Casinos operate on a system called the ‘house edge’, where the odds are always weighted in favour of the casino rather than the player. In some games such as poker where players compete against one another, the casino takes a commission which is known as the rake.
There are three popular table games that are played in every casino:
• Poker: This is a card game where a number of players play against one another, betting that they will have a better ‘hand’ (higher scoring cards) than the other players. Once the first player places their bet, betting proceeds around the table in a clockwise direction and players must either bet the same as the first bet, fold (i.e. end their turn and forfeit their stake) or bet higher than the original bet. Although there is a large element of chance in what cards are dealt, there is also an element of skill in poker which is one of the reasons for its popularity.
• Roulette: In roulette, the croupier spins a ball around a wheel with a number of coloured and numbered pockets around its edge. Players gamble on numbers, colours or whether the number is even or odd.
• Blackjack: Blackjack is a card game where players are dealt an initial two cards and the aim of the game is to get a hand where the face value of the cards is worth 21 or as near as possible. Should a number of players have cards of the same value, the player with the fewer number of cards generally wins.