Gambling has played a starring role in many movies over the years. In some cases like Rounders, 21, and Mississippi Grind, gambling is the central theme. Then there are films like Casino Royale, Ocean’s Eleven, and Uncut Gems that don’t necessarily make gambling the focal point, but it does feature prominently nonetheless. Even movies like the Martin Scorsese classic Casino really only use gambling as a backdrop.
When it comes to the various casino games depicted in movies, there’s no doubt that blackjack is one of if not the most frequently portrayed games in film. One reason for this is that most people who are remotely familiar with casino gaming and gambling in general understand how it works. When Tom Cruise’s Charlie hits the blackjack tables in 1988’s Rain Man, the vast majority of the audience fully understands what he is trying to achieve.
If Rain Man featured a more obscure game like Dragon Tiger, many audience members likely wouldn’t be easily able to follow the happenings at the table. They would need to pull out their iPhones and check out a site like dragontigercasinos.in to figure out what’s going on. Who wants to suffer through such a distraction when you simply want to be entertained?
That said, many great films with a gambling theme or sub-plot have incorporated a variety of less-popular casino games into them. For our purposes of revealing the most featured casino games in movies, we will exclude poker as it isn’t a house game. However, we may include one or two casino poker variants which are house games. In fact, let’s start with one.
Although Teen Patti is essentially a type of poker game, it is a house game and therefore qualifies for this list. Teen Patti, which translates into English as “three cards”, was the subject of the 2010 Indian movie Teen Patti. While the film boasted a talented cast including Amitabh Bachchan and Ben Kingsley, it was not warmly received by critics. Still, this story of two math geniuses trying to beat the casino using a mathematical equation has its moments and introduces the Teen Patti casino game to a broad audience.
Baccarat has been a casino staple for centuries. It may not be as trendy as blackjack, but it has been featured in many films. Perhaps the game’s most memorable appearance came in the 1967 version of Casino Royale. Many consider this film to have significantly increased the popularity of the classic game.
Of course, those who had checked out the Beatles movie A Hard Day’s Night a few years earlier got a healthy dose of baccarat too. And if you want to see baccarat gambling at its craziest, check out Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Dan Mahowny take on the casinos in 2003’s Owning Mahowny.
Casablanca is a classic film set during WWII. While the main plot has nothing to do with gambling, one of the most intense scenes takes place at a roulette table. Gambling didn’t feature prominently in 1993’s Indecent Proposal either, but the premise of the story hatches at a roulette table when a young couple loses everything by betting it all on red.
When it comes to roulette in movies, a lot of people tend to think about James Bond films like Diamonds Are Forever, License to Kill, and the aforementioned 1967 film Casino Royale in which a roulette wheel flies onto the casino floor emitting a hallucinogenic gas.
Unconventional Casino Games
To close our list of the most featured casino games in movies, we will look back at the 1997 comedy National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation. Those familiar with the franchise know that Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold is an unlucky guy. It was, therefore, no surprise to see him lose everything playing all of the popular classics like blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, and slots.
However, it was the introduction of games like the coin toss, Rock Paper Scissors, and picking a number that had audiences in stitches. No, you probably won’t be offered those types of games at real casinos, but it’s easy to see why they would be so popular.
Casino games and gambling have been mainstays in film since movies were invented. With the increasing popularity of gambling in modern times, this trend should become even more prevalent seeing how so many people can relate to it. It’s a great way for films to connect with audiences.
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