THE HANGOVER To 21 To LICENCE TO KILL To THE LAST CASINO To SWINGERS To JINXED!: Top Ten Best Blackjack Movies of All Time | The Fan Carpet

THE HANGOVER To 21 To LICENCE TO KILL To THE LAST CASINO To SWINGERS To JINXED!: Top Ten Best Blackjack Movies of All Time


17 January 2022

There is no argument regarding which table game is king at gaming establishments. However, many people may wonder what sets blackjack apart from the competition, what makes it so exceptional. The short answer to this question is that it is simple to play and boasts the lowest house edge out of any casino product.

Moreover, it is one of the rare gambling games where decision-making plays a massive role in outcomes and where smart moves affect the advantage an operator has over its players. Thus, this interactivity has given rise to multiple movies about blackjack.

Without a doubt, gambling is inherently dramatic. Techniques such as card counting and following blackjack charts make twenty-one the best silver screen game because they can help players flip the odds in their favor. That allows for substantial back and forward between both sides at a table and provides an opportunity for multiple plot devices to get inserted that create suspense. It is why the list of good gambling movies featuring blackjack is quite long.

Below, we rattle off what we believe are the best ten card game movies that depict characters indulging in the world’s favorite table gaming option.

 

Top Ten Best Blackjack Movies of All Time

 

Top Ten Best Blackjack Movies of All Time

There are multiple lists online regarding which are the best blackjack movies. For comparison, there aren’t many articles rattling off instances of actors showing a wide range of emotions when trying to win big at craps or baccarat. Thus, blackjack connoisseurs should consider themselves lucky. It is as easy to find a blackjack movie to watch as it is to enjoy the game itself in virtually all brick-and-mortar gambling venues.

Parties interested in testing their luck on it, unwilling to leave their homes, should know that they can play blackjack in online casinos. These internet platforms feature live dealer tables almost identical to the real thing. That said, those that wish to experience its thrills vicariously should pick a blackjack film from the ten that get mentioned in the subheadings that follow.

Rain Man

The answer to which is the best blackjack movie ever is Rain Man, 99% of the time. Released in 1988, this road drama starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise is the only movie ever to win an Academy Award and a Golden Bear.

In all honesty, there are like five minutes of blackjack play in this film. Though, that is what most people remember about it. Rain Man grossed over $350 million at the box office and was a dramatic commercial and critical hit.

The Hangover

Todd Phillips' 2009 Vegas movie, the Hangover, is one of the most successful comedies, raking in $467 million in ticket sales and winning multiple accolades, including a Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy. It spawned two sequels and now gets considered a laugh-out-loud classic.

It roughly supplies the same amount of blackjack play as Rain Man since its twenty-one section parodies Rain Man's scene of Dustin Hoffman’s character Raymond cleaning out a Vegas casino via card counting.

21

The MIT Blackjack Team was a group of students from Harvard and MIT that used sophisticated card strategies to turn a profit at gambling establishments worldwide for more than two decades. Their exploits got documented in the 2003 Ben Mezrich book – Bringing Down the House, which served as the basis for the 2008 film named 21.

21 starred Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne, and it generally received mixed reviews. But, it often gets ranked as the best counting cards movie because it explains the practice in depth.

The Last Casino

The Last Casino is another MIT Team-inspired film. It came out four years before 21 and is a French-speaking Canadian drama directed by Pierre Gill. Same as 21, it is not an accurate depiction of the MIT Team’s story but a movie that uses its bits and pieces to craft an engaging narrative.

The only actor casual viewers may recognize in the Last Casino is American Charles Martin Smith, who acted in many notable films throughout the 1970s and 1980s, such as American Graffiti, and The Untouchables.

The Card Counter

If you want to know - which top 10 blackjack movie is the latest one on our list, it is the Card Counter. Released in 2021, this is a Paul Schrader film whose plot revolves around William Tell, an ex-military integrator who taught himself how to count cards and only looks for modest wins, seeking to avoid unwanted attention.

The Card Counter debuted at the 78th Venice International Film Festival but failed to repeat the success of Schrader’s previous movie, First Reformed.

The Hot Shoe

Switching gears from feature films, the Hot Shoe is a 2003 doc that explores card counting. The film’s distributor claims that this is the most accurate documentary about card counting ever made. It includes interviews with pro gamblers, lawyers, academics, and people from several other professions that somehow relate to gambling.

The Hot Shoe’s directory, David Layton, even goes so far that he spends $5,000 of the documentary’s budget to test his card counting prowess.

Croupier

Mike Hodges gets best remembered as the man behind the quintessential British gangster flick Get Carter and the person that helmed the big-screen adaptation of Flash Gordon. Yet, this Bristol-born director has had an extensive career jam-packed with dozens of quality gems.

Hodges’ most renowned unheralded film is likely the 1998 neo-noir titled Croupier starring Clive Owen. Its shows everything one would want to know about the inner workings of a small London casino.

Licence to Kill

James Bond’s favorite casino game is baccarat. The Ian Fleming novels clearly state that. Nonetheless, when it comes to the movie adaptations, 007 fans can also see him play roulette and blackjack. Bond enjoying the latter gets displayed in the 1989 John Glen-directed License to Kill, where Timothy Dalton plays the legendary spy.

Swingers

Swingers was a low-key comedy-drama distributed by Miramax Films in 1996, which launched the careers of Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn and propelled Ron Livingston into big-screen stardom.

It often gets talked about as one of the most vital independent movies of the 1990s, despite not being a significant financial success. There is not much gambling action in this flick besides Jon Favreau playing some $5 blackjack at a casino.

Jinxed!

Don Siegel is one of America’s most crucial filmmakers. He helmed landmark movies like the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Dirty Harry, Charley Varrick, and John Wayne’s last picture, The Shootist.

Sadly, the last movie he made (Jinxed!) is perhaps his worst one. It hit cinemas in 1982, starring Bette Midler and Rip Torn, revolving on this on-screen husband and wife pair and their confrontations with a seductive blackjack dealer played by Ken Wahl.

Final Thought

There is no shortage of blackjack movies, and more will come down the pipe soon. Those in the mood to watch people going through the emotional peaks and valleys that this game can provide should be well-off with viewing any of the above-suggested titles.

Naturally, Rain Man is most people’s top pick, as it is a quality movie overall. While 21 is the film that focuses on the game itself most.

About the Author

Shelly Schiff has been working in the gambling industry since 2009, mainly on the digital side of things, employed by Safest Betting Sites. However, Shelly has provided content for many other top interactive gaming websites over her eleven-year career. She knows all there is to know about slots and has in-depth knowledge of the most popular table games. Her golden retriever Garry occupies most of her leisure time. Though, when she can, she loves reading Jim Thompson-like crime novels.

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