What is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment where various types of gambling games can be played. Some casinos offer a variety of games such as blackjack, roulette and poker while others specialize in one type of game. Casinos can be found all over the world and offer a unique experience for anyone who is looking to test their luck.

Gambling has been part of human culture for millennia, with evidence dating back to 2300 BC in China. Dice showed up around 500 BC, while card games started appearing in the 1400s with baccarat first making an appearance and then chemin de fer in Europe, followed by poker (in its various forms) and then blackjack in America. Many casinos also offer a number of traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan and pai-gow.

Regardless of the game, most casinos have mathematically determined odds which give them an advantage over players, called house edge or expected value. These odds are computed by mathematicians who are known as gaming mathematicians or gaming analysts. Casinos may also take a profit from games such as poker by charging an hourly fee to players or taking a percentage of each pot, a process known as raking.

Because large amounts of money are handled within casinos, cheating and stealing are common. To prevent this, most casinos employ a combination of physical security forces and specialized surveillance departments that use closed circuit television to monitor the premises.