A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming establishment, is a place where people can gamble on various games of chance. Most of the time, a casino is combined with hotels and resorts, and it is often a major tourist attraction. In addition, many casinos are known for their entertainment facilities, including live performances and shows by renowned artists.
A number of different casino games are played, but poker and blackjack are the most popular in North America. Other popular casino games include baccarat (known as chemin de fer in the United Kingdom and Europe, and trente et quarante in France), roulette, and slot machines. Most casinos offer a wide range of table games, and some have special rooms for high-stakes gamblers.
In addition to ensuring that all the games are run fairly, casinos spend considerable time and money on security. Casino employees monitor the floor and other areas with cameras to spot cheating, stealing or tampering. Moreover, table managers and pit bosses have a more broader view of the patrons at their tables and can quickly identify betting patterns that might indicate cheating.
Historically, something about the gambling environment encouraged cheating and tampering, but in the 1990s casinos dramatically increased their use of technology to detect such activities. For example, modern slot machines are wired to computer systems that enable them to oversee the exact amounts wagered minute-by-minute and warn staff immediately if there is any deviation from expected results; other games such as roulette wheels can be electronically monitored regularly to discover statistical anomalies that might otherwise be missed.