The Most Iconic Gambling Movie Characters of All Time
The glamour and drama of gambling naturally lends itself to the thrills and spills of the cinema. Here are some of the most intriguing movie gamblers of all time, plus advice for those interested in finding the best Canadian online casinos where they can try their own hand at cards and more.
Online Canadian Casinos for Betting Aficionados
Gambling’s an enticing prospect and it’s no wonder that so many of the coolest film stars and movie characters have been sly card sharks. Even superheroes like Gambit get in on the action. One of the most intriguing aspects of betting is that unlike racing cars at 200mph or engaging in espionage it’s a glamorous movie activity that’s open to the general public and, whilst challenging, there is a credible chance of making tidy profits at online Canadian casinos.
If you’re interested and don’t already have a site in mind, you can find the web’s best casinos by Online-Casinos.ca to get a head start and pick from a selection of Canadian-friendly casinos that offer a safe and fun time. Just like Bond, you can play poker or baccarat, or other top table games roulette, blackjack, and craps.
If slots are more your thing, the top online casinos come with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of games plus there are bonuses that can increase your playing funds substantially. But now we turn to the topic at hand: inspirational silver screen players.
Ginger McKenna – Casino (1995)
Sam Rothstein, aka Ace, was portrayed by Robert De Niro in this mid-90s cult classic casino flick. Directed by Robert Scorsese, and with De Niro backed up by the likes of Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone, it had all the ingredients for a tasty cinematic treat. Ace is a gambling expert, but the hustler is actually Ginger (Stone), and the only person distracting enough to make Ace take his eye off the ball.
It’s a gangster movie as much as a gambling flick, and seeing how the two worlds intertwine might be a bit unnerving. The tensions of Ace skimming the casino for the mafia and Ginger’s tempestuous on-and-off relationship with him put the viewer through a rollercoaster of emotions.
But through it all Stone shines, with her role earning her a Golden Globe and getting an Academy Award nomination too. What’s also remarkable about this Martin Scorsese gem, is that many of the events were true to life.
The Name’s Bond. James Bond
When it comes to gambling characters, they don’t come any bigger than James Bond. The star of one of the greatest film franchises of all time, this suave British agent has been going since 1962 (Dr. No) and shows no sign of slowing down.
Who will replace Daniel Craig remains to be seen, but names in the frame include frontrunners Idris Elba and Tom Hardy.
All the way back to the first Connery films through to the latest adventures, risk, high stakes, and casino betting have been key components of Bond’s character, and will remain so going forward. One of the most memorable betting scenes came in the 1995 Pierce Brosnan debut GoldenEye, when the secret agent first encounters the mysterious and dangerous Xenia Onatopp at the baccarat table.
More recently, the tension was sky high as Daniel Craig attempted to bankrupt the criminal Le Chiffre by wiping him out at poker.
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
The nickname of this film’s eponymous star, played by Paul Newman, was given to him based on winning with a ‘real cool hand’ that turned out to be nothing at all in one of the best film gambling scenes of all time. Cool Hand Luke isn’t just a gambler, he’s also a prisoner whose tenacity extended beyond the gaming table. This is epitomized by the fact the man who nicknamed him was initially a boxing opponent after Luke flouted the prison pecking order and was due for a beating from the top dog amongst the inmates.
His cheerfulness and optimism make him something of an inspiration to other prisoners, and his impulsive confidence leads him to winning ways including winning a bet that he could eat fifty hard boiled eggs in an hour. He attempts to escape repeatedly, and is punished severely by the guards, but never loses hope or defiance.
Micky Rosa – 21 (2008)
So far we’ve had mafia and spy stories, and the tragic defiance of Cool Hand Luke. But now it’s time for the eggheads, clever students put together by MIT professor Micky Rosa with an eye on taking casinos to the cleaners. But unlike the other movies, 21 was based on the real life of MIT Blackjack Team and was the top Canadian film in the first two weeks of its release. Jealousy starts to fray the bonds of the team, leading Rosa to expel one of them. Eventually, Micky himself quits the team and ends up being found out, but the real draw to this story is that it shows that, with sufficient wits and application, it’s really possible to beat the house and do so with pretty hefty sums.
We hope you enjoyed this deliberately eclectic mix of memorable gamblers from the movie world. Whether you’re into poker or baccarat, Canadian online casinos have plenty of games to try, just remember to bet with a cool head.