When you think of spies, the first secret-agent that comes to mind is James Bond, right? The British films are jam-packed with endless action, super-cars, women, Mojito’s and money, whilst 007 – as Bond’s also known – can often be seen enjoying a dabble in the world’s top casino hubs – including Monte Carlo and Las Vegas.
The suave super-spy is no stranger to table games and would definitely be considered a high-roller in the casino world – given his high-stakes Roulette strategy and massive entry Poker tournaments.
Anyway, let’s take a look at some of Bond’s go-to casino games – which can now be played on live casino online at home!
Whilst Baccarat could be considered as one of the lesser known brick-and-mortar casino games – in comparison with Roulette, Blackjack and Poker – it is actually Bond’s favourite table game. 007 plays the card game in five different films: Never Say Never Again, Dr. No, Thunderball, on Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Golden Eye, whilst the MI6 agent also played it in the original Casino Royale novel, although, it was later changed to Texas Hold’em in the 2006 Daniel Craig film.
Baccarat is played between two hands – the Players and the Bankers. Each round of player, known as a Baccarat coup, has three possible outcomes. Either the Player wins, the Banker wins or the ‘coup’ ends in a tie. The aim of the game is to have a hand as close to nine as possible. Aces are, therefore, valued at one, whilst 10 and face cards, like Queens and Kings, operate as zero. If your hand has the value of 10 or above, then you must take 10 away from your hand to get the point value. If the Player’s hand wins, then it pays out even money, whilst if the Banker’ hand pays out at a slightly lower 0.95:1. Betting on the Tie is when the bigger money comes into play – this comes in at 8:1.
As mentioned before, Poker replaced Baccarat in Casino Royale – this was due to the formers popularity at the time – and it is one of the most iconic casino scenes in the movie franchise – with Bond scooping a jaw-dropping $115 million in the process. 007 plays against the films ‘baddy’ Le Chiffre and two others in a no-limits game of Texas Hold’em at the Casino Royale in Monte Carlo – and, as you can imagine, the stakes get very high. Tension builds as the four men go all-in, convinced that they themselves have the winning hand. The Ace of Hearts, the Ace of Spade, and the four, six and eight of Spades are revealed on the ‘river.’
The first character shows his hand of a King and Queen, giving him a flush – the fifth strongest hand in the game. The next player goes one better, revealing a pair of 8s – giving him a full house and the fourth best hand in the game. Le Chiffre then believes he has the win, throwing down an Ace of Clubs and the six of Hearts – a higher-value full house. With only one hand that can defeat the villain – a straight flush – Bond reveals his hand – the five and seven of Spades – meaning he has the required hand to win and walk away with the whopping prize pot.
Bond can also be seen playing Roulette in several movies – including Diamonds are Forever – and even has own strategy. This technique is for the high-rollers only, as you need £200 to spare. You start by placing £140 on the high numbers (19-36) and £50 on the numbers 13 through to 18, before staking the remaining £10 on the zero. If the gods are against you, a number between 1 and 12 will roll in and you’ll be two ton down. But, if any of your bets land, you’ll sure be winning a very pretty penny! If the ball lands in the pockets 19-36, you’ll be up £80. If 13-18 rolls in, you’re see a profit of £100. Zero would be the best outcome, with a gain of £150.
Bond also tries his hand at Craps in Diamonds are Forever scooping thousands – impressing Bond girl Plenty O’Toole in the process. 007 – now portrayed by Daniel Craig – also played Craps in a comedy Saturday Night Live sketch – where he swaps Mojito’s and his stern personality for a Vodka Red Bull and a relaxed persona – promoting the new No Time to Die Bond film. You can watch it below!
Garon Cockrell is the Founder and Editor of Pop Culture Beast and host of The Pop Culture Beast Show. He founded the site over seven years ago to have a place on the internet to write about the things he loved. Since then, Garon has become a best-selling author (Demonic and Other Tales), an award winning screenwriter (Best Screenplay 2013 Motor City Nightmares Film Festival), and a cast member on the top rated podcast, Never Not Funny.