Hollywood movies aim to entertain us, to bring thrill and excitement to our homes; whether it is a big sci-fi flick or a real-life-inspired drama, it’s what breaks the box office. Casino gambling has been the basis of many successful movies, as it is the thrill of the game that keeps the viewers at the edge of their seats.
Obviously, neither directors nor actors are gambling experts, so it has happened more than once to have certain scenes “tainted” with inaccuracies and silly details. Fortunately, in most cases, these distortions rarely ruin the atmosphere of the scene, which typically depicts the casino ambience just as it is in the most frequented American casinos.
Take a look at these five mistakes we’ve caught, and see if you have missed them. One thing is certain – you will never be able to see these scenes through the same eyes again!
Leaving Las Vegas: Ben and Sera playing blackjack – not!
Leaving Las Vegas is a 1995 romance drama revolving around Ben Sanderson, a Hollywood screenwriter, and Sera, a prostitute. The two meet in Las Vegas and you can bet there are a lot of scenes fueled by drinking and gambling. In one particular scene, when Ben and Sera are supposed to be playing blackjack, they are sitting at a Caribbean Stud Poker table. Look closely and you will spot the printed wording on the table indicating that it is indeed a Caribbean Stud Poker table, one with the sad destiny of being flipped over later in the movie after Nic Cage enters into a raging fit.
It seems like an honest mistake, but it could have been avoided. There was no shortage of blackjack tables where the majority of the movie was filmed, as the scenes took place in several major Las Vegas casinos at the time.
Casino Royale: Good Etiquette Gone Too Far
The 2006 James Bond movie Casino Royale became one of the favorites for many fans of the spy genre and the character himself, but for the majority of poker connoisseurs the movie is a showcase of ridiculousness. The film’s climactic poker scene when Bond faces off against Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) contains a scene with Bond being overly generous, according to Martin Campbell, the film’s director.
Bond wins the final pot of $115 million due to a modest straight flush and proceeds to tip the dealer half a million. Where does one start? For one, Bond’s chances of a set-up like this were astronomical. Someone with nothing better to do did the calculation – 18 trillion to one! That’s 60 times the number of stars in the Milky Way. Secondly, tipping the dealer $500,000 is ludicrous by any standards. The practice of tipping the dealer after a win is seen as a kind act and a sign of good etiquette, but half a million is excessive, to say the least. On the other hand, Bond looks cool and it’s not his money, so why not?
Diamonds are Forever: Mind the Terminology
Another James Bond flick, the 1971 Diamonds Are Forever, has Sean Connery as the protagonist. The sly secret agent becomes involved in a mission regarding diamond smuggling and while the film has several iconic scenes, the one where 007 plays craps for the first time in the franchise unveils a cheeky irregularity. During this particular game of craps, the rugged agent wins $65,000 (not the typical casino bonus, mind you, such as you would get at BoVegas casino) and picks up a stunning Bond girl, played by Lana Wood, Natalie Wood’s sister.
It may have been the flashy white tux worn by Connery that distracted the stick man, or the individual simply wasn’t instructed well, but he incorrectly says she “craps out” when Plenty (the girl) throws a 9 to establish the point, then immediately throws a 7 and loses. The proper phrase would have been she “seven out.” See, “craps out” only applies to the first roll of the dice where the shooter rolls a 2, 3 or 12.
The Cincinnati Kid: Breaching the Rules for a Bit of Drama
The 1965 picture The Cincinnati Kid stars Steve McQueen as a young stud poker player trying to prove himself in a high-stakes match against a long-time master. The match, and the movie itself, represent a very realistic plot and portrayal of the game, undermined by the improbability of the protagonist’s hand in the final scenes.
McQueen, as Eric Stoner aka “The Kid”, is taking on “Buster”, the seasoned veteran, and they both make the same mistake here and commit what is known as a “string bet”. String betting is not allowed; it is frowned upon and seen as a clear breach of the rules of the game. The characters both first say “Call” and add the “Raise” almost a minute later for dramatic effect. In real life play, it is an incorrect way of placing bets. The proper move would have been to simply “Raise”.
What Happens in Vegas: The Impossible Jackpot!
Fast forward to 2008 and the release of the romantic comedy What Happens in Vegas. Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher in a Vegas adventure, must be hilarious, right? If this is your type of humor, sure. However, we were looking for something else. An experienced gambler with a keen eye for all things casino can easily take note of a movie error, hidden in one of the climactic scenes in the film.
Kutcher’s character Jack inserts a single coin into a progressive jackpot slot machine and wins the top prize. Good for him, but in real life that wouldn’t happen. Wide-area slot machines with large progressive jackpots require maximum bets for the gambler to win the jackpot. In this case, the player would only be eligible for the top prize after inserting two coins. Since only one coin was played, the payout would not be the full progressive jackpot but merely 1,000 coins as shown the machine’s pay table in the movie. Sorry, Jack, you’re only a jackpot winner on the big screen! Maybe he should have tried some free slot tournaments, to get his slot basics straight?