Behind flashing lights and free drinks, casinos stand on a bedrock of mathematics that is engineered to slowly bleed patrons of their hard-earned cash. Beneath the varnish, casino games have mathematically determined odds that give house an edge over players, and the higher the stakes, the greater the house’s advantage. But if the odds are stacked against you, don’t despair—mathematically inclined minds have developed strategies that can lower the house edge.
The first step in this strategy is to know your game and the rules. A basic understanding of card counting and bankroll management can help you maximize your chances of winning, while keeping you away from the worst mistakes.
A good tip is to ask for larger-denomination chips when you change them for money at a table. That way you can easily carry the chips to the cashier’s booth. Some dealers will even “color up” for you by changing one green $25 chip for five red $5 chips, or a black $100 chip for twenty $5 chips.
In the past, mobsters controlled many casinos in America. But real estate investors and hotel chains with deep pockets saw a business opportunity. They bought out the mob and began operating their own casinos without mafia interference. The mob was unable to resist such offers and quickly lost its control over the lucrative gambling business. Today, casinos focus on the “high rollers,” gamblers who bet tens of thousands of dollars. They reward these gamblers with comps, including free rooms and meals, show tickets, limo service, and airline tickets.