I know that most people who play blackjack – and most gambling activities – feel that having a drink in your hand is as mandatory as your next wager. In my case I’ve got three levels of drinking while gambling.
Level one is when I’m playing to make money – usually this is middle of the day when I’m playing by myself and I have a goal to hit. I’ll drink water when I’m on level one since the air in casinos, especially in Vegas, is so dry and often smoke filled and I do feel like the waitresses should get tips on a regular basis.
Level 2 of drinking and gambling for me is when I mix in a Bud Light every other time the waitress passes. This is usually when I’m playing to earn, but I’ve already had some success and it’s a night-time session. I almost never drink American light beers other than in this scenario – I’m more of an IPA guy. The beauty of Bud Lights is that for some reason at a casino – especially in Vegas – they don’t fill you up and you can drink a fairly large amount of them without much negative impact to your game. One caveat – I never drink when I have to drive after gambling since you can easily lose track of how much you’ve had during a session.
Level 3 for me is when I’m playing for fun, with a group of people and paying a couple hundred bucks for free drinks isn’t big deal. This is almost always in Vegas, usually involves blackjack, craps and maybe even some roulette which means I’ve hit my full on whatever phase. I will always set aside as much money as I can lose without getting upset with myself before going on a drinking gambling run and try not to tap into my working capital. I never want to be this guy who lost $500,000 playing drunk blackjack and then sued the casino for over serving him while he was pissing away his money. I place blame on both sides in this case, but I will say that I’m sure if he won $500K while being over-served he wouldn’t be giving them a refund.
Drinking and blackjack go hand in hand and as long as you know what you are getting into good on ya for having fun while playing. One thing I will say is that I won’t sit with anyone who is too sloppy or beligerant drunk and harrasing the dealer or waitresses – that just doesn’t fly no matter how much you bet or how much you drink.
Next time you see me at the tables I’ll be happy to buy you a free drink!