There are players on the poker table that aren't that loose when playing their game. They are often tight, always playing safe, and at times are quite predictable. On the other hand, we might also find poker players who take lots of risks, yet these players become quite successful.
One solution some people come up with when they are in a casino is to have some alcohol and knock off a few shots. They sample the drinks offered by the casino and keep playing. This does have some effect on them. The effect ranges from good to bad to worse. That may be the case, but there are certain times when poker and alcohol just don't mix and there are times that they do.
First fact that we have to settle with is that everyone has different ways of reacting to booze. There are those who transform into the life of the party with a few drinks. There are also those who become more aggressive in contrast to those who become outright silent and meditative.
One good thing about alcohol when mixed with gambling is that it lowers a person's inhibitions. People tend to become more relaxed after a few drinks. We lose any inhibitions or complex that normally pester us when we're not drunk. It's like someone let the animal inside you out on the casino floor.
There are poker players who take more risks and become winning machines at the table after some alcohol. These players get the guts to make such tough choices and get past the fear of losing. This may be true since people tend to play with their instincts and become bolder during a game. Another benefit is that a player who's drunk is really unpredictable. Thus, that player's chances of winning have just gone up.
But is it completely wrong to sample a casino's drinks freely? Are we breaking poker etiquette by simply having a few rounds of beer?
The truth is that there isn't really that much of a guideline as to the amount of alcohol you may consume when playing. The only bad part about the free beer is that you'll never know that you've had too much until you've have already taken too much. The time you think you are still in full control is when you're really drunk and are messing up your game (not to mention annoying the other players).
A good piece of advice for poker etiquette and alcohol (for those who drink) is that it may be fine to take a few shots to calm your nerves. But going way beyond that and transforming into the annoying player on the other side of the table is a big mistake.