Everybody loves a good casino movie, but they don’t always get everything right. Here are a few flaws to be aware of in some of your favorite casino films.
There’s so much to love about movies that follow high rollers, lucky winners, skillful players, and interesting historical figures from the casinos of old. However, these movies tend to make gambling more dramatic than it typically is, and, on occasion, they make some mistakes when it comes to the rules of different casino games or the real goings on at casinos.
Except that it’s not. Movies like “21” may have you believing that, if you try to outsmart the game of blackjack by calculating in your head the odds of going bust, you’re going to get thrown out of the casino, or worse. But you can’t go to jail for counting cards, and you won’t get beaten up by the casino operator’s cronies.
However, casinos don’t like people counting cards because it can overpower the house edge and hurt their bottom lines. But rest assured, the worst they can do is ban these keen players or set maximum betting amounts to limit just how powerful their skills can be.
21: Card Counting Can Make You Loads of Cash
In addition to the drama of being threatened and beaten up for counting cards, “21” features some pretty lofty numbers when it comes to the characters’ winnings. Not one of the real-life MIT students on whom the movie is based even got close to making $100,000 in a year, let alone a cool million. And that’s because the actual advantage for winning is only a 1%-2% margin.
Casino Royale (2006): Professional Poker Players Have the Best Luck
Poker is a combination of luck and skill, and there are some pretty serious odds even the best poker players have to overcome to win. But no one would blame you for thinking that being a good poker player means you have better odds because that seems to be the case in movies like the Daniel Craig-led Bond film “Casino Royale” (2006).
In fact, there’s a scene in which Craig’s Bond and other fantastically skilled players at the table all have powerful hands. This scene in particular features one player with a flush, two players each with full houses, and another player with a straight flush. (We’re not telling you who had what just in case you haven’t watched this otherwise stellar film featuring gambling.)
Don’t get us wrong, the scene is riveting. But, step back from the drama and consider the odds:
Straight flush: approximately 72,192.33 to 1
(One) full house: 693.1667 to 1
Flush: approximately 507.802 to 1
The odds of one person getting one of these hands from a standard 52-card deck is very lucky, but the odds of four players getting this collection of hands — 18 trillion to one. Not impossible, but very, very, very unlikely.
Another impossible hand that has irked poker players for even longer than this Bond flick is that of the final showdown in “The Cincinnati Kid.” But this film features five-card stud poker instead of Texas Hold ‘em, and only two players end up with incredibly strong hands at very unlikely odds. This scene and it’s lack of realism have been hotly contested since the film’s 1965 release.
It’s important to note that a talented poker player, professional or not, has no better odds than anyone else. So, just keep that in mind the next time you hit the poker table or play poker online.
Casino: Casinos Are Run by the Mafia
While casinos have some loose historical connections to the mafia as depicted in “Casino” and “Bugsy,” modern casinos have very strict rules and regulations they have to follow. The same goes for legit online casinos in New Jersey and other states. But it’s great drama for casino movies to feature mob-tied operators or those who are otherwise engaging in unsavory activity under the casino’s guise.
The Cincinnati Kid: String-Betting
In nearly every casino game, there are clear rules for when and how you can bet. In poker, you can either fold, call, or raise. However, it’s not acceptable to say that you call … and raise. For example, in “The Cincinnati Kid,” both the Kid and the Man say some form of “I call your amount … and raise you this amount.” This is known as making a string bet. And in this movie, and others, it’s dialogue that keeps the tension of the scene, but it’s considered to be inappropriate at a real-life poker table.
Diamonds Are Forever: Wrong Terminology
In this 007 movie from 1971 starring the late Sean Connery, Lana Wood’s character Plenty is playing craps with the MI6 agent at her side. She throws a 9 to establish the point, and then throws a 7 and loses it all. But the stickman running the table fumbles over his words — he calls “craps out,” which isn’t technically correct in this situation. That’s because “craps out” only applies on the first roll when the shooter gets a 2, 3, or 12. The correct phrase is “seven out” in this case.
What Happens in Vegas: An Impossible Progressive Jackpot Win
This 2008 rom-com starring Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz features a pretty fantastical ending. Spoilers ahead!
Kutcher’s character bets one coin on a progressive jackpot, and every player’s wildest dream comes true. He wins! But there’s one really big problem with that. In real life, casinos require players to place the maximum bet in order to even trigger that insane jackpot. What’s more is that, in the film, you can see the paytable that clearly shows a single coin bet would only pay out 1,000 coins.
And while Kutcher’s and Diaz’s characters celebrate their big win, you can learn an important lesson: Always read the paytable to find out how much you need to bet in order to get the most out of your play and a chance at actually hitting that progressive jackpot.
Many Casino Films: A Black-Tie Affair
You can find quite a few gambling movies that feature lead characters in formal attire, including “Casino Royale” (2006) and the “A Beautiful Mind” rip-off scene in “The Hangover.” While it’s not necessarily a mistake, a casino requiring a black-tie dress code is a bit antiquated and incredibly rare these days. You may only face this requirement when playing at certain international casinos and in special playing rooms.
But casinos in Atlantic City or even Las Vegas don’t typically have such a formal dress code. In fact, many casinos allow you to wear normal street clothes but may encourage patrons to wear business casual attire.
What’s great about playing at a legitimate online casino in New Jersey is that the rules are always applied, so you never have to worry about any of these mistakes or having to meet an arbitrary dress code. When you’re done poring over these films to spot the mistakes yourself or just revisiting the gambling movies you love, take advantage of the best online casino bonuses in New Jersey to make the most of your online gambling experience.
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