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James Bond at the Casino: Dr. No!


James Bond is known for his love of feminine beauty, the luxury cars he drives, the many gadgets he counts among his arsenal, and not shying away from gambling for huge amounts of money. Therefore, over the years dozens of bond-themed slots have been introduced in non GamStop casinos, such as: (Agent Jane Blonde, Double 0’ Cash, Casino Royale, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die). However, James Bond is clearly not a slot aficionado as he prefers poker and baccarat more than anything!

James Bond Plays Chemin De Fer (Baccarat)

We kick off with Dr. No, the very first James Bond movie. Based on the sixth book by Ian Flemming, Bond is immediately portrayed as a ladies’ man and baccarat aficionado before reporting to MI6 and heading toJamaicaon a mission.

The film opens with the murder of MI6 station chief John Strangways and his secretary in Jamaica. The British secret service notices that the connection with Jamaica has been lost and decides to put James Bond on the case. But then they have to be able to reach him, and that’s another problem because our favorite secret agent is in the casino Le Cerclein the exclusive social club Les Ambassadors in London. In this newly opened casino they have French dealers and the French Baccarat variant Chemin de fer is played.

At Chemin de fer you don’t play against the bank, but against other players at the same table. One player takes on the role of the banker and must bet as much as all the other players at the table combined. 

Jams Bond Dr. No Baccarat Hand 1

The scene starts with a croupier using a baccarat pallet to deal Sylvia Trench two cards. She looks at her cards and asks for another card, so she apparently has 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 points. But before she can even look at her card, the player who plays the banker declares that he already has 7 (“Sept à la banque”) and that wins.

James Bond Dr. No Baccarat Hand 2

As the next hand begins, it becomes clear that it is James Bond who is playing for bank.

Bond deals the next hand and Trench looks at her cards and asks for another card – apparently she has 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 points again. Before giving a card to Trench, Bond looks at his own cards and shows Jc8d for a Natural of 8 points. Trench frantically shows her Qc3h for 3 and doesn’t get the third card she wanted because Bond had a Natural.

We now see that Trench bet £200 but only has £50 left. £200 in 1962 (the year Dr. No came out) is worth £3,631 in 2020; more than €4,000. Since she has to wager the full £200 bet to face Bond (she names ‘ Suivi ‘ here to indicate that she was the original challenger) she asks if the casino will advance the difference if she loses. The croupier indicates that this is not a problem.

James Bond Dr. No Baccarat Hand 3

The next pot asks Trench again for a third card (indicating she has 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 for the third time in a row) but again she doesn’t get it because Bond shows Kc9h for a Natural of 9 points and Bond wins again.

James Bond Dr. No Baccarat Hand 4

Trench is bankrupt and writes a check for £1,000 to get more chips.

Bond asks Trench for her name and she replies “Trench, Sylvia Trench.” Trench then asks for Bond’s name and, while lighting a cigarette still at the Chemin de fer table, utters “Bond, James Bond” for the first time in history.

Trench asks if Bond doesn’t mind raising the limits and Bond says that’s no problem. However, the croupier reports that this is not possible.

Bond again deals the cards and Trench indicates that she has a natural with 8 points. We don’t see Bond’s cards, but he turns out to have a 9 again (“neuf a la banque” explains the croupier) and thus wins.

Bond receives a note and informs the croupier that he is going to leave (“Andre, I must pass the shoe”). He then receives the winnings that the dealer had collected in the middle of the table during his run. He gives the croupier another tip before he leaves.

Final Standings

James Bond wins four out of four hands, a carefree win. Chemin de fer does have moments of decision, but little comes of it because Bond wins every hand without a drop of sweat.

James Bond stars in Dr. No also plays a game of solitaire while he waits for someone to kill him. Bridge (Strangways and his friends at the beginning of the film) and backgammon (two former friends of Standways when Bond first speaks to them) are also played in the film, but Bond does not participate in those games.