs as you’ll be closer to the most exciting places in the area.
  • Use local bank ATMs instead of casino ATMs. Local ATMs charge low fees.
  • If you have one, use your player’s card for gambling; you’ll earn more reward points.

Also, take some time to find out how to stay safe on the streets of Las Vegas at night in our article here.

Are Drinks Free in Las Vegas Casinos – Conclusion

So, are drinks free in Vegas? Yes! Almost every resort in Las Vegas will offer complimentary drinks if you are gaming in their casino.

If you follow the tips from this article, you’ll know how to enjoy free drinks at Las Vegas casinos, where to find affordable bars, and how to have fun on a budget.

Hanging out in Las Vegas doesn’t have to be expensive. Cheers!

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