Gambling has been a part of humanity since the beginning and it doesn’t seem like we are going to stop anytime soon. It’s estimated that 90% of American adults gamble, which is about $48 Billion in revenue for casinos each year. However, most people don’t know what gambling themed paintings have hung on the walls of their favorite casino or hotel over time…

The “oil paintings for sale” are the most famous paintings depicting gambling. The painting is by Vincent van Gogh, and was created in 1886.

Most Famous Paintings Depicting Gambling

One of the most well-known optics clichés is “every image tells a story.” It’s also one of the most literal of the bunch. Without a history for inspiration, no artist can paint anything. It might be a backstory about their life, a narrative about the world, a story about someone they care about, or even a story about someone they despise. There have been some fantastic artworks with gambling-related backstories throughout the years. This is a rundown of the most well-known paintings featuring gambling, as well as their background.

Some of the artworks explicitly portray gambling, while others provide subtle messages about one of the world’s oldest kinds of amusement. Gambling has always inspired artists and will continue to do so eternally. However, not every artist will go down in history, and not every gambling-themed artwork will be as well-known as The Cardsharps. As a result, we’ll concentrate on a handful of the most well-known artworks representing gambling throughout history. 


An Overview of the Most Famous Gambling Paintings and Their Background 

1. Caravaggio’s The Cardsharps

The Cardsharps, described in the introduction, is one of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s most exquisite paintings, completed in 1594. Caravaggio was an Italian painter known for his realistic paintings of the period. It is also one of the most well-known paintings representing gambling. The oil painting depicts three persons, two of them are young males who are playing cards. In the room, there is also an elderly gentleman.

Caravaggio’s purpose was to demonstrate how frequent cheating was in card games. Behind him, one of the young players conceals several cards. His opponents are unable to see the cards, but the spectator can. He’s a cardsharp, and he’s collaborating with the elder guy to deceive the other player. The elder man’s task, on the other hand, is to examine the other player’s card and alert his ally, giving him an advantage over his opponent. The other player is holding a dagger, which is most likely there to defend him if things get out of hand. 

Cardsharps continue to frequent casinos in search of new and better methods to manipulate card games to their benefit. Technology has made it more difficult for cheaters to work, but it hasn’t solved the issue entirely. This is why Caravaggio’s art has remained influential in the modern world. Even though Caravaggio painted other copies of the Cardsharps, the Kimbell Art Museum is reported to have bought the original in 1987. 


2. Shelly Wilkerson’s Slot Machine Queen

The Slot Machine Queen was created by Shelley Wilkerson. It shows an elderly lady with a cat sitting in front of a slot machine. It’s a vibrant and upbeat artwork. The elderly lady smiles broadly and holds a glass of champagne in her right hand. As you can see from the display, the slot machine in front of the lady looks to have hit the jackpot. The image was created by Shelly Wilkerson for her poetry about gambling machines. The following was the poem:

“Pull that handle and watch ’em spin,” says the narrator.

Yes, girls, I play for the win!

There are bells and whistles, as well as a flashing light.

Tonight, Lady Luck is on my side!

Deals on keno, craps, and blackjack

Las Vegas lights and authentically low-cost cuisine

Poker hands, rare white tigers

Crooners, comedians, and rock bands are among the genres represented.

College students, proms, and braces

I wished for all four aces.

My nest egg deteriorated, and I lost my savings.

I was afraid I’d wind up as ‘trailer trash.’

I saved my quarters and dimes.

I’m hoping for much better days in the future.

The children have grown up, and the mortgage has been paid off.

I’ll get it ready in no time.

I’ve always paid my dues.

Now it’s time for Mom to have some fun.

So, here’s my ‘inside scoop’:

I’ve reached the pinnacle of my career, and life is fantastic!”

Wallpapers, stationery, phone covers, and even costumes have been created from the artwork. These lovely branded goods are available online for any slot machine enthusiast. It is still a fantastic piece of art with a more contemporary significance.


3. Edvard Munch’s At the Roulette Table

After visiting Monte Carlo numerous times for inspiration while in France, Edvard Munch composed At the Roulette Table in 1892. The picture depicts individuals around a roulette table, as the title suggests. He was infatuated with roulette and enthralled by everything else in the casino, according to his literary notes at the time. The picture illustrates the tense atmosphere that may be seen around a standard roulette table. Munch said that he drew influence from various works and experimented with a variety of styles before creating this masterpiece. In the picture, he put Gauguin’s and Van Gogh’s styles to the test. With their hands held out, all of the men and women around the table are waiting for the outcome. They’re all focused on the roulette wheel, trying to figure out who will win or lose.

4. Paul Cézanne’s Card Players

Paul Cézanne is a French post-impressionist painter. He began a series of paintings known as Card Players throughout the course of his career. There were numerous paintings with similar sentiments, but they all had something to do with gambling, mainly card games. Cézanne’s works were distinct from those of many other artists at the time. 

Rather of aristocracy gambling, the majority of the subjects in his paintings were peasants. Cezanne said that he tried a lot of different things before he found what he was looking for. After that, he began to distribute works from his series. The paintings came in a variety of sizes. The series’ five works were all oil paintings. There were two players in some, three in others, and more than three in others. Various families purchased one of the five variants of the series throughout the years. One was purchased for $250 million by the Qatar Royal family in 2011. They then sold it for $300 million to the Davis family in Florida. 

5. Cassius Marcellus Coolidge’s Dogs Playing Poker 

This picture depicts four dogs playing poker, as the title suggests. Dogs Playing Poker is Coolidge’s most renowned painting, despite the fact that he painted many other things throughout his lifetime. This artwork was painted in eight forms by Coolidge, all of which were replicated throughout time. Despite the fact that the Dogs painting series was classified as “Bad Art,” it garnered multiple awards throughout his lifetime. The artist was dubbed “the most renowned American artist you’ve never heard of” by the public. People wanted more of his oil painting series of dogs. 

In addition, additional dog paintings were represented in series on TV programs, art forums, and theater plays. They were also printed on home décor and kitchenware. The 1894 dog poker game, the first painting in the series, sold for $658,000 in 2015, making it the most valuable in the series. 

6. Jan Steen’s Argument Over a Card Game

Jan Steen, a Dutch artist, painted Argument Over a Card Game in the 17th century. The picture, which went on to become a famous piece of art, depicted how a simple card game devolved into a drama, almost resulting in a brawl between some of the players and others in the casino. It was a realistic depiction of a typical gambling setting. It’s no secret that a relaxing game of cards may quickly devolve into something more. It’s an oil canvas painting that’s become one of the most well-known in the gaming industry. 


The above list provides an overview of the most well-known paintings representing gambling and its background. Many additional paintings, although not as well-known as these, portray similar tales. Caravaggio’s Cardsharps is the most popular painting on this list. In today’s gambling world, the tale it conveys is one that we can all identify to. 

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