Is James Bond Actually Good at Poker?

James Bond is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most suave fictional characters of all time. More often than not he is depicted as a man of tremendous character and ability — an individual so talented and capable it defies all logic and reason.

A “one of a kind,” if you will.

Lore-wise, he excels at… well, pretty much everything a man can excel at; that list is long and seemingly endless, but the thing that interests us the most is whether he was really as good at poker as the many James Bond films have led us to believe.

A JACK OF ALL TRADES
It’s an interesting thing to ponder on, especially once you factor in just how many times this storied agent happened to have sat down at a poker table — to say nothing of his many gambling wins and triumphs, all of which have been entertaining the masses for many a decade.

James Bond didn’t always win, but even in those scenarios, he somehow got what he was looking for; he feigned inexperience, he lost intentionally so as to get an upper hand over his adversaries in some other way.

We prefer our protagonists to be a bit more… fallible, but as far as entertainment goes, James Bond is about as good as it gets.

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James Bond — The Perfect Poker Player

Bond’s favorite card game is actually baccarat, not Texas Hold’em or any other form of poker. Unfortunately, that game is nowhere near as entertaining (or fun to watch) which is why the writers of Casino Royale decided to make the switch and the rest, as they say, is history.

That thirty-minute-long poker scene is an absolute masterclass. There’s really no other way to say it.

HE’S A NATURAL
Tense, riveting, and exceptionally well-directed from start to finish. It also highlights Bond’s gambling prowess — the likes of which were well-known even prior to that point. Agent 007 approaches gambling in much the same way as he does all other things: with a tonne of bravado and a pinch of toxic masculinity.

He’s also imbued with all the many traits and virtues one needs in order to excel at poker.

James Bond is always calm, cool, and collected (even in the most stressful of situations), which means he’d dominate in most forms of gambling — be it in person or online on the many poker sites that are readily available.

The answer to the opening question would simply have to be affirmative. There’s a bit of luck involved as well, but much of 007’s success stems not from happenstance but rather a fearless approach and an unyielding belief in one self.

For a better look at some of James Bond’s most theatrical gambling wins, make sure to watch the following video:

Petar Vukobrat / Author

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