What is a Casino?
A casino is a place where people can go to gamble. It’s also a place where a variety of other things can be done, from eating to seeing shows. The most famous casinos in the world are often seen in movies like James Bond and Ocean’s Twelve, but there are many other great casinos out there.
Gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice found in ancient archaeological sites. But the idea of a single location where people could find multiple ways to gamble under one roof didn’t develop until the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe. The first casinos were Italian aristocrats’ “ridotti,” or private clubs, where they’d meet to gamble and socialize [Source: Schwartz].
These days, casinos are often large buildings with dozens of gaming tables and hundreds of slot machines. But even the smallest casinos offer plenty of extras to attract visitors, such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows.
Casinos make money by ensuring that their house always wins. Every game they offer has a built-in statistical advantage for the casino, which can be as low as two percent, depending on the game and its payout rules. Casinos collect this edge by taking a percentage of bets or charging an hourly fee.
Most casinos feature a few table games, including blackjack and the French card game trente et quarante. They also feature a wide range of video poker machines. Some casinos have live dealers, while others use video cameras to monitor games from a central control room.