10 Best Films About Gambling

Mississippi Grind Gambling Movies

Whether you are a James Bond fanatic or a fan of the Ocean’s movies, films about casinos and gambling are something unique! Even in the world of regulated gambling, these movies show the glamour one can experience while at a casino. You often finish watching one of these films and are ready to hit the roulette wheel! Let’s look at some of the best gambling movies.

Why Are Gambling Films So Popular?

uncut-gems gambling

Credit: Netflix

Read more: Here Are 5 Of The Best Blackjack Scenes Ever Filmed In Hollywood

Gambling movies are very popular and directors are continuously creating new movies. Here is why:

  • Depict a luxurious lifestyle – Gambling movies are a way to experience a thrilling lifestyle that is far removed from the mundane lives of regular people. They show luxury goods such as designer dresses, tuxedos, and luxury cars.
  • Memorable characters – These movies are loved by all who see them. Many of these characters come from dark and troubled pasts, which many of us can relate to. In the sense that all of them have experienced hardships at some point in their lives, this makes their lives very real. They found ways and means to succeed in the cold, dull city. These memorable characters’ dialogues are often recalled on numerous occasions. People still remember the role of Daniel Craig in Casino Royale.
  • Powerful stories – Gambling films have very deep plots that are not just a bunch of plot twists. They are often well-written to give the audience a real experience and include entertainment elements. They are beautiful on-screen and attract a lot of people to the theatres to witness the intricate plots and hear the well-written dialogues.
  •  Extravagant filming locations – These movies are stunning from both an aesthetic and a wildly exuberant perspective. They are filmed in exotic locales and feature natives from those areas. They also have an authentic feel, which allows viewers to experience these places from the comfort of their own homes.
  •  Different genres – Another attraction to gambling movies that you love and enjoy is their versatility. They can accommodate all genres, including drama, adventure, science-fiction, and action. Gambling movies have a large fan base that spans all corners of the globe. Anyone can enjoy a great gambling movie on a weekend, and experience the thrill of it.

The 10 Best Gambling Movies

21 gambling jim sturgess betting gambling blackjack films movies

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Read more: Here Are 5 Lesser-Known Gambling Movies You Should Watch

10. Rounders (1998)

Rounders does an amazing job of portraying the dopey masculinity of a professional poker player in the late 1990s. This movie makes the gambling world feel real and features Matt Damon and other actors such as John Malkovich or Bill Camp. If you enjoy a good game of poker, then this is a movie for you.

9. The Card Counter (2021)

Paul Schrader’s dark, tragic drama is about a professional card player who moves from casino to casino in order to escape the guilt of his past. The movie is much more entertaining than it sounds and is very well written. Although the gambling scenes might sometimes seem out of place in relation to the theme of pain and guilt, they are vital to the film’s energy and give it a more lively tone.

8. Mississippi Grind (2015)

Half Nelson filmmakers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck created this retro film about two gamblers, who drive south to New Orleans to win the jackpot. This film was praised by critics as Ryan Reynolds’ best performance yet. He played the role of Curtis, but you will have to see the movie to find out who that is. Mississippi Grind brings out the best of casino life with incredible acting.

7. Croupier (1998)

Although Clive Owen is not a great film director, his genius in Croupier is something we can’t ignore. The movie follows Jack, a struggling writer who becomes desperate for money. This prompts him into becoming a croupier to learn the intricacies of casino gambling. The movie has a few interesting plot twists that make it stand out from the rest.

6. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

This movie is a rip-off of The Hustler, but it focuses more on poker than pool hustling. It also features a classic Steve McQueen performance. The Cincinnati Kid is both relevant and current, which adds to its appeal.

5. Tricheurs (1984)

This is the greatest gambling movie you have probably ever seen. Barbet Schröder created this bizarre, but addictive thriller about a charming man who often visits the casino. This movie will keep you on your toes. As he meets a man, the movie takes a twist. He recruits him to join a sophisticated cheating scheme that raises all the stakes. The film follows the characters as they unravel their plan, which ultimately leads to their death.

4. Hard Eight (1996)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s debut movie (except for the short film that he made) is an extraordinary one. This film is a deep look into a lonely, sad man who learns to survive and adapt in the Las Vegas underworld by being humble until he meets people who make everything better. This movie, although it’s less dramatic than other films, is still very moving. It gives you an insight into Las Vegas that you wouldn’t normally notice.

3. Maverick (1994)

Maverick follows Bret Maverick’s journey as he attempts to raise enough money to enter a high-stakes tournament of poker. Based on a 1950s TV series, the movie was made with Mel Gibson. It was both a commercial and a critical success. The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Costumes.

2. Ocean’s 11 (2001)

Without Ocean’s, what casino movie list would be complete? Oceans 11 is a classic movie about a group of degenerates who plan to rob the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas. It is a popular favourite because it is dramatic, funny, and packed with action.

This movie stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Don Cheadle; among other top names. Oceans 11 is a classic movie still popular today.

1. California Split (1974)

George Segal and Elliot Gould’s rakish charm make them the perfect pairing for this buddy movie that explores the friendship between two men. Add in some gambling, casual mastery, and strange characters that exist in that world, and you have a movie about gambling that is unlike any other. You don’t have to believe me, just check it out!

Final thoughts

The Cooler Movies Gambling

Credit: Lionsgate

Read more: Iconic Movies That Can Teach Us How to Be Better Gamblers

Casino movies show off the life of luxury, excitement, and anticipation. They are lots of fun to watch and this is why many directors continue to focus on making them. Which casino movie is your favourite?

What do you make of this story? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages! And if you enjoy listening to film podcasts, why not check out our podcasts, Small Screen Stories and Small Screen Film Club wherever you get your podcasts!



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