Games such as blackjack, baccarat and poker have undoubtedly risen to the top in terms of popularity amongst players, so much so that Hollywood has even jumped on the bandwagon. For a long time casinos games have been celebrated in films, from the James Bond movies with his ever-lasting passion for baccarat to films like Casino with big name actors like Robert De Niro.
That said, documentaries that follow casino games and the world of gambling are far rarer – at least until the last couple of years. It that it is time for casino documentaries to emerge from the shadows and provide players with the insight and enjoyment they both require and deserve.
Originally aired as a television series in 2004 in the United States, Breaking Vegas is set around the same time that the book, written by one of the team members, Ben Mizirch, emerged in libraries. The book had actually become something of a national scandal in the States, with casinos essentially being given the chance read about how they were being scammed.
The documentary is a well-executed recreation of popular blackjack teams and tells the story of what methods were used by players, without providing substantive mathematics so as not to give away their method completely.
Final Table Poker with Phil Gordon
This exciting documentary follows Phil Gordon, who is a renowned poker player that found international fame after becoming the poker expert on the Bravo show, Celebrity Poker. Here, he creates a simulation of what a final table will look like in a poker tournament, as well as all of the strategies that could possibly allow you to come out victorious.
The overall production of the Final Table Poker is fairly well done, while Phil Gordon’s style of explaining is almost unmatched, providing informative information to all those watching.
The Player: Secrets of a Vegas Whale
Inspired by a real-life story, The Player tells the tale of one of the best gamblers that Vegas has ever seen, Don Johnson. In a single winning streak, Johnson managed to walk out of the casino with as much as $15 million, but he is most commonly known for beating 3 Las Vegas casinos in a single night.
The big whale player comes to explain just how he beat the system in this documentary, as well as how he managed to turn the odds in his favour when playing table games.
The Hot Shoe
This particular documentary is a lot more historically focused than the others mentioned in this list, offering great insight into the background and system of card counting in the game of blackjack. The Hot Shoe contains a number of interviews with some of the most famous players and experts of the gambling world, as well as those writing on the topic.
There is also a mention of the MIT blackjack team in this documentary, which comes as no surprise considering the team practically invented card counting., as well as the detective that put an end to their winning streak.
World Poker Tour
Once you have made yourself familiar with the theory it is always a good idea to watch the experts in action, as there are some things that can only be learned from looking at the real thing.
The second season of the WPT was exceptionally exciting due to the level of players and the wonderful array of prizes. What’s more, the hosts are generally entertaining and typically have something interesting or amusing to add. So grab the popcorn, take it all in and put what you have learned to the test when you play your next online casino game.