Located in the elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, this casino first became a destination for European royalty and aristocracy 150 years ago. These days, gamblers flock here to play the casino’s red-and-gold poker rooms and blackjack tables — and also dine at one of its top-tier restaurants.

While some casinos use bright, gaudy designs that stimulate and cheer up gamblers, most of them rely on a combination of noise, light, and excitement to draw in players. Often players shout encouragement to their opponents, or to the waiters circling the gambling areas who provide free drinks and snacks.

Because every casino game has a mathematical expectancy that gives the house an advantage, it’s rare for a player to win more than the total amount of money on any one spin or hand. This advantage, which is called the house edge, is built into all games like craps, roulette, baccarat, and video poker.

To make up for this virtual guarantee of gross profit, casinos offer huge inducements to big gamblers in the form of complimentary items such as food, show tickets, hotel rooms, and even limo service and airline tickets. These perks are known as comps. They are based on how much a gambler spends and how long he or she plays. The casino also sets minimum and maximum amounts that a player can bet on any given game or machine.