Las Vegas is known for having some of the most expensive drinks in the country. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see people (morons) spend thousands of dollars in a single night. Hell, at the APEX social club in the Palms, they have bottles going for $500 – $15,000. And yes, people who can’t afford it routinely do it to impress a bunch of people who don’t care!
Hey if you like throwing your hard earned cash away then Vegas is the place to do it.
But for those of us who want the “VEGAS EXPERIENCE,” without breaking the bank or going home in debt, there are still some options.
Why pay for bottle service like a sucker, when you can drink for free?
If you’re on a budget – or don’t feel like going into bankruptcy over your night out – then here are a couple of tips that will help you drink for free in Las Vegas.
Tip # 1: Gamblers Drink for Free in Las Vegas
Vegas casinos try to do everything they can to keep you gambling, but if you’re smart, you can use that to your advantage. If you plan on gambling, then use that time to get your drink on.
You don’t have to be a high roller to enjoy the perks. In fact, even those sitting at the penny slots can enjoy the benefit of getting free drinks for playing the slots. It’s not unheard of for someone to milk the penny slots, maybe dropping a single dollar in the machine, and successfully get free drinks throughout the night. Although technically these drinks are free – I do suggest tipping the cocktail waitress at least $1 per drink – it is a hell of a lot cheaper than trying to get a drink at a Las Vegas Nightclub, and it will ensure that she keeps coming back.
For those looking for premium drinks, instead of the well drink garbage that you get on most casino floors, check out the casino lounge bars. While you will need to play some video poker — most casino bars expect you to have about $20 in the machine — you will get a bump up in what you’re drinking. That being said, even if you’re sitting at the penny slots don’t be afraid to ask for a specific brand — if you’re at one of the better casinos on the strip your chances of receiving a premium liquor goes way up.
If you are looking to maximize your alcohol, it’s always better to order your drink neat or on the rocks, or even better order a beer (IPA Beer usually has the most alcohol)! Yes you can order a fancy cocktail, but the actual liquor in them is not going to be very high; they want you to gamble, not get drunk.
Tip # 2: Look for Local Business Events
Las Vegas is one of the top business cities in the world, and it has some of the best business after hour events you can find. Almost every night of the week there are free business networking events here in Las Vegas where the drinks are more often than not completely free.
If you’re in town on business, you really need to look into what business events are happening during your trip. Make sure you check out our business networking calendar for a full list.
Hey, you might even meet one of the city’s many celebrities or millionaires networking with the crowd.
Tip # 3: Look for Convention After Parties
If you are here for a convention or a conference, then you are set! I’ve never been to a Convention in this city that didn’t have sponsors throwing after parties, and even the bad ones usually have at least an open bar or two that lasts for at least an hour.
But don’t worry, even if you’re not technically here for a trade show, you still might be able to wiggle your way into one of the many after-hour parties and networking mixers sponsored by these expos. Very rarely do they actually ask for your convention badge.
Las Vegas is the number one convention destination in the world. On any given day there can be as many as 30 – 40 different conventions, expos, and business seminars happening on or near the Strip. One of the best ways to score a free drink is to look out for some of the after parties that cater to convention visitors; the nightclubs will usually have signs welcoming them at the door. Most of these events have open bars and are usually a really good time. You could also check out our convention calendar to get an idea what’s in town!
If you can’t get it for Free, you can still find Cheap Drinks Everywhere in Las Vegas
At some point, you are probably going to have to pay for a drink, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay full price.
Tip # 4: BYOB
As long as your not carrying your drink in a glass bottle, walking with liquor on the Las Vegas Strip is perfectly legal. The Las Vegas strip has dozens of little souvenir shops, CVS, and Walgreens stores that all sell alcohol and cold beer for much cheaper than inside the Casinos!
You can grab a six pack for under $10, or all of these little stores sell single cans for about $2-5 a piece.
Before you leave on your trip to Las Vegas, find the closest Walmart or Costco to your hotel or the airport. Place an order for pickup, and set it for about an hour after you land — order things like bottled water, snacks, mixers, Gatorade and Pedialyte for the hangover. Waking up hungover without something in your hotel room sucks! This alone will save you hundreds of dollars!
When arriving in Las Vegas, book an UBER or LYFT and then go grab your snack pickup, and while there stock up on all of the beer and liquors you will need for your trip. You could also hit up Total Wine and Liquor ( Address: Town Square, 6885 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119 ) which is just a couple minutes away from the Strip.
Don’t forget a good Reusable Cup and Flask!!!
The next thing that is hugely important is to make sure you have a reusable cup and Flask. This way you can mix your drinks before you leave your hotel room, and also have some backup liquor with you as you make your way around the Strip.
There are a couple of cups that we love and recommended. If you are a fan of drinking straight up Whiskey, Scotch or sipping on your favorite hard liquor, then make sure you buy a couple of Klean Kanteen Insulated 8OZ Tumblers. These things are awesome, and will allow you to walk around with your favorite liquor without having to pay an arm and a leg at the Casino bar.
If you are a fan of mixed drinks, or not wanting people to know what beer your walking around with, then we recommend the larger 20OZ Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Tumbler. We like this brand because they are made for drinking! They’re lightweight, but also insulated to keep your drinks ice cold for hours — even in the Vegas heat!
AND DON’T FORGET THE FLASK!
- We like this simple Nalgene Flask, 12 oz Flask. It’s large enough to give you a good amount of walking around liquor to top off your cup, while still easily fitting into the back pocket for most men’s pants.
- If you are looking for something smaller and easier to carry, then we recommend the Stanley Wide Mouth Flask. It gives you an extra 8 ounces of walking around liquor (about 5 shots) and is small enough to slip into most small purses or side pockets.
And if you really want people to think you bought your fancy drink, just ask the casino bar for a glass of ice! It’s free, and then you can transfer from flask to fancy casino glass and no one will be the wiser!
Legal Issues: Walking around with Alcohol in Las Vegas
Having one of the approved type of bottles is actually pretty damn important. It is illegal to carry a glass container of alcohol (or any liquid) on the Las Vegas Strip. Since the Las Vegas Strip is not actually in the city of Las Vegas, and falls under Clark County law here are a couple of other things to remember:
Drinking liquor is unlawful in the following places:
- Within one thousand feet of the store from which liquor, beer and wine was purchased in closed containers, except on residential property
- In any parking lot
- On the property or premises of the establishment from which the closed container of liquor, beer or wine was purchased. In other words, don’t crack it open in CVS or sit on the steps outside the store like an idiot!
On Fremont Street, walking and drinking alcohol from glass containers or aluminum cans are prohibited.
Tip #5: Look for the Cards
No, not the guys handing out the cards with the half-naked women, but the promoters handing out the Buy One Get One Free Tickets.
A lot of clubs and bars along the Strip will send out promoters who are tasked with trying to get people through their doors. Watch for the guys handing out the Free Drink or the Buy One Get One promotional cards, even some of the top bars in Vegas do this so keep an open eye for deals.
Some of our favorites are American at the Linq Promenade and the PBR bar at Planet Hollywood, there are almost always people handing out 2 for 1 tickets at the entrance. With those you can get two Well cocktails for about $8. Not bad for Vegas!