Baccarat burst onto the Las Vegas gambling scene in the mid-20th century, and it quickly became a hit. From politicians to business moguls to celebrities, people flocked to casinos to try their luck at this gambling card game. Baccarat remains popular to this day, with live baccarat casinos online attracting their fair share of players.
Here are several movies from the 20th and 21st centuries that featured baccarat gambling.
Ian Fleming, the creator of the debonair secret agent the world came to know as James Bond, was a gambler, and many of his spy stories were influenced by fellow casino players. Different actors have portrayed 007 in James Bond movies over the years, and in a few of them he flexes his baccarat strategy.
The first Bond film introduced Sean Connery as the famous spy. The movie opens with Bond playing a version of baccarat called chemin de fer.
In this movie, Connery as James Bond plays against the villain in a baccarat card game. He demonstrates his mastery of baccarat rules and defeats Largo in a spectacular manner.
Australian actor George Lazenby takes on the role of James Bond in this movie. While playing baccarat in a casino in Estoril, Portugal, he encounters Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo (played by Dianna Rigg) whom he later marries.
The baccarat scene between James Bond (played by Pierce Brosnan) and rival spy Xenia Onnatop (played by Famke Janssen) is famous for its intimate undertones. Also, the hand she is holding when Bond arrives at the casino consists of two face cards and a seven, or 007.
Baccarat influences major plot points in this movie, a parody of the James Bond films. One scene in particular stands out: a baccarat game between the villain and Evelyn Tremble, a baccarat pro hired by James Bond.
It's also worth mentioning that Casino Royale was Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel, which was released in 1953. In the 2006 film adaptation, which starred Daniel Craig as James Bond, the baccarat scenes that were in the book were replaced with no-limit Texas Hold'em poker.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr headline this musical comedy film directed by Richard Lester. In it, McCartney's "grandfather" (played by Wilfrid Brambell) wins at the baccarat table despite seeming to be unfamiliar with the game.
In this action-comedy film starring Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, Tucker's character plays baccarat in a casino in an effort to impress a woman. Unfortunately, he loses the game (which he refers to as "baccarack").
In 2020, award-winning Asian-American actress and musician Awkwafina agreed to star in Baccarat Machine. The film takes its inspiration from the life of Cheung Yin "Kelly" Sun, her partnership with legendary baccarat and poker player Phil Ivey, and her obsession with beating large casinos. As of mid-2021, the script is being written by Andy Bellin and the film is still in the pre-production stage.