Famous Gambling Quotes From Literature And Movies


Posted: September 18, 2023

Updated: September 18, 2023

By its very nature, gambling consists of huge highs and lows, coupled with the random nature of winning or losing. Therefore this activitity lends itself to both movies and literature very well. There have een countless films and books written on the subject. This has led to many famous quotes forming in the public's mind.

Whether you’re an aficionado of cinema or an ardent devotee of the written word, you’re bound to come across a plethora of renowned quotations referencing luck, casinos, and the art of gambling. Throughout the annals of time, gambling has remained a widely cherished pursuit around the world. Consequently, it should come as no surprise that games of chance have served as a wellspring of inspiration for countless narratives, lyrical compositions, and memorable utterances. Today at Gamingzion.com, we’ve meticulously selected some of our most cherished gambling quotes, accompanied by intriguing tidbits about their origins.

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Prominent Gambling Quotes From The Realm Of Fiction

Since gambling covers the realms of both certainty and risk, it stands as a potent metaphor for the journey of life itself. Thus, it’s no wonder that you’ll encounter so many renowned quotations concerning gambling and casino games within the pages of fictional works.

  • “Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.” – Jack London, American Novelist.

Moreover, popular gambling destinations like Las Vegas frequently serve as the backdrop for these narratives. Hunter S. Thompson and Chuck Palahniuk, for instance, set their stories in the casinos of Sin City. Ian Fleming’s inaugural James Bond novel, “Casino Royale,” and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Gambler” both prominently feature casinos in their plots.

Here, we’ve compiled a selection of renowned gambling quotes from well-loved works of fiction.

  • “Bond didn’t defend the practice. He simply maintained that the more effort and ingenuity you put into gambling, the more you took out.” – Ian Fleming, Casino Royale

One of the world’s oldest casinos, Kurhaus Casino Baden-Baden is where Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel, The Gambler, takes place.

  • “Is it really not possible to touch the gaming table without being instantly infected by superstition?” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Mark Twain is commonly seen as the father of American fiction. Beyond his literary prowess, he possessed remarkable skills as a poker player. Consequently, he frequently put references to gambling into his novels. Some of his most renowned gambling quotes on the subject of gambling also carry his unique sense of humour.

  • “Baccarat is a game whereby the croupier gathers in money with a flexible sculling oar, then rakes it home. If I could have borrowed his oar I would have stayed.” – Mark Twain

In the realm of modern fiction, many novels draw on casinos and gambling as the central themes for their stories. Chuck Palahniuk’s debut novel following the triumph of Fight Club was “Invisible Monsters,” released in 1999. This narrative unfolds within the vibrant backdrop of Las Vegas casinos and showcases memorable gambling quotes.

  • “Las Vegas looks the way you’d imagine heaven looks like at night” – Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters.

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Discussing gambling-related expressions would be incomplete without mentioning Hunter S. Thompson’s iconic work, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” The primary setting of this novel is the famous Las Vegas casino, Circus Circus, and the events unfold against the backdrop of the 1960s. According to online gambling news in the UK, Thompson leaves no stone unturned as he vividly portrays the less glamorous aspects of life in the city that never sleeps.

  •  “The Circus-Circus is what the whole world would be doing Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war. This is the sixth Reich. The ground floor is full of gambling tables, like all the other casinos . . .but the place is about four stories high, in the style of a circus tent, and all manner of strange County-Fair/Polish Carnival madness is going on up in this space.” – Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Prominent Gambling Quotes From The World Of Cinema

As cinema continues to shape modern storytelling, it’s evident that the allure of gambling has provided fertile ground for numerous captivating films. Among the class of fictional gamblers, James Bond stands tall as an iconic figure, renowned for his passion for baccarat and leaving behind a trail of memorable gambling quotes. However, beyond Agent 007, a multitude of other illustrious gambling characters grace the silver screen.

In the 1957 classic “The Joker,” Frank Sinatra delivers a remarkable performance. Portraying a nightclub singer whose vocal talents desert him, Sinatra’s character embarks on a journey into the realm of high-stakes gambling, weaving a narrative that has etched its own memorable lines in cinematic history.

  •  “Las Vegas is the only place I know where money really talks – It says, Goodbye.” – Frank Sinatra, The Joker Is Wild.

The Color of Money, released in 1986, is a film directed by Martin Scorsese, featuring Tom Cruise and Paul Newman in the lead roles. The movie revolves around the exploits of two cunning pool players.

  • “A dollar won is twice as sweet as a dollar earned.” – Paul Newman, The Color of Money.

Songs Showcasing Renowned Gambling Phrases

Given the profound role that luck, both favorable and unfavorable, plays in all aspects of gambling, it comes as no shock that songwriters from all corners of the globe employ gambling as a symbolic representation of existence. A huge number of songs delve into the world of seasoned gamblers and their extravagant experiences in the vibrant city of Las Vegas. Let’s look at some of the most famous gambling quotes from equally famous songs going back over the years.

  • “You’ve got to play your hand. Sometimes your cards ain’t worth a dime if you don’t lay’em down.” – The Grateful Dead, Truckin’

Many consider Bob Dylan to be one of the most exceptional songwriters of his era. In his song “Ramblin’, Gamblin’ Willie,” he weaves a narrative about a seasoned card player.

  • “Come around you rovin’ gamblers and a story I will tell about the greatest gambler, you all should know him well. His name was Will Conley and he gambled all his life. He had twenty-seven children, yet he never had a wife… He won a fortune from a man who folded his chair. The man left a diamond flush, Willie didn’t even have a pair.” – Bob Dylan, Ramblin’, Gamblin’ Willie.

Undoubtedly, when one thinks of Las Vegas, the name that instantly comes to mind is Elvis Presley. His immense popularity was evident as he managed to fill every seat for an impressive 837 consecutive shows. Paying tribute to his beloved city, he penned the iconic song “Viva Las Vegas” in 1963.

  • “Oh there’s blackjack and poker and the roulette wheel, a fortune won and lost on every deal.” – Elvis, Viva Las Vegas.

A Collection Of Notable Gambling Sayings 

Beyond the realm of fictional gambling quotes, a wealth of renowned sayings employs the concept of gambling to shed light on various aspects of existence, ranging from the cosmos to human existence. Even the world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking turned to gambling as a metaphor to articulate his thoughts when seeking to elucidate the intricacies of the universe.

  • “All the evidence shows that God was actually quite a gambler, and the universe is a great casino, where dice are thrown, and roulette wheels spin on every occasion.” – Stephen Hawking.

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Leo Tolstoy, the renowned Russian author of War and Peace, characterises a gentleman with the following gambling quotes:

  • “A gentleman is a man who will pay his gambling debts even when he knows he has been cheated.” – Leo Tolstoy.

Journalist and author William Bolitho held a more positive perspective on the existence of a gambler.

  • “A gambler is nothing but a man who makes his living out of hope.” – William Bolitho.

Many people argue that our very existence can be seen as a form of wager. On a daily basis, you’re unlikely to come out as a winner in every situation. Nevertheless, if you try to achieve significant rewards in your life, you must be willing to embrace uncertainty and take risks. For example by heading over to on of the best online casino sites in the UK,  22Bet Casino and having a flutter on one of their many gaming titles. Fictional gamblers in literature and cinema repeatedly emphasise this as both a message of hope, despair, and maybe even happiness through a constant stream of meaningful gambling quotes.

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