Blackjack has become so popular it has made it to the movies, with casinos offering the perfect scene for fast-paced action scenes with several characters to keep the audience on the edge of their seats in a game that has rules that are the same worldwide. Whilst players aim to beat the dealer to a hand of 21 sounds simple enough, there are still rules and game strategy, but once these are understood, the low house edge keeps players coming back with a better chance of winning than most other online casino games. Here we look at what can be learned about playing Blackjack from the movies.
The 2008 Hollywood version of 21, directed by Robert Luketik, is based on the true story of six MIT students joining their compulsive-gambling professor’s Blackjack team where they learn an intricate card-counting system in which they keep track of the cards in order increase their chances of winning. Having mastered the task, the team head to Las Vegas to try their trick at live casino blackjack and learn to live a new, luxurious lifestyle. The lesson from this movie is that counting cards will help you win. What the movie does not make clear is that counting cards does not require you to be a mathematical genius, or even have a great memory.
Directed by Barry Levinston and released in 1988, this classic Blackjack movie a US comedy-drama about two very different brothers. It is perhaps best known for the quote from Charlie Babbitt to his brother Ray (Rain Man played by Dustin Hoffman) when they exit an elevator in their matching suits at Caesar’s Palace, “Rain Man, let’s play some cards”. Ray cleans up on the Blackjack table by counting cards but loses a vast amount on a random game that he cannot quantify like Blackjack. The lesson from his movie is to stick with where your expertise lies.
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
This is the first of the three Austin Powers movies, directed by Jay Roach and released in 1997. This spoof on James Bond and the Dr. No is full of hilarious scenes, and whilst not specifically about gambling, but it includes a casino scene that finds British spy Austin Powers facing the villainous No.2 and his charming secretary at the high-limit blackjack tables at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas. In this scene, No. 2 uses his X-Ray eye patch to see the next card in the shoe is a four and insists on hitting on 17, ignoring the dealer’s advice by saying that he likes to live dangerously. Austin draws a five and stays, despite the dealer telling him to hit. He loses. The lesson here is to hit on five and do not hit on hard 17 unless you have special powers to see the next card in the shoe.
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