Underneath the flashing lights and free drinks, casinos are built on a bedrock of mathematics, engineered to slowly bleed their patrons of cash. For years, mathematically inclined minds have sought to turn the tables by exploiting rigged systems. But the real trick is to play smartly. As Scientific American explains, by learning about the nuances of casino games, players can limit their losses.
To keep tabs on the money, casinos employ a number of surveillance techniques. The most obvious is the eye-in-the-sky: cameras watch every table, window and doorway, which can be adjusted to zoom in on suspicious patrons. But other security measures are more subtle: the routines and patterns of casino games create recognizable visual fingerprints that make it easier for the staff to spot unusual behavior. Then there are the tucked-away private rooms for high rollers, where gambling is conducted with stakes in the tens of thousands of dollars. These high-rollers are favored with special comps.
Casinos also rely on a host of other marketing tools to bring in new patrons and encourage repeat business. These can include luxury accommodations, high-end entertainment options, spa and fitness facilities, culinary offerings and other amenities designed to appeal to a wide range of tastes. By staying ahead of trends, casinos can ensure that their offerings match the needs and interests of future visitors.