One of the most important problems encountered in die-casting processes is porosity due to air entrapment in the molten metal during the injection process. The aim of this work is to study experimentally and numerically the different air entrapment phenomena that may take place in the early stages of the filling of a vertical die cavity with a rectangular shape for operating conditions typically used in low and medium-pressure die-casting processes. Special attention is given to determining the influence of the gravitational forces on the flow pattern. Numerical simulation of the flow in the die cavity is carried out for the liquid phase using a commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code (FLOW-3D ) based on the solution algorithm-volume of fluid (SOLA-VOF) approach to solve the coupling between the momentum and mass conservation equations and to treat the free-surface, while the amount of air evacuated through vents is calculated by using an unsteady one-dimensional adiabatic model that retains friction effects. The main characteristics of the flow at the early instants of the die cavity filling are analyzed for different operating conditions, and the different flow patterns are summarized in a map as a function of the Reynolds and Froude numbers. Also, filling visualization experiments are carried out on a test bench using water as working fluid in a transparent die model and a high-speed camera. The numerical and experimental results obtained for the free-surface profile evolution are compared for different inlet velocities of the fluid and the viability of the numerical tools used to predict the final amount of trapped air in the die cavity is discussed.