Important Terms to Know Before You Visit a Casino


A casino is an institution where people pay money to gamble. It is also a place where people can meet and socialize. There are many different games in a casino, and most of them require some degree of skill. The most common games are poker, blackjack, baccarat and craps. The casino industry generates billions of dollars every year, and it is growing rapidly.

While casinos spend millions on glitzy attractions like musical shows, lighted fountains and replicas of famous pyramids and towers, they would not exist without games of chance. Slot machines, roulette, blackjack and card games provide the billions of dollars in profits that casinos rake in each year.

There are some important terms to know before you visit a casino:

Tilt: A psychological state in which a player loses control and begins making emotional decisions, leading to poor game play. Toke: A tip given to a dealer. Tournament: A competition between a number of players over a set period of time. Underlay: A bad bet, especially in a gambling game such as blackjack. House edge: A mathematically determined advantage that the casino has over the players in a game of chance. In games that involve a degree of skill, such as poker, the house edge is lower if the player uses basic strategy.

The house edge is less than two percent for most casino games. However, the exact number varies depending on the rules of the game and the amount of skill involved. The mathematicians and computer programmers that analyze these numbers are called gaming mathematicians and analysts.