Blackjack in the Movies

The game of blackjack has long held a mysterious allure for Hollywood. Because the game can easily be mastered by individuals with unique talents and intelligence, a good many movies have made blackjack a key player in their stories. Blackjack has had a great run in the movies, treated as a glamorous past time in Bond movies, and providing a get-rich-quick tool in others.

Rain Man

One of the most famous portrayals of blackjack in the movies is in the movie Rain Man. In this movie a selfish man finds a way to take advantage of his autistic brother's unique talent for numbers. Charlie Babbitt, played by Tom Cruise, takes his brother to Vegas to use his brother's incredibly recall abilities to count cards in blackjack. The brother Raymond, played by Dustin Hoffman, wins a great deal of money, and the brothers build a strong bond through the experience. Though blackjack plays a secondary roll to the brothers' relationship story, it is instrumental in strengthening that relationship.


A film that places blackjack more in the center of the action is the movie 21. In this movie, a group of MIT students choose to use their considerable math skills to con Vegas casinos out of a great deal of money. They build a blackjack team and work the tables, counting cards in such a way that it is almost impossible to detect. What's great about this movie is that, though sensationalized, it is based on a true story.

While the reality of the game is rarely shown, blackjack in the movies continues to provide great entertainment as well as great exposure for the gaming industry.