In its most basic form, a casino is a place where you can gamble on games of chance. These gambling establishments often have a variety of slot machines, table games, and other gambling options. They may also have restaurants and other entertainment options.
Generally, the games of chance played in casinos have mathematically determined odds that give the house an advantage over players. The house edge is the difference between the expected value of a bet (which is negative) and the actual payout, which is usually positive. The house edge is much higher in games with an element of skill such as poker and blackjack, although the exact amount varies from game to game.
Something about gambling seems to encourage people to cheat, steal and scam their way into a jackpot, and that’s why casinos spend a lot of time and money on security. Casino employees are trained to look for suspicious behavior, and they can spot a variety of blatant cheating techniques like palming, marking or switching cards. Pit bosses and table managers watch over the tables with a broader view, making sure patrons don’t swap chips or betting patterns that could indicate cheating.
Besides security, casino employees are also there to reward their best customers with free goods and services called comps. These perks include free hotel rooms, dinners and show tickets. In many cases, you can earn these comps just by playing a certain amount of time at a particular casino.