If there is one thing that we all love to do in our spare time, it is to stay entertained. No-one likes being bored, and this has made gambling very popular with a lot of people around the world. It used to be the sole preserve of land-based casinos, but the digital revolution has now opened up online USA casinos. One thing is for sure – whether you game at casinos online or choose to gamble at land-based joints, the mix of excitement and money is hard to beat.

The gambling sector has attracted the attention of the movie industry that is also enticed by the thrills that gambling offers. There have been countless movies throughout film history that have set scenes in casinos or used stories based on gambling to significant effect. For many people, though, the big question is whether they give an accurate representation of this pastime. We all know how Hollywood can sometimes use artistic license – does this happen with gaming and gambling, or do they stick to the truth?

Movies sometimes get it right … but not always

This might seem a cop-out, but it is true! Depending on the movie you watch and how they want their audience to feel towards a storyline or character, it will determine how true to life they portray gambling on screen. If, for example, the movie is showing the gradual descent into poverty of the main character who gambles, the director will be unlikely to show him netting any wins which could well happen in real life.

If, on the other hand, the reverse is accurate in terms of the movie’s plot, it will probably not show someone losing large amounts or any downsides to gaming. The other thing you have to factor in with films based around gambling and gaming is that they can be a bit unrealistic at times. Casino Royale is an excellent example of that. In the high-octane showdown, one player is holding a flush, the next a full house, the next a higher full house, and then Bond is shown holding a Royal Flush! To say this is a little unbelievable is no understatement.

The other unrealistic factor which some gaming films can contain is just what effect gambling can have on daily life if you don’t gamble responsibly. Some will not touch on this at all and instead only show the glamorous side of the sector. Even those that do show it can still make it all seem exciting and glamorous, due to the action being played out by a celebrity on the silver screen.

Films can be true to life though

Just as futuristic cars in sci-fi films led us towards current innovations like the million mile Tesla battery, the same is true in other genres. While there is plenty of times when casino action is not shown quite true to life, there are some films that do get it spot on. These usually tend to be movies that are based on true-life stories or events. As the film director cannot go too far from the original story, this means he has to show the real picture of gambling and gaming as in the source material.

A good couple of examples are 21 and also High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story. The movie 21 tells the tale of an infamous card counting group from MIT who were very active in casinos during the 1980s and 1990s. It shows how a maverick MIT professor takes a selection of his pupils and teaches them how to win at blackjack by counting cards. The action here is true to life and gives a great picture of what went on. High Roller is a good example also as it tells the factual story of the professional poker and gin rummy player Stu Ungar. Although the things you see on-screen may seem too outrageous to have happened, they did!

Casino games are usually shown accurately

The other thing that movies are usually careful to get right is the actual rules and flow of whatever casino game they are showing. From poker to blackjack, you can be sure that pretty much all directors will make sure this is correct. If they do not, the credibility of the scene and the movie is gone, and this then makes audiences lose interest in the rest of the film.

There is no definitive answer as to whether playing casino games for money is shown accurately in every film. Much depends on what the director wants to happen with the story and the characters involved.