Before blackjack exploded in popularity, everyone associated it with opulence. It looked like the perfect game for people who wanted to flaunt their wealth. It also had some mysteries to it, more so, regarding its rules.
These days, blackjack is still an attractive game to millions of people. But it’s no longer a specialty for those who fly to Las Vegas in private jets. If you have a smartphone, you can play it in the comfort of your house.
In this article, we explore the game’s impact on pop culture and why so many people love it.
Every blackjack fan knows the MIT blackjack team story. It’s everyone’s dream: beating the casinos at their own game and walking away with millions. Following the team’s success in the 80s and 90s, they inspired a movie released by Kevin Spacey in 2008.
The film, 21, sparked an immense amount of interest in blackjack when it came out. But surprisingly, it was not the first successful blackjack flick. Rain Man (1988) was a commercial success in part thanks to Tom Cruise’s legendary acting skills.
High Rollers, the Last Casino, and Blackjack by Dolph Lundgren also recorded significant viewership numbers when released. Before the modern era, the first movie inspired by classic 21 launched in 1933. Named the House on 56th Street, it focused on an ex-convict who was exceedingly talented and blackjack.
Cameos in Video Games
The video game industry loves crossovers. Whether it’s partnering with Hollywood or pushing for eSports to become a recognized sport, partnering with other industries has helped gaming grow tremendously.
The video game’s crossover with blackjack happens in the form of min-games. In Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption, players must complete a game of blackjack to finalize RDR2 100%. In Grand Theft Auto V, you can play blackjack at a full-fledged casino.
You can’t win real money but it gives you a break from chasing criminals, dodging police and completing other GTA missions. To play blackjack for real money, find a genuine online casino. Bestonlineblackjack.com, for example, can help you find the best blackjack sites in the UK. These are casinos with over 99% payout rates and huge bonuses for blackjack players.
Besides GTA, Fallout New Vegas also features a blackjack mini-game that can help increase your in-game resources. It works out like regular blackjack whereby you produce cards whose value is closest to or equal to 21. Of course, you must also beat the dealer’s hand to win.
The Celebrity Culture
As we had mentioned, wealthy people love blackjack, and that includes rich celebrities. From Hollywood actors to athletes, TV show hosts to music artists, there’s an extensive list of famous people seen playing classic 21.
Let’s start with Ellen DeGeneres. She once played blackjack dressed as a bunny for the sole purpose of raising money for animal protection charities. Ellen’s friend P-Diddy, is another blackjack fanatic. In fact, he loves the game so much that he regularly demands his hosts to organize a blackjack table for him.
In Hollywood, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck lead the way for the most famous blackjack actors. Batman actually has a record in Las Vegas. He was once suspended from the Hard Rock Casino for card-counting.
But you know who doesn’t care about losing in blackjack? Mike Tyson. In a commercial for Turning Stone Resort, the hard-hitting boxer tells the dealer to hit him as much as he can. In the sports world, you can’t beat Michael Jordan at gambling. Together with baseball legend Derek Jeter and NBA legend Allen Iversion, the trio spends some of their time playing 21.
More celebrities regularly show their love for blackjack publicly. From 50 Cent and Eminem to Paris Hilton, these famous people are proof blackjack impacts people from all walks of life.
Similar to Hollywood, the music industry has also introduced a few notable songs inspired by blackjack. Some of these hits are best listened to when paying classic 21. Others are great for therapy, especially after an unlucky session when you lose your entire stack.
Ray Charles’ ‘Blackjack’ for example is a sad story of a man who spends nearly all his cash on blackjack. And each time he plays, he comes out with less money than he traveled to Las Vegas with.
While Ray Charles’ song can be depressing, you’ll find a bit of motivation listening to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Luck be a Lady. In the song, Sinatra plays for luck as he descends in Las Vegas yet again to try his luck playing blackjack.
Sting’s Shape of My Heart isn’t bad for motivation either. It’s calm, soothing and talks about blackjack without reminding you the house always wins in each line. For better inspiration, listen to Pharrell’s Happy. It has nothing to do with classic 21. But it’s uplifting and gets you into a happy mood—precisely what you need when playing blackjack.
Blackjack TV Shows
Blackjack TV shows come and go, but they tend to leave lasting memories. The World Series of Blackjack, for example, brings together some of the most talented players in the world. Blackjack Australia strives to find the best gamblers of the game in Aussie.
Celebrity Blackjack is self-explanatory. It gathered famous people in each episode and challenged them to compete for huge cash prizes. The show no longer appears on TV but it allowed some of America’s most famous people to raise money for charities playing blackjack.
If you hang out with people who love blackjack, you must have observed the game’s impact on their dressing. Blackjack T-shirts, cups, hoodies and bags are common in many renowned shopping websites. Some can also be found at blackjack tournaments—usually given out as souvenirs.
Blackjack is one of the most popular gambling games. But its fame transcends far beyond the walls of Las Vegas casinos. It’s a game that has inspired numerous movies, songs, and books. It’s also inspired TV shows, tournaments and careers for people who sell blackjack merchandise online.