Casino Gambling Basics – Articles for Beginners

  • Casinos typically accept all bets made by patrons within an established limit, so that a patron cannot win more than a casino can afford to pay. Every game offered gives a casino a mathematical expectancy of winning, and it is very rare for a casino to lose money on its games, even for one day. Because of this virtual assurance of gross profit, casinos regularly offer big bettors extravagant inducements in the form of free spectacular entertainment, transportation, and elegant living quarters. Even lesser bettors are offered reduced-fare transportation, hotel rooms, free drinks and cigarettes while gambling, and other inducements.

    Of the games played regularly at casinos, roulette is found throughout the world, being a principal gambling game in France, where casinos reduce their advantage to less than 1 percent to entice big bettors. In the Americas roulette appeals more to small bettors, and casinos take a larger percentage. Craps attracts the big bettors in American casinos, most of which demand an advantage no greater than 1.4 percent and some only 1 percent or less. Slot machines and (from the 1980s) video poker machines are the economic mainstay of American casinos, the income resulting from high volume, rapid play at sums ranging from five cents to a dollar, and the ability to adjust machines for any desired profit. Another very common game offered in most casinos is keno.

    Of casino card games, baccarat—in the popular variant known as chemin de fer—is the principal gambling game in the United Kingdom and those European continental casinos most often patronized by the British, such as those at Deauville, Biarritz, and on the Riviera. Blackjack is a fixture in American casinos and trente et quarante in the French. Other card games are seldom played in casino gambling, although most American casinos have table games in the form of poker variants such as Caribbean stud. They very often also offer regular poker tables, where patrons play each other while the casino makes its profit either by taking a portion of each pot or by charging an hourly fee. Asian casinos offer several traditional Far Eastern games, primarily sic bo (which spread to several European and American casinos during the 1990s), fan-tan, and pai-gow. Occasionally other games of local interest may be found in some casinos, such as two-up in Australia, banca francesa in Portugal, boule in France, and kalooki in Britain.

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