The Representation of Gambling in Comics

Gambling is a popular motif in mass media, comics included. It is easy to see why when you think of what excellent background casinos and other gambling establishments can provide. But often, gambling is more than a simple backdrop. It can also be used successfully to advance the plot or provide a motive for the characters.

Comics and Gambling

For the most part, gambling is represented negatively in comics. Authors often portray it as either a part of a criminal activity or as a means to ridicule certain characters. When introduced as comic relief, it isn’t uncommon that the main protagonists enjoy a quiet evening playing poker or some other game. The reason for this is that early comics, especially in the 1920s, were aimed at not only providing entertainment but moral guidance to children. The tradition of presenting gamble as immoral started then and still lingers today, almost a century later.

Ironically, the gambling industry today has benefited greatly from comics. Apart from its appearances in comics, many casino games feature superheroes and other characters from comics… For instance, some of the most popular online slots are based on comics, based on both DC and Marvel comics. You can try your luck at the Wonder Woman slot, Hellboy slot, Iron Man slot, or many others. If you’re a fan of comic-based casino games then take a look at live casino games at Casino Bros.

Superman’s war on gambling

A superhero who did the most to portray gambling as a vice was Superman. There are two stories that specifically focus on gambling, “Superman and the Number’s Racket” and “The Gambling Racket in Metropolis”. The first one especially is responsible for setting the tone. In it, superman saves a man from suicide. It turns out that he had accrued substantial gambling debts and saw suicide as his only way put. Enraged, Superman declares war on all illegal gambling in Metropolis, bringing swift justice to the criminals that stand behind it. The authors, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, and Paul Cassidy, wanted to imprint a notion in their young readers that gambling is bad and had Superman deliver the message.

Two-Face – Head or Tails

The ubiquitous coin flip is a trademark of one of the most infamous comic villains of all time. Two-Face, or Harvey Dent, is best known for his decision-making process, often leaving his victims depending on a coin toss. The former district attorney of Gotham has come to believe that a pure chance is the only form of justice left in the world and lives according to his beliefs. Despite his villainous nature, it was Dent’s character who helped turn the tide on gambling representation in comics. The popularity of Two-Face made it OK for other characters, even protagonists, to enjoy occasional poker games with friends.


It wasn’t until the 1990s and Gambit, one of the most popular X-men, that playing poker started being cool. Remy Etienne LeBeau, Gambit’s real name, had many extraordinary powers, which made audince4 love him. But it was his flaws that made him relatable, especially to younger readers. His ability to throw things at extreme speed made him a very dangerous opponent and his weapon of choice was usually a deck of playing cards. A full deck of 52 cards provided more than enough ammo for Gambit to take care of most of his enemies. The scene where he meets Wolverine, in a smoking gambling den in New Orleans is one of the best in the whole X-Men universe and one adored by the fans.


We would be amiss not to mention Chance, AKA Nicholas Powell, in this article. Powell was a professional gambler before he became a supervillain. The charismatic character always involves a degree of chance in his evil schemes, similar to Dent. Often, his exploits baffle Spiderman, his protagonist, thanks to chance’s use of gambling methods.

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