It’s no secret that movies have a great impact on shaping our culture and society. Whether celebrating someone for their accomplishments or serving as a warning sign or act of criticism, movies can often convey a very powerful message that many people tend to absorb.
So, as an avid poker enthusiast, I can’t help but ask the question, how do movies impact the image of poker players? Poker is often featured in movies and is arguably one of the most well-known games of chance in the world.
Of course, you’ll also see roulette, blackjack, and even online games like you can find on sites like UFABET shown in various movies, but let’s focus on poker today.
After extensive research and many reviewed movies, I have come to some conclusions that I want to share with you. Let’s cut to the chase and discuss how movies shape society’s image of poker players.
Poker is often linked to the underworld
From The Sting to Rounders and many other poker and gambling films released over the last century, this card game was often associated with the mafia, gangsters or illegal activities in general.
Of course, there’s a reason this pairing works so well. There are many concrete examples of criminal activity caused or directly related to gambling and poker.
But, like any other cinematic trope, the depiction of something in a film often takes the subject matter to an extreme.
For example, either the main character is playing against a mob boss, or all the big city poker games are run by gangsters who want to take over the main character. To add to that, these movies will also include scenes of burglaries, betrayals, and murders.
In reality, being a poker player is fortunately not as exciting. And, while it’s often a fun watch, these associations also promote the stereotype that poker is tied to the underworld.
Unrealistic Poker Results
If you’ve ever watched a poker movie, you’ll agree when I say that every movie follows one of many possible arcs. The most common is when a poker player has a bad time and loses almost all of their money initially, only to achieve a life-changing win when close to their last dollar, or engage in an insane winning streak.
Although it often provides a sense of well-being, such a depiction is inaccurate if I’m being realistic. To be honest, outliers like this can happen in real life, but they’re extremely rare and it’s not wise to think you’re one of them.
Why am I highlighting this particular detail from the poker movies? Because they could be very dangerous for online poker newbies, who can get carried away with such films. In reality, if you lose a lot of money, you’ll either go bankrupt on the spot, or you’ll have to spend a lot of time and effort even to recoup your losses, let alone make a profit.
Win by Sheer Brain Power or Special System
In some poker movies, the main characters are often portrayed as geniuses who can read their opponents’ cards flawlessly or use a self-devised system that makes them almost unbeatable.
In reality, having such a strategy or insight would require cheating somehow or having a team of mathematicians constantly calculating the numbers for each hand.
While some poker pros can keep their cool in tough situations and get the correct hand read, such things rarely happen. Still, such portrayals of poker players in movies are perfectly understandable, as movies often multiply real-life examples.
poker is cool
When you watch Sean Connery, Paul Newman or any other legendary actor play poker, you can’t help but think how cool this card game is. Often joined by a beautiful companion at their side, these charismatic leaders certainly make poker a very desirable activity.
And I wholeheartedly agree and endorse this positive stereotypical portrayal of poker. Although your actions are not filmed in black and white and you may not have scripted lines to say at the right time, playing poker is often very cool.
Contrary to some negative connotations often associated with poker, this portrays poker players in a very positive image. Plus, it’s a stereotype I wish more moviegoers would embrace, especially if it encourages them to play this enjoyable, highly cerebral game of chance.
Of course, poker isn’t the only game of chance depicted in movies since you can see plenty of casino scenes everywhere. If this is something you are also interested in, be sure to check out our article on how to increase your chances of winning at online casinos.