Top 10 Films takes a look at great movie swindles carried out by shrewd men and women who knew how to take on the casino and win.
Have you ever been at a casino? If you have, or you are familiar with how slot games, table games, and other casino games work, you know that winning them is not what you could call “easy”. On the contrary – casinos are fun to play at, yet not about the players making money. Legendary Las Vegas magnate Steve Wynn was quoted saying “If you want to make money in a casino, own one”. This is a well-known fact for Hollywood producers, too, so they make a big deal of big casino wins on the silver screen – especially if they are not entirely legit. Like in the scenes of the movies below.
Card counting – Rain Man
Card counting is a technique that can be used to “cheat” the blackjack tables at a casino. While it’s not explicitly illegal, it’s frowned upon in most casinos in Vegas and beyond – it can get players sent away from the table or kicked out of the casino, depending on the policies. Yet this is exactly how Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) plans to use his savant brother, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) at a Las Vegas casino. The scenes leading up to the two brothers’ descent into the belly of the
beast casino is iconic – the way they prepare to break the bank, buying new suits and getting haircuts – yet they descend to the bottom once the casino security – themselves surprised by Raymond’s skill – watch them in disbelief. Not for long, unfortunately.
Jackpots upon jackpots – Echelon Conspiracy
Max Peterson (Shane West) is a young American computer engineer that receives an unusual gift – a mobile phone – that turns his life into a series of messages shaping his fate. First, he misses his flight encouraged by a message he receives, only to find out that the plane crashes, then buying a certain stock only to see it soar by over 300%. Later, he is directed to a Prague casino, where he wins fabulous amounts – his winning streak is ended by casino security right when he hits a jackpot worth 3 million Euros. From there on, the FBI and the NSA get involved, only to reveal who – or what – the source of these mysterious messages is.
The Magnetron – Ocean’s 13
Last but not least, the greatest casino cheat in movie history. Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his team of hustlers and thieves plan to hit a casino owned by Willy Bank (Al Pacino) by winning big at its tables and gaming machines. Yet they don’t leave anything to fate – they use small magnetrons disguised as lighters to disrupt the casino’s security system and control the outcome of the games. As you might expect, chaos ensues – it’s one of the most iconic casino scenes in movie history.