Casinos in movies have been discussed at length. From Scorsese’s Casino to James Bond and Casino Royale, we’ve learnt those iconic casino scenes by rote. And yes, many began a new gambling hobby exactly because of these films. But the fact is that many of these memorable Hollywood titles didn’t get gambling quite right. Today, we’re busting all the casino myths Hollywood wants you to believe.
Myth #1: Only Geniuses Can Count Cards
We’ve lost count on how many times we’ve heard this misconception. Casual punters and ordinary people are convinced that they need to have abnormal memory to count cards in blackjack. On a side note, card-counting can be used in similar card games, but it’s been popularized by the famous Twenty-One.
So, who do we have to blame for this blasphemy of a fallacy?
Surely, there are bettors who like to have the reputation of a genius. Such players like to boast around telling others they were born with it. But Barry Levinson-directed 1994 Rain Man didn’t help either. Don’t get us wrong; Rain Man is indeed a fantastic film. Alongside its poignant story and incredible performances by Hoffman and Cruise, it features a memorable plot that’ll keep Rain Man among the best 100 movies of all time forever. However, Rain Man did not do real-life gambling justice. Instead of presenting card-counting as it is – a skill that takes time and persistence to master, the Oscar-winning picture did the opposite.
Romanticizing the popular blackjack strategy, the film pictured counting cards as this unreachable, inborn talent regular people can never have. Rain Man also directly interlinked counting cards with Hoffman’s autistic character. In a way, the over-the-top gambling scene implied that one needs to have otherworldly capabilities to count cards. And that – let us tell you – cannot be further from the truth.
Every successful card counter knows that they were not born with the skill at all. On the contrary, it took them years to acquire this skill that no mother could give them.
Why Would You Believe Us?
After all, we are but a bunch of writers who spend time binge-watching various movies. We tend to overanalyze scenes and scrutinize every frame. So, what do we know about gambling? If the article wasn’t convincing enough, we’d recommend checking out some of the live casinos US out there for yourself. By playing live dealer games and applying the right gambling strategy, you’ll see that it’s not that hard to win. Let us know how it works out.
Alright, let’s move on to our second and last myth about gambling we’ve seen in movies.
Myth #2: Playing Blackjack Is for Tech Wizzes Only
We cringe at the bare thought of this gambling misconception. Even Forbes commented on how common counting cards is in gambling venues. In a nutshell, you keep a running count of the cards that have been drawn and place bets accordingly. When your count is low, so are your stakes. As soon as the count increases, you boost your wager. But it doesn’t appear like that in the 2008 blackjack movie called 21. You’ve seen it, my grandma’s seen it. Such a sensationalist approach is sadly commonplace in gambling films. But we’re here to
We guess that the crew wanted to depict how empowering it felt for the MIT team to win millions of dollars by using their brains. Also, they probably aimed to show that counting cards is frowned upon by casinos. And it is; namely, casinos like to stay in business and typically prohibit exercising counting cards. By law, they even have the right to walk you out if you’re caught working your best blackjack strategy.
But in our opinion, 21 overdid it. With dramatic overlay scenes and crazy calculations that only math wizards can grasp, 21 is exactly that – dramatic. Similar to our first example, this movie about gambling displays counting cards out of touch. Perhaps attempting to push casual bettors from trying it out, 21 suggests that this un-winnable skill is beyond reach for us mortals.
And our dear readers, anyone can count cards, as long as they put in the effort.
So, to sum up, blackjack is evidently fertile lands for directors to mess up a layman’s mind on gambling. But you’re better than that. Therefore, it’s important to keep an open mind when watching niche films such as movies about gambling.
Stay informed, read around, ask the actual experts about what you’re interested in. Do not let just anyone’s opinion affect your own. And finally, if you do, please gamble responsibly.