Tattoos come in all shapes and sizes, and one of the more popular subjects is gambling. Some of the artistry involved in creating these gambling-themed tattoos borders on genius, and here we’ve picked out our top 10.
The first tattoo on this list is arguably the greatest gambling tattoo ever created. That’s subjective of course, but gaze upon its majestic wonder and you’ll likely agree. This has everything. The obligatory “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign, some playing cards atmospherically on fire, and a smoking gun poking through a roulette wheel. There’s even an image of some gangsters crouching behind a Model T Ford and taking aim with their guns for good measure. If you know who this person is, please send them our way. We would like to personally bow down before their awesome back art.
What do people want from tattoos – to make a statement? To pay tribute? This tattoo struck a chord with us because it got us thinking. Besides the fact that it’s been applied with fantastic skill and clinical definition, it also goes a bit deeper and begs questions. Who is the faceless gambler? What does it mean? Is it the wearer? Is it all of us? Does it personify addiction, fear, risk, or courage? Hell, we could be here all day bouncing ideas off each other. Not many tattoos have the power to ignite such discussion.
Attention to detail is a precious talent when it comes to tattoo line work, but this tattooist pulls it off with verve and class here. The white of the playing cards stands out, but the longer you look the more you take in and notice. It’s basically got everything you could want in a brilliant tattoo. Gambling paraphernalia. Check. Welcome to Las Vegas sign. Check. Tiger roaring. Check. Fire. Check. What isn’t there to like about this tattoo?
Credit is due to any tattooist who can make it look like they’ve tattooed a photograph onto a person’s skin. The use of red, black, and smoky tones is gritty here, but it also offers enough vibrancy to give this tattoo the life that sometimes gets lost when an image is inked on. The clarity of the roulette wheel is up there with the best. You probably wouldn’t be the only person to try spinning the wheel on that person’s arm and hoping to hit 35 black!
This tattoo could make the list on its bold colors alone. The clash of red and black epitomises the 50-50 odds of gambling. The 3D design of the dice is also stunning, and the refined detail on the playing cards and dollar bills shows great care and ability. It is also an interesting design for the Ace card. We can only wonder what the story behind that is.
The power of eye contact is an alluring trait in gambling. That’s why slots and gambling adverts often focus on the eyes of a character or person. It’s psychologically seductive. This tattoo also uses the eyes of the woman to suck us in. The playing cards merging into her face blend gambling with beauty. The strong red lipstick interprets a powerful possessor of this tattoo. The contrast between the blood red tones and the crisp white offers a sensory overload. This is fierce and it’s extremely hot!
Tattoos that are blossoming with color might not be to everyone’s taste (some people really come to regret these kind of designs, as we’ve seen in our main feature on tattoo regrets), but when it comes to examples such as this it’s hard not to admire the work. The subtle hint of gambling in the playing cards and dice tip the hat to betting but does not shove it in your face. There is plenty going on, but you’re not overwhelmed.
Now, if you’re not into your dark tattoos then this won’t be for you. But if you love something a little bit morbid then check this out! The minute we set eyes on the skulls fading into smoke we were won over. The playing cards and poker chips sealed the deal. Tattoos always used to be seen as the sign of a true bad ass. Yes, that interpretation has been watered down somewhat these days, with every Tom, Dick, and Harry getting one. This is an exception, though, and a damn cool one.
If you are awarding points for definition on a tattoo, this has to be right at the top. Looking at this Las Vegas-inspired artwork you would be forgiven for thinking it’s been printed on crisp white paper. I’m not sure I’ve even seen newsprint with this sort of detail on the ink. The roulette wheel, dice, and playing cards emphasise the gambling theme, but it’s the toning involved that really make this beautiful to look at.
OK, so this tattoo might not be the cleanest in terms of its design. Some of the other entries on this list are more detailed and, dare we say, aesthetically pleasing. So why is this tattoo on the list? Well, we thought we’d end on a feel-good factor. It’s all about the message for us here. Simple but philosophical. “Life’s a gamble” is a phrase we can all live by. Every choice you make holds an element of risk. Everything we do might work or it might fail. You’ve just got to play the hand you’re dealt. So true.