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Best Blackjack Scenes in Cinematic History



Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world. Over the past decades, the card game has had its moments in the spotlight. From classic blackjack scenes in James Bond films to appearances in comedies like The Hangover, the game has made its mark on cinematic history. 

Casinos in Cinema

As filmgoers prepare for Halloween movie marathons or head to the cinema to catch the most recent horror flicks, others prefer the classic glamour of the casino genre. 

The casino is a classic setting in cinema, whether it’s James Bond gathering intel or the Hangover’s clumsy Alan making waves at the tables. 

Blackjack has played a role in some of the most memorable casino scenes on screen. The game, despite having slight variations, works the same way each time. Players collect one card on each round, trying to get as close to twenty-one as possible. The game gradually becomes more tense as the players creep towards twenty-one, making for some great scenes. 

Below are just a few of the best blackjack scenes in cinematic history.


The blackjack scene in Swingers is one of cinema’s most iconic, laugh-out-loud casino scenes. In the film, Trent, the slick ladies’ man (played by Vince Vaughn) takes his buddy Mike (played by Jon Favreau) to Las Vegas to get over his recent breakup. While in Vegas, they hit the blackjack tables and quickly get in over their heads.

Having no notion of casino etiquette, the two sit at a table with a $100 entry fee and raise the stakes without any strategy. The dealer suggests they go to an easier table, but the guys don’t heed his advice. 

Even though the experienced players outmatch them, they refuse to give up and lose. They head over to the easy table with no entry fee, sitting between little old ladies. This scene is funny and represents those humorous moments between friends that make for great stories later on. 

The Hangover

There’s no denying that The Hangover is one of the most popular comedies of the 2000s. This movie has everything: comedy, drama, and even a little bit of action. And while the entire film is entertaining, the blackjack scene is one of the highlights.

Making a hilarious homage to Rainman, Alan (played by Zach Galifianakis) slicks his hair back and dons a grey suit. He sits at a top-dollar table and starts playing. The scene gets tense as the gang (played by Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms) watch Alan do even better than they imagined. 

In the nick of time, they get what they need and head on their way to the wedding, with the groom barely making it on time. 

Licence to Kill

Licence to Kill is one of the more emotionally complex films from the Bond franchise. For revenge, Bond goes rogue and personally seeks out the man who murdered his friend.

He eventually finds that the man responsible for the crime is Franz Sanchez, a casino owner. Cue one of the most unforgettable blackjack scenes in cinematic history where Bond plays to get his enemy’s attention. 

The stakes are high, and when Sanchez’s girlfriend, Lupe Lamora, switches with the dealer, Bond has no choice but to escape before Sanchez’s men close in on him.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is based on the 1962 novel of the same name. The film stars Jack Nicholson as Randle McMurphy, a criminal who feigns insanity to serve a shorter prison sentence. While in the facility, he butts heads with Nurse Ratched, a tyrant who rules the ward with an iron fist. 

One of the most telling scenes in the film takes place in the rec room, where the patients play blackjack. McMurphy tries to teach the men how to play, but things quickly spiral into chaos. With Martini (played by Danny Devito) yelping “Hit me!” and Cheswick’s mumbling, McMurphy quickly gives up on the game.

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