The floating superhero poker game has been in Marvel comics since the seventies. Often organized by The Thing, it has had a revolving all-star cast including luminaries such as Wolverine, Nick Fury, and Luke Cage. A way of showing heroes in their downtime, it made the casino a regular staple of Marvel continuity. But what other casino themes have the comics included? Below, we give our top three casino and card-themed Marvel characters.
While many may think Wolverine is the X-Men’s resident member harboring a shady past, the true dark horse is Gambit. Abandoned as a child, he was placed into the Thieves Guild of New Orleans and later played a part in the massacre of the underground mutant clan, the Morlocks.
When he joined the X-Men and this came to light, it caused huge levels of conflict. This schism has continued throughout his career with the team, where he has flitted from a valued team member to an adversary and even a pacifist teacher.
His powers are the ability to charge objects with kinetic energy, which explode on impact. While he can do this with any item, a pack of cards is always carried in his pocket for use as a weapon. This is not just for show either. Gambit is a master strategist, meaning he is an adept poker player.
There are many different variants of poker, just like the many varied adversaries the X-Men face, and strategy is always needed. Real-money online casino poker games are the best place to start if you don’t know the myriad types. With welcome bonuses, you don’t even need to use a lot of your bankroll to start.
Gambit’s skills at bluffing and reading other people have benefitted him on and off the table, most notably in his relationships with other members of the Xavier Institute. They may just help you out as well.
Jack of Hearts
Jack of Hearts was a bit part player created by Bill Mantlo, who appeared in numerous comics during the seventies. When the writer took over duties on Iron Man, Jack of Hearts became a regular cast member before vanishing from the radar.
He later appeared in the Kurt Busiek run of Avengers, where the character had a reawakening and was fully fleshed out with his most interesting story to date. This involved him living in an isolated chamber for most of the day to offset his growing power levels, which gradually turned him insane. Flying into space, he then returned during the events of Avengers: Disassembled.
Unimaginatively named Jack Hart, the character was exposed to a vat of zero fluid as a child, giving him the power to fire concussive force and propel himself into the air. Despite an elaborate outfit incorporating a classic playing card design, his affinity with the casino was minimal. However, he was once seen in the Underworld during Hercules’s miniseries, attempting to win a chance at resurrection by playing a classic game of slots.
The moniker of Jackpot, a slot game-themed street-level hero, has been held by two people. Sara Ehret was the original, a single mother who was exposed to gene therapy at Oscorp and gained superhuman strength.
She had no interest in being a superhero and leased her Jackpot identity to a girl named Alana Jobson. When this girl died in battle, a pep talk from Spiderman about responsibility soon made her reclaim her original identity.
There have been a few others in the history of Marvel, and DC has its own crop of gamblers. Yet these are the ones that have made the biggest impact and will continue to shape the future of the superhero landscape as we know it.