Celebrities are not immune to the sound of chips falling down their pockets, nor the same games that attract most of us. In fact, the only difference separating us and them is the bank balance, which is why we spend most of our gambling time scouting for free slots with free spins, while they seal a casino floor with their high-roller escapades.
But, despite all the glitz and glamour that follows their lifestyle, at the end of the day they can be just like everyone else – leisurely sitting at a table and playing only for the enjoyment and love of the game. And what do they love most? Well, let’s take a look at the top 5 games.
Blackjack is one of the most popular gambling choices among celebrities, probably due to the strategizing appeal of the game. Since it requires a lot of planning, the game has been known to attract some of the smartest celebrities.
The most famous A-lister known for his Blackjack addiction is Ben Affleck, who was often found to enter high-stake tournaments and work the tables. One of his most successful escapades (which also got him banned) was winning around $800,000 during a blackjack session, $150K of which he gave to the dealers. But Affleck isn’t alone in his love for Blackjack. Professional golfer Tiger Woods has also been seen enjoying the game, with some rumors even linking him to high stake hands worth more than $20,000 each.
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Not many people can resist the appeal of a Craps table and neither can celebrities. One fervid Craps player is former presidential candidate John McCain, who had such a love for the game that stories of his 24-hour sessions are already the stuff of urban legends.
Another Craps fan is famous comedian Ray Romano, whose gambling addiction has been under the media spotlight for a while, probably because you can’t really imagine “Raymond” burning through a pile of money while screaming at the dealers. He was noted to be actively trying to lose his addiction though, and one part of his rehabilitation involved working a Craps table for his friend Jon Manfrellotti, i.e. not actually gambling himself because it wasn’t his money. Nice rehab program, right?
When it comes to poker, one of the biggest fans of the game is Jennifer Tilly. Yes, you’ve heard that right. The same high-pitched actress noted for her roles in Liar Liar and Haunted Mansion is a serious poker freak. Her preference is Texas Hold’Em and she is really good at it because she even won the World Series of Poker Ladies Championship in 2005, when she went home with the title and a prize of around $370,000.
Another fan of Texas Hold’Em is Toby Maguire, who learned the game by taking lessons from a professional and became quite successful at it, but also one of the worst losers, even for a celebrity. He was also a part of a celebrity poker ring which included DiCaprio, Affleck and a number of other Hollywood A-listers.
The spinning wheels hold just the same appeal for celebrities as they do for the rest of us common folk. One famous roulette connoisseur is NBA star Charles Barkley, who could’ve often been found in Las Vegas burning through chips and looking at the Roulette wheel with glazed eyes.
But Barkley was never known as a solo-gambler. He enjoyed the company of other celebrities while playing, and of his best buddies at the Roulette table was Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods might have been given the keys to Vegas for his time spent at the city, hitting almost every game available.
It’s strange to think of a celebrity sitting behind a slot machine and waiting for that Jackpot, but some celebrities don’t mind a crowded slot hall and still enjoy the classic machines every once in a while. One famous slot fan is former Playboy model and Baywatch star Pamela Anderson, who enjoys both poker and slot machines. It’s a funny situation really, considering that there’s a Baywatch slot that has her in it.
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Another passionate slot player was the now-deceased music producer and ex-husband of Liza Minnelli David Gest. The man was notorious for his self-destructive behavior and was seen spending up to $10,000 on slot machines during his final months.