10 Things You Can Learn from Blackjack Players in Movies

From the movie By Isabella Goode

Blackjack is a simple, yet dramatic game. The combined elements of a game of chance and strategic betting make it a captivating game to play and watch – whether in a brick and mortar casino or on the big screen.

Blackjack has enjoyed a healthy level of popularity in cinema. While the casino game that first comes to mind for many of us may be poker, the element of chance and inherent drama that we see in blackjack often lends itself to the cinema screen.

  1. Learn the odds

The 1996 film Swingers follows a group of friends on a trip to Las Vegas where they’re shown in a casino playing blackjack.

Two of the friends debate between themselves whether to double down on 11 whenever they get the opportunity. While the scene is undeniably funny it also highlights the importance of knowing the odds when playing blackjack.

One of the best ways to increase your chances of winning is to always go into a game with a plan. Doing some work beforehand and learning odds and strategy can be the difference between winning big and going home empty handed.

  1. Keep calm

James Bond is the ultimate cool, collected player. In 1989’s Licence to Kill we see Bond sit down for a game of blackjack. Take your cue from Bond when playing blackjack and make sure to keep a cool head. Don’t rush your decision making and make sure you look at your next move from all angles.

The casino elements of James Bond are perhaps the most well known casino scenes in cinema. It’s hard not to want to try your hand at blackjack once you’ve seen the suave James Bond playing with a beautiful woman by his side. If blackjack appeals to you then you can check out this blog post to find out more about how to find the best places to play online. Online play is the best way to play the game at your own pace, making keeping a cool head all the more achievable.

  1. Don’t always listen to the dealer’s advice

This may seem counter intuitive, however, remember that the dealer in blackjack is always playing for the house – they are not on your side. It is in the dealer’s interest to keep you playing trying to keep you from too big of a win.

A great example of this can be found in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery as Number Two, played by Robert Wagner, ignores the dealer’s advice and ends up winning big. It is important to note though that the average player won’t have an x-ray eye to see the next card!

  1. Not Everyone In A Casino Is As Successful As They Claim

In the 1988 comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, we see that not everyone in a casino is as successful at gambling as they claim to be, so you should take advice only from those you trust.

Someone might look like a wealthy high-roller, but it could turn out that they simply got lucky once and wear a nice suit.

So, if someone comes over and offers you gaming tips, take their advice with a pinch of salt. If you know for a fact that they regularly win at blackjack, or that they have played a lot of games, then you might consider taking their advice. However, if you’re unsure, then test out their advice before you commit a large bet to it. 

  1. High Risk, High Reward

As with many games, you get out of blackjack what you put in. This can be a double edged sword with the ability to win big but also the risk of losing entirely. While Number Two wins big at the blackjack table in Austin Powers, Austin Powers himself is not so lucky. Though, of course, Austin Powers also didn’t have the advantage of an x-ray eye.

  1. Keep To A Budget

Make sure you always keep a budget of what you can afford to gamble. One running theme in any film involving blackjack or any other kind of gambling is that there is a line to walk between the thrill of the wager and falling into the trap of investing too much too quickly.

  1. Practice Theory

Just as with learning odds and strategy, if you’re particularly mathematically minded you can delve even deeper into the theory behind card counting. The movie 21 is a 2008 film based on the real life team of Massachusetts Institute of Technology students who used math and card counting to attempt to beat the casino at its own game.

This kind of game play comes with its own risks and ethical questions. Many casinos will ban players known to count cards so be aware that it is a practice the industry and some other players frown upon. If you do want to level up your game, reading up on the theory can be enough to give you an edge while not crossing the ethical line.1)Editor note:  Card counting simply involves using your brain while playing.  Unethical?  Hardly!!!! Cheating, however, is a line you won’t want to cross.

  1. Enjoy Yourself

Blackjack is about having a fun time and enjoying the thrill of the game. The message of the movie 21 shows that while blackjack can be lucrative it can also have some serious negative impacts on your life if you take it too far.

Casino games are meant to be an enjoyable way to relax after a long week – they are not supposed to take over your life. Make sure that you stop when the fun stops.

  1. Confidence Is Key

Almost all of the successful gamblers you will see in film, from James Bond to Rain Man, show that being confident is key to success.

Second guessing yourself can be a fatal flaw while playing blackjack. Instead relax and trust in your game plan.

  1. Gamble responsibly

While James Bond and Rain Man may highlight the huge rewards of blackjack it is always important to remember that there are big risks involved at the same time.

Never let competition with other players and an imperfect understanding of the rules of the game be your downfall.

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Footnotes

1Editor note:  Card counting simply involves using your brain while playing.  Unethical?  Hardly!!!! Cheating, however, is a line you won’t want to cross.

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