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20 free drinks
November 2, 2007 8:30 AM   Subscribe

20 bar tricks for getting free drinks
posted by AceRock (45 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, don't be that guy. Nobody really likes that guy.
posted by yhbc at 8:39 AM on November 2, 2007 [11 favorites]


they don't have the drowned fly trick?
posted by edgeways at 8:43 AM on November 2, 2007


that has gotta be worth 20 drinks in of itself
posted by edgeways at 8:43 AM on November 2, 2007


I love those english accents that make "Oh"s sound like squashed long U's, and also maker Ers sound like Ehs.

Mutheh. Brutheh.

Love it. Wish I spoke that way. I think I'll start, brutheh.
posted by shmegegge at 8:45 AM on November 2, 2007


A lot of larger bars or restaurants that are bar oriented allow their bartenders a "comp tab" or allowance that they can use every shift to buy drinks for customers that they either want to see again, want to thank graciously, or want to appease. At the last place I tended bar at the comp tab for every shift was $12, which doesn't go very far (that's a shot of Patron most places), but you can stretch it if you get creative.

The single best way to get a drink on a comp tab is to leave nice tips every time you go in- obviously this works better in less "crowd-oriented" bars with 6 or 8 bartenders and tons of people in them, because they won't remember you- however, if you frequent a corner bar or neighborhood bar and get to know your bartenders, introduce yourself to them, and leave them a nice tip when you leave, it'll do go things for you. Note that this does not require you to spend a lot of money- there were several individuals who were on a "first round free every time" basis with me not because they dropped a hundred bucks every time they came in (usually they had no more than 2 or 3 drinks and no food), but because they'd take care of us every time they came in. If several bartenders at a place know you as a good tipper, it's entirely possible for you to walk in and get more than one drink on a comp tab.

Now, if you're walking into a place off the street and want to attempt to secure a comp tab drink, the best way to do this is to mention that you're a bartender. You don't really have to be, just say it. If anybody sat at my bar and talked about being a bartender, I bought them a drink without thinking about it. Bartenders tend to tip other bartenders exceptionally well, so note that when you say, "I'm a bartender," your bartender is hearing, "I am going to give you a great tip." I don't know if it's common for bartenders to do this (give free drinks to people that mention being bartenders), but most of the people I work with did it and it worked really well.
posted by baphomet at 8:54 AM on November 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also at my bar comp tabs were a little more accessible for customers in the afternoon, since fewer people are drinking around that time and thus the bartenders have less opportunities to use it. The comp tab is basically built into the bar's liquor cost, so they didn't care if we used it all every day- it wasn't uncommon for us to blow the whole thing on one customer right around shift change or before leaving for the day. At night it's a little bit tougher since lots of bartenders conserve their comp tabs for the late-night crowd- if you blow it at 7:30 you'll wish you had it at 1AM. Also tends to be easier during happy hour because the comp tab allowance gets you more drinks.
posted by baphomet at 8:57 AM on November 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh my god. Did you see that fight outside? There was a guy in a fuzzy hat beating up some dude wearing goggles. I swear.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:01 AM on November 2, 2007 [9 favorites]


Here is one of my own. It requires an empty beer pitcher. Place the beer pitcher over a newly ordered cocktail. Make a bet for a quarter that you can drink the drink under the pitcher without moving the pitcher. Once the bet is made, remove the pitcher, drink the cocktail and give them a quarter. $5.00 drink for a quarter.
posted by Mr_Zero at 9:10 AM on November 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Marry me, miss lynnster.

Now.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 9:10 AM on November 2, 2007


*Invokes Gob*

A trick is something a whore does for money
. . . . or cocaine
posted by isopraxis at 9:13 AM on November 2, 2007


Mr_Zero, unless the bartender is very jovial or very stupid, you'll still owe the $5.
posted by brain_drain at 9:13 AM on November 2, 2007


Oh my god. Did you see that fight outside? There was a guy in a fuzzy hat beating up some dude wearing goggles. I swear.

Please explain this?
posted by Mr_Zero at 9:14 AM on November 2, 2007


Mr_Zero, unless the bartender is very jovial or very stupid, you'll still owe the $5.

The drink has already been purchased by an unsuspecting person.
posted by Mr_Zero at 9:14 AM on November 2, 2007


Mr_Zero, one of your own? I've seen that trick featured in/on no less than 3 different movies/tv shows.
posted by JaredSeth at 9:19 AM on November 2, 2007


Sleep with the bartender?
posted by ChestnutMonkey at 9:19 AM on November 2, 2007


My favorite trick is having a friend that is a bartender. That one works well, no need for betting.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:20 AM on November 2, 2007


Mr_Zero, one of your own? I've seen that trick featured in/on no less than 3 different movies/tv shows.

Let me rephrase that. Here is one that I know of that I did not see in the videos.
posted by Mr_Zero at 9:25 AM on November 2, 2007


Just be hot, and a woman.
posted by delmoi at 9:30 AM on November 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Marry me, miss lynnster.

Now.


I would. But my friends are waiting for me over on the other side of the room. I probably should get back to them. You can join us if you like. Say, your nose crinkles up when you type. Did you know that?
posted by miss lynnster at 9:30 AM on November 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


In the UK the standard approach is to try tricks like this on a group of your friends with the loser of the bet perhaps buying the next round of drinks. It would be less likely to try to get a free drink off a (poorly paid and traditionally un-tipped) member of the bar staff.
posted by rongorongo at 9:31 AM on November 2, 2007


I didn't mean to sound like I was jumping down your throat, Zero. Just that I'd imagine you'd have a hard time finding anyone who'd fall for that one.
posted by JaredSeth at 9:37 AM on November 2, 2007


...and if you did, they may want to beat the shit out of you.
posted by baphomet at 9:46 AM on November 2, 2007


Wow, I can't think of a bar anywere that I'd try those tricks.Maybe bars in the UK are different? Most bars in the states, particularly those in the south would not be good places to try these "tricks" out. Unless your idea of a good time is getting you ass kicked.

If I've learned nothing else from my time here on planet earth I've learned this, drunks don't like being tricked.
posted by nola at 10:05 AM on November 2, 2007


There are few things that a stranger can say to me that will be met with less enthusiasm than "let me show you a trick" or some derivative thereof.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:13 AM on November 2, 2007 [4 favorites]


So in the one with the matches, that girl just lied about where the matches were. The guy correctly points to the box with the matches in it, but she shakes it (they're glued together) to show that he's wrong, and makes off with his 9 pounds or whatever. What a bitch.
posted by nzero at 10:18 AM on November 2, 2007


I'm finding it really sad that I'm half way through the list of videos and I've known probably 75% of the answers before they are revealed.

I don't even go to bars anymore! This is completely wasted knowledge; I could be raking in the free drinks.
posted by quin at 10:27 AM on November 2, 2007


There are few things that a stranger can say to me that will be met with less enthusiasm than "let me show you a trick" or some derivative thereof.

A trick huh? Can you make yourself disappear?
posted by three blind mice at 10:39 AM on November 2, 2007


Didn't see your comment before, Mr_Zero. Here's your answer. The goggles and fuzzy hat are references to this guy.

Funny enough, I went to link to the VH1 page for the show and it's GONE. Wonder if that has anything to do with this.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:50 AM on November 2, 2007


"I am now going to stake you to some very valuable advice. One of these days in your travels, a guy is going to come to you and show you a nice, brand new deck of cards on which the seal has not yet been broken. This man is going to offer to bet you that he can make the jack of spades jump out of the deck and squirt cider in your ear. Now son, do not bet this man, for as sure as you stand there, you are going to wind up with an earful of cider."*
posted by mosk at 11:00 AM on November 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


in college, i had a friend who would put a nickel in his mouth and blow it out his nose for a beer.
posted by kitchenrat at 11:24 AM on November 2, 2007


I have this bar trick where I approach a stranger and say, "Pull my finger..."
posted by NationalKato at 11:30 AM on November 2, 2007


A standard sized frisbee (175 g) will hold 3 pints of beer which is also a normal pitcher. It seems terribly unlikely but true and therefore works well as a bar bet.

The downside to this is that you then have a frisbee full of beer that you have to drink. I recommend straws.
posted by afflatus at 11:39 AM on November 2, 2007


I fell for a really stupid bar trick once. I was a teenager with my dad at a convention and he let me hang out at the hotel bar with his buddies one night. One of the guys showed me that if you push a dime into your skin really hard, you can get it to stick. Then he bet me a one dollar to his five that he could stick the dime on my forehead and that I couldn't knock it off by hitting the back of my head. I took him up on it, seeing an easy fiver in my future. So he pressed the dime into my forehead and I proceeded to whack myself in the back of the head trying to knock the dime to the bar, while my dad and all his friend stood around laughing their asses off. Of course there was no dime there--the pressure from the imprint only made it feel like it was there, but he had cupped the dime in his hand. I still feel stupid thinking about that one.
posted by slogger at 11:44 AM on November 2, 2007 [3 favorites]


Uhhhhhhh slogger? Your name doesn't happen to be Darren, does it?
posted by miss lynnster at 11:56 AM on November 2, 2007


No, this was at a bowling convention in Cincinnati in 1986.
posted by slogger at 11:59 AM on November 2, 2007


Now, if you're walking into a place off the street and want to attempt to secure a comp tab drink, the best way to do this is to mention that you're a bartender. You don't really have to be, just say it.

If some jerk off the street sat at my bar and just said straight to my face "I'm a bartender," I'd roll my eyes at him and just think he was a schmuck. I wouldn't even want to talk to the person and I'd give my attention elsewhere. Even if they were a bartender, who cares? A lot of people are bartenders and it doesn't make you special. Now if the fact that the person is a bartender happens to come up in casual conversation, that's something entirely different.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:44 PM on November 2, 2007


Step 1: Move to Spain
Step 2: Go drinking and be nice
Step 3: get free drinks from the staff

Seriously, the amount of free alcohol I've had here is crazy. Just last week we got two trays worth of shots for free just because we had enough people drinking a good amount and we were nice to the staff. Never happen in London without tricking or glassing someone.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:23 PM on November 2, 2007


From the article: and in that case your an idiot.
Takes one...
posted by signal at 6:16 PM on November 2, 2007


sometimes we offer a free round in our bar, but only if it's an awfully nice crowd, or something happend that we feel we have to apoligize for. Like a stupid television crew barking in and annoying everybody, or some drunk hooligans having a fistfight with our regulars.

But not if somebody just tells me he's a bartender too. I would assume that he should know better than to keep me from work by telling me his life story.
Actually that's a good advice if you want to be a good regular who will get a free drink once in a while: Please don't explain the meaning of life and the universe and all the rest in a drunken state, or what you think about politics, or how your life sucks at the moment, if the bartender didn't ask you! We do try to be polite small talkers and all, but sometimes some patrons make it very hard.
posted by kolophon at 6:30 PM on November 2, 2007


Is it that hard to get free drinks? Just drink a lot and go to the same places regularly, people will buy you drinks all the time.
posted by empath at 6:45 PM on November 2, 2007


In fact, I've had lots of luck just walking up to people and saying, "hey, buy me a drink."
posted by empath at 6:46 PM on November 2, 2007


I've spent an inordinate amount of time in all types bars, from the seediest of dives, to the swankiest of the swank, both at home and abroad, and I've never seen anyone so much as attempt a "bar bet"

When it comes to getting free drinks, there's only one rule. The more you give, the more you recieve. I'm a firm proponent of the "first' round's on me" rule. Combined with generous tipping, this has always paid great dividends...in the long run. When you're flush, spread the wealth, and in lean times your fellow drunks will take care of you.

There's other advantages to treating the staff well. Skipping the line when it's crowded, not waiting an hour for the cocktal server to come by your table,the bartender knowing your drink and having it ready, and my favorite gift, The strong pour. A double for the price of a regular cocktail=a free drink.

When it comes to bar games, the most fun I've ever had was playig a variation of liar's dice in Hong Kong. The best part was that every bar we went to had cups and dice, so we could barhop while keeping the game going. By the end of that night I neither knew nor cared who was paying for the drinks.

I've also been known to start a spirited game of Rock-Paper-scissors for drinks after I've had a few too many, but that's no trick. The more I drink, the more I throw "rock" So it's mostly a losing proposition.
posted by billyfleetwood at 7:08 PM on November 2, 2007


Oh, they're tricks you have to learn. I thought they'd be things like "don't wear a bra" or "lift up your shirt."
posted by arcticwoman at 8:09 PM on November 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Count me as another American who can't ever picture using these on strangers. Of course, they are always appropriate for friends who need to buy the next round anyway.

I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 10.

Seven.

Right, now go get another pitcher.

posted by anotherbrick at 3:13 AM on November 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Also known as "How To Get Labeled a Douchebag at Your Local Bar in Just 20 Easy to Follow Steps"

Eck...
posted by thewalrusispaul at 6:37 AM on November 3, 2007


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