Some of the best TV shows out there have managed to turn gambling into a relatable practice, portraying the euphoria of winning through to the frustration of losing. We have found some of our favourite moments across a broad cross-section of TV genres which offer a light hearted look at the world of gambling.
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How I Met Your Mother S2E8 ‘Atlantic City’
How I Met Your Mother was a sitcom which ran for nine seasons and centred around the main character, Ted Mosby, and his quest for love as well as his interactions with his four best friends – Marshall, Barney, Robin and Lily.
With numerous storylines across its time on air, season two episode eight sees the gang head to Atlantic City, sort of a mini Las Vegas, where Marshall and Lily plan to elope.
Of course, things don’t go to plan and after losing a considerable amount of cash it is up to Barney, a recovering gambling addict, to win it back by playing a confusing (made up) game known as Xing Hai Shi Bu Xing.
It is humorous to watch as the other characters have no idea what is going on – fitting as this is how many people feel when stepping into a casino for the first time.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Star Trek: The Next Generation wrapped up its final episode on May 23, 1994, yet it still has a cult following to this day.
Interestingly, poker was a recurring theme of the TV series, with at least 10 episodes depicting the characters playing the popular card game aboard the starship Enterprise.
The series tackles a range of issues on the subject such as ethics when gambling, while in season six Data, the Android Commander, manages to summon holographic images of some of the greatest minds like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking to test his own skills.
Below is a compilation of some of the best poker scenes from TNG.
Friends S6E6 ‘The One on the Last Night’
It has hard to believe that Friends has been off air for more than 12 years – with the show arguably just as popular now as it was when it originally appeared on our TV screens. While it was for the most-part a family friendly show, on more than one occasion we saw our favourite friends having a bet.
The first episode which comes to mind is Season One Episode 18 ‘The One with all the Poker’ which is a classic girls v boys poker match – however we think the funniest scene is Season Six Episode Six titled ‘The One on the Last Night’.
The scene features Chandler who wants to give Joey some cash – so he invents his own card game called ‘Cups’, which has no rules, to make it less obvious he is trying to help out his mate in need.
Oh, and don’t worry Joey, we don’t understand this one either.
The Office S3E20 ‘Safety Training’
Safety Training is the 20th episode in season three of the hit show ‘The Office’ which features gambling as a side-story to the main narrative of the episode.
This side-story highlights how office workers will bet on virtually anything – from counting jelly beans in a candy dish through to whether one of the characters, Creed Bratton, will realize the apple he is eating has been switched with a potato.
It is hilarious, albeit brief, highlighting the banality of working in an office and what people will do to relieve the mundane nature of their day to day lives. Plus, who doesn’t know someone who would bet on two flies running up a wall?
South Park S7E7 ‘Red Man’s Greed’
South Park has never been afraid to push the boundaries on a broad range of issues, so it should come as no surprise to see the show’s creators tackling the subject of gambling and addiction in season seven episode seven.
Titled ‘Red Man’s Greed’ the episode sees the boys and their parents going to an Indian casino where Kyle’s father loses their house playing Blackjack due to his gambling problem.
The whole town is then bought out by the Native Americans who plan to tear it down and build a highway linking their casino to Denver.
To save their town, the residents of South Park must come up with $300,000 which they attempt to earn by gambling.
What ensues is a massive win playing roulette which is then lost due to greed – something we are sure everyone has been guilty of once or twice – although hopefully not to this extent.
The Simpsons S5E10 ‘Springfield (‘How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Legalize Gambling’
The Simpsons potentially boasts the most gambling references of any cartoon on the air – starting right from episode one when Homer rescues Santa’s Little Helper from the local greyhound track.
Since then we have seen Krusty the Clown lose his daughter’s violin in a poker game against the mafia, Lisa helping Homer to win big on the footy, Homer’s hidden talent at playing poker (despite being a little slow) and who could forget when Homer and Ned took a road trip to Vegas where they married a couple of waitresses.
However, our favourite gambling episode from the Simpsons would have to be season five episode 10 when Monty Burns opens his very on casino.
This is followed by endless hilarity when Bart opens another casino in his treehouse, Homer gains a job as a Blackjack dealer, Mr Burns develops a particularly nasty case of Howard Hughes syndrome, while Marge becomes hooked playing the slot machines.
The Sopranos S2E6 ‘The Happy Wanderer’
While The Sopranos was full of stereotypes, including lots of brutal violence from our favourite Italian-American mobsters, it was also a show which packed plenty of laughs.
One of our favourite scenes from the show is in the sixth episode where we see several of the main characters engaging in a high-stakes poker game with some of their associates.
One of those characters, Silvio Dante, quickly becomes enraged while losing during the game, resulting in a tirade of insults being thrown left, right and centre.
The reason why we love this scene is because it is so relatable – everyone has that one mate who can’t handle losing a bet and, while they may not get as fired up as Silvio, we can certainly all appreciate his frustration.
FYI – the below clip is 100 per cent NSFW.
Online pokies pair with the small screen
Not only can you appreciate the funny aspects of gambling on many of your favourite TV shows, but many leading software providers such as Net Entertainment have now started producing online pokies games which have been designed with popular TV shows as their theme.
Titles such as Game of Thrones, South Park and Battlestar Galactica are available to play for free or real-money at a variety of online casinos, the best of which we have recommended below as being safe and secure betting sites.