With money to burn and an affinity for glitz and glamour, celebrities can often be found in the VIP lounges and high roller blackjack tables at high end casinos around the world, from Melbourne to Dubai. Here’s a peek at some of our favourite big name blackjack players.
To us commoners, celebrities sure do appear to be living the dream. Between exclusive premiere parties, Beverley Hills mansions, luxury international travel and rubbing shoulders with rich and famous friends, you’d think gambling would be the last thing on celebs minds.
While you might not spot a member of the glitterati chucking pennies into a slot machine, many A-list celebs are known to flaunt a love for the glorious game of blackjack.
Ben Affleck takes the cake for celebrities who love 21, often making tabloid headlines for his penchant for the game. This A-list, Oscar award winning actor is known for leading roles in such Hollywood hits as Gone Girl, Argo, Good Will Hunting, Pearl Harbour and Armageddon to name a few – and of course for being lucky enough to bag the stunning Jennifer Garner as a wife.
Affleck’s love for blackjack became public when it was revealed that he was kicked off the blackjack tables at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas when he started winning too much. The casino never touted a reason, but banned him from returning to the 21 tables and said he could only play the other casino games.
Affleck admitted that he had dedicated a lot of time to learning expert blackjack strategy including card counting and was not happy with Hard Rock’s decision to exclude him from the game. He told Entertainment Tonight, “I took some time to learn the game and became a decent blackjack player. And once I became decent, the casinos asked me not to play blackjack. I mean, the fact that being good at the game is against the rules at the casinos should tell you something about casinos.”
We wonder if Ben’s made the smart move to switch to online blackjack like the rest of us?
Does anyone actually care about Paris Hilton anymore? Unlikely, but nonetheless, this Hollywood socialite is a familiar face around the Vegas circuit and she’s been known to play a round of blackjack or two.
Famous for a leaked sex tape, a series of reality shows including The Simple Life (co-starring fellow socialite Nicole Richie) and ridiculous catch phrases like “that’s hot” this hotel heiress has plenty of money to throw around, making her blackjack skills insignificant in comparison to her bankroll.
As a notorious party girl, Paris Hilton is a Vegas and Atlantic City staple, often paid by high end casinos and hotels to make an appearance at their venue.
Believe it or not, Paris is actually known to be pretty good at blackjack, winning $50,000 in one game last year, proving (infuriatingly enough) that the rich just keep getting richer.
Sean “P Diddy” Combs
Sean Combs (AKA Puff Daddy AKA P Diddy) has always been known for his love for the extravagant, flaunting his wealth and leaving us plebs feeling completely inadequate, but one thing we can find common ground on is our shared love for blackjack.
P Diddy isn’t just a one-time, recreational 21 player either. It’s been reported that he has requested blackjack tables be set up backstage before concerts and award shows just so he and his mates can sit around and play a few hands.
As word spread in the casino industry about Diddy’s love for the game, he became an in-demand public figure for casino moguls to flaunt at their venues. Harrad’s Casino in Atlantic City paid the rapper a hefty sum to place the first bet at their newly installed poolside blackjack tables, a request that Diddy was more than happy to oblige.
Given the amount of cash he’s happy to flaunt on lavish cars, flashy jewels and prolific parties, we reckon it’s safe to say that P Diddy is throwing down bets on the high roller scale.
Curtis James Jackson III (better known as 50 Cent or affectionately “Fiddy”) is an American rapper turned entrepreneur who’s as famous for his music as he is for being shot and arrested a bunch of times.
After his music career launched him straight into the spotlight, 50 Cent used his fame to grow his wealth, investing in everything from real estate, to boxing, to vitamin water.
Forbes listed him amongst other big names like Jay-Z as one of the wealthiest figures in American hip hop, so it’s not surprising that Fiddy is known to spend some time splitting Aces at high end casinos around the world.
50 says blackjack is only worth playing if you have a lot to win or a lot to lose, and is known to bet up to $70,000 in a single sitting. 50 Cent’s love for the game is most evident in the recent release of his own app 50 Cent Blackjack, which can be played via Facebook and on smartphones and tablets.
More celebrities who love playing blackjack
Next time you’re playing 21 at a real life casino, keep your eyes peeled; you may just be lucky enough to spot one of these celeb players trying their luck on the blackjack tables. Other celebrities who are known to play a hand or two include:
- Michael Jordan
- Dana White
- Matt Damon
- Jennifer Tilly
- Prince Harry
- Charles Barkley