James Bond and Casinos – 007’s Favorite Games

James Bond is known for many things. From his sleek Aston Martin to his many gadgets, he is the quintessential gentleman spy. One place where we will always see him cutting a sharp figure is in the casino. He is no stranger to a casino game or two – but what are his favorites? Let’s take a closer look at some of the games we often see him playing both in the films and the original Ian Fleming novels.

Baccarat

The game that is most often associated with Bond is baccarat, or chemin de fer. It is his game of choice, and appears in many of the films and books. This elegant card game dates back centuries and has drifted in and out of popularity throughout the years. When Fleming was writing the novels, it was an incredibly popular game, and so it is not surprising that he had Bond play it.

Most famously, we are introduced to Bond playing chemin de fer in the first film Dr No. This game is slightly different compared to standard baccarat. One player is the banker and this role shifts anticlockwise as things continue. As with other variations of baccarat, a player attempts to get as close to eight or nine to win. With chemin de fer often being played in its native French, it is little wonder that Fleming thought this should be the signature game for his cosmopolitan character. 

Roulette

Roulette is a fun and social game that always attracts attention. You can find it at many a physical casino, but could also pick it up at one of the many sites available at OnlineCasinos. It might not be as popular with Bond as baccarat, but he can be seen playing it in several instances. In particular, he can be seen trying his hand at roulette in Diamonds are Forever.

This is one of the most iconic games at a casino, and can always be spotted due to its wheel and easily identifiable betting board. Players guess which pocket a ball will land in when introduced to the spinning wheel. The bet could be as simple as a black or red pocket, or an odd or even one, or it could be as detailed as guessing precisely which number the ball will land on. Though the game of roulette might not be one that you immediately consider when thinking of Bond, it has not stopped the development of a roulette strategy named after him!

Craps

Craps is another game that always attracts a crowd. Rather than use cards, like many of the others on this list, it uses dice. Players bet on what they think the outcome of a dice roll might be, and roll the dice to see whether their predictions can come true. This game is another that Bond tries in Diamonds are Forever, where he meets Bond Girl Plenty O’Toole. 

This can be a fast-paced game and it can be hard to pick it up if you are trying to learn at a table. If you are interested in learning more about how to play craps, it might be a better idea to check them out on a site like the ones at OnlineCasinos. In a closed game where it is just you and the game, you might feel more comfortable learning about some of the strategies available rather than just diving in. It could be a much calmer experience compared to what you might find if you were at a craps table in a packed casino. 

Poker 

We don’t often see Bond play poker, but Texas Hold’em is used as a vital substitution in Casino Royale. In the original Fleming novel, the game played in the showdown between Bond and Le Chiffre is 007’s favourite, chemin de fer. When it came to adapting the story as Daniel Craig took the reins of Bond, a decision was made to switch to poker as it was a very popular game when the film was made.

Poker is easier to pick up than you might imagine. In Texas Hold’em, you are dealt two cards and try to make the best hand you can with five community cards dealt on the table. It is a very nuanced game that can be tense and thrilling. This is no doubt why the decision was made to switch from baccarat to poker as we moved into a new era of Bond!

Blackjack 

Blackjack is a game that we see James Bond play very rarely, but we have seen 007 take on this card game every now and then. In Licence to Kill, Timothy Dalton’s Bond sits down for a game of blackjack. As one of the most popular games at many a casino, it would be a little odd to see him not take on the challenge at some point.

Though there are many strategies that you can learn if you want to take on this game more seriously, the plays of the game are straightforward enough. You and the dealer will be dealt two cards each. You can then choose to be dealt more cards to get as close to 21 without exceeding it. To win, you need to be close to 21 whilst beating the dealer’s hand! It is a favourite of many players, and can be a social game or something that you sit and quietly play – it is up to you!

What Will We See 007 Play Next?

Daniel Craig has ended his tenure as Bond, which means that we are waiting with bated breath to see who the next 007 will be. Craig’s Bond did not spend too much time in a casino beyond Casino Royale. Therefore, it would be great to see the next Bond head to the casino a couple more times. Is it really Bond if he does not play baccarat a little? Even just a scene introducing the new Bond at a baccarat table could be the perfect call back to the films before.


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The collective team of Parlé Magazine. Twitter: @parlemag

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