Blackjack is a very popular card game and played throughout the world. You may have heard it referred to as Pontoon or Twenty-One but blackjack is the American name given to the game. You will find blackjack played in casinos online and in brick and mortar establishments. Thanks to its popularity, the game of blackjack has often featured in popular culture, such as films for example.
The risk/reward element of blackjack and the drama it provides makes it the perfect addition to a film. James Bond is often seen in a casino but the most famous example of Bond playing blackjack is in the film Licence to Kill. Bond is played by Timothy Dalton and the scene is well remembered due to the high stakes of the blackjack game.
However, many people believe the film 21 is the best film featuring blackjack. The story is based on the MIT blackjack team who went on to cheat millions of dollars from casinos. The movie follows a professor who teaches his students to count cards and then sends them out to the casinos to win money by playing blackjack. The mathematics students each play under false names but as they get greedier, they start to fight among themselves and that’s the beginning of their downfall. The theory behind how the students play is one of the many reasons why blackjack players enjoy watching the film.
Another film in which blackjack plays a role is The Cooler. A cooler is a person employed by a casino to help reduce their risk by cooling a player’s hot streak of winning. However, the cooler meets a waitress and the director of the casino tries to break up their relationship and things turn sour.
Referring back to card counting, there are several examples of this in the film Rain Man. There is a scene featuring blackjack that is full of drama and although it does not show card counting at its best it is very exciting to watch.
For those who are interested in seeing blackjack from the dealers perspective the film Croupier is a great choice. It shows a sneak peek of what it is like at the blackjack table in a casino as the dealer. The main character is trying to make it as a writer and takes the job as a dealer to make some money on the side. However, he gets drawn in by the vulnerabilities of playing and everything it entails.
Finally, we come to one of the most critically acclaimed films to feature blackjack and that’s Casino. There is only one scene featuring blackjack in the film, but it is very tense as it involves catching a player cheating. The player in question is given the choice to give up his winnings or have his fingers smashed. Violence inevitably follows. Some of the other films featuring blackjack include Swingers, The Last Casino, Holy Rollers and Jinxed to name but a few.