The best way to get free drinks and complimentary cocktails in Las Vegas is by actively gambling, either at slot machines or at table games.
Yes it’s true, you still get free drinks while gambling in Las Vegas casinos. There are a few caveats though, and don’t expect them to flow easily and steadily.
If you want the best chance at getting as many free drinks on your Vegas trip, you’ll need to know where to go, what to look for and what you can order.
Here are some of my best tips about how to always get free drinks, ideas of what to order and how else you can save money on drinks on the Strip.
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How to Get Free Drinks in Las Vegas Casinos
Anywhere you’re gambling on the casino floor in Vegas (slots, table games, sports books), cocktail servers will come around and ask if you’d like something to drink.
As long as you’re wagering, they will come around every 15 to 30 minutes.
Higher value tables and slots will have more servers coming around more often.
There are plenty of bars located in and around the casino floors.
If you walk up to the bar or sit at the bar, you’ll have to pay for your drink.
It’s only when you’re seated and gambling when the cocktail will come up to you and ask your drink order.
Find the Best Spots Within the Casino
Find a spot close to a table with lots of action or a slot machine closer to the bar.
This just gives you a better chance at being seen.
Tip: what I like to do is walk around and try and find someone on a slot machine that recently tipped a cocktail waitress. Try and find a seat close to them, because you know the cocktail server will be coming around right away so you can get a free drink faster.
Video poker bars are a little more tricky.
Most casino bars can track how much you’re spending and use the green light system.
The bartender will see a light come on when you’ve hit the minimum spend for complimentary drinks.
As you can probably tell by now, the drinks aren’t exactly free – at the end of the day, you’re still paying to gamble and get drinks as a bonus.
This doesn’t exactly make them free, but they’re complimentary in an effort to keep you in the casino, on the floor and gambling.
If it’s your first time in Vegas, be sure to read these 19 tips to get the most out of your trip.
Essentially, don’t play the penny slots just to get ‘free drinks.’
If you’re going to do a little gambling here and there anyway, you might as well score some beverages as a bonus.
If you’re not a gambler, you’re better off finding and paying for cheaper drinks.
Read Next: the 10 Most Overrated Things in Las Vegas – do you agree?
Tip Well on Your First Drink
You don’t need to be gambling high slots to get free drinks – servers will still come around on the penny slots (although it might be a little less frequent).
When the cocktail waitresses and servers do come around and take your drink order, tipping them well ensures they will come around and check on you much more often.
Most people who work in the hospitality industry in Las Vegas work for and rely on tips.
The more you tip, the more they will take care of you.
How Much Should You Tip Casino Servers?
At minimum, you should tip at least 1 dollar per drink, ideally a couple of dollars.
If you do not tip on your first order, the servers will likely not come back.
I recommend tipping anywhere from $5 to $20 on the first order and say something friendly along the lines of coming to check on you often.
The more you tip, the more they’ll come around.
If you do tip more than $5, you can get a few drink orders before you tip again (or tip a dollar per drink).
To make your drink order go farther, take your time.
Don’t rush while you’re on the slots or at the table games.
Most casinos nowadays do have the ability to know exactly how much you’re wagering whether you’re in the high slots or on the penny machines!
However, if you’re having fun and are enthusiastic (without being over the top), you’re likely to be taken care of a little more.
Also, you don’t have to be gambling to get free drinks in Vegas casinos either!
If you’re with a friend/spouse who’s making bets, the cocktail server will offer them a drink as well.
Same goes for a small group if there’s a few of you gambling but not all.
P.S. You don’t have to be a gambler to enjoy Las Vegas either! Here’s my guide to 38 better things to do in Vegas besides gamble.
Best Casinos for Free Drinks in Vegas
All the casinos on the Las Vegas strip and in downtown Las Vegas offer free drinks while you’re gambling.
But the rule of thumb is that the higher-end casinos tend to serve higher-end booze.
Places like Wynn/Encore, the Venetian, Bellagio, Cosmopolitan and Circa are more likely to use high quality alcohol in their drinks. But you do have to request it.
Popular casinos like MGM Grand, Caesars Palace, Treasure Island, Planet Hollywood, etc. will serve basic complimentary drinks.
Tip: if you like beer (especially Budweiser and Bud Light), play table games (like Roulette) at the El Cortez casino.
They have a beer tub in the middle of the pit, and the beers flow very easily here!
Tip: if you don’t have cash (couple of dollars), you can tip your cocktail servers with your casino chips.
Best Drinks to Order While Gambling in Vegas That You Can Get for Free
When you’re gambling on the casino floor in Las Vegas, you can order almost any type of drink for free.
Most casinos allow you to order a maximum of two drinks per person per order – tip well and always order the maximum!
You can order a beer and a shot, a cocktail and a shot or a bottle of water, anything.
Many casinos on the Strip have a special free signature drink – but you need to know what to order.
As long as you don’t already appear inebriated, you should be able to order 2 free drinks at a time.
It does depend on the casino.
When you order, you can ask for your preferred brand of liquor. Most casinos actually have quality labels that they offer for their free drinks.
If they don’t have the specific label, they will offer something close.
Wine is probably the only outlier, most casinos in Vegas aren’t known for a great glass of free wine.
If you need suggestions and ideas about the kinds of drinks to order in the Vegas casinos, here’s my go-to list:
Classic Cocktails & Hi-balls You Can Get For Free
- Long Island Iced Tea
- Mai Tai
- Tequila Sunrise
- Vodka Lemonade
- Fuzzy Navel
- Malibu Rum and Pineapple Juice
- Amaretto Sour
- Old Fashioned
- Vodka and soda with lime
- Vodka & Cranberry (ask for Tito’s)
- Coffee and Baileys or Irish Coffee
- Bloody Mary
Slushy & Fun Drinks
- Margarita (frozen or on the rocks)
- Pina Colada
- Mojitos (the Venetian has the best ones)
- Miami Vice
- Sex on the Beach (best at Mandalay Bay)
- Bull Dog
- White Russian
- Lemon Drop
- Blue Hawaiian
- Martinis (tip – the Paris Hotel is the best place for chocolate martinis and head to Harrah’s for the best dirty martinis made with Tito’s)
- Whiskey Sour – The Wynn’s are superb
Best Free Specialty Cocktails
- The Bellagio – the Bellagio Signature Cocktail is made with passion fruit purée, Alizé red liqueur and Rotari sparkling wine.
- The Cosmopolitan – puts a twist on the regular Cosmo – including blood orange liqueur and white cranberry).
- The Orleans – their signature free drink is the Hurricane (you can also ask for a rum float on top).
- The Venetian for the best Mojitos.
Non-alcoholic Drinks You Can Get for Free
You can order plenty of non-alcoholic beverages when you’re gambling.
Hot teas, coffee (including specialty coffees), energy drinks, sparkling waters, juice and virgin drinks (like frozen/slushie daiquiris.
The more luxury and higher end casinos usually have better offerings like iced coffees, and fresh squeezed juices.
Tip – Book yourself a Fremont Street Cocktail Tour to experience a fun few hours for an evening to get familiar with some of the best bars, casinos and and places to drink on Fremont.
Other Ways to Save Money on Drinks in Las Vegas
There are tons of drink deals to be had, and some even come with great views.
My guide to the best places to drink on the Las Vegas strip has all the details.
In Vegas, you can have open liquor on the Strip and on Fremont Street.
As long as your beverages are in plastic or cans, you can have whatever you want!
Make Your Own Drinks in Your Hotel Room
This means you can mix your own drinks in your hotel room and walk around with your own bevvies.
Most liquor stores in the area have free delivery (you just have to meet them at the hotel entrance).
Or stock up at the beginning of your trip by grabbing a ride share (Uber or Lyft) to bring you to a discount liquor store – Lee’s is my recommendation.
If you just want to grab a beer or a pre-mixed drink and stroll the strip, find a CVS or standalone store.
And if you’re hanging out by the pool all day, here’s a pro-tip to avoid the high prices on alcohol.
Drinks can run upwards of $40 – 50 usd.
Use these sunscreen flasks to sneak in your booze to the pool area!
Find the Happy Hours
My favorite happy hour is at the High Roller Observation Wheel!
You can purchase the happy half-hour tickets which include an open bar for the entire duration of your time soaring above the Las Vegas Strip.
With Vegas being very busy lately, it’s best to buy your tickets and timeslot in advance.
Casino Royale has cheap drinks, and $3 beers all the time.
Lesser Known Bars With Cheap Drink Prices
Visit Stage Door for the $1 dollar beer or the $3 beer + hot dog deal (located behind the Linq & Flamingo).
Ellis Island always has dollar beer and shot specials (as well as cheap food).
Casino Royale is one of the cheapest casinos on the Vegas Strip and is basically regarded as a dive bar.
I wouldn’t recommend staying here on your trip, but the drinks are always cheap to lure you in.
There are various specialty bars located all along the Strip that offer discounts on refills.
Inside tip – Vegas on a budget is very possible. Here are some of my top money-saving tips:
- Don’t pay the CNF tax
- Use Yelp Check-in Offers
- Bring Your Own Coffee Machine
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