Batman villains have no equal. They are the most layered and fascinating characters the comic world has to offer — on par with full-blown literature, no doubt. Well, Calendar Man probably can’t rub shoulders with the best, say, Tolstoy has to offer, but he’s not half bad either.
The answer is rather simple: gambling!
The “Dark Knight” has no shortage of foes who’d excel at poker, blackjack, slots, or any other form of gambling. They’re all manipulative, incredibly intelligent, and shady to the highest of levels — not at all the kind of folks you’d want to associate with or play against.
That, however, is why they’re all so interesting. They’re layered. They have depth. They all have an origin story that is — at the very least — engaging, if not flat-out mind-blowing. And so, naturally, they all warrant a bit of our attention!
The “Clown Prince of Crime” simply has to come in at number one. No Top 10 list of this kind would ever be complete without the most famous comic villain of all time.
A man as crafty and dextrous as he is would no doubt dominate in all forms of gambling; if things happen to go awry, we’re pretty certain he’d have a most lethal “plan B” up his sleeve — in case “Lady Luck” ends up being against him.
The days of Harvey Dent representing the justice system happened so long ago they might as well be fiction. Well, all of this is, but you get the point. Playing a game of Texas Hold’em against a guy whose very name implies trouble is pretty much a recipe for disaster.
In any case, a very short fuse and an ill-tempered nature make Two Face a hard nut to crack — one that would surely return to the poker table as many times as it takes in order to win.
Other than being a criminal mastermind, Oswald Cobblepot is also a deft businessman and the founder of the posh nightclub The Iceberg Lounge. Gambling, therefore, is nothing but a natural by-product — one that ties into and permeates throughout all of his shady operations.
We can easily imagine him sitting at the head of a poker table, cracking jokes or, conversely, giving out menacing looks if the game’s not going his way.
Edward Nygma is one of Batman’s most peculiar villains for one very simple reason: he’s the only one who can engage (and often win) in a battle of wits with Gotham’s protector! He’s a truly fascinating character — a Sherlockian baddie with a brain to match!
And so, naturally, he’d excel at any and all forms of gambling. He’d count cards, pick up cues and ticks, read the body language of his opponents and dominate like so few who came before him. He might not be much of a threat physically, but compared to a brain like his, brawn seems rather redundant.
The Ventriloquist & Scarface
The psychology behind this peculiar villain was never really explored much — to our utter dismay; there were a few stellar comic books sprinkled throughout the last three or so decades, but they never really went as deep as we had hoped.
The power dynamic between Arnold Wesker and the evil puppet by the name of Scarface has always fascinated us.
This duality of sorts, the yin and yang that the Ventriloquist and Scarface bring to the table would no doubt serve as quite a big boon to their gambling endeavors.
Roman Sionis — alias Black Mask — is actually a fair bit more popular than one would expect. His origin story, as is so often the case, is laden with trauma and tragedy. His criminal endeavors, however, are even more brutal.
The Mad Hatter
Most villains have some kind of obsession and the same holds true for Jervis Tetch; his just happens to be a very strange one — Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (hence his pseudonym). And so, as far as origin stories go, The Mad Hatter doesn’t really get any points for breaking new ground or uniqueness.
His whole schtick revolves around mind control which, naturally, is just the kind of thing one could benefit from in a game of poker — or any other form of gambling for that matter!
Ra’s al Ghul
Ra’s excels at many things — a by-product of him being born more than seven centuries ago. One would simply have to pick up a few things along the way, not to mention gamble throughout various different epochs and periods.
Regardless, he’s a master tactician and a martial artist unlike any other. Winning a game of poker, therefore, wouldn’t be much of a challenge.
Doctor Hugo Strange
A list of this kind simply wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Hugo Strange. He’s actually one of the oldest Batman villains out there; his first appearance dates all the way back to the 1940’s.
Hugo is amongst the most intelligent and versatile scientists in all of Gotham, with psychology being his primary area of expertise. And so there’s not a doubt in our mind: a man like Strange would be one heck of a gambler!
Last but certainly not least, we have Victor Zsasz, a “small scale” villain who should by no means be underestimated. He is, potentially, the most vile foe Batman went up against — and that’s really saying something.
He’s an unhinged serial murderer; nothing more, nothing else. And those scars and tally marks? They indicate the number of his victims — a number as grotesque as it is seemingly endless. A psychopath like Zsasz would, by all means, intimidate his gambling opponents through his sheer presence alone.
Gambling online would no doubt be the best possible option in the case of Victor Zsasz.