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What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment where many types of games of chance can be played. The term is most often applied to casinos in Las Vegas, but there are also many others throughout the world, particularly in regions that have legalized gambling such as Atlantic City and Chicago. Casinos often offer a variety of entertainment options in addition to the gambling tables, such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows.

Casinos earn their profits from the built-in statistical advantage they have in each game; this edge can be very small, sometimes less than two percent, but it adds up over the billions of dollars in bets placed by patrons. The advantage is often known as the house edge and is the reason that gamblers should always look for the best odds when playing any game.

The large amount of money that is handled within casinos means that both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat, steal or scam their way into a jackpot instead of winning by random chance. Therefore, casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security. This security is usually achieved through cameras and rules of conduct that prohibit certain actions.

The most popular games of chance in casinos include poker, blackjack and slot machines. Other games of chance include craps, baccarat and keno. In addition to these table games, some casinos offer traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo (which became a very popular game in European and American casinos in the 1990s), fan-tan and pai gow.