The Best Roulette Scenes in British Period Dramas

High end casinos have an aura of class about them that makes them a popular choice for period dramas looking to recreate an age of opulence and luxury. On the other hand, they are places of drama and risk, making them ideal for shows that explore the seamier side of life too.

Roulette is a particularly common game to depict on screen. Something about the stark red or black choice seems to sum up the tension of casino gaming in a visual way.

Of course it helps that roulette was a much played game in the past and remains one in the present day. Everyone can understand the rules and lots of viewers play things like lightning roulette online at Rainbow Riches Casino and other places, so it is ideal for film and television makers to use.

There have been plenty of excellent roulette scenes in British period dramas over the years. In this piece we will be taking a look at some of the very best of them.

Downton Abbey

This show depicting the Crawley family of aristocrats living on their estate in Yorkshire at the start of the 20th century became an international hit. It contrasted their gilded lives with the more humble existences of their working class servants, which made for brilliant drama and has led to sequels following on from the original six series.

Downton Abbey features lots of scenes with its wealthy characters wagering at casinos as a way of showing their sometimes wild attitudes to life. However, the one involving roulette does not depict any actual wagering.

Downton Abbey: A New Era takes the story into the 1910s and 1920s, when the cinema was in its infancy. The Crawley’s agree to allow the shooting of a silent movie in their luxurious home, which is clearly intended to be about casinos.

We see the drawing room set up as a casino, with roulette wheel prominently positioned at the heart of it. However, before anyone can try their luck, the movie is scrapped.

This scene captures the old world England that is part of what makes period dramas popular, but also shows the new one starting to intrude on it. What roulette players can learn from it is never to play when there is a camera on them.

The Crown

This is another hugely successful period drama from the UK. Created by the Welsh writer Peter Morgan, it explores the history of the royal family during the long reign of Queen Elizabeth.

The popularity of the monarch throughout the world is one reason why it has found a global audience, but another is simply the fact that it is really compelling television. The Crown features many scenes of gaming, including roulette, with one particularly memorable sequence depicting Prince Philip playing for a lot of money.

The purpose of the roulette and other gaming scenes in The Crown is to add drama but also to give the viewers a glimpse of the glamorous and luxurious lifestyles of the royals. The combination of those two things helps to ensure that such scenes will not be forgotten any time soon by those who follow the show.

They are tangled up in the other dramatic events that have gripped the royals since the 1950s, including the death of Princess Diana. Thus they also remind us that so much of life itself is a gamble, even if you have money and power.

If there is a lesson that people who play roulette can take from the scenes in The Crown, it is that the game should be played carefully rather than with too much recklessness.

The Paradise

This drama made by the BBC back in 2012 is an adaption of Au Bonheur Des Dames, by Emile Zola. However it makes the decision to transfer the story from France to England.

It is another period drama that captures society on the cusp of change and is all about the inevitability of progress. In the story, the first enormous department store is built in a city and many smaller shop owners are ruined as a result.

However the young protagonist Denise is able to thrive in this brave new world. The department store sees more new businesses opening, including casinos, and she secures a job in one as a croupier at the roulette tables.

There are many scenes showing customers, from confident to desperate, playing roulette. They portray Victorian England embracing the realities of modernity and those who are unable to do so are crushed as a result.

They are fantastic and gripping depictions of roulette and show us not to try to fight against change.

All of these period dramas feature roulette and each of them portrays the game in a different way.