A casino, or gaming house, is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Some casinos are standalone facilities, while others are combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships, and other tourist attractions. The term may also refer to an entire city or country that is known for its gambling, such as Las Vegas.
There are three general categories of casino games: gaming machines, table games, and random number games. Gaming machines, such as slot machines, allow players to compete against the machine rather than each other. Table games, such as blackjack and craps, involve a face-to-face interaction with one or more live croupiers. Random number games use a computerized system to select numbers at random.
Most casino games have a mathematically determined advantage for the house, often referred to as the “house edge” or vigorish. This advantage is designed to ensure that the casino’s total gross profit (or “household income”) remains constant over time, despite fluctuations in the amount of money wagered on individual games. However, some casino games have a skill element, and players possessing sufficient skills can eliminate the inherent long-term disadvantage.
Casinos have a variety of security measures in place to protect their guests and property. These measures include a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. Modern casinos also utilize technology for game supervision. For example, some tables have betting chips with built-in microcircuitry that interact with electronic systems to oversee the exact amounts wagered minute-by-minute; roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any deviation from their expected results.