What Is a Casino?



A casino is a gambling establishment offering a variety of games of chance for visitors to enjoy. These games can be slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno or other table and card games. In addition to gaming, casinos often feature restaurants, shopping centers and themed entertainment. Some of the best known are in Las Vegas, but there are also many located in other cities around the world.

While musical shows, lighted fountains and hotels may draw tourists to casinos, the vast majority of their profits come from games of chance. Slot machines, which require the player to simply push a button or pull a handle and watch varying bands of colors of shapes roll on reels (either actual physical reels or video representations of them), are a favorite among many players. The games are simple to understand, with no skill or strategy involved, and can produce a large amount of money in short periods of time.

Other popular games in casinos include baccarat, which is played in most countries but attracts mostly high rollers; pai gow poker, which is popular in Asia and is now spreading to European casinos; and the Asian game sic bo, which can be found in some European and American casinos. Other casinos may offer a selection of regional games, such as boule, which is played in France and sands, or fan-tan, which is popular in China. Casinos earn their advantage on these games by taking a small percentage of the total bets made by patrons. This advantage is commonly called the vig or rake, and it can add up to millions of dollars in profits each year.