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The Greatest Casino Moments in James Bond History

By Connor Christopher
December 18, 2015

James Bond is one of the most iconic movie heroes of all time - unsurprising considering he’s hit the silver screen 24 times over his 53 year history.

There are many things that Bond is known for, from his luck with the ladies to the utterly bizarre gadgets he gets to field-test on his many sorties.

One thing that has always remained constant amongst every portrayal of 007 is that Bond is MI6’s most prolific gambler.

There are many movies in which Bond takes to the casino, mixing business with pleasure in the tongue-in-cheek way that Bond is famous for - while these are all fantastic in their own right, there are 5 which truly stand out as iconic Bond moments.

If you were to introduce James Bond to someone who had never seen a Bond movie, any of these 6 great casino moments from Bond’s 53 year history would do the job.

Thunderball Casino Scene
The casino scene in Thunderball

6. Engaging in witty repertoire with Plenty O’Toole - Diamonds are Forever

Enter Bond as Peter Franks, employee of Slumber Inc., ready to enjoy a good game of Craps. The croupier is assured that Mr Franks’ credit is good, and Bond gets ready to roll the bones. This is followed immediately by one of the best Bond lines ever:

   Plenty: Hi, I’m Plenty!
   Bond: ...of coursh you are.
   Plenty: Plenty O’Toole!
   Bond: ...named after your father perhaps?

Bond’s coy smile as he meets the seemingly lucky lady perfectly encapsulates Bond’s entire persona. While Plenty may not offer much on the table, crapping out on just the second roll, the outcome of the roll is clearly Bond’s last concern.

Plenty O'Toole in Diamonds Are Forever
Plenty O'Toole in Diamonds Are Forever

5. Flirting through a game of Baccarat with Xenia Onatopp - GoldenEye

In GoldenEye Brosnan’s Bond is tasked with saving the world from a deadly space weapon which has fallen into the hands of the traitorous 006. This obviously means that Bond has to take to the casino to try his hand at Baccarat with the lovely Ms Onatopp.

Baccarat has long been one of Bond’s favourite games, and after calmly and confidently sitting down and beating Ms Onatopp in just two rounds, he leaves the table to continue their flirtatious banter:

   Xenia: The trick is to quit while you’re still ahead.
   Bond: That’s one trick I never learned. Perhaps you’ll show me how it’s done?
          [A waiter approaches them.]
   Bond: Vodka Martini. Shaken, not stirred. And for you?
   Xenia: The same.
   Bond: How do you take it?
   Xenia: Straight up. With a twist ...Thank you, Mr...?
   Bond: The name's Bond. James Bond.

Xenia Onatopp
Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye

4. Bond's Only Blackjack Game - License to Kill

Today, everyone celebrates Daniel Craig's returned to a darker, grittier and more realistic 007. However, when Timothy Dalton tried the same thing in 1987 and 1989, his movies were panned by critics and fans alike.

This is a shame, because The Living Daylights is one of the best movies of the series. License to Kill also has its fair share of memorable moments - including the only blackjack game in James Bond cinematic history. While visiting Franz Sanchez's casino, 007 sits down at the table and earns nearly $250,000 ... before being "invited" upstairs for a meet and greet with the film's villain. From start to finish, it's Bond at his best.

License to Kill
Bond at the Blackjack table in License to Kill

3. Feeding a henchman to a Komodo dragon - Skyfall

Not all of Bon’s casino moments end with a woman at his side. In Skyfall, Bond’s casino experience ends with a load of henchmen, a very painful-looking briefcase and a hungry Komodo dragon.

The dragon nabs a henchman and even goes so far as to inadvertently help Bond escape the circle pit he has been thrown into by offering a leg up. Bond exits the casino to the sound of dying henchman, telling another employee that that is the circle of life.

Bond enters the Macau Casino in Skyfall
Bond enters the stunning Macau casino in Skyfall

2. Beating Le Chiffre at Poker - Casino Royale

Casino Royale is a film in which casino games obviously play a huge role. Bond is tasked with taking down an arms dealer at a game of Poker, the big blind is £1m and they’re down to the last four players.

Bond stares down his opponents over an already impressive pot, making decisions without breaking eye contact. One player goes £6m all in, another £5m all in, and the third, Le Chiffre, raises Bond £12m.

The pair continue to lock eyes as Le Chiffre palms plays with his chips, absent-mindedly. Bond throws caution to the wind - £40.5m, all in. Le Chiffre calls, and the tension continues to build with a whopping £150m in the pot.

What happens next? Bond just helps the British taxpayers with the biggest windfall they will never hear of...

Bond vs LeChiffre
Bond vs LeChiffre in Casino Royale

1. Bond. James Bond - Dr. No

Dr. No is well known for being the first Bond movie, having graced the silver screen back in 1962. As a result, there was a lot resting on Sean Connery’s shoulders the first time audiences sat down to watch this iconic film.

The very first scene in which James Bond introduces himself to his enraptured audience lives up this moment as gloriously as you could ever hope - and it all starts with a game of Baccarat. This isn’t just the greatest Bond casino moment of all time, it’s one of the greatest Bond moments of all time, and is almost guaranteed to make your hairs stand on end as you watch and re-watch this iconic scene.

   Sylvia: Carte!
   Banker: Carte... Neuf la banque.
   Sylvia: I need another thousand.
   ???: I admire your courage, Miss, uh...?
   Sylvia: Trench. Sylvia Trench. I admire your luck, Mr...
   ???: Bond. James Bond.

Dr No Casino Scene
Introducing Bond; James Bond, in Dr No

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