A casino is a place where people can gamble on games of chance, or in some cases with a skill element. Most casino games have mathematically determined odds that ensure the house has an advantage over players. This advantage can be quantified as the house edge, or more precisely as the expected value of a wager (without advanced card counting). The casino earns money from its patrons through a commission on these games called the rake. Casinos also give out complimentary items or comps to gamblers, as well as host world class entertainment and performances.

Casinos are often very elaborate places, with soaring ceilings painted with classical murals and adorned with crystal chandeliers. Many casinos are also famous tourist attractions in their own right, drawing millions of visitors each year for a taste of the high life. The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, for instance, first became a destination for wealthy Europeans 150 years ago and now attracts a much more diverse crowd.

Something about gambling seems to encourage some patrons to cheat or steal, a fact that motivates most casinos to spend a huge amount of time and money on security. This security starts on the casino floor, where dealers keep their eyes on the game and the patrons to spot any blatant attempts at fraud such as palming, marking or switching cards or dice. Managers and pit bosses keep an eye on the table games with a broader view, looking for betting patterns that could indicate cheating.