Croupier (1998) - full transcript

An aspiring writer is hired as a croupier at a casino, where he realizes that his life as a croupier would make a great novel.

- Now it
had become the still center

of that spinning wheel
of misfortune.

The world turned
round him,

leaving him
miraculously untouched.

The croupier had
reached his goal.

He no longer heard
the sound of the ball.

To begin with,
he was Jack Manfred.

- Now, then.
- I want a job, Giles.

- I see. Well...

Let me tell you a little bit
about our operation.

We like
personality authors.

People the public

Celebrity's what
sells books.

You can always find somebody
to do the writing.

What we need is the face...
then the concept.

Right now I'm looking
for a soccer novel.

Something where a tycoon
buys a lousy team

and takes it to the top.

transfer fees.

Corruption all
down the line.

Violence on
and off the pitch.


You got any concepts?

It could be a thug story.

I'll tell you what,
why don't you think about it?

Hmm? Couple of pages.

With plenty of sex,
of course.


- Interesting, Giles.

I will think about it.

- Let me give you three
words of advice, Jack.

Don't give up.

Stick with it.

Who persists, wins,
that's my motto.

Write, write, write.

- And Jack had
three words for Giles.

Go fuck yourself.

Jack knew something
was wrong.

He'd forgotten Giles' advice.
Giles said three words.

Nobody around, leave a
message after the beep.

- Jacko.

If you're there,
pick up, would ya.

I want to talk to
you, it's important.

Jacko, I've got
some news for you.

Come on, Jacko.

- Yeah, Dad, it's me.

- How's it going?
- Good, yeah.

- Found a job yet?
- No.

- Well I've got something
for you, in London I mean.

I've been chatting with
some friends. Now...

Do you know
the Golden Lion Casino?

They're looking
for a dealer.

- Yeah, that's not
what I wanna do, Dad.

- Now, I know you don't
like taking my advice...

- No, it's not that.

- Listen, I've set
this up for you.

Now you call the Golden Lion,
and you ask to speak

to Mr. Reynolds.
That's the manager.

Now I don't know him personally,
but I have spoken to his boss.

Now, don't say no, Jacko.

Give yourself a break.

- All right, Dad. Yeah,
I'll think about it.

- Reynolds at
the Golden Lion.

- Yeah. All right, Dad.
- Yes. I'll call him.

- You do that.
- That's my boy.

- So how are
you doing, Dad?

- Great.

Yeah, just started
a new company.

Solid financing.

It's good.

Jacko, you know I
love you, don't you?

- Yeah. I know that.

- Don't let
yourself down.

- I won't.

- I'll keep in touch.

- Goodbye, Dad.

- It was unbelievable.
- I was in the room.


Uh-huh. Blackjack.

See you then, bye.

- Sorry to have kept you.
- What'll you have?

- Nope. Jack knew
it still wasn't quite right.

- I wanna fuck
the whole world over!


- He had
just one word for Giles.

- David Reynolds.
- I'm the manager.

- Sit down, John.
- Jack.

- You've been recommended
by the management here.

They know your father.

He's a bit of
a reputation, hasn't he?

- Has he?

- In any case, I understand
you've had some

previous experience
in South Africa.

You'll find the rules here
just a little bit different.

Before we start, you haven't
got a police record, have you?

- No.

- What school did you go to?
- I was at Bedales.

- Oh. I don't think
I know that one.

Private, I suppose.

There's three types
of casino in the UK.

High volume, small action,
and middle of the road.

That's us.
Okay, Charlie.

- Do you have
a salon prive?

- We tried.
- Wasn't enough business.

- Punters like company.
- Welcome back, Jack... the house
of addiction.

- Thanks, Charlie.

Right. Let's see you
handle the chips.

- I have to assume
the serial numbers

on the bowl
and wheel correspond.

- We check every two days.
- Why not every day?

- Procedure here.

Right, sort the chips.



All right, now pay
me out $1,800 in 25s.

Very good. Okay, let's have
a look at your blackjack.

- Fourteen.

Too many.

Nineteen, Sixteen.

Too many.


Eighteen, Fourteen.



- What's the count?
- Minus nine.

- I make it minus eight.
- Minus nine.

- What makes you so sure?
- It's the rule.

Always stand by
your first count.

The odds are
you're right.

- Good call.
- You want me to check?

- I said,
good call.

- lthadtaken
him 45 minutes,

but Jack now had
Mr. Reynolds' number.

The man
couldn't count.

- Right, just let me
run through a few things.

As a dealer,
you never gamble.

Not anywhere. And we'll
need your picture.

- What for?
- For the database.

It can be accessed by
every casino in the country.

We have the same
system for punters.

- I don't gamble.
- Ever?

- I don't gamble,
Mr. Reynolds.

- Huh.

- Next point.

Friendships between
croupiers inside

or outside the casino
are discouraged.

Relationships with
females working here...

- are expressly forbidden.
- We had the same rule

in Sun City, but it was
impossible to check.

- Well this isn't
South Africa.

We'd know, because
someone would report it.

Believe me, someone
always does.

- Does know, or does report?
- What would happen

if I knew something like that
and didn't report it?

- We'd know.

There are no secrets
in this casino.

- And you'd be punished.
- How?

- First offense, verbal warning.
- Second offense, written warning.

That one's filed and sometimes
copied to the gaming board.

My discretion.

Third offense, you'd
be sacked on the spot.

You'd never work in a casino
in this country again.

And there's
another rule.

You're forbidden to talk to
or recognize a punter

outside the casino. If you see
someone who's gambled here,

even if it's just
casually on the street,

you must ignore
him or her.

Not married, are you?


- Yeah.
- She's not in the...

she's not in the gaming
business, is she?

- No.

- Good.

This is our
Crow's nest.

I'm showing you it now, but
you'll never see it again.

- Very impressive.

- We have tapes here
that go back six months.

Here, let me show
you something.

See that?

Six weeks ago.

Dealer missed it.
Guy up here missed it.

I watch these
tapes after hours.

Nothing gets by me.

Lady's in jail now.

It's easier to take ten
million pounds from a bank,

than to take one
penny from this casino.

Right. Well, as soon as you get
your license, you can start.

- Fine.

- So...

Are you planning to make
a career in casino work?

And end up like you?

L-- I just
want a job.

- You're not the usual
type we get in here, Jack.

Mr. Reynolds
was right, it was true.

Excuse me.

- Jack was
up above the world.

A writer looking
down on his subject.

A detached...

- I can't talk
about that just now.

- Voyeur.
- I'm with somebody.

Well, they can wait.

I'll be home at
the usual time.

Don't get married, Jack.

Casino work doesn't mix
with house and garden.

Any questions?

- Yeah. What's the salary?

- The casino paid
its staff monthly in arrears.

He would have to wait six
weeks for his first check.

- He needed money now.
- So, what kind of deal

are you looking for?

- What's the book price?

- That's not relevant.

Old car like this,
depends on the condition.

- The car was
a gift from Jack's father.

That's to say,
Jack Sr. Had given it to him

before the
bailiffs arrived.

- And this ain't exactly
what you call "mint."

- How about $1,500?

- How about $500?
- What?

- How about we split
the difference?


- Is that your idea
of arithmetic?

- I'm not a mathematician.
- I'm in business.

- $850.
- $750.

- He suddenly
wanted to be rid of it.

Hang on tightly,
let go lightly.

Jack imagined people
reading his book.

One day he would get
into their heads.

Play with their

Test their feelings.

He would tell them, you have
to make the choice in life.

Be a gambler,
or a croupier.

And then live with your
decision, come what may.

Marion saw life

She was a romantic...

and thought
he was, too.

- I couldn't resist them.

- You mean I
won't resist them.

- No.

I'm not ready for you.

There's some vodka
in the freezer.

- You want me drunk?
- I won't take that long!


- Wow.

You really are
a beautiful woman.

- It's not just
inner beauty, is it?

- Turn around.

You're all I desire.

- Where did you get it?
- I sold the car.

- You shouldn't have done that,
I know what it meant to you.

- I owe you for the rent.

It's only a car,
I can get another.

- Take it back.
- No.

- Till you sell your book.
- Marion, let's face the truth.

Nobody is gonna publish it.

- Of course, they are.
- You just have to be patient.

- I'm betting on you.
- I'm not much of a bet.

- You are to me.

Come into
my world.

You're my prisoner.

- I've got something
to tell you.

- I wanna hear it.
- I've got a job.

- What job'?
- In a casino.

As a croupier. Dealer.

- How did you land that?
- It came my way.

450 a week.

' 450'?

What did you do?
Just walk in and say,

- I want to be a croupier?
- Don't you need training?

- I had training.
- In the republic.

- You were
a croupier there?

You never
told me that.

I thought you just
knew some gamblers.

- I start Monday week.

- 450 a week?

I've never earned
that in my life.

You're an enigma, you are.

A fucking enigma.

- I'm not an enigma.
- Just a contradiction.

- You sold the car.

You've got a job.

What's the third thing?

Tell me.

- There's no third thing.

Don't be superstitious.

- I love you, Jack.
- You know that.

- And he half-loved
Marion, and she knew that, too.

You trying to
read my palm?

- You've got such
beautiful hands.

The hands of a
Conjurer, a woman told him once.

Or a cardsharp.

- Do you work around here?
- My office is in Shanghai.

- What do you do?
- I'm an arms dealer.

- So, what line
of work are you in, then?

- I'm an undertaker.

- Really?

- Now place your bets, please.

- Jack Manfred.
- Jack Manfred. Table three.

- And you have a new
dealer. Thank you.

Usual bunch.

They didn't know Jack,
but he knew them.

Good evening,
ladies and gentlemen.

- Where's the other
fellow? Where's Jeff?

- Where's Jeff'?
- Jeff.

He's been
re-assigned, sir.

- Well let's hope you know
how to do your job.

- In fives.
- Change.

- What aftershave are you using?
- Never converse

with the punters.
Slows things down.

Money down.

Speed is volume.
Volume is profit for the casino.

Aim at 4O spins an hour.
Place your bets, please.

No more bets,
thank you.

10 black.

Ooh, the scam.

Come in with three grand
cash, no questions asked.

Launder it by getting a
casino check when you cash in.

Jack wondered why
Mr. Reynolds permitted it.

After all, there was no
profit in it for the casino.

Place your
bets, please.

Or was there?


Too many.


Too many.


Too many.


Too many.

11, Double.


Black jack.

A wave of
elation came over him.

He was hooked again.
Place your bets, please.

Watching people lose.

New dealer.

- Evening, gentlemen.
- Good evening.

- Jack.

Good work.
Keep it up.

- Color change.


Place your
bets, please.

Don't give me that sob story.

- That's a lie, Ben.

- You've been secretly
seeing Charlie for years.

- Stop it!
- No I won't.

- I'm Bella.
- Jack Manfred.

- Hi, Jack.

Welcome to
the cesspit.

- Is it that bad?

- How do I look?

Like trouble, Bella.

You look fine.

- Tits in a uniform.
- Punters love it.

- Your usual, sir.

Thank you, sir.
Enjoy your game.

5O quid for a Diet Coke.

Waitresses were the true
winners in a casino.

The only members of staff
allowed to accept tips.

- Thank you, Jack.

Enjoy yourself,
Mr. Tchai.

- On a good
night they could get

- between 200 or 300 quid.
- Good evening, Mr. Tchai.

- Evening.

- Mr. Tchai always loves
to sit at that table.

- And only with Bella.
- Does he win?

- He's a good customer.

- A good customer
is a consistent loser.

But is that
what he meant?

- Where do you live, Jack?
- Over the river.

- You got transport?
- No.

- I'm going over the river.
- I'll give you a lift

- if you like.
- Nice one, thanks.

- So how do you feel?
- Your first night on the job?

Bet you're on a high.

- Nice car.
- She's my baby.

- So how long have you
worked at the casino?

- Coming up to
two years now.

But I was away
for six months.

- Looks like you've
done pretty well.

- Not bad. I have other
interests, of course.

Listen, I'm off to
a little watering hole.

Have a few drinks, relax.
Want to join me?

- No thanks.

I'm gonna go home.
I need my eight hours.

- I bet you five to one
you won't get any sleep.

You've got to unwind in
this job, Jack...

Or it'll kill you.
I mean that.

- Some other time.

- What time is it?

- No idea.

- How did it go?
- Yeah, fine.

- You're shaking.
- What is it?

- It's just tension.
- It'll go.

- Poor baby.

This'll relax you.

- I loved it blonde.
- Oh look, it's only hair.

I haven't changed.

- When you come
home, I'm asleep.

When I leave home,
you're asleep.

- Mmm.

- Bye.

- I'll see you
in my dreams.

- 2O fives.

- Change.


Money down.

Place your
bets, please.

- Two, six, 13.

Jack could see this woman

was an experienced gambler.
Professionals always place

their bets through
the croupier.

That way there
are no comebacks.

- One, five, 16,
and the neighbors.

No more bets.
Thank you.

13 black.

Eight seven five.

Place your bets, please.

- Two, six, 13.
- Two, six, 13.

- Orphans.
- Orphans by 25. 125 the bet.

- Orphans.
- Orphans by five.

- One, five, 16
and the neighbors.

No more bets.
Thank you.

- 34 red. No, I'm sorry, sir.
- That's a late bet.

- What are you talking about?
- 34, I won with this lady.

- No. You've won with the chips
you placed earlier,

But the bet on 34
was a late bet.

- I put it all together.
- I'm afraid that's not so, sir.

- Now look here, I--
- Is there a problem?

- Yes! This croupier is
accusing me of cheating.

Do you think I cheated?

- In my opinion,
it was a late bet.

- I think we should
talk about this...

away from
the table.

- No, I won.
- I want to be paid.

- Pay the gentleman.
- In full. Now.

We'd better talk
in my office sir.

- Why?
- We paid you out this time,

but I'm afraid you won't
be welcome here again.

- You bastard!
- On your way, please, sir.

- 1300.

I'm sorry, madam.
We're not allowed

to accept gratuities
in the UK.

It's different
in South Africa.

- You know where I'm from.
- I've lived there.

- Well, thank
you anyway.

Bright woman, he thought.

She knew the rule of gold.
Place your bets, please.

Quit when
you're ahead.

Matt, listen.

There's something
I've got to say to you.

- I saw you cheating.
- What the fuck

- are you talking about?
- That Greek guy at the end.

You paid him out
25s, not 10s.

- You got it wrong, Jack.
- I don't cheat.

- I'm not gonna
report it.

- What are you, a fucking cop?
- But if I see you

doing it again,
I will.

- I don't get you. Even if it
was true, which it isn't,

what the fuck difference
would it make to you?

- Because if the supervisor
knew that I'd seen it

and didn't report it,
then I'd lose my job,

- and I can't afford that.
- Oh, so it's Mr. Clean.

Wise up, Jack. This
whole business is bent.

The casino's nothing but
legal theft, and that's okay.

It's the system.
Half the punters

who come in here are using
stolen money. Drugs money.

They haven't
even earned it.

We earn our money.

I'm on your side, Jack.
I don't need an enemy.

- You're talking
about complicity.

- I don't even know
what that means.

I'm talking about
not rocking the boat.

Matt was an escape artist.

- Like Jack's father.
- Okay.

Now, let's unwind.

Hey, Andros.

- This is Jack.
- Hello.

- How you doing?

- Blackjack.
- One blackjack and... drink?

- Vodka, straight
on the rocks.

- Vodka straight
coming up.

- Who are these guys'?
- A few drug dealers.

- Mostly people that work
In the casino business.

- And the girls?
- Just girls.

- Blackjack,
and vodka straight.

- Does Bella come here?
- The bitch? No.

- Matt, you want in?
- Yeah, why not?

- Jack, join us?

- No thanks.

- I won't report you.

- I don't gamble.

- You don't gamble?
- But do you smoke?

- Sometimes.

- How about now?

- Same again, yeah?
- Coming up.

Marion, I'm on my way.

- All right, lads.
- Divvy up.

- Listen, I'm gonna get off.
- I need to sleep.

- Loosen up, Jack. If you don't,
this job will get to you.

Pressure's too much.
Believe me, It'll break you.

- The world
breaks everyone.

And afterwards many are
strong at the broken places.

- Ernest Hemingway.

- Wasn't he the one
who shot himself?

- Where have
you been?

- I've got to give evidence
In court at nine.

- Don't play the policewoman
with me, Marion.

- Take that back!
- Fucking take that back!

- Yeah, I take it back. You're
not in the police anymore.

You're a store

- Are you drunk?

- Probably.

- This fucking job's
getting to you.

You haven't written a fucking
word since it started.

- Do you have to
swear all the time?

- Well, that's my poor

I didn't go to
private school.

I haven't got
any class.

I wanna live
with a writer.

Not a fucking

I don't even know
what the word means.

- Croupier.
- Marion, stop this.

- What do I mean to you?

I want to know.

Tell me.

- You're my conscience.

- Haven't you got a
conscience of your own?

- Fuck. Shit!

- Fancy a drink
after work?

- What are you doing here?
- You know the rules.

I don't finish till 9:00.

Shit. I'm on at 9:00.

- That's our life
now, isn't it?

Thinking of
going back?

- Oh, my god. Hello.

- You know what?
- I'd like to buy you a drink.

- It's against the rules.

Dealers are forbidden
to talk to punters.

- What are the odds of
you being seen with me?

- Impossible to calculate.

- It's a coincidence.

- You know, there's a
casino in this hotel.

- I'm not really
much of a gambler.

I just like this bar.

- First visit
to London?

- No. No, I come every
couple of years.

I always plan
to stay, but...

I'm from Cape
Town originally.

- I was born in the Transkei.
- On the wild coast.

- Near the casino.

- In the casino.

Now there's a coincidence.

My father used
to gamble there.

Your father?

I loved the

But it destroyed
my mother.

- The debts?
- And the lies.

- Gamblers are born liars.
- And superstitious too.

- It's like witchcraft.
- That's Africa.

There's an African in
all of us, isn't there?

- We all came from
Africa supposedly.

- Do you believe in astrology?
- Absolutely not.

But then I'm a Gemini,
and Geminis don't

believe in astrology.

- You know, you don't strike me
as a typical croupier.

Ah, I'm not married.

I just wear it to
keep the flies off.

Look, I have to go.

- Let me pay for this.
- Absolutely not.

- Toss you for it.
- I don't gamble.

- I know this
is verboten, but...

if you feel
like a chat,

or maybe dinner,
give me a call.

I'll understand
if you don't.

But I hope
that you do.

- Jack started to
dress for the casino at home.

A man in love
with his uniform.

Like a musician in his tuxedo
going to the concert hall

on public transport.
Eager to perform.

- No more bets.
- Thank you.

- 19 red.

- Animal!

- The croupier
registered disgust.

This gentleman's accidentally
coughed on the chips.

- The writer made a note.
Good scene for the book.

- Agnes, take these chips
off the table for me.

- I can't give you
a lift back tonight.

- Don't worry
about it.

- See you, Jack.
- Yeah, see you.

0 Jack, do you
want a lift?

- No. I'm okay, thanks.

- Maybe some other time.
- I'll take you up on that.

- Hey, you don't
recognize me?

You had me barred,
you fucking little worm.

- If I remember rightly,
you got yourself barred.

- No, it was you,
you shit.

- Jack! Jack!

Come on,
leave him.

Jack, you don't want
the police here, come on.


- He won't cheat again.

- You're shaking.

- It's nothing.
- It's just tension.

Oh... Fuck!

Oh, shit!

It's funny,
isn't it?

If that bloke hadn't have come
over, you wouldn't be here now.

- I hate cheats.

- All men
are cheats.

- Are they?

- Fools.

I spent a year
on the game.

Don't worry. I'm clean
as a whistle.

I only did S and M.

No blowjobs.
No screwing.

- Why did you stop?

- Got scared.

- Yeah. I can imagine.
- Can you?

Anyway, I'm happy
being a dealer now.

At least the punters keep
their hands to themselves,

even if the other
dealers don't.

- You called
the casino a cesspit.

- Well, it is.

But at least
I know where I am.

I've been watching you work.
You're good.

Too fucking good
for that place.

- I despise the job.

- If you hate it so much,
why do you do it?

Jack suddenly
had the feeling that

he was transparent, that Bella
could see right through him.

- You've got a guilty look.
- We broke the rules.

- Shit, he
hadn't meant to say that.

She'd caught
him unawares.

- You're certainly different
from the others.


This liaison, forbidden in
the casino family, was incest.

- Not like Matt, you mean.
- Now there's a real shit.

Don't get
friendly with him.

Do you know what
he said to me once?

I wanna fuck the whole world
over, that's my mission.

Stupid little shit.

Thank you, Bella.

Jack could hear
Matt saying it.

I want to fuck the whole world
over, it's my mission.

Eureka. Jack
had struck gold.

He'd found a protagonist
for his book.

Little Matt.

- Chapter one.
- I look like shit.

- Rough day?
- Rough life, Jack.

Rough life.

- Hi. I'm Pat.
- Hello.

- See you, boys.
- What happened to Bella?

- I'll tell
you later.

- Change.


- What has happened to Bella?
- What's happened to Bella?

- She's been re-assigned.

- Not re-assigned,
just written out of the story.

- Good evening.

- Hundreds.

- Change. 1,000.

- Now this
was no coincidence.


Too many.



Did she think
he'd bring her luck'?

- Can I get
anything for you?

- 14.
- Why had she come?

Too many.

Did she want
him to help her win?

Eleven double.

Twenty one.


13, 20.


He knew
how to fix it for her.


His father
had taught him the trick.

The casino
wouldn't spot it,

but Jack was wary
of the punters.

11 double.

He could see Mr.
Tchai was counting.

He couldn't risk it.



18, 18, 17...


She wasn't
wearing her ring.

Odds on she'd sold it.

- Thank you.
- Good night.

- Good night.

Thank you, she said.
For what, Jack thought.

He ought to thank her.

- Pretty woman.

- Jani De Villiers
had just entered his book.

Place your bets, please.

- Yeah.
- How's it going, Jacko?

- Fine. I took that job.
- Good for you.

- I was wondering
what was happening.

- Yeah, well, I
tried to call you,

but they said your
line was disconnected.

- Ah, yes.

I moved house.
I needed a bigger place.

- How's that book
of yours coming on?

- Yeah. I'm
getting there.

- Well, it's a good job
you've got the job

to fall back on,
isn't it? Huh?

Oh, there's my
other line. Ciao.

- I don't like it.

- Why not?

- I don't like it at all.

It had a wonderful
character before.

The gambler was
so romantic.

- He was a loser.

This guy's a croupier,
he can't lose.

People have shat on
him all his life,

and now he's in control.
He's a winner.

- Is that your
idea of a winner?

He couldn't give a shit about
anyone. He uses people--

- It's because of
the sex, isn't it?

You don't like
the sex in it.

- I couldn't give
a fuck about the sex.

Most men will
fuck a lamppost.

He's just a
miserable zombie.

Is that the way
you feel now?

Is that what's
happened to you?

- Marion, it's a book.

- Really? Then why
is he called Jake?

Why don't you come
clean, and call him Jack?

There's no
hope in it.

- It's the truth.

- Without hope, there's
no point to anything.

- What is so fucking
hopeful about your job?

Spending the day catching
poor people stealing?

You said yourself the organized
gangs get away with it.

At least in the casino
everyone gets caught.

Rich or poor, the odds are
the same, it's all relative.

- Crap! It is not
relative. It's unfair.

- It's designed unfair,
like your casino, and your

croupier's a little shit,
because he goes along with it.

- Yeah? What
about the lottery?

Look at this, you're just like

all the other
suckers out there.

14 and a half million to one,
is that your idea of hope?

- The door, Jack.
- Leave it.

- No. Answer it.

- Just called round to say
thanks for shopping me, Jack.

- What are you
talking about?

- Reynolds got a doctor in. They
forced me to do a dope test

which was positive,
as you knew.

- I don't know
anything about it.

- Hiya.
- Hi.

- Your boyfriend fucked me,
smoked my dope,

and then shopped me.
What do you think about that?

I can't get a job now.
You're no different from Matt.

Pair of vicious little shits,
that's what you are.

- Bella, I don't know
anything about this.

- All men are scumbags.
- I agree.

Go on.
Go after her.

- He was Jack...
and he was Jake.

And he had discovered
there was a price to pay

for this double
life of his.

He had no idea where Marion
was staying, or with whom.

He realized he knew little
about her life, but then...

He had never
asked about it.

For the first time
in a long while,

Jack thought about
his mother.

She'd left when she
couldn't take it any more.

His father had said, don't worry
Jack, oh, she'll come back.

She didn't.

But Marion wasn't
his mother.

He's paying out
twenty-fives, not tens.

- I see that.

Little shit, Matt.

- Chapter three:
His existence was forming

an interesting pattern
of betrayals.

Sometimes he was
unsure whether

he was the betrayer
or the betrayed.

- Thanks for the

- Pleasure.

Pity about Bella.

- She was a real asset.

What could I do?

Sorry, Jack.
No smoking in the nest.

- Thank you, sir.

- Fantastic, brilliant.
- Just down the side.


I thought it was you,
It's the hair.

- Listen, I'm working
on that soccer story.

- Right. Look, I must
get back to Habib.

- Habib?
- He's my author.

He's a terrorist. He's written
a kill-and-tell book.

Take care.

- That's 4.99, sir.
- Thank you.

- Jack...

Look, next weekend
I'm having a house party.

Here. It's just
near Oxford.

Why don't
you come?

It'll just be
social, no business.

Bring a friend, I've
got plenty of room.

- I'll try and make it.
- Good.

Looking forward.


- Your change, sir.
- Thanks.

Books piled like chips.

Stack 'em high, sell 'em
fast, make a killing.

No dumb soccer
novel for Jack.

He would write about
the world he knew.

From the inside.

Chapter four.

I don't know how you can
drive at night in those glasses.

How'd you hurt
your hand?

- Oh, it was just an accident.
- It's nothing.

- Should be the
next on the right.

Jani, there's something I want
to say before we get there.

I don't know what the
sleeping arrangements are.

Giles probably expects
us to share a room.

- That's fine.


It's no use pretending
it was an accident.

I had a fight with someone.
That's all.

- She's a dab hand with
the racket, your friend.

- South African women
are very sporty.

- So I see.

- Nice serve.

- 14-15.

- How did she
get that shiner?

- I found her in
bed with someone.

- Who was he?
- She.

- I say, you're a
dark horse, Jack.

- Lovely shot.
- Nice game.

- Come on, Jack.
- I don't gamble.

- Don't be a spoil-sport.
- It's only a few quid.

- It's nothing to do with
money. I don't gamble.

- He doesn't gamble.

- I'll watch.

- Jack likes to watch.

Does he like to watch?

- One more remark like that,
and I'll break your balls.

I bet she could too.

- I'll deal, but
I won't play.

- Sure you know how?

The hands of a conjurer.

Or a cardsharp.

- Okay, last hand.
- I've got an idea.

- No. No stripping.

- Right, we're not having
that again. Although...

- I'll stick to bluffing.

That's what I'm best at.


- Stick.

- I don't know.
- Two cards.

- Two cards.
- Two cards.

- Two cards.

One card.

- One card.

- Three cards.
- Three.

- I'll start With...

a tenner.

- I'll see your ten
and I'll raise you ten.

- I'll see your 2O
and raise you ten.

- Thirty, raise ten.

- Forty-

Raise you by 20.

- I'll match that,
and raise you a tenner.

- I'm in.

- Yes, that's it. I haven't
got any more cash.

- Yeah.

- I call.

- See you.

- A straight.
- Beat that.

A flush.

- Oh Shit.

- Not so fast, darling.
- A full house.

- Hang on, chaps,
that's impossible.

- Well how's about
this for impossible?

Four of a kind.

What's going on?

- No.

- Straight flush.

- What are the odds
of this happening?

- Thousands to one.
- 42,300,000 to one.

- Approximately.

- Could have won if
I'd been able to bluff.

- I get it.

- Get what?

Are you accusing
me of cheating?

- Good god, no.

With a skill like that,
why do you want a job for?

You don't
need to work.

- Here was
an interesting question.

Was writing work?

Qr play?

- What happened?

- Remember that guy who
cheated at the table?

- You don't like
cheats, do you?

So, which side
do you like?

- You choose.

- That trick

I don't think I've ever
seen that done before.

- It can only work
with amateurs.

- A pro would have spotted it.
- I didn't.

- Then you're
not a pro.

- Good night.


- Jack.
- What?

- I need your help.

I'm in a lot
of trouble.

- What kind
of trouble?

- I owe a lot
of money.

- Was that why you
did that two grand?

- I couldn't help you.
- I know that.

But you can now.

- I'm sorry, I don't
have any money.

- Some people I know.

They're planning to
rob the Golden Lion.

- You don't mean that.
- They mean it.

- Who's they?
- My creditors.

One night, around 3:00
in the morning,

- they'll come into the casino...
- Forget it Jani.

It'll never work.

- The point is, they
want a man inside.

- And I took you
for a bright woman.

- Just listen, You don't
have to do anything criminal.

- Robbery's not criminal?
- You don't have to be criminal.

A guy will come up to your
table and deliberately cheat.

You'll see him,
stop him.

The guy will make a big
scene. There'll be chaos

and that's when
it'll happen.

- You're serious.

- You won't be
committing a crime.

The man will cheat, you'll
just be doing your job.

That's all.

- Shit.

- And I thought you were
only after my body.

- I've come to know you.

You're honest,
I can trust you.

- So what will you do
when it all goes wrong?

- It won't.
- But if it does.

- You'll keep
the 10,000 pounds.

- What 10,000 pounds?

- These people will pay
you 10,000 before,

and 10,000 after.

They want someone
they can be sure of.

An honest dealer.
That's the point.

Not all dealers
are honest.

Mr. Reynolds will
never suspect you.

- Reynolds. You've
done your research.

- There was nothing
else I could do.

You're my last chance.

Next time
it'll be my neck.

- What about my neck?

- I want to
go back to Cape Town.

I want to
start again, clean.

- Can't do xx, Jam.

- I'm asking you
as a friend.

You'd be saving
the life of a friend.

- Jack wondered why
he was even considering it.

Ten grand... In cash.
That was why.

But Jack didn't
need the money.

His father would have
taken it like a shot,

but his father
was a gambler.

He was always broke.

Jack suddenly realized:

It was Jake who
was considering it.

How much
do you owe?

- Let it go.

- Did they tell you
to sleep with me?

- I told you,
all bets are off.

- I'm sorry.
- What for?

- I have to
take the car.

- Hang on tightly,
let go lightly.

Chapter five...

- Good night?
- Not particularly.

- And your lady?

- She had to leave early.
- She asked me to thank you.

- Bit unexpected, wasn't it?
- Not really, no.

- How's that soccer
story coming along?

- You said it was gonna be
social, Giles. No business.

He was overcome with
a sense of urgency.

He had to get it down.
Get on with the writing.

- It's beautiful,
Thank you.

- I hope it brings you luck.
- It will.

I haven't brought you
much luck, have I?

- Marion, that girl who
worked at the casino...

- I don't care
about her.

I was wrong what I
said about the book.

I hurt you,
didn't I?

- I'm gonna leave the
casino soon, I promise.

- You Will?

- Within a month.

Believe me.
I'm gonna quit.

- Then you can dye your
hair blonde again.

- Nobody around. Leave
a message after the beep.

- I need to see you.
- I've moved.

I have a new number.

It's 4753275.

Please call me.

- Chapter seven.
Jake had decided to see her.

The challenge
was essential.

- Come in.

It's not the
Ritz, I'm afraid.

IS it yes?

- Yes.

- Thank you.

- It doesn't seem fair.

You're offering me
ten grand in cash.

You can't afford
a decent place.

- Life's not fair.
- We both know that.

- It's all relative,
I need money, too.

- Do you?
- Yes.

- Look, the date's
not set yet.

But I'll call you.
One last thing.

The man you're going to catch
cheating, he may get violent.

But... you know how to
deal with cheats.

- That bruise has
cleared up nicely.

- Bruise?

Yes. Yes, it's better.

- I've still got mine.
- And your hand, too.

- I took the bandage
off yesterday.

- You want a drink?
- No, thank you.

I don't think we
should meet again.

It's a shame there aren't
more men in the world like you.

Question: was he
gambling, taking Jam's money?

Answer: no.

Because he wasn't betting
with his own money.

He was being paid in
advance for a service.

In reality, there were
two clear elements

of risk in
this exchange.

One, the possibility
the cash was counterfeit.

Two, the possibility Jani
or her creditors

would want the money back
if the plan failed.

To begin with, he put the odds
at two against, seven for.

He checked a random
selection of bills at the bank.

They were all good.

- Bring me some
luck, darling.

- So now his odds
were decidedly better.

He put them
at eight to one.

The fact that the notes
were good gave

him one less negative,
two minus one.

At the same time,

he had one more positive.
Seven plus one.

Next stage.

He had to be secure
at eight to one.

Against having to give
the money back,

So he wouldn't
spend it.

If after one month no one
had approached him,

He calculated the odds
of keeping it at 2O to one.

No more bets.
Thank you.

After three months,
he figured 100 to one

no one would turn up.

36. Red.

8O pound.

- Cash me in.

- How about a little
drink to celebrate?

- Jake's experiment with
the man would prove his point.

People don't change.

- Damn.

- Money down.

- Chapter ten.
He watched their faces

as they lost.

Hour after hour,
night after night.


He questioned the
conventional wisdom

that gamblers are

He had come to believe
that in reality,

they want to destroy
everyone else.

Their families,
loved ones, everyone.

Fuck over
the whole world.

Without emotion,
he watched them go.

Jake stayed.

- Nobody around.
- Leave a message.

- It's set. The day
after tomorrow.

The 24th.
Good luck.

It's set. The day
after tomorrow.

The 24th.
Good luck.

- Are you ever
tempted to gamble?

- Never.

Why do you ask?

- I can just imagine
being around so much money

- all the time.
- Gambling's not about money.

- Really?

Gambling's about
not facing reality,

- ignoring the odds.
- I must be a fool.

I never think
about the odds.

♪ Jingle bells,
jingle all the way ♪

♪ Oh, what fun
it is to ride ♪

Chapter 12.

- Change.


Money down.

- Two seven five.

New dealer.

- Good evening,
ladies and gentlemen.

- Can I help you?

-18,18,17... 12.

17, 20.

No more cards.

Larger than ten.

- Place your bets, please.

- 50.

In tens.

- Change.

'50 pound.

Money down.

No more bets.
Thank you.

23 red.

No, I'm sorry,
sir. Th...

That was a late bet.

- You calling me a cheat?
- You are a cheat.

- I saw you.
- I'm talking to you.

- It was a la--

- Come on!

- Ladies and gentlemen,
please be calm.

- There is no
cause for alarm.

Enjoy yourselves.
It's Christmas.

- How did you
know I was here?

- I thought you wouldn't
want to spend Christmas Day

alone in here.

- Did you go
to the casino?

- Happy Christmas.


Noodles or rice?

I don't want a criminal
for a boyfriend.

- There was a message,
wasn't there?

- It's probably easier
for you to eat the rice.

- Marion. What did
you tell the police?

- Nothing about you.

- But then, what?

- Give up being a croupier,
Jack, or I'll shop you.

All you have to do
is keep your promise.


Here, use a spoon.

- Leave me alone, Marion!

- You're already alone.

- Marion! Marion!

Come here.

Come here.

I really don't
want to lose you.

I'll quit.

I swear to you.

- Why did you
take the money?

- I hate public transport.

- What?

- I want to buy a car.

- How can anyone be that naive?

- So... how you feeling?
- Bruised.

- Take as long
as you like.

Couple of weeks.
Three if you need it.

We'll pay you
sick leave.

Don't wanna
lose you, Jack.

You're a good man.

- What's this?
- Happy New Year.

Have a drink
on the company.

You've earned it.

Chapter 13.

It's all numbers,
the croupier thought.

Spin of the wheel,
turn of the card,

Time of your life,
date of your birth,

Year of your death. In the book
of numbers, the Lord said...

Thou shalt count thy steps.

Jack thought,
this is it.

The famous two-in-the-morning
knock at the door.

It was payback time.

But he wasn't afraid.

He hadn't spent one
penny of the ten grand.

He'd covered himself.
He knew the odds.

- Mr. Manfred?

- She was on
her way home.

- To you.
- No, she wasn't.

- Marion had been
visiting his mother. No, no, no.

Not his mother,
her mother.

Her mother. She was
visiting her mother.

Who are you?

- Detective Inspector Ross.
- Who?

- Ross.

- Who did it?
- Tell me.

- We think it's
a hit and run.

A drunk driver,

There is the possibility
of a revenge killing.

- Revenge? For what?
Whose revenge?

- As you know, she was
a WPC with the met.

Up until two years ago.

She called me last week.

She got wind of a planned
robbery at your casino.

What had that
got to do with her death?

- You didn't recognize the man
who attacked you, did you?

- Of course I fucking
recognized him.

- You did?

- I know a cheat
when I see one.

- The man was a cheat.

- If anything occurs to
you, call me, will you?

' DO YOU gamble?

- I was in love
with her, you know.

The world breaks everyone.

And afterwards, many are
strong at the broken places.

But those that will
not break, it kills.

It kills the very good
and the very gentle

and the very brave

If you are none of these,
you can be sure

it will kill you, 1:00.

But there will be
no special hurry.

- Hey!

Jacko, how you doing?

I heard what happened
to the casino.

Pity they didn't
get away with it.

I wish I'd been there.

- You were there, mate.
- What?

You know what happened
to me, don't you?

That bitch Bella
shopped me--

Bitch Bella shopped me
and you know what I had to do?

I had to beat
the shit out of her.

- You know what
I'd like Matt?

I'd like to buy
you a drink.

- Cheers! Congratulations.
- Happy New Year.

I like you, Jacko.
You're so fucking straight.

Here, You haven't
changed your clothes.

The music stopped.

Jack was drunk.

He was back.

A child in the
wild coast casino.

- You've been
avoiding me.

- Have I?

- I'm Lucy.

- So, what do
you do, Lucy?

- I'm a witch.

A white witch.

- Are you gonna put
a spell on me?

- I might.

That's mine.

- Fuckin' hell.

That's a nice car.

How much did
you pay for it?

- Too much. 1800.

I saw her!

You don't trust women
drivers, do you?

Jack didn't trust anyone...

Except himself.

It was finally

He thought of
sending it to Giles,

But that wouldn't
be right.

He would select a
publisher at random.

Like a number.


- Here, please.
- 20.

16, 20.


- You're wasting

With your luck, you ought
to come over to our side.

- Even his
publisher had no idea

who the author was.

He had done the deal
through a lawyer.

It gave him a good
feeling, no one knowing.

It never occurred to
anyone at the casino

that the Golden Lion
had been his model.

Why should it? Weren't
all casinos the same?

It gave him an
exquisite pleasure

being an
underground man.

With all his money, he hadn't
even bought a car.

Jack knew the truth
about himself.

He was a
one-book writer.

A one-time winner who had
quit while he was ahead.

He changed nothing in the flat.

Bought nothing,
spent nothing.

The only thing he did was
to remove the bars

outside the window.

Nobody around. Leave
a message after the beep.

- Hello?
- Jack, it's Jani.

- Jam. Where
are you'?

- Sun City.

I've been meaning to
call you for months.

- So how are you doing?
- Great.

Listen, I'm
getting married.

- At least, I think I am.
- Did you solve your problems?

- Yeah, yeah. I'm all
over that now.

Jack, hold on a minute,
there's someone here

who wants
to talk to you.

- Jacko.
- Dad.

- I never thanked you
properly for your help.

Jani tells me you behaved like
the perfect gentleman.

I knew you would,
I know my son.

The woman thinks
I'm gonna marry her.

But you know me.

Well, it's a shame that
things never worked out,

but we saw you
all right.

You didn't gamble the
ten grand, did you?

- As a matter
of fact, I did.

- But I won.
- That's my boy.

How's that novel
of yours coming...

So that was it.

Final card.


His father, 8,000 miles
and 27 years away

was still dealing to
his son, Jack,

from the bottom
of the deck.

But Jake the Croupier
had a sense of humor.

Here's to you.

To both of you.

- Who was that
on the phone?

- Couple I know are
getting married.

- Fools.

Now he had reached the point

where he no longer heard
the sound of the ball.

The spin of the wheel
had brought him home

to the place where
he was born.

The Croupier's mission
was accomplished.

He was master
of the game.

He had acquired the power
to make you...