Movies such as Casino Royale, 21, Rain man, and Maverick have done a lot to popularize gambling and show the layman how casino games play out. Unfortunately, they have also created gambling setups that simply wouldn’t work in real life.
What the movie industry doesn’t seem to understand is that casino games are already fun as they are. Stubborn Hollywood producers always try to squeeze more thrill and excitement out of any casino scene and this sometimes backfires. The results are gambling mistakes which are hard to ignore. Here are the 5 most shocking casino blunders.
Casino Royale (2006) – the $40 Million Pot
There are many things which can be forgiven to James Bond. However, being part of an unrealistic poker scene is something which will never be vindicated.
In Casino Royale, Daniel Craig found himself in a high-stakes poker game. There is nothing unusual about this. Bond loves the thrill that poker brings and would go all-in whenever it’s needed.
The problem occurs when you find out the amount of money on the table. It’s actually a four-way pot and it totals $40 million.
You have probably heard of casinos online which offer pretty high limits to players. This is usually the case with trusted online operators which are absolutely certain they can pay out any player regardless of the limits.
However, even at casinos adored by high-rollers, $40 million would be way too much. In fact, the largest poker pots in real life rarely go above $1.5 million.
Casino Royale (2006) – the Impossible Hand
Casino Royale grinds the gears of many casino enthusiasts and for good reason. In the very next scene after that infamous $40 million pot viewers see the types of hands players got.
You’ve probably seen some incredible hands in which one player got a full house while the other won with four of a kind. That’s completely normal and can happen from time to time.
Now consider the hands of the four poker players in the film. One got a flush, there were two full houses, and there was even a straight flush. Can you imagine the odds for that happening?
Well, actually, you don’t have to imagine anything as the odds of that are 18 trillion to 1. To put things in perspective, the odds for a comet to strike Earth in your lifetime are 10 thousand to 1. Obviously that’s not exciting enough for a Bond film though.
Maverick (1994) – the Impossible Hand Part 2
Mel Gibson appeared in a similar scene to the James Bond one and he is probably still embarrassed of it. In the final scene of the movie, there were three players left on the table. The first player, the legendary James Coburn, jokingly says that he has 2 pairs of 8s (obviously four 8s), Alfred Molina’s character trumps this with a straight flush.
In a normal situation, Mel Gibson’s Maverick should just pack his bags and head for the exits. However, as luck would have it, he unveils the most incredible royal flush. This never happens in real life, but somehow always occurs in the last poker scenes in movies.
21 (2001) – Card Counting Millionaires
The film 21 is one of the most thoroughly researched Blackjack movies and is, in fact, one of the top casino films you need to see in your lifetime. However, it still managed to produce a few mistakes.
The most obvious one was that counting cards can make you a millionaire. First of all, let’s get one thing straight. The real life story that the movie was based on was about the MIT Blackjack team which raided casinos with its card counting system. None of them had ever come even close to a hundred thousand dollars per year, let alone a million.
Secondly, it is estimated that card counting increases your chances of winning, but only by a very small margin. Some people say it is around 2%, but even if it were more, it would be impossible to get to the numbers shown in the film.
The Cincinnati Kid (1965) – Breach of Rules
In the final scene of this legendary picture, Steve McQueen’s the Kid plays against Edward G Robins’ Lancy Howard character. Both players make the same mistake here and commit what is known as a string bet.
They both first say “Call” and add the “Raise” almost a minute later for dramatic effect. This is frowned upon in any poker game and is a clear breach of the rules.