In any gamma-ray detector, each event produces electrical signals on one or more circuit elements. From these signals, we may wish to determine the presence of an interaction; whether multiple interactions occurred; the spatial coordinates in two or three dimensions of at least the primary interaction; or the total energy deposited in that interaction. We may also want to compute listmode probabilities for tomographic reconstruction. Maximum-likelihood methods provide a rigorous and in some senses optimal approach to extracting this information, and the associated Fisher information matrix provides a way of quantifying and optimizing the information conveyed by the detector. This paper will review the principles of likelihood methods as applied to gamma-ray detectors and illustrate their power with recent results from the Center for Gamma-ray Imaging.