Casino operators can offer the gaming public an extensive number and variety of casino games and devices.
A person can find over two dozen varieties of blackjack in casinos worldwide, which can involve, among other things, whether the dealer uses one or many as six decks; the dealer must hit or stand on a 17; all cards are dealt face up or face down; and under what circumstances the gambler may double-down, surrender, or split the hand.
Blackjack is only one game. Currently, Nevada has approved about 35 table games and about 200 gaming devices that casinos may offer.
Restrictions on the type and rules of games and devices are tied to the ability of the government to effectively monitor play to prevent cheating and skimming, and to ensure proper accounting.
Control over the games and devices is easier, is less expensive, and requires fewer staff if fewer types of games are permitted, and the rules are set by statute or regulation.
A good example is the apprehension of persons who cheat at blackjack. A card maker can alter the backs of cards, and figure out the value of the dealer’s hole card in this game.
Knowledge of the hole card assumes the gambler of an advantage over the casino. Blackjack cheaters are so skillful that a novice can be told that a deck contains a marked card and be unable to identify the markings, while the card cheat can read the marking from across a room.
Another method of cheating is called ‘card crimping’. This is when someone actually deforms a card sometimes by bending a corner to make the card value readable to the crimper from the back and face of the card.
Other cheats will hold out one card from a discarded hand, and substitute it for another card during play.
Suppose, the gambler can hold out a jack from a discarded hand. If the dealer deals him a three down and a face card, the cheat can switch the three for the face card.
All of these methods of cheating can be minimized by requiring that all cards be dealt to gamblers face up, and prohibiting the gamblers from touching the cards.
Like other industries, the gaming industry is evolving— the casinos of today are significantly different from those of twenty years ago.
Catwalks in the ceilings from which security could look down to observe play have been replaced by sophisticated pan-tilt and zoom video cameras. In place of old mechanical slot machines are new microprocessor-controlled machines with 256,000 color monitors.
Most casinos now have coin changers, and some are even cashless. Gambler-tracking systems give the new casino operator immediate information on a gambler’s play.
Even some games have changed. Video poker has replaced the reel slot machine as the game of choice among slot gamblers in many casinos.
Table games, such as pai gow poker, red dog, and others, are new, and variations of existing games such as gambler’s choice 21, double-down stud, and Caribbean stud, are common in some casinos.