Casinos have a long history, beginning with the games of chance in ancient Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome. They have since evolved into massive megacasinos that are home to a mindblowing number of games, hotels, restaurants and non-gambling activities. Despite the lavish decorations, musical shows and other gimmicks that help draw in crowds, casinos would not exist without gambling on chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette and other popular games of chance generate the billions in profits that casinos rake in every year.

The most famous casinos in the world may boast of opulent furnishings, stunning architecture and dramatic scenery, but there are many more that offer the same experience. Some of the most decadent casino temples on earth are found in the elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, a gambling mecca that first attracted royalty and aristocracy 150 years ago. Today, the casino is designed to blend in with its historic Black Forest surroundings and offers a host of table games, including several varieties of poker, baccarat and blackjack.

While many casino patrons have a great time and enjoy the thrill of gambling, it’s important to remember that the house always wins. Every game offers the house a mathematical advantage that allows it to generate gross profit over the long run. This is why casinos regularly reward “good” gamblers with free show tickets, hotel rooms and even limo service and airline tickets. This is known as comping. If you want to get a casino’s opinion of your play, ask the information desk for a rating card.