The high-stakes world of casino games has been the subject of countless Hollywood blockbusters for decades. What can we learn from these fictional accounts of people putting their life savings, and even their lives, on the card table?
Whether you’re looking to improve your bets or hone your steely poker face, look no further than these films for tips.
Top 5 Card Playing Tips that Films Can Teach You
Beware: not all of these tips may be entirely useful…
That Impossible Hand is Possible
If The Cincinnati Kid has taught us anything, it’s that no matter how skilled you are at Five Card Stud, there’s always someone out there who’s better. You’d have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than getting the final hand in this poker thriller.
The final play shows The Kid, played by Steve McQueen, going toe-to-toe against Lancey Howard.After a series of high-stakes bets, The Kid’s full house loses to Lancey’s straight flush. If you played 45,102,784 games of poker, you might see this hand once. The film proves that even with solid cards in your hand, poker is still a gamble every time.
Be James Bond
Despite improbable odds, James Bond is able to keep pace with professional-grade poker players in Casino Royale with a martini and a smirk. Lightning even strikes twice with this film’s final hand as Bond wins with a straight flush against a full house. It’s a nod to The Cincinnati Kid with a dangerous twist that only this spy could win.
Casinos Have Bouncers, and They Will Beat You Up In A Cornfield
Joe Pesci’s character in Casino lived the mob-owned casino life to the fullest until it hit him repeatedly in the face with a bat.
The film is a disturbing reminder to cheaters that eagle-eyed casinos are on the watch for players who try to take the gamble out of the game. Real casinos handle this more diplomatically than Pesci’s character, but these films terrify most of us enough not to try our luck.
When In Doubt, Find an Unethical College Professor
College is meant to mold young minds into thoughtful, productive members of society, or in the case of the maths in the film “21”, to bleed Las Vegas casinos of millions of dollars. This film teaches us that wits win out over odds, as long as you have a mentor with questionable morals to guide you.
The film is based on the true story of a group of MIT math geniuses who team up with a professor to rake in millions from counting Blackjack cards. Counting cards is a real technique, but takes time and a sharp memory to pull off in a real card game.
Cards Are A Sound Financial Investment
Card games are a fun distraction, but most financial advisors wouldn’t recommend relying on them for your retirement fund. If you’re Matt Damon’s character in Rounders, not only can Texas Hold ‘Em put $30,000 in your bank account, the game can save your best friend from Russian mobsters and pay back the college professor who loaned you $10,000.