Jimmy Kimmel recently recorded a week of shows at the Zappos Theater inside Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Kevin Hart was one of the celebrity guests that stopped by. He joked about Vegas not being good to him and why he doesn’t visit like he used to.
As he says, Vegas is fun but sometimes the casinos can chew you up and spit you out. Here’s his all too familiar tale playing blackjack.
The bit is funny and the kind of story many blackjack players have experienced on their own. He gets two 8’s against a dealer showing a 6. He gets two more 8’s and now has four hands. His next card is a 3 and he knows that he has to double.
After taking the next card face down, he’s dealt a 2 on the next 8. His knowledge of basic strategy tells him to double down and takes the card face down again. The next two cards are both a 10.
The dealer turns over a 5 to go along with their 6. The total of 11 would make anyone with four hands a little nervous. The next card two cards are a 3 and an Ace. The dealer now has a total of 15.
Somehow he’s not screaming for the dealer to turn over a 10 like 99.9% of blackjack players would.
The next and last card for the dealer is a 6 for a total of 21. This is a kick in the gut no matter how much money is in play. That’s a brutal beat that many of have probably experienced way too often.
Kevin Hart isn’t the only celebrity that plays blackjack. Major and minor celebrities are photographed fairly often playing blackjack in Las Vegas.
Way back in 2004 there was even a TV show featuring famous people and the good game called “Celebrity Blackjack” on the Game Show Network. Here’s how the show worked:
“In this popular spin-off game, “World Series of Blackjack,” four celebrities compete to go against the dealer by coming closer to 21 points a hand, without going over. Number cards (including the 10) are worth their face value, face cards are worth 10 (meaning a jack, king or queen), and the ace is worth either 1 or 11 points (on a contestant’s choice). In every round, each celebrity will be staked $100,000.
For hands 1-11, the minimum wager is $1,000 and the maximum wager will be $25,000. Starting with hand 11, the minimum wager will be increased to $5,000 and no celebrity can make any maximum wagers at this point, therefore a contestant can wager everything they have on a given hand. If a celebrity accumulates 5 cards without going over 21, that celebrity is an automatic winner and instantly receives a payment of 1:1 on their bet.
Also on deck, each card contains 6 jokers. When a contestant is dealt a joker card as one of the first 2 cards, they will have a decision to replace that card with any other card that’s on the table once each player has received their first two cards. They can also take the dealer’s up card, if they wish.”
The promo for the TV show only shows a sample of the stars that participated in the show. Here’s the full list of celebrity blackjack players on “Celebrity Blackjack.” It’s astonishing that may of the guests are still famous. Also…
Surprise! Kevin Hart made an appearance on the TV show 15 years ago.