Beneath the glitz and glamour, casinos are rigged to slowly bleed their patrons of money. But there’s no way to beat the odds. Not even if you had a slew of bad hands that suddenly turned into a winning streak. Math, and not luck, is the guiding principle.

There have been seedy backroom gambling parlors that housed similar activities, but large professional casinos offer a safe place to dine, watch stage shows or just gamble with your friends in a secure environment. Casinos usually employ security guards to monitor their parking lots and are close to police stations in case of crime. They also have high-tech eye-in-the-sky surveillance systems that can be shifted to focus on suspicious patrons by security workers in a room filled with banks of monitors.

In addition, the casinos typically have a staff of people that monitors their patrons. Pit bosses and table managers keep an eye on their tables, spotting blatant cheating like palming or marking cards and dice. Dealers keep an eye on their own games, looking for crooked bettors and noting when a game starts to slow down. A casino’s staff also has a higher-up person that tracks all the dealers and looks for patterns of cheating or slowed play.

Another aspect of a casino’s business is offering comps, free goods or services given to a player for long periods of time and/or large bets. These may include hotel rooms, restaurant or show tickets, reduced-fare transportation, limousine service and airline tickets. Casinos also try to attract patrons by advertising the high jackpots of some of their games.

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