Whether you’re itching to hit the slots, roll the dice at the craps table or test your poker face in a game of blackjack, there’s a casino near you where you can satisfy your gambling craving. But beware — casinos are not always safe places to play. And if you are addicted to gambling, studies show the money lost by compulsive gamblers to casinos may actually negate any economic benefits they bring to a community.
Most casinos offer a variety of gambling games, including blackjack, roulette, baccarat, video poker and slot machines. Most have mathematically determined odds that ensure the house an edge over the players, although there are some games where the player’s skill can affect the outcome.
Something about the casino environment seems to encourage people to cheat or steal, especially when large amounts of money are involved. That’s why casinos devote much time and effort to security. Dealers are trained to spot a variety of ploys, and tables have “higher-up” personnel who monitor betting patterns and reactions. Casinos also use sophisticated technology to keep track of the results of games. For example, chip tracking allows them to follow betting chips’ movement minute by minute, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored for deviations from expected results.