A Look at Roulette in Popular Culture

Roulette is not only one of the more traditional casino games, but it’s also one of the most popular – whether that be playing it in a brick-and-mortar casino or online. Even if you aren’t familiar with the game, or ever played it yourself, it’s easy to conjure up images of placing your chips on the table, the croupier spinning the wheel and imagining the general excitement and thrill surrounding the game. Roulette is something that has appeared more often than not in film, music and by legend. Read on to find out more about Roulette in Popular Culture.

Bond… James Bond

While in the film franchise, we see our favourite secret agent play every casino game under the sun: Roulette, Baccarat, Craps and Poker – you name it, Bond has played it. What most don’t realise is that in the original series of James Bond novels by Ian Fleming, 007 often hits the Roulette table and he even has his favourite number: 17.

The original James Bond, Sean Connery even hit the casino and placed a bet on number 17 – and while he wasn’t successful the first time, he persevered and went on to land number 17 three times in a row!

Considered lucky by many, we don’t know if it’s Bond’s influence or the number’s central location that makes it so popular, but if it’s good enough (and successful enough) for Bond, then why not give it a try when you next play live roulette online.

The infamous Café Americain

The classic film Casablanca was one of the first to feature the game of Roulette and the scene is memorable for a number of reasons. Of course, it doesn’t portray Roulette very accurately, with a bias on the wheel allowing Jan to land his number. It certainly wouldn’t be as easy in reality as it was for Jan in the 1944 Oscar-winning blockbuster.

Owner Rick (played by Humphrey Bogart) famously enters the room at the back of his café, where he sees Jan looking despondent as he’s down to his final chips. “Have you tried 22 tonight?” he asks and then, a little louder, this time for the benefit of the croupier: “I said 22.” Jan places his last three chips on 22, the croupier spins the wheel and bingo – 22 wins. Rick then tells Jan: “Leave it there”, the croupier spins the wheel and lo and behold, 22 lands again. Rick then growls: “Don’t come back”.

The Man that Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo

We need to be transported back to the 19th century to when this legendary figure of the Roulette world was around. In 1891, Charles Wells won an incredible 1 million Francs at the Roulette table – which in today’s money would be an extortionate $13 million!

He made his winnings at a monster 11-hour session at the tables of casinos on the French Riviera. He even possessed a deadly winning streak – landing 23 out of 30 consecutive spins to boost his winnings. But not content with 1 million Francs worth of winnings, he returned and made another million.

Legend says that sometimes he won all of the money in the casino, so the croupier had to cover the Roulette wheel with a black cloth to indicate it was out of service until more money could be obtained. In which case, we aren’t surprised that the popular British music hall song by Fred Gilbert was inspired by Wells… he really was ‘The man that broke the bank at Monte Carlo’.

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