Just like the rest of us, mere mortals that we are, famous celebrities also like to kick back and relax every so often, enjoying their free time by participating in popular pastimes and hobbies, or even spending it playing some of their favourite games.
Of course, most celebrities tend to have stacks of cash available to throw at their leisure pursuits, which for several big names includes chancing their hand at the casino card tables. Indeed, there are a few who have gained a reputation for playing one game in particular, smitten by aiming for that magical hand of 21 and beating the bank at blackjack.
Before settling down and getting married, Prince Harry was quite often renowned for his living-it-large lifestyle. During one trip to Las Vegas back in 2012, Prince Harry hit the headlines as photos emerged of him playing strip billiards, after inviting a hen party back to his hotel suite, causing a furore in the British press. That said, the fabled ‘Sin City’ welcomed his hedonistic stay, because it was great publicity for the city and its resorts as an adult playground.
Prince Harry also enjoyed himself playing blackjack at the Wynn Encore Casino, attracting a crowd of onlookers watching him play. He reportedly lost $300 during his blackjack session, although later commented that he’d quite enjoyed the free drinks whilst playing. Nevertheless, this relatively minor loss at the blackjack table was more than suitably offset, given that resort owner Steve Wynn apparently waived the £30,000 bill for Prince Harry and his entourage.
Having accumulated a vast personal fortune during his recording career, making him one of the wealthiest rappers in the world, 50 Cent doesn’t do anything by halves when he’s out enjoying himself. During an interview he once declared his love for playing blackjack, even stating that when heading to a casino, he likes to take at least $70,000 with him and bet around $5,000 on every hand he plays.
Such is his fascination with the game of blackjack, he even launched his very own Facebook app game called 50 Cent’s Blackjack, although it didn’t exactly receive glowing reviews from games reviewers. Often found sitting at casino tables with a huge wad of cash, wherever he travels, ‘Fiddy’ also likes playing online and mobile games. You never know, he might well play online blackjack at the same places as you do. Imagine that!
Although he may have given up the role of Batman recently, there’s still very much something of the Dark Knight to Ben Affleck when it comes to his passion for casino card games; especially when playing for high stakes. While also a very accomplished poker player, Affleck’s true passion is playing blackjack and he’s often seen at card tables with his best buddy, Matt Damon, who himself became smitten by casino games when researching his role in 1998 movie Rounders.
However, such is Affleck’s desire to win big when playing blackjack, his ability playing the game has even posed something of a problem. According to a story published by The Hollywood Reporter in 2014, he was banned for life from the blackjack tables at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, told he was “too good at the game” by security at the venue. Affleck later admitted that he’s very skilled at counting the cards, which although not illegal, is frowned upon by casinos.
And Finally, a Case of Mistaken Identity…
There are lots of stories floating around the internet that actor Don Johnson is an expert at blackjack. However, famed for his roles in Miami Vice and Nash Bridges, the actor has never actually been renowned for playing cards or gambling, nor has he won huge amounts of cash playing blackjack, which is incorrectly stated by quite a few websites. His acting career has enjoyed a revival in recent years, though, with some great TV and movie roles.
The reality is there’s actually a namesake, an altogether different Don Johnson, who is a former corporate executive and highly skilled professional blackjack player. This ‘blackjack Don’ once hit Atlantic City casinos for over $15 million during a six-month period in 2010, after arranging special playing conditions with several venues. While ‘actor Don’ would love those millions, it just goes to show that article writers should always fact-check their internet finds.