Risk-taking is one of the great conditioning factors of life itself.
Gambling was an integral force -- indeed, often the guiding principle -- in most primitive cultures. Which means that the gambling impulse has been with us since we've been human.
Obviously, gambling has come a long way since Homo erectus risked life and limb going after the great prehistoric mammals. Still, the casino is today's equivalent of a happy hunting ground, with its own rules, language, and survival mechanisms.
Here are some of the most common questions about that culture.
If I find a casino chip on the floor, is it mine to keep?
Is giving casino chips as tips allowed?
Are cocktail waitresses allowed to accept ticket-in ticket-out slot vouchers as tips?
Can I cash my chips at a casino other than the one where I won them?
What's the check-cashing policy at Las Vegas casinos?
Are $50 bills considered unlucky?
Can I take photographs in a casino?
I know they can't play, but can my teenagers watch me gamble?
What are the best and worst bets in a casino?
Which casino bet gives you the best bang for your buck?
What happens to unclaimed TITO vouchers?
What happens if I take a TITO voucher home to New York from Las Vegas?
Are players better off on the Strip, at locals casinos, or doesn't it matter?
All the experts say never drink and gamble, so why does this website have so much about bars, happy hours, drink specials, etc.?
Is there a patron saint of gamblers?
How much money are casinos required to keep on hand to pay off high rollers?
Why do some people refer to casino chips as checks or cheques?
What happens if there's a power outage at a casino?
Where is the closest place to Las Vegas to buy a lottery ticket?
What is the Griffin book?
What is the Black Book?
How likely is it for a dealer to cheat the players at his blackjack table?
What's the best seat at a blackjack table?
What's so bad about 6-5 blackjack?
At a 6-5 blackjack game, will casinos allow you to double down on a natural?
Is card counting illegal?
What is preferential shuffling?
What do you do if the dice fly off your crap table?
Why are we hooked on slot machines?
Do any casino slots still pay in coin or have they all adopted the TITO voucher?
What are "skill-based" slots?
I've heard of slot teams. Are there any video poker teams?
What about sports-betting syndicates?
Why can't I use my cell phone in or near a race and sports book?
What can I do if I forget to cash my winning sports ticket before I leave town?
What can I do if my sports ticket has completely faded so it's unreadable?
How does it work to "middle" a sports bet?
What are some of the crazier Super Bowl proposition bets?
Is online gambling safe or an invitation to be ripped off?