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The 6 Best Drinks to Order at a Casino


For many gamblers, drinking is an integral part of the casino experience. There are few other public places where cocktail waitresses prowl the floor for the sole purpose of supplying free libations. Of course those libations have a secondary motive besides your pleasure: to keep players in their seats and their chips on the table. But while the house prosecutes their nefarious scheme to keep you loose and your wallet looser, there’s no arguing that a good drink is the perfect accompaniment to sunless hours spent in a casino. You’re there to have fun. You remember fun.

All that said, there are three ironclad rules when ordering free casino drinks:

1) It doesn’t pay to get fancy. Asking for a cocktail or spirit that’s even remotely obscure, is asking for a lowball glass full of disappointment. If you want an exquisitely crafted cocktail (or even just a top-shelf belt), hit up one of the casino’s bars. You’ll pay (a lot) for your drink, but it will be legit, strong and served by someone who knows what they’re doing.

2) Call your liquor. You’re not the only person getting drinks for free in this joint. Keeping the thousands of other people surrounding you supplied with free booze ain’t cheap. Every dollar the casino saves on booze is a dollar back on their bottom line. If you order “whiskey” you’re going to get the stuff that goes for $6 a handle at the discount place out by the highway. So call a mid-level brand. You still might not get it, but there is a chance that you might. And I have it on good authority that a chance is better than no chance.

3) Tip on every drink. Every. Drink. You’re not running a tab here, you’re dealing with someone who could go off shift at any moment. Someone who is likely working for below minimum wage. You aren’t drinking for free, you’re drinking for a buck a drink. If you can’t afford that, you probably shouldn’t be gambling.

Now that we’ve got that sorted out, here are the six best drinks to order at a Casino.


While booze will certainly lubricate your gambling instincts, too much can turn you into a human slot machine that’s always paying out. Be sure to pace with water. This goes double if you’re in Las Vegas or Reno. On the clock-free, oxygen-rich, air conditioned casino floor, it’s easy to forget that you’re in middle of the damn desert. It’ll catch up with you quick, desiccating your brain (not to mention your lips) and making you more susceptible to alcohol’s effects.

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Straight Spirits

Yes they are called cocktail waitresses. But you should be very cautious about ordering a cocktail from one. If it involves anything but booze, ice and soda, its other ingredients will be free-poured from a pre-mixed plastic jug. You can get away with some two-ingredient mixed drinks, but the safest route is to just stick to booze, either on the rocks or with a dash of water.

The best way to ensure that the drink you get approximates what you ordered is to include the ingredients in the title. A Scotch and Soda couldn't be made with anything but scotch and soda, and the spritz from the soda gun will quell any harsh swill of a scotch the bartender pulls from the well. Same goes for Rum and Coke, Gin and Tonic, Tequila and Sprite, and Whiskey and Ginger.

The Essentials

Soda Water
If you can order it at a dive bar you can order it at a casino. The orange juice in this bottom shelf classic will provide the sugar high you need for your marathon gambling sesh, and the vodka is vodka. Order it and turn your thoughts back to what really matters in life: roulette.

The Essentials

orange juice
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Vodka Red Bull

I know, I know, this is a cocktail site. We should be above this. But you’re not drinking in a cocktail bar. And you’re trying to stay as alert as possible despite the fact that you’ve been drinking for several hours. Also it’s 5:30 a.m. and walking away from this craps table might be the biggest mistake of your life.

Yes, we said you shouldn’t order fancy cocktails in a casino. There is an exception. If you’re playing in the high-rollers’ suite, they will take care of you very very well. You can safely raise your standards when you find yourself playing $1000-a-hand blackjack next to a Grammy award winner, an NFL star and a 23-year-old dotcom gazillionaire. In Casino Royale, James Bond orders his now famous cocktail of choice, explaining that the mixture of vodka, gin and Kina Lillet helps him concentrate. We can’t speak to the drink’s ability to help your game, but ordering one will make you look like a suave, worldly secret agent. Cheers, Mr. Bond.

The Essentials

Cocchi Americano

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