FIVE Hollywood movies that get casino gambling horribly wrong

Hollywood has always had a slight obsession with casinos and gambling. In fact, some of the greatest movies ever made have touched on the subject – see the likes of The Gambler, Oceans 11 and Rounders.

However the silver screen doesn’t always get it right, so it is not surprising that some movies are a little wide of the mark when it comes to authentic casino gameplay.

Here are five casino movies that just get it wrong.


Burt Reynolds plays a former card player who quit the game several years previously. In this movie he tutors a young buck and eventually the student becomes the teacher… or something like that.

What’s wrong with it?

Apart from the clichéd storyline, it’s clear that the makers of this film have a very limited understanding of poker. For a start, our protagonist checks on the small blind when he is heads up and also sees his opponent’s cards. There are plenty of great poker movies. This is not one of them.


This isn’t a bad movie. In fact, I would go so far to say that this is actually quite a good movie, but it’s not a film that blackjack fanatics will enjoy sitting through.

It tells the true story of a bunch of college students who use card counting to win big against the casinos. It’s based on the famous MIT Blackjack Team who used various strategies to beat casinos worldwide.

What’s wrong with it?

Where do we start? There are fundamental errors in counting, sequence and the game of blackjack in general in 21. Still, if you’re not a blackjack expert, sit back and enjoy a great story.

If you want a proper schooling in blackjack, Mike Aponte, one of the MIT team members, gave a little guide to beating the house to WIRED.

All in

The plot sees a medical student turn to poker to try to pay her way through college. She ends up having some talent and wins big, but before all of that you have to sit through one of the worst gambling movies ever made.

What’s wrong with it?

For a movie about card tables, there is very little poker actually played. Not only that – the cards that are played come across hackneyed and the whole thing is a little bit of a mess.

National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation

National Lampoon had already jumped the shark by the time this movie came around. It sees Chevy Chase make his way to Vegas with his family and take on some of the local casinos. Laughs aren’t as aplenty as in previous Lampoon movies and if you are looking for realistic casino gaming, then please look elsewhere.

What’s wrong with it?

Basic misunderstanding of any gambling rules – even in slots. For instance, the coin machine says you need to put in three coins to win a car and our character wins it with one. Oh dear.

Lucky You

Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore and Robert Duvall are all actors with considerable talent, so it’s unclear why they all lent themselves to this truly awful rom-dram-gamb-ling movie.

The screenwriter must have skipped the “strong female characters” class at movie school, because Barrymore spends most of the film standing in a corner, looking pretty.

What’s wrong with it?
Pretty much everything.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not Casinopedia

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