Casinos sure are exciting places to visit and no doubt form the backdrop to some of the most thrilling movies of all time. The most intriguing casino-related movies tend to involve blackjack as a plot device as this card game is known to rely on skill as much as luck.
As viewers, we can’t help but wonder how we could change our life if we only knew how to play the game as well as the characters on the screen. Would we have better chances of winning the casino prize money? Would that kind of financial windfall be finally possible in reality? These might be all wishful thinking but when it comes to getting easy money, everyone no doubt fantasizes about it at least once or twice in their lives. Am I right or am I right?
With that in mind, here are 6 blackjack movies that will change how you see the game and will make you want to perfect your skills at the card table!
21 (2008) Killer Movie Featuring Kevin Spacey And 6 MIT Students
Based on the book Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich, this movie stars Kevin Spacey as a math professor Mickey Rosa, who teaches 6 MIT students how to successfully count cards and win a fortune in the casinos of Las Vegas.
In the film, there is much double-crossing, danger and extreme violence, but the true story behind the MIT blackjack team is actually even more fascinating if a little less dramatic. In real life, they were a disciplined and highly successful team who even set up an investment fund for their blackjack activities. Rumor has it that one member of the team still plays in casinos, having to wear a disguise each time.
The movie and the book really made everyone want to “figure out how to bring down the house.”
Rain Man (1988) Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman
Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman star in this most moving of road trip movies, which won four Oscars. While not a blackjack movie per se, Rain Man did go a long way to interesting viewers in this game of skill and how a superhuman memory could be used to gain an advantage. Hoffman’s incredible portrayal of an autistic savant shows we all have hidden talents, as his brother (played by Cruise) takes him to a Vegas casino because he is the perfect card counter, knowing which cards are still in the shoe and which of them have been already dealt.
Hoffman’s incredible portrayal of an autistic savant shows we all have hidden talents, as his brother (played by Cruise) takes him to a Vegas casino because he is the perfect card counter, knowing which cards are still in the shoe and which of them have been already dealt.
Overall, the film has been considered a classic and is a very much enjoyable film to watch as well. When it comes to performance, Hoffman and Cruise gave it their best shot and it definitely showed. They no doubt gave an evocative rendition of the movie’s plotline without resorting to overstated ways of acting their parts out.
The Hangover (2009) Hilarious Comedy
This bawdy American comedy tells the tale of four friends celebrating a bachelor party in Sin City and who decide to use their copy of Edward Thorp’s Beat the Dealer to try to win big on a game of blackjack. When they wake up the next morning after a drunken night of debauchery, the groom is missing, and the 3 remaining friends must locate him and find out everything that happened the night before. A lesson to all blackjack players, never to mix booze with cards.
A lesson to all blackjack players, never to mix booze with cards.
On the whole, the movie is flashy but with the right flair. One thing you’ll never do in this movie is to get bored. It has the right amount of sass, fun, and silly brilliance all rolled into one. The setup itself is pretty interesting from the get-go and the amazing thing is, they were able to keep this is up for the entirety of the movie!
Vegas Vacation (1997) Griswold Family To Vegas!
This fourth edition of the National Lampoon’s Vacation series takes the Griswold family to Las Vegas for the usual mix of good intentions and misadventures. As fans of the previous films would probably expect, the hapless Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) loses all his money at the casino, while his son Rusty takes to it like a fish to water, winning four cars during their stay in Vegas. It all comes good in the end though and as Clark tells admiring females at the table, blackjack is the only game where the smart player has a mathematical advantage over the house.
However, the movie has been panned by critics due to its low film quality and poorly directed performance. Editing looks like it has been done in a jiffy and the plot could use a bit more sense. But if you’re the type to let such things slide then, by all means, watch this movie to see how they use the black jack aspect to their benefit.
Holy Rollers (2011) Christian Card Counters?
This documentary tells the fascinating true story of a group of Christian card counters, hitting the casinos to claw back money for the Lord. Operating from 2005 to 2011, this group known as the “Church Team” crossed the country to score big at the blackjack tables, netting some $3 million in total. Going behind the scenes of the casinos themselves to see how security identifies card counters, this is the ultimate film to watch if you want to learn how to run a successful blackjack business.
Overall, the documentary is pretty slick and has a unique premise that makes for an interesting watch. There’s no doubt that they tackled the topic richly and provided a no-holds barred take of what’s it like to reconcile living within seeming two opposing concepts. Make sure to watch this to get to know more!
Jinxed (1982) Bette Midler And A Jinx!
This 80’s comedy follows the story of a card shark (Rip Torn) and his lounge singer wife (Bette Midler) who can’t stop beating a certain young dealer (Ken Wahl), even following him around from casino to casino to take advantage of the jinx.
In typical Bette Midler fashion, she falls in love with the dealer and together they plot to kill the husband, with hilarious consequences. Next time we saw Rip Torn in a casino, he was playing Patches O’Hoolahan in 2004’s Dodgeball, where he was killed by a falling Luck O’ The Irish sign. If you can dodge the traffic, you can dodge the ball!
Blackjack is such a fascinating topic for filmmakers that they just can’t resist exploring it again and again. If you’re interested to improve your blackjack skills and are looking for some useful tips online, then John Slots’ offers an excellent introduction for beginners as well as tips for even the most seasoned of pros. They will also guide you to online casinos where you can hone your skills in free play mode, and when you’re ready to make the next step, they will even show you where to get the best welcome bonuses once you’re ready to play with real money.