The poker of old London with the film “Scams, Crimes and Botany” Scams, Crimes and Botany: the poker of old London

Before the casinos succeeded in seducing all the elites of the countries of the European continent, and before poker became as popular as it is today, the world of gambling went through an era which appeared at an impasse where the future of it seemed to be written in dotted lines. While poker was still played only underground in some territories, in others it finally managed to appear as a plausible leisure within a society in perpetual change. The second half of the XXth century didn’t leave much room for its development, until the consecration of Las Vegas as the gambling capital changed all that.

With a common language but 6,000 kilometers apart, poker life wasn’t so easy in London. Britain was just emerging from difficult years under the iron fist of Margaret Thatcher and riots and clashes with the police, to demand more freedoms and in particular greater freedom of expression, were constants. The people revolted in a totally cosmopolitan capital in which there were already many points in common with the London of today. Poker, on the other hand, was already followed by many fans and it was only a matter of time before it spread across the country.

It is in this context that a film unfolds, to say the least picturesque and curious, and which is now recognized by many specialists as one of the best films made in UK. “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” is the original English title of this film which has been translated into French as “Arnaques, Crimes et Botanique”. The translation is therefore far from being literal because otherwise the title would have been closer to “Serrure, Réserve et Deux Barrels Fumants”, a title therefore far from being attractive.

This film by Guy Ritchie can be considered one of the best cinematographic works dealing with poker, especially for all that it reveals to us about the context of the time and the cultural situation in England in the 90s. done a lot of work to transform this comedy into a real phenomenon across the Channel where it is now seen as a cult film, although it was rather seen when it was released in France. The film brought in significant box office gains, especially given its low production, mainly thanks to its gags as well as the unfolding cost of the plot, which has a lot to do with poker.

The quartet formed by Tom, Soap, Bacon and Eddy find themselves in deep trouble after over-confiding in the latter’s skills to win a game of clandestine cards. Because he could not have suspected that all of Eddy’s strategies and schemes were going to come face-to-face with renowned mobsters from the outskirts of London, who were not going to hesitate to rig the match to make Eddy lose and leave friends with stratospheric debt on their backs. Following a plan involving fake weapons and very tasty dialogues, the four accomplices will try to recover the lost sums to save their skin, although they risk risking a lot for it.

The film a surprise at the time of its release, among other things for the curious way of not starting the poker game. A game played at to boast three cards. the to boast is an old English game, very similar to poker, in which 3 cards are dealt to each player and the objective is always to have the best possible poker hand. This discipline could be similar to a precursor to the Draw Poker variant, but this time with only 3 cards in hand instead of 5. The only difference with Texas Hold’em is that the suits and suits do not are not always valid.

the to boast therefore has its place in the history of Texas, but also in that of the evolution of online poker, because its bases have been retained to define the contours of the games inhabit in Hold’em as well as those in tournaments online of today. The betting system is almost identical between to boast and Texas Hold’em, and players will thus play on tables with very high limits where the sums put into play can turn out to be very large. Therefore, it will be essential to always keep in mind the probabilities of winning each hand, in order to be able to get an idea of ​​your chances of winning at any time, just like in classic poker.

But this scene of the film is also marked by its scenography. The game takes place in a dark room in the depths of a typical London bar, recreating an atmosphere that we had already seen in other films with similar themes and which reminds us of the times when poker was an activity still prohibited by the authorities. The opponents of the quartet appear as players of great experience and true poker professionals. And once we understand that they are all in cahoots, we better understand their attitude and their way of playing.

The film has good ratings on specialized sites and good reviews, which is why we strongly recommend that you discover it without delay. You will have a good time watching this comedy, while learning a little more about your favorite game.

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