2. Leave the Dirndls to the pros, aka the locals. Tourists wanting to don a Dirndl will often buy cheap ones specifically made for tourists, sporting inflated pricetags and lower quality. Most of the exquisitely beautiful ones you'll see (and covet) on other women are handmade or family heirlooms.
3. Do flirt, but not during "Italian weekend." Look, we love Italian dudes as much as the next red-blooded girl, but not this sort of Italian dude. They're here to be drunk and obnoxious and make slurred, lazy passes at any skirt that walks by. No thanks. Instead, we're all about "Gay Weekend," mainly because you can be crazy with a 50% chance of being lazily hit on. And when you do find someone with whom to flirt away the day, it's far likelier he's got a gay friend or two to keep things less awkward and the conversation rolling.
4. Hopping on tables is banned, but that doesn't mean you can't dance. Get up on the benches instead, just do so before you've really the drink. Just another reason not to wear a dirndl, really. We hope you like dancing to songs like "Sweet Home Alabama." You'll see why.
5. No calorie-counting allowed. Order the chicken and don't care how you look eating the thing like a cavewoman. Chase it with a pretzel...or four. Don't buy a giant gingerbread heart because you won't eat it and it's a bitch to transport home in luggage (we've tried). Other than this, outside of the tents it's your basic festival fare and you won't be eating if you refuse to eat another other than salad.
6. You can get a table in a tent, it just takes nerves. If you want a seat and you don't have reservations, you need to plan on arriving early and, thus, drinking early. It's a game of chance. When you make it into a beer tent and have a seat at an empty or partially empty table, you may be kicked out at any time by an arriving party with reservations for it. We managed to hold down a table in the Hacker-Pschorr tent from 10am (their opening time on a weekday) to noon, and a Spaten tent the next day from 11am to 2pm. By then, that was enough. Perhaps also try back in the late evenings when groups have gotten too drunk or restless to remain in their reserved tables.
***Pro tip: Look around you while everyone is standing and swaying their beer steins during the toasting song (Ein Prosit). It happens like every 15 minutes and you'll come to know it well, but other don't. Legions of tourists confidently chanting the wrong lyrics are one of our favorite Oktoberfest sights. Learn the correct words and pronunciation so you can shout above them, with even greater confidence. You'll get many winks from old German men, too. Bonus!