How to Avoid Walking Out of a Casino With Less Money Than You Went In

Under the glitzy veneer of twinkling lights and free drinks, casinos are designed to slowly bleed their patrons of cash. Mathematically inclined minds have long tried to use their knowledge of probability and game theory to turn the tables, but for most people, the best way to avoid walking out of a casino with less money than they went in is simply not to play.

The mathematics of casino games are complex, but the basic rule is that the house always has an edge over players. This is why it is important to know the house edge and variance for each game you play. These are calculated by mathematically inclined people called gaming mathematicians and gaming analysts.

Casinos also spend a lot of time and money on customer service, offering perks like free buffets and show tickets to encourage gamblers to stay longer and spend more. They also make sure the rooms and gambling areas smell good by wafting scented oils through their ventilation systems. Studies have shown that people put 45% more money into slot machines when the room is scented.

Although there are a few uplifting stories about gambling (such as the rise of entrepreneur Benny Binion), the vast majority of casino gamblers are characterized by greed and treachery. A 2005 study by Roper Reports and the U.S. Gaming Panel found that the average casino gambler is a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with above-average income.