A casino is a gambling establishment where people can play games of chance or skill. They can also place bets on sports events and horse races. Some casinos are very large and offer a variety of games, while others are smaller and have only a few types of games. In addition to games of chance, some casinos have top-notch hotels, spas, restaurants, and live entertainment.

Unlike some other forms of gambling, casino gaming has a social aspect that brings people together. Players can interact with each other or they can shout encouragement to fellow players at table games such as craps and poker. The casino environment is designed to be noisy and exciting. Alcoholic beverages are served at all times and there is often a dance floor.

Most casino games have built-in advantages that ensure that the house wins in the long run, even if players win many small bets. This advantage is called the house edge. The house edge is usually higher for games that require skill, such as blackjack, than in those without any skill element, such as roulette or video poker. Casinos also earn money from games with no house edge, such as poker, by taking a percentage of the money bet, which is called the rake.

Security in a casino starts on the floor, where security personnel constantly keep their eyes on patrons and games to make sure everything is going as it should. Dealers are heavily focused on their own games and can easily spot blatant cheating, such as palming or marking cards. Pit bosses and tables managers have a broader view of the table games and look for betting patterns that could indicate cheating.