The game of blackjack has been a casino classic since its introduction to French casinos in the 1700’s. The relatively simple rules of the game, and the fact the house has a lower edge than other casino games, have made it a popular choice for players. Blackjack is often represented in other media formats such as video games, tv shows and films.
Blackjack on The Big Screen
Films have been able to create suspenseful and dramatic scenes focusing around blackjack which can emulate the feeling you get whilst playing the cards yourself. Its representation in film is truly evidence of the game’s enduring popularity, as well as its move into live blackjack online games, where a real dealer is streamed to players’ devices. From intense to outlandish, there are a range of different blackjack scenes portrayed in films. We have picked out three of the most entertaining and memorable ones.
In this 2009 comedy classic, Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis star as part of a group that goes on a stag do to Las Vegas where things take a chaotic turn. As they are trying to recoup some of their losses from the previous night, Alan (played by Galifianakis) heads to the blackjack tables. An epic montage shows Alan quickly deciphering mathematical equations as he chooses whether to hit or stick and we see his stack of chips continue to rise. The brilliance of the scene comes from the fact that Alan is usually seen as the clown of the group and the fact he is secretly a mathematical genius makes for an entertaining twist.
License to Kill
Filming for this 1989 James Bond blockbuster took place in many beautiful locations such as the Centro Cultural Otomi in Mexico. There’s always a touch of class with 007! A trip to a classy casino is also a common occurrence for Mr Bond. However, in License to Kill he chooses to play blackjack instead of baccarat (his usual game of choice). The owners are initially happy as a losing James Bond asks for the stakes to be raised to no limit but this scene shows the tide turn as he begins to win – ending his session with a total of $250,000! The scene isn’t particularly intense but it does showcase high stakes blackjack combined with some textbook Bond quotes, including his trademark ‘shaken, not stirred!’ in regards to his drink order.
This entire film is actually based around blackjack, with 21 being an alternative name for the game – based on the original French name: ‘Vingt-et-Un’. This 2008 drama is about a group of MIT students and a maths professor who fancy their chances at blackjack in Las Vegas. The film contains scenes featuring the group studying and learning the strategy of the game. However, the most memorable scenes take place inside the casinos. The most entertaining blackjack scene of the film shows the entire group playing and winning as the movie build towards its climax.
These films demonstrate how entertaining blackjack can be and its frequent representation on the big screen show how appealing the game is to the audience. The simple but strategic methods of this game are what makes blackjack one of the most popular casino games and its popularity is why it continues to be showcased in films.