The Greatest Bets On-Screen

Jim Sturgess and Kate Bosworth

The big screen has a knack for glamorizing most aspects of life, and gambling is no exception. However, you might be surprised to know that some of the biggest on-screen bets are based on real-life stories. have put together a fun infographic, documenting some of the biggest wins and losses from the movies, some of which are based on real stories.

The movie ‘21’, released in 2008, stars Jim Sturgess and Kate Bosworth as they tell the story of the real-life MIT Blackjack Team who used their math skills to dominate at blackjack. While it’s true that the MIT team won their fortune counting cards in the 80s, the Hollywood film took a bit of creative license with the movie story. On-screen, the team wins a rather substantial $650,000 on their final night of gambling, enough to set anyone up for the rest of their lives.

Moving over to television, ‘Boardwalk Empire’ tells the story of politicians and gangsters in Prohibition-era New Jersey, basing the characters on well-known figures of the time. Steve Buscemi plays politician Enoch ‘Nucky’ Thompson, who in season 4 enters a game against a couple of infamous gangsters ‘Lanksy’ and Arnold Rothstein. Nucky manages to win a total of $400,000, equivalent to $5.5 million in today’s currency.

While true stories are exciting, sometimes it’s much more fun to get lost in the world of fiction. In terms of outrageous fictional on-screen bets, ‘What Happens in Vegas’ is definitely up there. Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher meet onscreen when they accidentally win $3 million on a Vegas slot machine with a single quarter. Having drunkenly married each other the night before, they must now remain together for 6 months in order to keep the winning funds.

The biggest win listed on the infographic is by none-other than MI6 agent James Bond in ‘Casino Royale’. On a mission to force terrorist financier to seek asylum with the British Government, Bond must win a Texas hold ‘em tournament with a cool $10 million buy-in. After initially losing his stake, being gifted chips from a CIA agent on the same mission and then being poisoned, Bond manages to win with a straight flush, collecting $115 million.

Loads of other exciting on-screen bets are documented on the infographic, so we’ll let you decide which one is the best bet of all-time.

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