The Greatest Gamblers in Pop Culture

There's something about a character who just relies on their luck: the boldness, the daring do, playing the numbers and walking away on top. There have been several characters who rely on their luck but we've managed to narrow it down to three bands – Movies, Books and Video Games with a final winner for each based on a blend of how iconic they are and how well they do at the whole games of chance thing. And if you feel like you want to test your luck, why not play live blackjack with Betfair Casino and see how you get on.

But now the top three.

Greatest in Movies – Rain Man
The eponymous Rain Man, real name Raymond Babbit, is a savant who uses his talents to make him and his brother Charlie instant high-rollers. Raymond's eidetic memory and abilities as a mental calculator makes him a fearsome card counter who, in his most impressive feat, managed to card count a 6-deck shoe and make both him and his brother $86,000. While the core of the movie isn't about gambling, Rain Man's abilities would make him possibly the greatest Blackjack player to ever live. There aren't many characters in fiction with such a demonstrable grasp of maths that they could card count whatever the situation. A runner-up here was Professor X being the world's best poker player but he doesn't play it in the movies so we couldn't count it.

Greatest in Books – James Bond
He was also the 3rd place for greatest in movies but we carried it over since he started in a book. Ian Fleming's super spy is a great example of someone who gambles for fun while still taking their job seriously – because there's no arguing that Bond gets his work done no matter how much time he spends playing Chermin de Fer. If we're counting his movie adaptions, Bond's had a hand at just about every form of casino game available and he's been consistently capable. There are a couple of competitors here but for sheer brand recognition, we have to give it to 007.

Greatest in Video Games – Setzer Gabbiani
It's a little difficult to quantify who relies on lady luck the most in the video game world, after all you could say the characters in Dragon Quest who can spend as many hours playing in the casino as you want could qualify, but perhaps the best example of the aesthetic and attitude is Setzer from Final Fantasy 6. The silver-haired gambler is an airship pilot who's constantly willing to bet his life on risky gambles and daring plans that rely on luck. His special skill is modelled on a slot machine where depending on what result you get; he can use a different ability. This focus on luck and the playstyle which emulates the feeling of gambling is why we feel Setzer wins the gold here. Runners up include Kazuma Kiryu from the Yakuza games and any protagonist from Dragon Quest.


But what do you think? Do you think someone else should be the Pop culture hero? Let us know in the comments below!

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