What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment that offers a variety of games of chance. It may include card games, table games and video poker as well as slots and other machine-based gambling activities. A casino also features dining and other live entertainment.

The most common casino game is a card game. Typically, the casino’s profit comes from the house edge, which is built into all casino games. This advantage varies by game, but is usually no greater than two percent. While casinos use a variety of other attractions to draw in patrons (like free drinks, stage shows and dramatic scenery), they would not exist without the gambling aspect.

Almost every casino has some form of poker. The most popular poker variant is blackjack. Most American casinos offer it and also feature baccarat, trente et quarante and other traditional table games. Most casinos have video poker machines, although they are less prevalent outside of Las Vegas.

Because large sums of money are handled inside a casino, there is always the potential for cheating and theft by patrons and staff. Hence, most casinos employ a variety of security measures to prevent these incidents. These include security cameras and trained personnel who patrol the floors to watch for suspicious behavior. The security people look for patterns in the way patrons play games, like when a player is trying to hide cards from other players. This helps security officers to spot these blatant attempts to manipulate the game.