What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that offers customers the opportunity to gamble by playing games of chance or, in some cases, games with a skill element. Most casino games have a house edge, which is the house’s advantage over the players, and this is often expressed as a percentage of total amount wagered. A casino may also offer perks to encourage and reward gambling, such as free food and drinks or hotel rooms. These perks are often called comps.

Many casino games have a high degree of skill involved, and the best players can make large amounts of money. The casino industry is known for its concentration on attracting and keeping such “high rollers.” A high roller is defined as a player who makes significant bets, often in the tens of thousands of dollars. These players are rewarded with “comps” such as free hotel room and dinner deals, show tickets, and even limo service.

While casinos rely on cameras and other technology to monitor casino patrons, they also employ an array of human eyes. Pit bosses and table managers have a wider view of the games and can quickly spot blatant cheating or unusual betting patterns. Likewise, dealers are trained to watch for specific tricks such as palming or marking cards.

Casinos rely on the house edge and variance to estimate their profits, and they hire mathematicians who specialize in gaming analysis. These professionals calculate the optimal strategy for each game, and they use this information to help the casino’s managers make sound financial decisions.