Blackjack – is it really like in the movies?

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Blackjack is an age-old casino game played across the globe by millions of people. It’s excellent fun down at the casinos in Vegas and it provides a great source of entertainment online. It seems that blackjack can do no wrong and its fame continues to grow. It did get a little help from Hollywood though after a handful of movie directors decided to take a seat at its table. The movies 21 and Rain Man were both major hits that introduced blackjack and the art of card counting to an audience on a global scale.

For those of you who don’t yet know, card counting is a tactic used by professional gamblers to track cards to gain an advantage over the casino. The movies basically set the stall out like this: learn how to count cards and become a millionaire. The idea captivated audiences across the world and it found its way into other movies such as The Last Casino, The Hot Shoe, Breaking Vegas, and even made an appearance in the hit comedy, The Hangover.

The movies were great and some of the individual performances were exceptional. However, the image of blackjack that was portrayed in the movies is somewhat far from the truth. The movies are based on real-life events but all movies take a certain level of artistic license and this is where the reality of playing blackjack in the casino starts to get a little blurry. Many of these movies leave the viewers thinking that they’ve got a chance and they too can make millions from blackjack with a thought process of “If they can do it, why can’t I do it?”.

Professional gamblers do exist and some of them make good money from both online and offline blackjack games. However, in most cases, blackjack, as all other casino games, is a game best played for fun, not professionally and not in the hope of getting rich.

Walk into any casino and you’ll see people playing at various blackjack tables with low and high limits. Beginners often play along with no idea and they’re just having fun. A few lucky runs might come from it but that’s about it. Advanced players and those who fancy a bit of the action after having watched the movies can often be seen playing with blackjack strategy charts. These charts guide players into making better strategic decisions which ultimately gives them slightly better winning odds than before. In both cases winning or losing is mostly a matter of luck and not out of the ordinary mathematical skills.

Online the situation is quite similar. Online casinos offer a variety of blackjack tables with low and high limits. Most online players play for fun in the low limit tables and only select few play in the high limit tables with amounts that resemble the ones mentioned in the movies.

Card counting is extremely difficult to learn and even more difficult to keep track of in a live situation. For those who do learn the tactics and have the nerve to play at the tables then there is potential to win some big money. But here’s the thing, casino management can pick these players out and they have their own strategies to stop them in their tracks, or thoughts, so to speak.

At the end of the day, playing blackjack is a lot of fun and can even make you some money, however, it is far from the image it enjoys in some of Hollywood movies.