One of the simplest casino games to play, blackjack is also one of the most popular ones. It is easy to break into and is great fun to play. In fact, online blackjack games like those offered by Virgin Games can be tried out easily too. So high is the game’s popularity, that it has been featured on the big screen over and over again.

Best Blackjack Movie Scenes to Watch

1. License to kill

Casino Royale might be the go-to James Bond casino movie, but for blackjack lovers, there is also License to Kill. The famous spy character usually prefers baccarat. But in this movie, he decides to go for blackjack. As it happens, he is challenged by the antagonist of the movie to the game. The scene shows the game and the winning strategy for Bond, who never fails to come out on top. He walks away with nothing less than £250,000 in a cool manner that has come to define the character.

2. The Hangover

Casino movies might be about mobs and high stakes, but they can be as comic as they are dark. Like the 2009 movie, The Hangover. The hilarious comedy has a scene where one of the characters is actually shown reading ‘Guide to Blackjack’. The group of men the movie centres on also try to win $80,000 at the blackjack table to pay off the goons. It does a great job of being funny and thrilling at the same time at the blackjack table.

3. Austin Powers

If James Bond can play blackjack, can the comedic spy version of Austin Powers be far behind? Another hilarious franchise, this one shows the spy Austin Powers losing woefully to his opponent at the blackjack table. That he starts out very confident at the game adds to the humour of the movie.

4. Rain Man

The Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman starrer, Rain Man, has gone down in Hollywood history. The story is about Charlie Babbit, played by Cruise, a down-on-his-luck salesman. He takes on the responsibility of Raymond, his autistic brother with a gift for mathematics. The academy award winner for best picture has well-known blackjack scenes, which see Charlie win $86,000 with the help of his brother. Even though the scene gets into the technicalities of the game, it still maintains its dramatic edge. So well done is the scene, that it makes the movie watcher root for the character.

5. 21

For blackjack fans, this one is a not to miss. This entire film is based on the game, so you don’t have to go searching for scenes with blackjack. A realistic casino movie, it gets into the ethics of the gaming tables at the casinos of Las Vegas. But what makes it really stand out is that it is based on real life. Six MIT students are experts at card counting in the film. They are driven by a maths teacher and their need to get out of huge student loans.

6. One flew over the cuckoo’s nest

The Jack Nicholson starrer is Hollywood gold. Set in a mental institution, the 1975 film has many memorable scenes. One of them even involves blackjack. Randle McMurphy, the character played by Nicholson, gets others in the hospital to play the game. It is not the most glamorous or the most thrilling scene of all time. But it does underline the popularity of the game across different kinds of people.

7. Casino

Martin Scorsese is one of the finest directors of Hollywood movies of our time. So when he makes a movie called Casino, gaming lovers are in for a treat. His understanding of mob culture and gaming shines through in this well-known movie, starring Robert De Niro and Sharon Stone. The film has a blackjack scene to remember, where Nicky, the mobster played by Joe Pesci shows his tricks at the table.

8. Croupier

While most blackjack-related movies show the game from the players’ perspective, Croupier stands out as one about the dealer. The British noir film made in 1998 is named after the French word for dealer. The main character is a struggling writer who takes on the job of a dealer. It is about a heist, with blackjack in the mix, the stuff of casino movies!

The go-to game

As an easy-to-understand, learn, and play game, blackjack has unsurprisingly made it to the movies about casinos. There is a plethora of Hollywood films and beyond that refer to the game, if they are not about it completely. Like 21 for instance, about MIT students, with its realistic portrayal of the game. At the other extreme is escapist cinema like James Bond in License to Kill where he coolly wins big money at blackjack. From realistic dramas, to action movies and even comedies, the game’s popularity is ever-present.