Best Blackjack Movies

Although blackjack lacks the drama and high excitement of poker, it still enjoys a great deal of popularity. A number of gambling movies are either based on blackjack or have some amazing, unforgettable blackjack scenes in them. Blackjack is popular because it has a low house edge and is easy to play. Players simply have to create a hand equaling 21, but should not exceed it. Players who are just starting out with blackjack and want to get introduced to it in an entertaining way only have to watch a few blackjack movies to really get the feel of this awesome game.

Check our very own list of some of the best blackjack movies of all time. If you haven’t watched them yet, get that popcorn ready and settle down to hours of big-screen, blackjack entertainment.


21, is the ultimate blackjack movie. It hit the theaters in 2008 and is inspired by the infamous MIT blackjack team that cheated casinos out of millions of dollars. The movie deals with the tale of a blackjack crazy professor who trains his brightest mathematics students in the art of card counting then sets them loose on the Las Vegas casinos. The students play under false names and begin to win millions of dollars. They get greedy at the end of the movie and start fighting among themselves, and this weakness on their part leads to their eventual downfall. Ultimately, they are caught by the casino security and the professor is arrested for his part in the scam.

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The Cooler

Blackjack enthusiasts must watch The Cooler, a typical Las Vegas style movie that revolves around card game tables, blackjack and romance. Starring William H. Macy, Alec Baldwin and Maria Bellow, this movie has to its credits 8 awards and 18 nominations. The story was written by Frank Hannah and Wayne Kramer, who also directed it.

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Starring the infamous Clive Owen and directed by Mike Hodges, Croupier is movie about a writer who becomes a croupier and gets involved in the game and caught up in the excitement and intricacies of card games. This is a great movie for blackjack players as it involves a lot of action at the card tables, focuses on types of players and involves a possible scam at the cards tables.

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Casino made its debut in 1995 with Robert DeNiro, Sharon Stone, and Joe Pesci playing the lead roles. While the movie is not about blackjack, it does have an unforgettable blackjack scene. Pesci is the tough guy in the movie and catches some gamblers cheating at the blackjack tables of Tangiers Casino. The cheats were “spooking,” a form of cheating in which someone stands behind the dealer, gets a peep, and conveys the information to his cronies at the table. In the movie, Pesci grabs the cheat and tells him to either forfeit his winnings or keep them and get his fingers smashed. Blackjack buffs must watch the movie to know what the cheat finally chooses.

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Rain Man

rain manRain Man, which appeared in 1988, stars Tom Cruise playing the role of Charlie Babbit, who has to take care of his specially gifted autistic brother Raymond, played by Dustin Hoffman. When Charlie realizes that his brother is a born card counter, they head over to Las Vegas and start counting cards at the blackjack tables.

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This is an exciting comedy that appeared in theatres in 1982. Set in a fictitious city called Loserville in the US, Jinxed is the tale of a girl who becomes the victim of a gambler. The movie has the exciting ingredients of casinos, blackjack, Las Vegas, romance, tragedy, and comedy rolled into one and also stars the award-winning actress, Bette Midler.

Holy Rollers

Released in 2011, this film is “the True Story of Card Counting Christians”. Yes, you read that right. If you’d like to know how Jesus would gamble, this is film to watch. Centring around one of the most successful and well-funded blackjack groups in the US, made up of church-going Christians, as they strive to find a place for their faith in a high-stakes gambling environment. A must-watch for any blackjack enthusiast with a keen interest in true stories.

Stacy’s Knights

An oldie but a goodies, this movie made an appearance in 1983 and stars Kevin Costner and Andra Millan. Stacy is a young and inexperienced player who Will must take under his wing to teach her how to count card s and get the edge needed win at blackjack.

Corrupt casino bosses intervene, setting cheating dealers on Stacy and ultimately killing Will. His young protegee’ sets about putting together a team of players so that she may get her revenge and settle the score.

Must-Watch Documentaries about Blackjack

While movies may be entertaining, an even better way to learn a thing or two about blackjack is to engage in a few well-researched, well-produced documentaries to hone your skills.

Documentaries about casino games are generally not that easy to come across, no doubt due to the fact that movies tend to fare better and the subject matter makes for a more fascinating backdrop for feature films.

Nevertheless, we’ve done our research and managed to unearth a number of documentaries about blackjack that you’re not going to want to miss. Check them out and prepare to take notes!

Breaking Vegasbreaking vegas

This started airing as a US tv show back in 2004 and emerged at the same time when the book by one of the team members, Ben MIzrich was released into shops. The book itself caused something of a national scandal as it basically revealed how people managed to scam casinos.

Breaking Vegas is an authentic, no-frills recreation of the infamous real-life MIT student blackjack teams, showing some of the methods they used and the maths behind them.

The Player: Secrets of a Vegas Whale

Also inspired by real life events, this documentary recounts Don Johnson’s amazing yet true story. Renowned as one of the best gamblers in the history of Las Vegas, this is the guy who walked away with $15 million from just one single winning streak.

Throughout this documentary, the man himself explains how exactly he managed to turn the odds in his favour and beat the system while playing table games like poker and blackjack. His tactics are straightforward; among others, by getting refunds on losses, Johnson managed to amass thousands of dollars in free play.

The Hot Shoe

Directed by David Layton, this documentary offers a different perspective than the other films listed here in that it provides a more historical approach to the game of the hot shoeblackjack and how it rose in popularity over the years.

Featuring multiple interviews with successful blackjack players and experts on the game, there’s also a counter-perspective from people like casino bosses, detectives and lawyers, who discuss how they battle the whole card-counting business.

All in all, the Hot Shoe is one blackjack documentary that puts the focus on card-counting process itself rather than the story of a specific player or team.

The bonus is that the film also features an excellent ‘how-to’ section, explaining an array of tips and tricks on how to get ahead in the game of blackjack.

Once you’ve gotten yourself in the zone of watching movies about blackjack, no doubt you’ll be hooked for a while and want to follow up with even more great hits featuring some thrilling casino action. Here are some of the most popular movies ever made about gambling. While not all of them may feature the game of 21, they’re still worth your time, even if just to get you into the mood and whet your gaming appetite.

The Hangover

Arguably one of the most popular gambling movies of all time, the Hangover is definitely worth a watch, if only for its ridiculously accurate portrayal of the Vegas experience. The first film in thethehangover franchise was released almost a decade ago in 2009  but nevertheless, this blockbuster hit still manages to find its way on to many a Best Comedy list, even today.

Following the story of four friends on a bachelor party in Vegas, a night of partying and debauchery ends up having disastrous, yet undeniably hilarious, consequences.

The blackjack scene in the movie merits a mention as Zach Galifianakis heads to the blackjack tables where he must use his skills learned from Beat the Dealer to raise the ransom money required to get their friend back.

The Gambler

Starring Mark Wahlberg, this American Crime Drama was released in theatres in 2014 and is a remake of the 1974 film of the same name. Protagonist Jim Bennett is a literature professor in LA, harbouring a secret gambling addiction who winds up in debt to both an underground gambling ring as well as a dangerous loan shark.

As events unfold. Jim gets his students involved in his misdealings but will he finally manage to kick his habit before it’s too late?

Casino Royale

Whether you prefer the 1967 original starring David Niven or the 2006 remake starring Daniel Craig, this spy action comedy has everything you need to immerse yourself in some fast-paced casino action.

James Bond 007 has the license to kill and he’s not afraid to use it, as he is forced out of retirement to investigate the mysterious deaths of several other agents. A classic must-watch for any casino card game enthusiast thanks to the high-stakes poker game that Bond must participate in to defeat the enemy.

Ocean’s Eleven

This 2001 remake of the 1960’s Rat Pack film features a stellar cast that includes Clooney, Pitt, Damon and Julia Roberts, among others. Need we say more? Orchestrating the most complex casino heist in history, this slick feature film is effortlessly entertaining.

As the above list proves, the spectacular game of 21 has been the inspiration for many, both in popular culture as well as in less mainstream oeuvres. We’ll keep on following the trends of Tinseltown for more blackjack-related hits so make sure to watch this space if you want to keep updated on the latest 21-inspired masterpieces. In meantime, remember that practice makes perfect. You can sharpen up your blackjack skills on countless variations of the classic game at reputable online casinos like Codeta or Playamo