Know When to Hold ‘Em, Know When to Fold ‘Em: Casino Royale, 21, Casino + Casablanca – The Most Memorable Casino Scenes
There are lots of things that attract people to casinos: the atmosphere, the glitz and glamour, the thrill of the games and, of course, the chance to win big and walk away a whole lot richer. There’s something exciting and luxurious about the whole casino experience and that’s why casinos feature heavily in quite a large number of films. We decided to choose the most memorable casino scenes in films. And who's better to help us do that than Ben Coleman, the casino blogger and chief editor of the casino portal, casin.com. Here are Ben's picks for the top 4 memorable casino scenes.
Casino Royale (2006)
One of the best known casino films to have been released in recent years is the 21st James Bond film Casino Royale. It’s the first to star Daniel Craig and one of its pivotal scenes sees his Bond try to take down Le Chiffre, a notorious founder of terrorist activities, in an extremely high-stakes game of Texas hold’em. The scene is very well done with great attention to detail and does an excellent job of immersing you in the casino environment. Watching the game play out is very tense, especially since Bond has quite a few rather heavy losses before his tables turn and he’s able to claim victory.
This film features quite a few intense casino scenes. It’s a fact-based film about a group of six MIT students who trained to become expert card counters and went on to earn millions from various casinos. The group, led by their unorthodox maths professor, makes numerous trips to Vegas and uses techniques such as hand signals and code talk to help one another out. Ben, the main character, initially wants to earn enough money to pay his Harvard tuition fees, but ends up becoming addicted to scamming the casinos. A key scene sees Ben lose $200,000 at the tables despite other students giving him warning signs to stop playing.
While many casino films focus on the glamorous side of gambling, Casino takes a look at the grittier and more sinister side of the gambling world. It focuses on the illegal casino resorts run by the mafia in Vegas in the 70s and 80s, and is based on real-life events and characters. One of the movie’s most iconic scene features the character Nicky Santoro (based on real-life criminal Anthony Spilotro) playing blackjack; he’s on a losing streak and ends up losing his cool, insulting two dealers and throwing his cards at them.
The classic neo-noir film is widely regarded as one of the best romantic films of all time. One of the film’s most memorable scenes is where nightclub and gambling den owner Rick fixes a game of roulette so a desperate young couple can win enough money to buy their exit papers, flee Nazi Europe and start a new life together in America. He encourages the husband, Jan, to bet on the number 22 and, after he wins big, Rick gets him to do the same again, letting the couple win even more money. Though Rick lets them believe their win was all down to luck, it’s obvious he had the game rigged.