Blackjack has long been known as the world’s most popular card game. Simple, easy to play and involving both luck and a great deal of skill, 21 online games have taken the modern world by storm. With one of the lowest house edges in the casino, coming in at as low as 0.05% if you play the game wisely, blackjack is recognized as one of the best games on the casino floor for skilled players looking to beat the house and cash in big.
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- 21 is a 2008 American heist drama film directed by Robert Luketic and starring Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Bosworth, Liza Lapira, Jacob Pitts, Aaron Yoo, and Kieu Chinh.The film is inspired by the true story of the MIT Blackjack Team as told in Bringing Down the House, the best-selling 2003 book by Ben Mezrich.Despite its largely mixed reviews and controversy over the.
The history of 21 casino games
While the exact origins of blackjack remain unclear, it’s earliest written reference can be found in an early 17th-century tale by the author of the infamous classic novel Don Quixote, Manuel de Cervantes. In the story “Rinconete y Cortadillo”, Cervantes depicts a pair of low life rascals running cons on the street using a deck of cards. They play and cheat at prolifically, a game known as “veintiuna”, which conveniently is Spanish for 21. While the story itself is more about depicting the contrasts of street life in the 16th century Seville, at the height of Spain’s conquest of the Americas, the mention of 21 games gives us a written starting point for the history of what we call today blackjack.
By the time 21 games made their way to the Americas in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, it became customary for saloon and bar owners to incentive people to play by offering a special reward. If players managed to reach 21 using the ace of spades and a black (clubs or spades) jack, the win would pay out a phenomenal ten to one… and hence the name blackjack was born.
Today, phenomenal payouts of ten to one for blackjack are long gone, but the fundamentals remain the same. Blackjack is played against the dealer, not the other players. The first one, dealer or player, to reach 21 without going over takes the win. While it sounds simple and is on its face, blackjack is actually a complicated game of strategy in which knowing when to hit, that is, take another card on the way to 21, or stand, that is, refuse to take another card, based on the dealer’s visible hand, makes all the difference. Raising your bets at the right time in blackjack, when the odds are in your favour and the house edge essentially neutralized, can lead to astronomical wins, which is why blackjack has long been the intelligent card players favourite casino game.
Different types of 21 online games
Today around the world and here at CoolCat Casino, you can find a number of different forms of blackjack that offer up different betting scenarios and chances to win, including: Face Up 21, Match Play 21, Pontoon, BJ + Perfect Pairs, Super 21, European Blackjack and more; each contributing with their own particular rules and variations to take the excitement of regular blackjack to a whole new level. Many of these 21 casino games are difficult to find, but at CoolCat Casino we’ve put together an entire section devoted to providing only the best 21 casino games with the most advanced, digital sound and state-of-the-art video graphics available today, for your joy, thrills, fun, entertainment and profit.
Some of the most popular of the seemingly endless variants of blackjack you’ll find available to play for fun or real money at CoolCat Casino include:
• 21 Blackjack – the most traditional version of blackjack. You beat the dealer to 21 and the dealer must hit on a soft 17 (for more information of what a soft and hard 17 mean, please see below).
• European Blackjack – in this variant of blackjack, you are not allowed to split 4s, 5s or cards valued at 10 but you can split aces, you are allowed to double down after a split and the dealer stands instead of hits on a soft 17.
• Face Up 21 – unlike more traditional forms of blackjack in which the dealer’s second card is dealt face down, in this version both the dealer’s cards are face-up, the dealer wins ties and blackjack pays even money.
• Suit ‘em Up 21 – this version of blackjack offers players greater chances to win. If you can match the suit of your two starting cards you win extra cash even before the game itself starts.
• Super 21 – this variant adds a twist with insurance, which pays two to one, blackjack pays even money, and the dealer must hit on a soft 17.
Blackjack strategy tips
Like a game of strategy as much as luck there are a number of important things to keep in mind no matter which variant of blackjack you decide to play. The first and most important blackjack strategy tip of all is, in the words of the immortal Kenny Rodgers, “you gotta know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em”. In other words, knowing when to hit, stand or surrender in blackjack is the key to playing a winning game.
In light of the odds, you should always stand in the following situations:
1. on a hard 17 or higher hand. A “hard” 17 means any hand of 17 or more when the ace counts as one instead of 11.
2. when the dealer shows a two, three, four, five or six and you have a hard 13, 14 or 15.
3. when the dealer shows a four, five or six and you have a hard 12.
4. when you have a soft (when the ace counts as 11) 19 or higher.
5. when you have a soft 18, as long as the dealer doesn’t have a nine, ten or ace.
Keeping the odds in mind, you should always hit in the following situations:
1. when you have a hard 11, i.e. the ace counts as one and not 11, or lower.
2. when you have a soft, i.e. the ace is counted as 11, 17 or lower.
Blackjack play options
Doubling Down: doubling down in the variants of blackjack that allow it means giving you the chance to double your original bet if you think you can hit 21, i.e. blackjack, on the next card. With face cards, all equaling 10 as well as ten’s counting as ten most of the cards in a blackjack deck will equal ten. That means when you show 11, it’s time to double down. Professional blackjack players know that doubling down at the right time is simply the best way to exponentially increase your winnings at the blackjack table and beat the house.
Split: knowing when to split is a fine art in blackjack. In most traditional variants of the game, you will be given the opportunity to split if you are dealt two of the same card. Splitting means you separate the identical cards into two separate hands. This doubles your original bet. The key to successfully splitting is knowing the fundamentals, for example, never, never split a winning hand. If you are dealt two tens, splitting is a bad idea. Keep the 20 and see how it plays out. On the other hand, say you end up with two eights. A total of 16 is a terrible place to be in blackjack, as it’s too low to stand well and too high to hit without the risk of going bust. As most of the cards in the deck equal 10, splitting two eights means you’ll end up with a statistically reasonable chance of having two 18s in the end, which is a very strong hand.
Insurance: in many variants of blackjack today if the dealer shows an ace, you’ll be given the chance to buy insurance. Insurance is, in essence, a side bet. To take it means you are betting that the dealer’s next card will count as 10 (as do most of the cards in the blackjack deck) and you’ll get paid out 2:1 for the effort. Using insurance well hedges the loss of your original bet in the event the dealer gets blackjack.
The differences between online 21 games and brick and mortar casino play
The fundamental difference between playing blackjack games online at CoolCat Casino versus playing 21 games in a traditional brick and mortar casino comes down to something called a random number generator.
In a classic casino in Las Vegas, Reno, Atlantic City or Macau, different blackjack tables will use varying numbers of decks of cards. This allows professional blackjack players to card count, a practice that is not technically illegal, as it’s considered a form of advantage play, but almost always frowned upon by the casinos. Casinos set their own internal rules and if they catch you card counting you’ll be shown the door in a hurry. Historically, card counters and card counting teams, like the infamous MIT team, fictionally depicted in the movie “21”, have been able to beat the casinos out of millions. To counter the advantage card counting gives intelligent players casinos have come up with elaborate detection systems starting with the dealers and pit bosses all the way up to teams of experts studying ongoing play from the eye in the sky cameras to weed out card counters and blacklist them from the brick and mortar casino world.
Conversely, random number generators (RNGs), are a complex algorithm that ensures that each hand played is a unique event, i.e. the deal is random, so card counting is simply impossible.
On the other hand, one of the great advantages of online casino blackjack play at CoolCat Casino is the simple lack of distractions. Forget the screams and laughter arising from the tables around you, the annoying if not potentially hostile players on either side of you, the sneering dealer, the flashing lights, sirens and pounding background music. Playing blackjack online at CoolCat casino means you can concentrate without distractions on your game. As we mentioned before, blackjack is a game of skill as much as luck and focusing on playing well, knowing when to hit, stand or surrender, can make all the difference between a strong winning session and walking away from a loser, despite your luck.
Live dealer blackjack
In today’s world of online blackjack games, more and more casinos are starting to offer what they call live dealer online blackjack. Much like a video chat, these blackjack variants offer a live dealer standing at a table in a recording studio in some corner of the world, dealing real cards. In essence, it’s a hybrid version of the game residing somewhere between the experience of a traditional brick and mortar casino and playing 21 games online at CoolCat Casino. Unlike playing blackjack games online at CoolCat, in live dealer games the dealer, usually a good looking scantily clad woman or handsome mad, becomes the distraction. Sure, you don’t have the level of distractions you’ll find on an Indian or Las Vegas casino floor, but don’t be mistaken, the live dealer online experience is intended to make you take your eye off the metaphorical ball when playing blackjack.
CoolCat Casino download
There are many ways to play and win at CoolCat Casino. Playing online via your web browser offers you a fine selection of cutting-edge 21 online games but using the download casino is even better. With the CoolCat download casino, in but a few minutes, you’ll be granted access to the complete selection of CoolCat games, over 220 in total. Our download process takes only a few seconds and it will install our web-based software on your computer, so you can access all the fun and games anytime, day or night at the click of a mouse.
On the other hand, if you choose to play from your browser and you won’t need to even go through any installation: an internet connection is all you’ll need to win amazing casino prizes and enjoy the best time on the web with our free collection of blackjack games. Play all the best CoolCat casino games real money at home on your PC, or on the go with our fully optimized mobile casino, perfect for your tablet, iPhone, iPad, android or windows enabled mobile device.
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|Directed by||Robert Luketic|
|Based on||Bringing Down the House|
by Ben Mezrich
|Music by||David Sardy|
|Edited by||Elliot Graham|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$159.8 million|
21 is a 2008 American heistdrama film directed by Robert Luketic and starring Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne, Kate Bosworth, Liza Lapira, Jacob Pitts, Aaron Yoo, and Kieu Chinh. The film is inspired by the true story of the MIT Blackjack Team as told in Bringing Down the House, the best-selling 2003 book by Ben Mezrich. Despite its largely mixed reviews and controversy over the film's casting choices, 21 was a box office success, and was the number one film in the United States and Canada during its first and second weekends of release.
Ben, a mathematics major at MIT, is accepted into Harvard Medical School but cannot afford the $300,000 tuition. He applies for the prestigious Robinson Scholarship which would cover the entire cost. However, despite having an MCAT score of 44 and high grades, he faces fierce competition, and is told by the director that the scholarship will only go to whichever student dazzles him. Back at MIT, a professor, Micky Rosa challenges Ben with the Monty Hall Problem which he solves. After looking at Ben's 97% score on his latest non-linear equations test, Micky invites Ben to join his blackjack team, which consists of fellow students Choi, Fisher, Jill and Kianna. Using card counting and covert signalling, they are able to increase their probability of winning while at casinos, leading them to earn substantial profits. Over many weekends, the team is flown to Las Vegas and Ben comes to enjoy his luxurious life as a so-called big player. The team is impressed by Ben's skill but Fisher becomes jealous and fights him while drunk, leading Micky to expel him. The head of security, Cole Williams, has been monitoring the team and begins to turn his attention to Ben.
Ben's devotion to blackjack causes him to neglect his role in an engineering competition, which estranges him from his friends. During the next trip to Las Vegas, he is emotionally distracted and fails to walk away from the table when signaled, causing him to lose his earnings of $200,000. Micky is angered and quits the team, demanding that Ben must repay $200,000. Ben and three of the students decide that they will continue to play blackjack without Micky but they are caught by Williams, whom Micky tipped off. Williams beats up Ben and warns him not to return.
Ben learns that he is ineligible for graduation because his course taught by an associate of Micky's is marked as incomplete (with Micky's influence, the professor initially gives Ben a passing grade throughout the year without him having to work or even show up to class). His winnings are stolen from his dormitory room. Suspecting Micky, Ben confers with the other blackjack students and they persuade Micky to make a final trip to Las Vegas before the casinos install biometric software. The team puts on disguises and returns to Planet Hollywood, winning $640,000 before they are spotted by Williams. Micky flees with the bag of chips, jumping into a limousine but realizes it was a setup when he discovers that the chips are fake. It is revealed that Ben and Williams made a deal to lure Micky to Las Vegas so that Williams may capture and beat him, because Williams has grievances against him. Williams proceeds to hold Micky hostage and subject him to beatings. In exchange, Williams allows Ben to play for one more night in Las Vegas, enjoying immunity from capture. as Ben is leaving with his winnings, Williams betrays him and takes the bag of chips at gunpoint. Ben protests and Williams explains that he needs retirement funds, whereas intelligent people like Ben will always find a way to succeed. Ben's long-time friends (with whom he has reconciled) Miles and Cam also turn out to be quite good at card-counting while working with Choi and Kianna during Micky's capture and as such, the 6-man team make a lot of money despite Williams's robbery of Ben and Micky's chips. The film ends with Ben recounting the tale to the dazzled and dumbfounded scholarship director.
- Jim Sturgess as Ben Campbell
- Kate Bosworth as Jill
- Kevin Spacey as Micky Rosa
- Aaron Yoo as Choi
- Liza Lapira as Kianna
- Jacob Pitts as Fisher
- Laurence Fishburne as Cole Williams
- Jack McGee as Terry
- Josh Gad as Miles
- Sam Golzari as Cam
- Helen Carey as Ellen Campbell
- Jack Gilpin as Bob Phillips
The filming of 21 began in March 2007. Principal filming of the Las Vegas scenes took place at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, the Red Rock Casino, and the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas. Filming also took place at Harvard Medical School, Chinatown, in Cambridge, and the Christian Science Center in Boston, Massachusetts. As Massachusetts Institute of Technology did not allow filming on campus, the MIT school and dorm interiors, the gymnasium and the alumni reception were all shot at Boston University.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 36% of 169 critics gave the film a positive review, for an average rating of 5.17/10. The site's critical consensus reads: '21 could have been a fascinating study had it not supplanted the true story on which it is based with mundane melodrama.'Metacritic gave the film an average score of 48 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating 'mixed or average reviews'. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of 'B+' on an A+ to F scale.
In its opening weekend, the film grossed $24,105,943 in 2,648 theaters in the United States and Canada, averaging $9,103 per venue and ranking first at the box office. The film was also the number one film in its second weekend of release, losing 36% of its audience, grossing $15,337,418, expanding to 2,653 theaters, and averaging $5,781 per venue. The film dropped to third place in its third weekend, losing 32% of its audience, grossing $10,470,173, expanding to 2,736 theaters, and averaging $3,827 per venue. By the fourth weekend it fell to sixth place, losing 47% of its audience, grossing $5,520,362 expanding to 2,903 theaters, and averaging $1,902 per venue.
By the end of its theatrical run, the film grossed a total of $157,802,470 worldwide—$81,159,365 in the United States and Canada and $76,643,105 in other territories, against a budget estimated at $35 million.
A race-based controversy arose over the decision to make the majority of the characters white Americans, even though the main players in the book Bringing Down the House, upon which the film 21 is based, were mainly Asian-Americans. The lead role was given to London-born Jim Sturgess, who required a dialect coach to speak with an American accent.
Jeff Ma, who was the real-life inspiration for the character Ben Campbell and served as a consultant on the film, was attacked as being a 'race traitor' on several blogs for not insisting that his character be Asian-American. In response, Ma said, 'I'm not sure they understand how little control I had in the movie-making process; I didn't get to cast it.' Ma said that the controversy was 'overblown' and that the important aspect is that a talented actor would portray him. Ma, who is Chinese American, told USA Today, 'I would have been a lot more insulted if they had chosen someone who was Japanese or Korean, just to have an Asian playing me.'
Nick Rogers of The Enterprise wrote, 'The real-life students mostly were Asian-Americans, but 21whitewashes its cast and disappointingly lumps its only Asian-American actors (Aaron Yoo and Liza Lapira) into one-note designations as the team's kleptomaniac and a slot-playing 'loser.'
The Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) reported on their web site: 'After the 'white-washing' issue was raised on Entertainment Weekly's web site,  producer Dana Brunetti wrote: 'Believe me, I would have LOVED to cast Asians in the lead roles, but the truth is, we didn't have access to any bankable Asian-American actors that we wanted.'
21 was released on DVD and Blu-ray in Region 1 on July 21, 2008.
Reaction from casinos
In pre-production, the producers and the book's original writers predicted that the Vegas casinos would be unhelpful, as a film that told viewers the basics of card counting might hurt their bottom line. A featurette included with the DVD completely and accurately describes the 'Hi-Lo' system used by the MIT Blackjack Club and by Rosa's team in the film.
21 Gambling Game
In fact, the writers were surprised when told by the producers that MGM Studios would finance the film, though all 'MGM' casinos (including one used by the real MIT Blackjack Team) are owned by MGM Resorts International and are no longer related to MGM Studios. In reality, as another DVD featurette reveals, the casinos (including MGM Resorts) saw the film as an attention-getter; people who saw it would be encouraged to go to Vegas and play: some just for fun and some attempting to count cards but failing to learn or memorize the entire strategy or making too many mistakes. The film withheld critical strategy details (such as the conversion from the 'running count' to a 'true count'), and most beginning card counters underestimate the number and value of the mistakes they make.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Singles from 21 - Music from the Motion Picture|
The soundtrack was released at the same time as the film.
- The Rolling Stones—'You Can't Always Get What You Want' (Remixed by Soulwax) (6:07)
- MGMT—'Time to Pretend' (Super Clean Version) (4:20)
- LCD Soundsystem—'Big Ideas' (5:41)
- D. Sardy featuring Liela Moss—'Giant' (3:42)
- Amon Tobin—'Always' (3:38)
- Peter Bjorn and John—'Young Folks' (4:37)
- Shook One —'Soul Position' (4:16)
- Get Shakes—'Sister Self Doubt' (4:22)
- The Aliens—'I Am The Unknown' (5:27)
- Rihanna—'Shut Up and Drive' (3:34)
- Knivez Out—'Alright' (3:31)
- Domino—'Tropical Moonlight' (3:28)
- Unkle—'Hold My Hand' (4:58)
- Mark Ronson featuring Kasabian—'L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)' (3:32)
- Broadcast—'Tender Buttons' (2:51)
- Other tracks
- Although it is not included in the soundtrack, Moby's 'Slippin' Away' (Axwell Vocal Remix) plays in the scene when Ben is passing through airport security.
- The song 'Everybody Get Dangerous' by Weezer was also featured in the film, but not included on the soundtrack since it was not yet released. It would later be released on Weezer's 2008 record, The Red Album. It is played on a distant radio when the team is in a poker club.
- The songs 'I Want You to Want Me' by Cheap Trick and 'Music is Happiness' by The Octopus Project were also featured in the film but not on the soundtrack album.
- The song 'Magnificent' by Estelle (feat. Kardinal Offishall) was also featured in the film but not on the soundtrack album. It's played approximately 58 minutes in, after the Weezer song, in the scene where Ben buys Jill a beer. It's subtle, and has a reggae beat.
- In the promotional trailers, 'Break on Through (To the Other Side)' by The Doors was used.
- During the restaurant scene where the team explains to Ben how they work, 'Home' by Great Northern can be heard playing in the background.
- The song 'Again with the Subtitles' by Texas artist Yppah is another uncredited song in the film.
- The track played as the team makes off at the end of the film is 'Rito a Los Angeles' by Giuseppe De Luca, which features part of the main riff of 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida'. This track is also used in Ocean's Twelve, the first sequel to the caper film Ocean's Eleven, about actually robbing casinos in Vegas.
- My Mathematical Mind by Spoon was featured in the trailers.
- ^'21 Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes'. Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 22 November 2009. Retrieved May 29, 2020.
- ^'21 (2008): Reviews'. Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2 April 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
- ^'Find CinemaScore'(Type '21**' in the search box). CinemaScore. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
- ^'21 (2008) - Weekend Box Office Results'. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-04-06.
- ^'21 (2008)'. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-04-28.
- ^'Real MIT Blackjack Team - 21 Movie True Story'. chasingthefrog.com. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- ^Janusonis, Michael. 'Movies: 21 star Jim Sturgess got a crash course in card counting'. projo.com. Archived from the original on April 11, 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- ^Justin Berton (2008-03-27). 'Hollywood deals Jeff Ma a good hand with '21''. San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 29 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
- ^Berry, Jillian A. (March 14, 2008). 'INTERVIEW MIT, Vegas, Hollywood'. The Tech. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- ^Bowles, Scott (2008-03-26). 'New film '21' counts on the real deal for inspiration'. USA Today. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
- ^Nick Rogers (2008-03-26). 'When the stakes are high, '21' folds'. The Enterprise. Archived from the original on 2008-04-01. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
- ^'CONTROVERSY STILL SURROUNDS DVD RELEASE OF MOVIE '21''. manaa.org. Archived from the original on 2013-10-04. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- ^'21 (Single-Disc Edition) (2008)'. Amazon.com. Retrieved March 31, 2013.
- ^ abBrown, Marisa. '21 [Original Soundtrack]'. AllMusic. Retrieved 2008-04-02.
- 21 at IMDb
- 21 at Rotten Tomatoes
- 21 at Metacritic
- 21 at Box Office Mojo
- 21 at AllMovie
- Photos of the filming of 21 near the campus of MIT: 123456
- Official world wide release dates with links to different national sites