Casinos have long been a popular setting for movies, because they a glamorous backdrop and also plenty of potential for nail-biting drama. Of course everyone knows about such iconic gambling films as Casino by Martin Scorsese, but there have also been plenty of casino scenes in movies that aren’t actually about gambling. These are sometimes employed for comic effect, and at other times, to inject a bit of tension into a film – and these are some of the most popular and famous ones.

Of course lots of James Bond movies have featured scenes set in casinos, but the one that will most readily spring to mind for modern movie fans will be the scene in Casino Royale. This scene provides Bond with a chance to go head-to-head with villain Le Chiffre and – although for poker fans the realism of the scene is questionable (for one thing the hands are too consistently great) – there is no question that it is a tension-packed scene. Furthermore, it also introduces the character of Vesper Lynd, making it pivotal to the development of the story. Other popular casino scenes with 007, include roulette available at sites like JackpotCity and in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Baccarat in Dr No.

Elsewhere casino scenes have been employed for comic effect, with one of the most notable being the blackjack scene featured in the first Austin Powers movie. Of course this scene was a parody of the typical Bond casino scenes, with villain Number Two (Robert Wagner) using his x-ray eye patch to cheat. The scene plays on the ever more ridiculous gadgets utilised by both Bond and the villains in the later movies and – like the one in Casino Royale – it isn’t particularly realistic in its depiction of either the casino (the dealer is hopeless) or the rules of the game, but it makes for a memorable and amusing scene. Of course there are plenty of other popular casino scenes in films, and it is likely to remain a staple setting in cinema for some time to come.