WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILER AHEAD
CBn has learned that the centerpiece card game in Casino Royale — the 21st James Bond film due to start production in January — will not be Baccarat as in the Ian Fleming novel, but will instead be poker. In particular, no-limit Texas Hold’em poker, also known as the “Cadillac of Poker.”
Like the Baccarat game in the original novel, the poker scene in Casino Royale is expected to be quite lengthy and will play a significant role in the plot.
Texas Hold’em is a kind of poker in which each player is dealt two cards down — known as “hole” cards — and then five cards are dealt face-up in the center of the table. Each player shares these center or “board” cards to make the best five-card hand from the cards in the hole and the cards on the board.
Hold’em can be played with as little as two players (going “heads up”), up to a max of eleven players. Regular poker hand ranks apply to this game. According to www.learn-texas-holdem.com, a typical hold’em game goes as follows and is broken down into five categories.
- Preflop: Starting with the dealer button, each person is dealt one card. Then a second card. Both cards are face down. After everyone receives their pocket/hole cards (the two cards face down just dealt), then betting occurs. Note: the dealer button is a actually a button that says “dealer” on it or “d” that is passed around the table after each hand. It signifies where the dealing is done from.
- Flop: The dealer turns over three cards in the middle of the table (called “the flop”). These are community cards that each player can use to create the best hand possible out of. Once again betting occurs.
- Turn: The dealer turns over another card making four community cards. This fourth card is called “the turn” or sometimes “fourth street”. Betting occurs again.
- River: The dealer turns over the fifth and last community card. This is called “the river” or “fifth street”. Betting occurs for the last time.
- Showdown: The remaining players in the hand show their cards in order from the person who bet first. Each player uses his two cards, and the five community cards to create the best hand (5 cards total). A player can use any combination so even if one card from his pocket cards and four of the community cards creates the best hand, it is fine. When all five of the cards in the community make the best hand then everyone splits the pot. This is called “the board plays”. Also note that in any time during the game a player can fold and get out of the hand. All bets will be lost at that point.
Hold’em first caught the public eye as a spectator sport in the United Kingdom with the Late Night Poker TV show in 1999. In 2003, Hold’em exploded in popularity as a spectator sport in the United States when Chris Moneymaker, an amateur player who gained admission to the tournament by winning a series of online tournaments, won the high-stakes World Series of Poker on ESPN. Two additional Hold’em series debuted in 2003, the World Poker Tour and Celebrity Poker Showdown. All three of these shows are still currently in production and garner a large and loyal viewership.
Casino Royale will not be the first Hollywood movie to feature Texas Hold’em as a major part of its storyline. In 1998, Rounders, starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, showcased No-Limit Hold’em.
Casino Royale will be directed by Martin Campbell and will be shot in Prague and the Bahamas for release in late 2006. No decision has yet been made as to who will play James Bond.
Keep watching CBn for all the latest news on Casino Royale.