Top 5 Ways to Hustle Free Drinks

By Paul Michael on 12 February 2007 (Updated 19 April 2011) 74 comments

I am a dangerous combination of two entities. One, I'm English and therefore love a good pint of ale. Two, I'm a tightwad, and if I can get those drinks for free I'm a happy tightwad. Here, I show you five great ways to hustle free drinks in your local bar or pub. (See also: How to Make Moonshine)

I must first point out that I'm in no way advocating con artists. Not at all. These are harmless pranks to play on good friends and co-workers. And dare I say it, you may even want to try them on family, maybe that weird uncle that never buys you a birthday gift.

The main theme of all these hustles is something called a Proposition Bet. Basically, a proposition bet is a challenge which looks like it only has one outcome...and it does. It always favors the person placing the wager. That's because you know something the other folks don't. You know the 'challenge' is always going to go your way. Always. A show in Britain called "The Real Hustle" does these bets often as a way to show you how much fun they can be, and also how to avoid getting caught out by them. So, here we go. My Top 5 free drink hustles, in no particular order.

Note: Some videos were removed recently, so I have updated. Sorry about that.

 

 

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And if you liked these, please check out 5 More Ways to Hustle Free Drinks. Cheers.

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Will Chen's picture

However, it does help when you look as hot as the girl in videos two and three.

Guest's picture
Guest

I think your right...

We have some great looking girls on our website, but i doubt they can pull off this hussle as easily :)

http://www.dinkydrinks.co.uk

The home of the Free Drink

Guest's picture
Guest

I concur with Will.

But they all got me. Tricky! Might be worth practicing. ;)

Andrea Karim's picture

The best thing about you being English, Paul, is that, in addition to getting drink-scamming advice from you, I get to read your articles in a British accent in my head. Today, I gave you a Liverpool accent, and next time, I'm going to try Cockney (or maybe Manchester?), since I actually have no idea what you sound like. But regardless, it's very charming, so thank you for being English.

On that note, I'd like everyone to read my blogs in a "Confucius" accent from now on.

Guest's picture
Guest

Well Andrea I'm from Newcastle and I think you're a very odd individual!

Sarah Winfrey's picture

What fun!  And then, I spent all morning listening to more "Real Hustlers" videos on YouTube while attacking project after project.

 

Will Chen's picture

Is that your way of saying you've been conning "mark after mark"?

Sarah Winfrey's picture

Are you going to ask me to quit writing for Wisebread now that you know what I do for a "living"?

Will Chen's picture

I'd be too afraid to.

Guest's picture
Frank

Bet someone that you can drink 3 pints as quickly as they can drink 3 shots. Rules - you can't touch their glasses, and they can't touch yours. You ask if they'd be sporting and give you a pint head start - THIS IS THE KEY. Get them to agree, then drink your first pint as quickly as possible. Then as the other person picks up a shot (or 2, as most will do), you place your glass upside down over the 3rd shotglass. They can't get to it since one of the rules was they can't touch your glass.

Cheers!

Guest's picture
Guest

this one is cheap.

Guest's picture
Propostion

Great Propostion Bets here, thanks. Got any speling bee bets?

Guest's picture
Jeff

Even though I don't drink, I'd love to try these on my friends. Good stuff!

http://averageidea.com

Guest's picture
Guest

brilliant

Guest's picture
Fred

Those tricks are cool to do with your friends, but here in the US, when people think they've been conned, they kick ass. So basically, go into a bar in Boston or Philly or New Jersey and try that: you'll get your ass beat for real. Word to your mother.

Guest's picture
don't be that guy

Please stay off the Internet. I live in the US and I could do these in a bar...not every pub is filled with a-holes.

Guest's picture

Dude, I don't know what you are talking about. In the US these would go over well with people who like to have fun. They aren't conning anyone at all.

Paul Michael's picture

As I said, try them on friends and co-workers. I'm not sure what Americans think we British are like, but go to the rough end of London on a Friday night and it's every bit as nasty as a bar in Boston. Every here of football hooligans? Those guys that tear people up with knives and box-cutters at football matches? Well, I've met a few. They don't play nice, know what I mean.

Guest's picture
Guest

Very fun!

#3 and #4 seem like the best for me to try...

I appreciate the videos. I visited this site through a link from fark.com!

Have a nice day!

Guest's picture
Guest

From LA here - though originally from Philly area. You get a good neighborhood pub anywhere and these will be a good hit. =) Trick is to be good-natured and fun with them. Next time you stop by, the 'regulars' will take as much delight in your putting one over on co-workers or friends as you do and will likely score you a 6th free drink. =D

If anyone's going at anyone with boxcutters, there's a little too much testosterone and not nearly enough fun in your "man gimlet" cocktail. Call it a loss, buy a round, and have a bit of fun at your own expense.

World's a lot funner when you encourage the positive.

-Cheers! =D

Guest's picture
josh potter

take a £20 note place it over the rim of a pint glass then place a stack of four 2p coins on top the note (so there balancing on the rim of the glass) now hold the loose end of the note with your hand (very steady) now the note should have a larger area . Dont move the hand holding the note . Use your pointing fingerfrom the other hand and hit the middle of the note . If you do it right the note will move but the coins that were on top of it will still be stable on the rim of the glass . JUST REMEBER TO NEVER MOVE THE HAND THATS HOLDING THE NOTE OR ELSE THE COINS WILL FALL .

Guest's picture
Bryan

You may be right but it is apparent that you are a complete puss.

Guest's picture
nibs

seen one or two of these tricks done at the pub where i work, always catches someone... (even some of the staff who's been there years!). A good way to get away with these tricks also is be a barman and do it to some of the customers when it comes to the end of your shift ;) you get a nice rewarding drink, get one over on them and probably have a laugh about it. myabe even get brought a few more drinks while they get you to teach them somemore ;)

Guest's picture
Stanky2

Good videos but I hate when they bullshit the viewer by trying to make you think that the people better are not actors or that the cameras are hidden. Look at the lighting, the pro quality sound (don't people in other seats talk in real pubs??) and the way people just warm up to a stranger making a bet with them.

Good tricks - but it would be nice if the video producers were a bit more honest.

Guest's picture
Guest

This is all filmed candidly, I guess you don't understand how good professional cameras are. As well the issue with the sound, there are such things as shotgun microphones, they will only pick up sound from a single area, as well you can always edit afterwards. As for the warming up bit, the only times that the bet has been proposed immediately was with the chick, this is because hse is hot, with the guys they have always been there for a while.

Guest's picture
Guest

A friend of mine taught me another great trick, which I would like to share. Simply bet someone that you can drink 2 beers before he can drink 2 shots. If they accept the bet, tell them there are a few conditions to make it fair, since they are drinking only 2 shots to your 2 beers.

First, neither person can touch the other person's glasses. Second, you can only pickup/touch one glass at a time. finally, the beer drinker should get to drink 1 beer and put down his glass before the shot drinker can start. Once the person agrees, you simply drink your beer, turn the glass upside down, and put it over one of the shot glasses. Since the shot drinker has agreed not to touch your glasses or you his, he cannot pick up his second shot to drink it!

Guest's picture
Scott

He touched the shot glass with his lips after saying he wouldn't touch the glass. I wouldn't have bought him the drink, unless he could pour all of the shot into his mouth without actually touching the glass at all.

Guest's picture
Heaven

Scott....i thought the same thing....he touched the glass with his lips....therefore not holding up to his end of the bet....the guys were caught up with how he was holding the glass with dimes that they neglected to catch on to that.....eitherway....it's a scam and a half...and although i wouldn't try that out here in the Bronx.....i WOULD try it when i head out to Orlando on Vacation! lol....i'm not tryin to get jumped in the Boogie Down....lol.....all in all...i LOVED the videos....i'm gonna hustle my whole damn family for free drinks this whole weekend while i'm in Orlando!!!!! Thanks in Advance for the free drinks!!!!!! lol...

Guest's picture
Guest

I tried the one shot, two coins trick a few times with a standard shot glass and two quarters and I could only get it to work 75% of the time (I was trying not to let my lips touch the glass). I found it worked every time if I used 4 quarters and two hands... I don't know if this takes away from the mystique of the trick, but it beats having the glass slip off of the quarters. Also, the measuring up trick also works with standard shot glasses as well... the circumference is over twice the height, although it doesn't look nearly as impressive as a pint glass.

Guest's picture
Guest

as great as these sound, i don't see the videos.

Guest's picture
Eve007

i may be only 12 but THESE TRICKS ARE SURELY AMAZING

Paul Michael's picture

...the only free drinks you're hustling are the non-alcoholic kind. But thanks for stopping by and reading my article. A frugal shopper at 12. How encouraging.

Guest's picture
KNITTER

These are all great but have you seen the propsition bet where alex transfers the whiskey and water into seperate glasses....pure physics and common knowledge.

Paul Michael's picture

...yes. That would be video one. The Magic Whiskey Trick. Or am I not quite understanding your comment?

Guest's picture
hashashin

One and (to a lesser extent) Four are good, interesting tricks. Two and Three are silly and would start a fight if not initiated by a good-looking girl. Five is pretty questionable considering that he touches the glass with his mouth while drinking the shot. He would not collect on his free drink(s) in a real situation. I found these tricks to be mostly disappointing with the exception of #1.

Guest's picture
Guest

i thought the 5th one was the coolest XD

Guest's picture
Guest

If you look closely, the credit card is moved over. No liquid is passing through it. Dunce.

Guest's picture
Guest

For the first one what kind of drivers license do you have? Mine is made out of a vinyl laminate plastic material which no liquid will pass through (or it seems anyway.) How exactly do you get the two glasses on top of each other without spilling the shot???

Guest's picture
Guest

You don't have to have a drivers license that liquid can pass through, in fact I don't know of any drivers license that does let liquid through anywhores, simply shift the license a teensy bit back from the rims that are touching eachother and tada! They will start swapping with no spillage.

Guest's picture
Dustin

That I am not.

Guest's picture
Guest

hahaha.. i'm sorry, the fact that some one thought the liquid actually passed through the drivers license is really really funny! i've tried it with two different sized glasses and if done correctly it still works great, minus a lil bit of dripping at the opening. all you do is put ur drivers licence or credit card(preferably something with a smooth surface) on top of the water shot flip it upside down without spilling and put it directly on top of the other shot glass, then slide the drivers licence back about 1mm, such that there is a very small opening between the two glasses. if done with equally sized shot glasses, the surface friction in the fluid will stop liquid from just spewing out. if you want to be honest say that 99% of the liquid must be transferred., and its best to have a little bit more water in the once shot, than the whiskey.

cheers

Guest's picture
mike riley

i have a question, for the wiskey trick are you supposed to totally cover the top of both glasses with the drivers license or leave a little room and not cover up the whole entire glass?

Guest's picture
Ben

Those are some fun tricks. I'm going to try the whiskey and water trick the next time I'm out at the bars.

Guest's picture
barkeep

Who doesn't love free drinks!

W000t!

Guest's picture
Guest

The last video he touched it with his mouth.

Guest's picture
Guest

trick 4 is aight, might even work.

Guest's picture

I just love watching this show.

Great idea to collect the best one in a post :-)

And yes,...I bet these would work everywhere in the world, including the States (especially)

Guest's picture
I guess I'm just a guest

A link of 2 Hydrogen and oxygen (As simple as H2O). Water is always a hustle free.

Guest's picture

I could definitely use a few free beers right about now!

Guest's picture

These are some great tips, can we talk about republsihing them over at www.thanksdrinking.com?

Guest's picture
Guest

:P I always have some free drinks jejjee
http://www.spymac.com/details/?2336538

Guest's picture
Guest

what's the point keeping link open if videos not available? waste of my time.

Guest's picture
Guest

what's the point keeping link open if videos not available? waste of my time.

Guest's picture
Guest

what's the point keeping link open if videos not available? waste of my time.

Guest's picture

This is a great post. Some of the links are broken, but if you follow a working one to YouTube, you can find all kinds of drink hustling videos.

Guest's picture
Wingsofarbla

youse guys get me to think about pee. how do you all pee out all that drank beer. I don't have time for a pee.

Guest's picture
Bill M

This is funny, too bad a lot of the links are broken

My Quest to Build an Empire

Guest's picture

Too bad I am really not a drinker, looks like a fun time! Wonder if I can find some soda or juice to play with.

Guest's picture
Chris

Some really good advice!

Guest's picture
Guest

Sorry, that's like selling a bit of my soul for beer. I'll pass on scamming people for alcohol.

Guest's picture
BeerBuddy

I'm always looking for free drinks and I found 'em. Check out http://www.clicklinksforfreedrinks.com -it's amazing

Guest's picture
Drunkard

*hic*

Guest's picture
Journey

I love free drinks! My favorite place to get free drinks is lectures. I am a nerd.

Guest's picture
Stephanie

Hahahaha this is awesome! I so would like to try these! Thanks for the post here!

Guest's picture
Phil

GREAT MATERIAL!

Free Drink Hustling can be done without the proposition bet. There are many ways to increase you chances for free drinks, for instance:

Travel like Wu-Tang…

Think about it. If you go to the bar with 1 friend, the likelihood of having them buy you drinks is not as high. If you go to the bar with 10 friends, you have just increased your odds of free drinks by 1000%. Always go to the bar with a small army of potential drink suitors.

CHEERS!

Guest's picture

Whenever we go out my wife always gets offered free drinks if she is separated from me in the bar for whatever reason and she always accepts the offers but says that I want one too!

So far, everyone who has hit on her has seen the funny side when I step into the picture but we only get one free drink each before it falls flat!

Guest's picture

I have to depend on my gf getting free drinks. Similar to the post above, if she looks like she is by herself, the free drinks start flowing her way. I snag the overflow.

Guest's picture
jtGraphic

Heads up,

The last two videos have been removed.

-JKT

Guest's picture

I actually used to use #1 on your list. I would shop every day, like a European. After doing this for a while, man I got tired. I then dropped it all together. Other than that, some nice ideas.

Guest's picture
m65

I must first point out that I'm in no way advocating con artists. Not at all. These are harmless pranks to play on good friends and co-workers. And dare I say it, you may even want to try them on family, maybe that wierd uncle that never buys your a Birthday gift.

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Guest's picture

This is a good way to get free drinks. but check this is out. DRINKFORFREE
www.drinkforfree.com

Guest's picture

Great fun! It's also important to realise that how you present these is very important- don't appear too cocky, but do it with a sense of fun and seem a little unsure of the outcome until the money is on the table!

http://www.squidoo.com/win-cash

Guest's picture
Guest

Only the first one is still up... couldn't you just have explained them?