Holy Rollers – An Award winning Documentary about Christian Card Counters 17.01.2012

Blackjack News

We all live in a diverse world populated by people from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, practicing different religions (or not practicing at all) and having different views about the right way to live our lives.

Christianity has always maintained a strong stance against gambling and true believers were expected to resist the tempting thrills the casino offers and never be blinded by the flashing lights of slot machines that some believed was a manifestation of the devil trying to tempt believers away from the word of god.

Now a new documentary made in 2011 is surprising movie goers and critics alike by portraying a weird occurrence where these two separated worlds of Christianity and gambling seem to collide in the most fascinating of ways. The movie won several awards at international festivals.

“Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians” brings the story of a group of Evangelical Christians in their thirties all holding respectable positions in their Seattle-based community and include among them a pastor, church leaders and regular congregants of their church.

Most members of the community struggle with supporting their families but still continue to devote time to church-related activities. Two members of the community, who are against gambling and demonize the casino industry, decide to learn how to count cards in blackjack.

They then teach other members of the community and send them to casinos all over the US to play blackjack in small groups and win money. The teams use elaborate disguises to avoid detection and banning from casinos. The money won is funneled back to supporting their families in their impoverished community.

The group does not believe that their card counting activity, team-play and use of disguises does not count as cheating and since casinos are evil they deserve it. The casino operators of course hold a different view and would ban members of the group whenever they were caught.

After a six month winning streak the team started losing. Members of the group that had their life-savings and mortgages invested in the team, start to pull out. The group starts to expand beyond church members and greed and suspicion get the better of them.

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