The Casino Advantage

The world’s top casinos offer everything you expect and more — top hotels, spas, restaurants, games and entertainment. They are also safe and fun to visit. While they all have a unique character and the thrill you experience vicariously from casino-themed movies, none of them exist without games of chance that provide billions in profits each year. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat all help bring in the cash.

Casinos have become like indoor amusement parks for adults. The glitz and glamour attracts millions of people and the gambling dollars keep rolling in, even when the economy is bad. Almost every state has legalized casino gambling in the past decade or so, with some having more than one.

Many gamblers prefer the simplicity of a slot machine, where a person puts in money and pulls a handle or pushes a button to watch varying bands of colored shapes roll on reels (actual physical ones or a video representation). The shape stops on a predetermined number that determines how much the player wins, if any. The machines are programmed by computer to attract customers with their colors, scents and sounds, including the cling clang of coins dropping in a payoff tray.

Casinos have a virtual assurance of profit, because all games give the house an advantage over patrons. This advantage is usually less than 1 percent, but the margin varies from game to game. For example, a casino might reduce its advantage in roulette to entice large bettors, while offering small bettors more attractive odds in craps or blackjack.

Posted on