Casinos have inspired many novels so we took an in depth look at some of the best

How Gaming Inspired Fiction

In the modern world of online casinos, it may be hard to comprehend how gambling had the power to inspire some of the world’s most creative thinkers to craft some of the most critically acclaimed pieces of fiction of the modern era. The fact remains, though, many of the greatest and most famous works of fiction all have strong links with both the casino itself and the many games played within.

One of the most obvious examples is George Cockcroft’s seminal 1971 novel The Dice Man. In much the same way as a person playing craps in a casino makes his bet based on the possible outcome of a dice, so the anti-hero Luke Rhinehart begins to apply the same logic of using the dice to decide other major decisions in his life, often with unusual and shocking results.

Using dice to make life decisions has been a common theme since and not solely in fiction. The original novel spawned two sequels, as well as a companion title named The Book of the Die. Furthermore, popular culture has seen this whole idea celebrated in other forms, too. Several notable bands, The Fall, Pop Will Eat Itself and the Manic Street Preachers have sung about or referred to the dice in their songs, while Aphex Twin also used the pseudonym The Dice Man.

Away from music, Ian Fleming’s first novel about MI5 secret agent James Bond was set in the halls of Casino Royale and Fleming and other subsequent Bond authors and movie producers have since used the casino as a recurring theme throughout the Bond franchise. The opulent and elegant surroundings of the casinos he often finds himself in allows Bond to show his charm, calmness and calculating mind in the face of overwhelming odds.

Another casino game that has inspired a lot of popular fiction, especially in the US, is poker. While the Texas Hold ‘Em version of the game is now enjoying increasing popularity in the UK, it has long been a game enjoyed by many American poker players and as such, has inspired writers to create works of fiction surrounding it.

It’s plainly evident that casinos and the games played within have inspired many works of great fiction both classic and contemporary over the years. However, they have also inspired many other forms of creativity. In films such as Maverick or Cool Hand Luke, both have a central theme concerning the game of poker.

Casinos and gaming have long played a role in inspiring authors and creative artists in the past and the development of the game in the online environment has surely opened up a whole new avenue for today’s fiction writers to explore.

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