A casino is a facility where people can gamble and play games of chance. From the glamorous Las Vegas Strip to the illegal pai gow parlors of New York’s Chinatown, casinos draw visitors from around the world. From the high rollers and flashing cameras of the VIP rooms to the cheesy floor shows and dazzling chandeliers of the main halls, there is something for everyone at a casino.
The vast majority of casino games are based on chance, though some have an element of skill (e.g., blackjack). The house has a built in advantage over the players which, in some games, can be as small as two percent, but which adds up over millions of bets. This edge, known as the vig or rake, is calculated by mathematically determined odds that are published on casino websites and in gaming guides. Casino mathematicians and computer programmers (also called gaming analysts) calculate the expected value of various bets to help casino owners plan their profits.
Due to the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. For this reason, security is a key part of casino operation. Casinos employ a variety of security measures, including surveillance systems, ticketing and a manned guard booth. Some casinos also have a team of gaming experts who monitor player behavior and look for betting patterns that indicate cheating.