One Of The Most Prominent Card Games In The History Of Card Games From RAIN MAN to LICENSE TO KILL – Blackjack In the Movies
Blackjack is, without a doubt, one on the most prominent card games in the history of card games. The classic game of risk-reward would have entered into most peoples’ lives at some stage, even if they haven’t got a clue how to play it.
One of the many ways blackjack is featured is in the movies, where countless creations have played an important role in factoring in blackjack, be it to help aid a developing plot or injecting some tension into a particular scene.
Games like poker tend to be given more television airtime, but blackjack’s charming mix of skill and chance appears to favour more minutes on our cinema screens, especially judging by the amount of appearances it has made in movies over the years.
With this in mind, below is a list of some of the classic movies which have featured one of the most well-known card games of all time, blackjack.
(Image via Do You Remember on Twitter)
This 1988 classic, starring Dustin Hoffman as Raymond Babbitt - a man who has an advanced ability to memorise numbers and carry out fast calculations - is a card-counting masterpiece. Ray, played by legendary actor Tom Cruise, is keen to gain from his brother Raymond’s talent and uses it to help him win in the casino, with blackjack being a game they get particular success from.
James Bond, License to Kill
Everyone’s seen at least one James Bond movie, right? Well, throughout the years, Bond has been involved in a few blackjack games whilst sitting round a table in a casino, usually during a meeting with some of his adversaries or when trying to impress one of his many Bond girls. For many of us these days, playing live blackjack online is the closest thing to a real casino, but much of our imagery of luxurious casinos came from depictions in Bond movies. You will also find Bond playing roulette and poker at the world’s top casinos, both real and fictional.Indeed, such is Bond’s association with casinos, there is even a roulette strategy named after the iconic British spy.
All about the morality and ethics at a blackjack table, 21 takes its inspiration from the real-life exploits and the MIT Blackjack Team as covered in Ben Mezrich’s best-selling book, Bringing Down the House. A professor, played by Kevin Spacey, leads his students in the pursuit of winning the highly coveted blackjack jackpot, making it a particularly fascinating film for players of the game.
The Hot Shoe
Made in 2004 by documentary maker David Laytor, The Hot Shoe focusses on card counting and the stories behind it, which are described in the form of featured case studies from well-known players of the game, such as Tommy Hyland, Anthony Curtis, Peter Griffin and Andy Bloch. Looking at how it is utilised today with interviews at casinos, with gambling authors and with the MIT Blackjack Team, the film takes a detailed look into the history of card counting. It certainly makes for an interesting watch, especially for any budding blackjack players out there.
Released in 1999, Croupier is a movie that provides a look into the dealer’s perspective when playing blackjack. Jack Manfred, played by Clive Owen, is trying to make it as a writer but due to his low income he gets a job in a casino as a croupier and discovers the vulnerabilities of gambling and all that casino life entails as he takes to life behind the table.
This comedy classic, which hit our screens in 1999, includes a famous scene where Number Two, played by Robert Wagner, ignores the dealer’s advice and hits on 17. His X-ray-enhanced eye patch certainly helped with this one as he defeats Austin Powers with a winning hand.