Gambling in the movies is often reserved for the likes of poker and roulette, and usually for James Bond, with his tuxedo, Martini (shaken not stirred) and suspectful glances at the man across the table with only one eye. But over the years there have also been a select few that have played the game of 21 on the casino floors.
With the rise of online and mobile casinos (click for mobile casino) From Hoffman to Chase to a gang of card-counting Christians, we take a look at the top five Blackjack movies.
1. Rain Man
Winning four Academy Awards, any movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise as brothers would have made the list anyway. Playing autistic Ray Babbitt, Hoffman picked up a best actor gong for the 1988 film, and is often recognised as his greatest performance.
Whilst visiting Las Vegas, his brother discovers Ray’s knack for numbers means they win big playing the Blackjack tables, creating a whole lot of trouble with casino officials.
2. Holy Rollers
Perhaps one of the most unlikely combinations of all time, the true story of the card counting Christians makes for compelling viewing. Centring on a group of Christians in Seattle, Holy Rollers follows the rise of arguably the largest blackjack team in the USA, while they succeed in taking millions from casinos.
The Christians teach players to card count, and unable to do so on the virtual tables, post their players at casinos across the country, with the movie posing questions not only about religion but also the murky side of gambling.
Based on the true story of the MIT Blackjack team, the film was released back in 2008 and is one of the more famous moves involving the game.
Telling the story of a group of students led by Professor Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey) who was no longer welcome in the casinos of Las Vegas. Led into a world of card counting, the students travel to Sin City to beat the casinos before becoming in embroiled in complications touching on love, war and angry casino management.
4. Licence to Kill
It’s not very often you see the game of 21’s in a James Bond movie, but then again, it’s not often you see Timothy Dalton in one either. Limited to just the two, Dalton visits the casino owned by drug kingpin Franz Sanchez and pockets a quarter of a million with some supreme blackjack playing.
5. National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation
“I can’t believe it. I’ve lost $300 in 15 minutes.”
We’ve all been there, but not quite like Clark Griswald. Chevy Chase is brilliant in his guide to how not to play cards. Gambling away the family’s $22,600 bank account in a series of hilarious scenes, Clark must try and win back his family and his money. But of course, not everything goes to plan.