When people hear the word “casino,” they often think of a glamorous Las Vegas casino replete with flashy lights and plenty of games to choose from. But casinos are more than just gambling houses. They also offer dining, shopping, nightlife and other forms of entertainment — all geared toward making the gambling experience as fun and rewarding as possible.
Casinos make their money by offering gamblers a game with a built in advantage for the house, which is typically less than two percent. This edge, which is known as the vig or rake, helps casinos keep their doors open and affords them the billions of dollars in profits they rake in each year.
Some casinos have a variety of table games, such as roulette (a principal gambling game in France and those European continental casinos most patronized by the British), blackjack, poker and trente et quarante. American casinos are more likely to feature slot machines and video poker, which attract large numbers of players at high speeds for sums ranging from five cents to a dollar.
Casinos use sophisticated technology to monitor player activity. For example, the chips that casino gamblers place on tables contain microcircuitry that allows the casinos to track the amounts being wagered minute by minute, and to warn them immediately if there is an anomaly; and the roulette wheels are electronically monitored to detect any statistical deviation from expected results. Computers and software also analyze the odds of a given game and predict the probability that the casino will profit, which is referred to as a house edge or variance. This information is used by gaming mathematicians and analysts, who are typically freelancers or outsourced by casinos.