Beneath the flashing lights and free cocktails, casinos are mathematically engineered to slowly bleed their patrons of cash. For years mathematically inclined minds have tried to use their knowledge of probability and game theory to turn the tables, but the only way to beat a casino is to not play at all.

Casinos earn their profits from wagering, and each game has a built-in advantage designed to ensure the house will win over time. This gives the casino a virtual assurance of gross profit and allows them to offer big bettors extravagant inducements such as free spectacular entertainment, limousine transportation, luxurious living quarters, and reduced-fare transportation.

To maintain their advantage casinos routinely monitor all bets placed at the table, often by electronic means. For example, the chips used in some games have built-in microcircuitry that interacts with the gaming system to enable the casinos to monitor the exact amount wagered minute-by-minute and to be alerted to any statistical deviation from expectations. Likewise, roulette wheels and other mechanical games are electronically monitored to detect any anomalies.

It is important to keep in mind that the house always wins and that you should not bet more money than you can afford to lose. It is also important to know the rules of each game before you go to a casino and learn them well. If you are unsure of how to play, watch others or take advantage of the free lessons offered before betting any money. Also remember that casino gambling can be taxing on both your mind and body and it is important to have a good night’s rest before heading back to the table.