The Basics of Casino Gambling


A casino is a place where people gamble and play games of chance. While stage shows, buffets, ice cream parlors and shopping centers provide entertainment and profits for the owners of casinos, the vast majority of the billions in revenues generated by casino gambling comes from the games themselves. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno all generate the massive amounts of money that are raked in by casinos each year. This article explores how casinos make their money, what types of games are available and how to play them. It also looks at the history of casinos and how they are regulated. It concludes with an examination of the dark side of casino operations – how gambling addiction causes problems for individuals, families and communities and why some studies show that casino revenue is a net negative to local economies.

A large percentage of a casino’s profit is made from the games that have some skill element, such as blackjack and baccarat. In these games, the house edge is determined by the specific rules and even the number of decks used. It is possible to reduce the house edge by learning the basic strategy for those games. Casinos employ mathematicians to calculate the house edge and the variance of each game. These calculations allow them to predict with some accuracy how much of a profit they will make from each game and what amount of cash reserves they will need.