If you’re into casino games, you know how exciting it could be – even if you’re just holding a couple of cards and facing a few more. How, then, can you translate that to the big screen? Presumably not everyone in the audience is going to understand but one thing they get is tension.
It’s fairly common to see scenes shot in a casino, especially if the setting is in Las Vegas. Over the years, there have been some really good – and quite memorable – scenes not only of casinos but of gambling itself.
Here’s a look at some of the best:
The movie 21 is based on the best-selling book Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich. It tells the story of the MIT Blackjack Team who won lots of money by counting cards while playing blackjack in Vegas. Despite controversies – mostly regarding the casting – the film was a box office success.
Unlike other movies that feature just once major gambling scene, a good chunk of this movie takes place in a Las Vegas casino. And the place isn’t just used as a setting; there’s actual gameplay going on.
There’s a couple of enjoyable scenes in this movie but the final gambling scene is one of the best. Telling much more than that will risk spoiling the movie (if you still plan on seeing it despite being a little more than a decade old).
There’s not a lot of gambling in this movie but a lot of the action takes place inside a casino. After all, this film is about robbing three casinos owned by Terry Benedict, brilliantly played by Andy Garcia.
The movie does feature a really nice gambling scene at the beginning. It involves Brad Pitt’s character, Rusty, trying to teach young Hollywood actors how to play poker. The ending of this scene is pretty clever: Brad Pitt and George Clooney are both Hollywood heartthrobs but it’s the young ones who are mobbed by a crowd of young girls. That, and it apparently shows that you can’t teach young Hollywood how to gamble.
While the young members of Hollywood turned to Rusty to teach them poker, you can learn how to do so on your own. There are many places online where you can play with “fake” money until you gain enough confidence to deal with the real thing.
When you are at that stage, make sure to look at the reviews featured on Casinopedia to know which sites are worth the time and which ones are best ignored. They are a dedicated gambling site giving great reviews and guides for players in the UK. Once you’re gambling with actual money, remember to do so wisely. It’s never a good idea to blow everything you have just because you were addicted to the thrill. In other words, know when to walk away.
The gambling scene in this movie has a lot of tension. Of course, it’s a James Bond movie so there has to be even when all the characters are seated. But Bond is gambling with money that is clearly not his own, all in the name of bankrupting a terrorist called Le Chiffre. It’s a brilliantly shot scene that involves a near-death experience – imagine that and all over a game of poker.
Before Jon Favreau directed the first Marvel movie, he wrote and starred in Swingers, a comedy about unemployed actors living in California during the swing revival. The film was a critical hit and launched the careers of Favreau, Vince Vaugn, and director Doug Liman.
As alluded to before, this is a scene that stresses the importance of gambling mindfully. The funny scene at a Las Vegas casino sees the main characters lose all their $300 for being reckless. The loss leads to a suggestion of transferring to a table with lower stakes.
Although this Matt Damon film got mixed reviews and earned modestly at the box office, it became a cult hit years later when poker boomed in the early 2000s. It explores the world of underground high-stakes poker and for that matter, it isn’t set in a casino. A more recent film that featured this type of theme was Molly’s Game which is also a good movie but it focused on Molly Bloom rather than poker playing.
These are just some of the films that have great casino or gambling scenes in them. While you already know that playing cards or slots for that matter can be pretty exciting and nerve-wracking, you can trust Hollywood to replicate the experience of fun and loss.