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What is a Casino?

A casino is a place that offers a variety of games of chance for patrons to play. It can be an elaborate building with stage shows and dramatic scenery or it can be a simple room where patrons place bets and gamble. Gambling in some form probably predates recorded history, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice found at the earliest archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. However, the modern idea of a gambling establishment with a multitude of different ways to gamble under one roof didn’t develop until the 16th century, when European aristocracy held private parties called ridotti that would feature various games of chance and free drinks.

The most common casino game is the slot machine, which generates a higher percentage of casino profits than any other game. Slot machines are simple devices that require no skill or strategy, but they can still be fun to play. Patrons insert money, pull a handle or push a button to start the action; then, bands of colored shapes roll on reels (whether real physical ones or video representations of them). If the right pattern comes up, the player wins a predetermined amount of money.

Other casino games include blackjack, roulette, baccarat and craps. In addition, many American casinos offer a selection of poker variants. Some casinos also offer Far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan and pai gow. Some casinos also have sports betting sections, where patrons bet on a wide range of events.