Beating The House: 5 Movies That Beat The Casino At Their Own Game

Saturday, February 11 by Steve Silverman

sharon stone in casino.jpg

It may be the dream of many gamblers to beat the house, but frankly winning big at a casino is usually limited to the big screen. Why not play is safe and live vicariously through the James Bonds and Danny Oceans? These guys beat the house but good, giving you a taste of victory without having to put your life savings at risk. Here are five movies that beat the casino at their own game.


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	<strong>"The Hangover" (2009)</strong> — "The Hangover" is a dark and <a href='' class='linkify' target='_blank'>funny</a> buddy movie involving four <a href='' class='linkify' target='_blank'>friends</a> who go to <a href='' class='linkify' target='_blank'>Las Vegas</a> for a bachelor party. Doug (Justin <span data-scayt_word=Bartha) is about to get married and  he goes missing on the trip. Friends Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) believe he has been kidnapped and they have to come up with ransom money if they want to see him again. Alan, a feeble-brained sort who has gotten the group into big trouble, uses his skills as a card counter to score big at the black jack table. Just as the casino authorities are about to question him, Stu's girlfriend/wife Jade (Heather Graham) causes a disturbance at the table that allows the group to leave with the money they will use to pay the ransom.


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"Casino" (1995) — The crux of the movie is the explosive and destructive relationship between casino boss Sam "Ace" Rothstein (Robert De Niro) and his girlfriend Ginger McKenna (Sharon Stone). However, it was Rothstein's ability as a sports handicapper that got him into the position of the casino boss. Rothstein, based on a real-life gambler, was so good at picking winners in football that he was given control of the casino. His intelligence and organization helped him turn this unwieldy proposition into a successful business. In short, he was hired to make money for the mob because he was so good at beating the house.


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	<strong>"Casino Royale" (2006)</strong> — James Bond (Daniel Craig) is dispatched to Montenegro to participate in a poker game. Bond must keep Le <span data-scayt_word=Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) from winning in tournament‘ class=’linkify’ target=’_blank’>the tournament because Le Chiffre will bankroll a world terror organization if he is victorious. Bond, with the help of his crew that includes the scrumptious Vesper Lynd  (Eva Green) as his girlfriend, wins the tournament and takes a pot that is worth more than $120 million.


"Ocean's Thirteen" (2007) — All of the Steven Soderbergh vehicles involving Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his talented crew of conmen are about fleecing the Las Vegas casinos in one way or another. But in Ocean's Thirteen, the crew uses subterfuge to gain tainted wins on the slot machines, craps tables and black jack stations. For example, when Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) brings a group of Japanese "whales" over to the craps tables, he makes sure that the players are shooting loaded (crooked) dice. This allows these big-timers to wager huge amounts of money on long shot bets like "12" and "2" that come in and force despicable casino owner Willy Bank (Al Pacino) into huge losses.


"21" (2008) — You can win at blackjack on a consistent basis if you can count cards. However, the casino owners frown on card counters and won't let them play in their establishments when they determine the card counters are practicing their trade. This film is about MIT students who learn how to count cards and then put the practice into action and avoid getting caught long enough to make heaps of money.

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