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3 Must-See Movies About Gambling and Casinos

Have you ever played King of Cash Slot before? If you haven’t tried slot machines until now, we suggest you start with this one. Slot machines are fun, but we can’t say that they’re too charismatic to be the subject of movies! If you’re looking for gambling and casino-themed movies, you’ll often find results to be using card and table games or what’s available at the moment: The charisma of a handsome actor who plays poker is indisputably impressive. In this article, we’ll mention three of the best casino-themed movies that we recommend you to watch: If you haven’t watched them until now, it’s time to organize a movie night.

21 (2008)

21 is based on a true story. Between 1980 and 1990, a group of MIT students, playing blackjack, won hundreds of millions of dollars. They were led by their professors. It’s a true story and has many books written about it. 3 MIT mathematics professors (Bill Kaplan, John Chang, J.P. Massar) used blackjack as an example when discussing probability theories. After a while, they decided to practice the theories they discuss in the real world! What they did was card counting, but they used rather complex formulas to determine the remaining cards in the deck. To use it, they choose four students: Jeff Ma, Jane Willis, Mike Aponte, and Laurie Tsao.

We are talking about a real dream team here: Professors and students have more than 120 IQs, and no matter how many decks are used, their card counting techniques were successful. They form groups of students and place each of them on a table. Professors were just observers, they did not play games. But they definitely told the students when to increase the bet! The first weekend they tried this technique, they returned back with more than $ 10 million.

What they did was not illegal: Card counting is a legal tactic, and there is nothing casinos can do. However, the casinos recognized them after a while and started refusing to serve them, since they have been doing this for nearly 5 years and earned hundreds of millions of dollars in total. Some students left the team, but professors did not give up: They chose new students to use their tactics. MIT, however, did terminate the jobs of professors because they did not comply with the code of ethics.

21 movie tells this story. The story is simplified and three professors are represented by only one person – Kevin Spacey, who plays this role. But in general, it is a very successful and immersive film: If you are interested in card counting techniques and blackjack, you should definitely watch it.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

There are multiple films in the Ocean’s Eleven series, but we think the first one is the best. The actors are literally a group of stars: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, and Julia Roberts. You probably know the story because you’ve seen the original version by the Rat Pack: The famous con man Danny Ocean decides to rob a casino after he gets out of jail and builds a team of thieves. The story is immersive and contains lots of twists. If you like it, there are two sequels. Of course, it’s not a real story, but you can learn a lot about the security systems of casinos! There are interesting anecdotes about the movie – you can see some of them below.

  • George Clooney’s role was first offered to Bruce Willis.

  • The movie was shot in a real casino, and all actors gambled during the production period. George Clooney lost at the blackjack table 25 times in a row. But the biggest loser was Matt Damon.

  • Although there were roles written for Luke Wilson and Owen Wilson, they did not accept the offer.

  • Some actors from the 1960 version of the movie also played in the 2001 version.

Casino (1995)

Casino is a serious film: It relies on a true story and features “serious” actors: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, and James Woods. Las Vegas was a rather unlawful place in the 1970s, and most casinos were controlled by the mob. Big companies have not yet entered Vegas: New York mafia families have managed a large part of the city’s gambling market. Robert De Niro (Ace Rothstein) plays the role of the “smart guy” who manages a casino in the name of the Mafia. Joe Pesci (Nicky Santoro) is a real mafia member: He pulls the trigger on issues that De Niro fails to solve. Ace Rothstein and Nicky Santoro are real characters, and Rothstein is still alive. Santoro, however, executed by the mob in 1980.

Casino offers a close-up view of Las Vegas during the ’70s and draws a realistic portrait of what is happening behind the scenes. This is an Oscar-winning movie, and it is quite long, but it is worth watching. De Niro and Pesci are perfect in their roles, but Sharon Stone is, literally, excellent. (She won an Oscar for her performance.) Casino is considered as one of the best movies of Martin Scorsese. It is also an “old-school” movie: The opening credits are designed by the famous Saul Bass, who worked on Alfred Hitchcock movies before. The movie shot in Las Vegas Riviera casino and according to the real Ace Rothstein, it is perfectly accurate. Well, he says he did not like the performance of De Niro, but everyone is a critic nowadays.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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