What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that offers a variety of games of chance to customers. These games may include roulette, craps, blackjack, and video poker, among others. Most casinos use mathematically determined odds that ensure the house always has an advantage over the players. These odds can be calculated by expert mathematicians or computer programmers called gaming analysts. Casinos calculate these odds to determine how much money they will make per wager and to plan their cash reserves. These calculations are known as house edges and variance.

In the twenty-first century, many casinos are focusing on high rollers, who spend large amounts of money and demand personal attention. They often gamble in special rooms away from the main casino floor, where the stakes can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. High rollers are also rewarded with comps (free goods or services) like free hotel rooms, dinners, tickets to shows, and even limo service and airline tickets.

Security is a big concern in most casinos. Surveillance cameras watch over the patrons to catch any blatant cheating or tampering with cards, dice, or chips. Some casinos also have catwalks in the ceiling above the casino floor, which allow surveillance personnel to look directly down, through one-way glass, on table and slot games. Each table game has a pit boss or table manager who watches over the patrons and makes sure everything follows expected patterns. This makes it easier for security to spot any out-of-the-ordinary activity.

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