The casino is a place where people gamble on games of chance and sometimes of skill. It is a form of entertainment that appeals to many people, from your grandmother taking weekend bus trips with her friends to the mega casinos in Las Vegas. It is important to know the rules of the games you play in order to make smart decisions and have fun.

It seems paradoxical that a casino, under the veneer of flashing lights and free cocktails, is essentially engineered to slowly drain its patrons of their cash. Yet, for years, mathematically inclined minds have tried to turn the tables by using their mastery of probability and game theory to exploit weaknesses in this seemingly rigged system.

Casinos operate on a bedrock of mathematics, with most games having mathematically determined odds that ensure the house always has an advantage over players (this is known as expected value). In some games, such as poker, where patrons compete against each other, the casino earns money via a commission known as the rake.

In addition to these mathematical considerations, the security of a casino is also based on human factors and technology. For example, the floor of a casino is monitored by employees who are trained to spot blatant cheating like palming or marking dice. Table managers and pit bosses are tasked with keeping a closer eye on the patrons at their tables, observing betting patterns that might indicate cheating.