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5 Things Movies Get Wrong About Gambling and Casinos



By Staff Writer

While there are some great movies about the world of gambling and casinos (Casino by Martin Scorsese comes to mind), some movies get some things regarding gambling and casinos very wrong. Below you will find out the top 5 things movies get wrong about gambling and casinos, regardless of whether the movies are about gamblers who play slot games online, blackjack, roulette, or any other game.

Top-tier casinos being run by the mafia

Okay, this one is not that far from the truth – at least the truth of a few decades ago. Some casinos were indeed run by racketeers and mobsters, and the aforementioned Scorsese movie is a testament to this. However, the vast majority of modern casinos are run by completely legitimate operators. This goes even more so for Native American casinos – as they are strictly regulated by the authorities. Modern regulations make it very hard for “wise guys” to own and operate a criminal venture through their casino fronts.

Savants winning millions at the casino

One movie that springs to mind is “Hangover,” where the character Alan is a bit of a goof. However, at one point, he enters Caesar’s Palace Casino and makes thousands of quick mathematical calculations in his head to get an easy win at the blackjack table. While it’s not unheard of that certain people are savants, it’s next to impossible for these people to become millionaires in a casino. It’s much more likely that they will get smaller profits than get out rich out of a single gambling session.

Gamblers getting beat up for cheating

It’s much likelier that the casino will sue you to oblivion if it catches you cheating – than it is that the casino will send hired goons to beat you up. The security guards at casinos aren’t mafia-related – even though movies like Casino may make it seem like it. In most cases, casinos will refuse to take in the cheaters and card-counters and bar them from entry.

The cooler will jinx your luck

There was an eponymous movie, The Cooler, where the casino operator sent a bad-luck person to jinx the players if they should get a good run. While this concept looks great in a movie – it’s about as unrealistic as it gets. When it comes to “luck,” this is not a tangible concept by any means. Sometimes you will get lucky at the tables, and sometimes the opposite will happen. But to think that somehow you or anyone else can influence your levels of luck is unreal. There are no such things as “coolers.”

Ultra-dramatic poker hands

There are certain gambling movies that pit the protagonist and the antagonist in an all-out poker war. Typically, the protagonist and the antagonist will have their ups and downs during the game, but in the end, it will all boil down to a single ultimate hand (at the end of the movie) that will be a finale. During this card, you will see that the antagonist gets the upper hand by getting a poker or full house combination, and the protagonist will defy the odds and win a royal flush. The odds of this happening are microscopically small, and the real-world poker games are won and lost in a lot less dramatic hands.


We love movies because they tend to single out the best, most dramatic events of life. And gambling and casinos are two very popular subjects that many movies feature. But still, it’s important for people that see these movies not to overestimate their truthfulness. There are some things about gambling that are simply unrealistically presented in movies. But still, there’s no denying that this makes the movies a lot more fun to watch than if everything was represented truthfully.

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