Behind The Scenes of Casino Royale, How Accurate Was It?

Ian Fleming introduced the world to MI6 secret agent James Bond 007 with his first novel Casino Royale in 1953, and this led the way for 11 more novels and two short story collections before his death in 1964. In that time he saw the first two official James Bond films, Dr No and From Russia With Love, and Fleming stated that he enjoyed seeing Sean Connery bring his character to life. Sadly Fleming never lived to see just how big the film franchise would become now over 50 years later. Interestingly enough, the debut Bond novel was never adapted as an official Bond movie until 2006 when it was used to reboot the series and establish a new timeline separate to the 20 films that preceded it.

The Casino Royale film sees Daniel Craig portray the then rookie agent James Bond, who earns his 00 status and license to kill at the very start of the film. Bond’s first mission is to take on the villainous Le Chiffre in a high-stakes game of poker and prevent Le Chiffre from financing terrorism. The Bond in this movie was a far grittier interpretation than we’d seen since Timothy Dalton played the lead character. Watching Casino Royale may well get you in the mood to visit and enjoy playing poker, just like Bond, without leaving the comfort of your sofa.

In the original novel, Bond and Le Chiffe play baccarat, but for this adaptation the producers decided to update the game to that of Texas Hold ‘Em poker. However, there are a number of inaccuracies within the film that wouldn’t happen in a real casino. For example, at the climax of the big game, the dealer mixes the players cards in with the community (board) cards to illustrate the various hands. This would never happen as in a real casino the players cards are always kept separate from the board. This is clearly done for dramatic effect, as a real dealer would not do this. Doing so could cause confusion as to which cards were on the board and which cards belonged to the player. The correct procedure is to leave the board intact and place the player’s cards just below it and then construct the appropriate hand.


After the major tournament is finished, Bond passes a chip from the table to the dealer as a tip. While this is commonly done in cash games, in a tournament the chips have no actual value. The chips are only used as markers to play with as the actual money is pooled together and paid out to the winner in cash, in this case the special account that is password protected. If the chip had any value then Bond would be tipping the dealer with the casino’s money as all the winnings were in that account.

James Bond always seems at home in the casino environment. After all the very first time we see Bond in the movies is when he’s playing baccarat in a casino. This is also the very first time the immortal “Bond, James Bond” line was ever used. He also beats Xenia Onatopp playing baccarat in Goldeneye, and has also played craps in Diamonds Are Forever and backgammon in Octopussy. Bond’s most recent casino visit was Macau in 2012’s Skyfall, and we’re sure it won’t be long until he’s seen in a casino again.

What did you think of Casino Royale? Is it one of your favorite Bond movies? Let us know in the comments!

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ScreenInvasion Staff

ScreenInvasion Staff