Underneath the glitter of flashing lights and champagne glasses clinking is a bedrock of mathematics, engineered to slowly bleed patrons of their hard-earned cash. It’s no wonder that physicists and other mathematically inclined minds have tried to turn the tables by harnessing their understanding of probability and game theory.

Casino is a slick, riveting thriller that holds your attention till the end, even though it is one of Martin Scorsese’s longest movies. It is also arguably his best, and features perhaps Sharon Stone’s finest performance, along with a great supporting cast in the form of Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci.

The games themselves are the main attraction in casinos, and these range from classic table games like blackjack and poker to slot machines and roulette. Some of these are games that involve a degree of skill, while others are pure chance. Many of them have been designed to be attractive and visually appealing, with a variety of shapes and colors to lure players in.

A casino’s success depends on the ability to predict which games will be popular and when. In order to do so, it needs to have a large and varied pool of games. In addition, the house must know the odds of each game (known as the expected value or house edge), and the variance of those odds. This information is gathered by mathematicians who study gambling data.

Casinos must also be careful to prevent cheating and theft, both by their patrons and employees. This can be done in a number of ways, including video surveillance and the use of security personnel trained to recognize potential problems.