What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. In the truest sense of the word: Because the large amount of money that is brought into the desert metropolis every day stays there. Many gamblers’ dreams have shuttered at the roulette table, while others have come true with the necessary amount of luck at blackjack. Gambling at a casino writes the best stories. It is hardly surprising that the film and television industries have jumped on the bandwagon. Numerous productions deal with the industry, showing it from its colorful to devastating side. Reason enough for us to find the best films that guarantee exciting evenings in front of the TV!
1. The trump card of stochastics: 21 (2008)
Games of chance are based on math. Every player has a slightly below-average chance of winning, can be successful at any time, but can also lose a lot of money. The fact that casinos have such high revenues is in most cases due to greed and ignorance. The MIT Blackjack Team proved that there is another way! A group of students from Massachusetts adopted the technique of counting cards and made casinos a lot easier with a little stochastic trick. The story became so legendary that it was filmed in 2008 with a top cast. Starring Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey, and Laurence Fishburne, the box office raised over $ 150 million.
2. Thrill at the poker table: James Bond 007 – Casino Royale (2006)
Gambling not only inspires us, mere mortals. Even stars and starlets like to indulge in the glamor that emanates from renowned casinos. Did you know that James Bond is a passionate gambler? In the past, hardly a film went by without its presence in a casino! Be it to win a tournament or to investigate villains. In contrast to Ocean’s Eleven, the casino scenes were unfortunately only shot in the studio. Nonetheless, regular guests of the luxury establishments immediately feel at home when they see 007 at the Texas Hold’em tables. The only thing that is more exciting is your participation!
3. Of Light and Shadow: Rounders (1998)
Hardly any other film shows the streaks of luck and bad luck in casinos as well as Rounders. Mike Dermott (Matt Damon) is a skilled poker player who makes his money playing illegal tournaments and dreams of the World Series of Poker. A well-known trick suits him: Poker is not just a game of luck, but primarily a strategy game. Even bad hands can win you over with a good bluff. Later Dermott misjudged himself with a fantastic hand and questions his previous passion. Poker or University? Both are becoming increasingly difficult.
4. Casino with a difference: The Croupier (1998)
No Vegas, but London: The Croupier is another film that refers to the dark side of the industry. Jack Manfred (Clive Owen) is an unsuccessful author who takes a job as a croupier and keeps getting lost in dark machinations. If at first he just wanted to be inspired and earn money, his professional and private life suddenly fall apart. Wealth and flashing lights? Not in this movie!
5. Unlucky fellow with charm: The Cooler (2003)
Bernie Lootz (William H. Macy) is unlucky – and quite a lot of it! That is precisely why he has incurred high debts over the years, which he now works off in the casino. His misfortune is considered a talent there. Because Bernie has the unique gift of infecting his environment with bad luck. Accordingly, he wanders from table to table, watches players playing roulette or blackjack, and unconsciously provokes their losses. He is basically a nice and friendly man who is exploited by his boss. A charming satire that plays with the darker side of classic casinos!
6. Always at the limit: The Gambler (2014)
Gambling addiction is the most dangerous problem that can come with gambling. Jim Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) knows that too, who has long since gambled away his grandfather’s legacy and looks at nothing but a mountain of debt. Worse still: He sometimes plays in illegal casinos, where it is never certain whether he can even speculate on a payout of his winnings at the end of the day. The scenes at the roulette table are magical – although they are always sketched from a negative perspective. But the risk is part of visiting the casino! Nothing ventured nothing gained.
7. Poker and Drugs: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
In the casino, you can win a lot, but just as quickly gamble away everything! This is the experience of four friends who steal their money with all kinds of small scams. Then everything turns out differently: It does not take long for the quartet to accumulate a huge mountain of debt while playing poker, which the mafia has to pay off within seven days. Should the company fail, there is a risk of losing all fingers. From then on, the friends try to amass the money through stolen marijuana – and stumble from one faux pas to the next. Our tip: be careful where and with whom you play!
8. The Color of Money (1986)
The color of money is not a traditional casino film. Basically, gambling only plays a subordinate role. Nevertheless, we would like to include the film on this list because the cast speaks for itself: Under the direction of Martin Scorsese, Paul Newman discovered Tom Cruise’s talent and promptly trains him to become a successful pool player. Forest Whitacker and Iggy Pop! So great is Newman that he won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role. Deserved, as we think!