The most famous fictional spy is a masterful gambler. According to Ian Fleming, what attracted his character the most was that losers had themselves to blame — ‘everything was one’s own fault’. If you have a penchant for casinos, the agent’s tricks are worth learning about. These movie scenes will teach you to play classic games like James Bond.


Baccarat seems to be the agent’s favourite. In the first movie — Dr. No — he plays a variant of the game called Chemin de fer. Bond’s rival here is Sylvia Trench, a beautiful woman struggling to overcome him. We can see that Bond has a talent for getting natural 9s. This scene is when the signature greeting (“Bond… James Bond”) is uttered for the first time.

The dynamic differs from how the game is played in reality. This variation is quite rare, but the base game is a fixture of online casino variety in the United Kingdom. Players in chemin de fer bank their own wagers. In pure baccarat, the house controls the banking, and the drawing of the third card depends on “tableau” — the rules.

The basic game is still a great way to live out your spy fantasies. In land-based casinos, it is played in privacy, with glamour and glitz. Besides, the dynamic is similar anyway. Will the total of the ‘Player’ or the ‘Banker’ be closer to 9?


In 1971, Bond was played by Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever. Here, the spy played craps at a casino hotel with $10,000 on credit. Plenty O’Toole instructs him on the basics. Bond pretends to be a novice for a while, and stuns the audience with a string of extraordinary bets:
“I’ll take full odds on the ten, $200 on the hard way, the limit on all the numbers, and $250 on the eleven… thank you very much.” To anyone who does not play craps, this sounds like utter gibberish. For an expert, this system seems perfectly reasonable.

The come-out roll had brought 10, so the agent protected his first Pass Line wager by ‘taking full odds’ on 10. Maximizing the odds is also a clever manoeuvre: in this game, the odds bet brings the house edge down to 0. Meanwhile, the first bet holds a house edge of 1.41%. This is exactly what smart gamblers do — they raise the odds to the house limit.

The next part — $200 on the ‘hard way’ is when a number is hit by paired dice. In this case, this is 5:5, which is a challenge. The ‘limit on all the numbers’ means separate wagers on 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. The $250 on “the eleven,” or a “yo” bet pays 15:1 if the dice have 5 and 6.


In 2006, ‘Casino Royale’ was released. In the book, the agent chooses a game of baccarat. Daniel Craig played Texas Hold’em instead — this was explained by the Poker boom at the time.

  • At the beginning of the game, the agent sees an A-9-3-7 board on the table.
  • He checks it over to his rival Alex Dimitrios.
  • The opponent makes a confident $5,000 bet.
  • Bond calls the large bet.
  • The opponent goes all-in. Now, he has $20,000 at stake.

Despite the dealer’s objections, the game continues. After the Greek throws the keys to his luxury car into the pot, the 007 agent makes the call. His rival flips over three Kings and gets beaten by Bond’s three Aces. The probability of this combination is merely 1 in 400!
The legendary spy uses a trick known as “slow play.” Despite getting three Aces in a row, he pretends to have a feeble hand. Feigning weakness pays off: his opponent loses everything he has.

The James Bond Roulette Bet

Progressive ‘back-up’ bets are described as one of the agent’s favourite gambits. Start with two identical wagers covering 24 numbers in total (out of 37). This is a trade-off between the size and frequency of profits. You risk twice as much for lower profit per spin, but you can win roughly two-thirds of the time.