A casino (or gambling house) is a facility for certain types of gambling. Some casinos are stand-alone facilities; others are combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops or cruise ships. Casinos are regulated by state law and offer a variety of games, including blackjack, poker, craps, roulette, baccarat, and video poker. Many casinos also feature entertainment options such as shows, concerts and sporting events.
The casino industry relies on a complex set of rules to control the behavior of players, employees and other patrons. Security begins on the casino floor, where staff have a wide view of the action and can quickly spot cheating or other problems. Each table game has a pit boss or manager who oversees the activities of its dealers and keeps an eye out for betting patterns that may suggest cheating.
Most casino games are based on chance, although there are some that require skill. The house always has an advantage over the gamblers, and this is reflected in the odds of winning or losing. This advantage is mathematically determined and known as the “house edge”. In games of chance that involve skill, such as poker, the house takes a rake, which is the commission it collects from each hand played.
Some casinos offer complimentary goods or services to a gambler’s play, based on the amount of time and money he or she spends at the casino. These are called comps. High rollers, who spend tens of thousands of dollars on bets, often receive special treatment and can even get free hotel rooms, meals and tickets to shows.