Despite an almost-perfect 44 on his MCAT score, Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess), must try and find a source of money to pay the extortionate entry fee to Havard Medical School. Offered a chance to apply for the Robinson Scholarship - which would pay all of his fees - he finds himself out of favour for having no 'life experience', having dedicated his life to achievements.
His Professor at MIT, Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey), offers him a place on a card counting team where he can place his superior mathematical talent to gaining money from Vegas casinos. There, he tells the team that he is only saving enough money to pay for Med School before he is out.
Ben starts to learn though, that once you're winning big in Vegas, the little things begin to matter a lot less - and the more you win, the more attention you attract to yourself as he starts to be watched by security chief Cole Williams (Laurence Fishburne).