What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people play games of chance and gamble. Modern casinos offer a variety of luxuries to keep patrons gambling, including restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. However, the most important thing a casino does is provide games of chance, which account for the billions of dollars in profits they make each year.

Table games refer to any game played sitting around a table with players and the physical components of the game, whether cards, dice or tokens. Popular examples include card games like poker, dice games like craps, and wheel games like roulette. The main requirement is that the games be played on a flat surface, with the tokens or pieces being placed on it and that all the players interact directly or indirectly during gameplay.

Gambling games of chance have uniformly negative expected value, which can be expressed mathematically as the house edge or vigorish. The vigorish takes the form of a small percentage of all bets made, or in games like poker where players compete against each other, as a small fee known as the rake.

A casino has to rely on its reputation to attract visitors, and it must keep them from cheating or stealing in collusion with other patrons or in isolation. To prevent such activities, most casinos use security cameras and other technological measures, while rules of conduct and behavior are designed to discourage such behavior. Casinos also use chips to make money appear less real, a strategy that reduces the likelihood of cheating by making it harder for players to conceal their actions.