Underneath the flashing lights, free drinks and bling, casinos stand on a bedrock of mathematics, engineered to slowly bleed patrons of their money. For years, mathematically inclined minds have tried to turn the tables on these rigged games of chance. In games that require skill, a player can beat the house edge by practicing basic strategy. In some cases, the house edge can be shifted to a player’s favor by learning advanced strategies such as counting cards. However, these methods are often considered illegal by the casino and are not recommended.
Gambling is a popular pastime for many people around the world and has long been considered an entertaining way to pass the time. In fact, it is estimated that over 51 million people visited a casino in the United States in 2002 alone. From the opulent casinos on the Las Vegas strip to the illegal pai gow parlors in New York City’s Chinatown, there are plenty of options to choose from.
In the twenty-first century, casinos have become more selective about which gamblers they accept. High rollers are offered special rooms for higher stakes and may be rewarded with comps such as luxury suites, restaurant reservations and show tickets. The casinos also use a system of cameras to provide an “eye-in-the-sky” that can be controlled by security personnel. If a suspicious patron is spotted, they can easily review the footage and identify the perpetrator. However, this type of surveillance is not foolproof.