Gambling has always been a popular theme that film directors have been eager to explore, and with so many gambling movies out there, it is hard to decide which ones are the best ones. However, this list follows those films that cover different gambling related topics – Las Vegas, poker, blackjack – and are also a great choice for all casino lovers and gambling enthusiasts.
5) Rounders (1998) by John Dahl
A classic cult movie, Rounders features a young Matt Damon as an entrepreneur that pays for his university fees by winning at the poker table. The second high-stakes Texas hold’em player is portrayed by Edward Norton, who plays together with his friend Damon. The film culminates with the ‘poker battle’ between Damon and his rival, played by John Malkovich, for the prize of $60,000. Rounders is a gambling film that offers authentic depictions of poker strategy, as well as table banter.
Texas hold’em is a variation of poker and also one of the most popular ones. The no-limit variety was described by Doyle Brunson as the “Cadillac of Poker” and was further explored in other films, such as Casino Royale (which is also part of this list). The game’s appearance in film and on television, as well as the invention of online gambling, contributed to its popularity. Online casinos even offer now live dealer Texas hold’em, which, according to a PartyCasino review, make it as real as possible by having a real dealer dealing the cards and holding conversations on a variety of topics.
4) 21 (2008) by Robert Luketic
This blackjack-themed film is based on the true story of an MIT professor who put together a team of number-crunching geniuses in order to teach them about card counting, and how it reverses the house’s edge so that the player has the advantage. This is a really good watch that teaches a lot about blackjack and card counting!
3) Hard Eight (1996) by Paul Thomas Anderson
This film that usually gets overlooked is definitely worth watching for gambling enthusiasts. It tells the story of a pro gambler (Phillip Baker Hall), who decides to help out a drifter (John C. Reilly) that finds himself in Vegas to win enough money to pay for his mother’s funeral to learn how to gamble properly. In addition, the movie also has an excellent support cast, including Samuel L. Jackson and Gwyneth Paltrow.
2) Casino Royale (2006) by Martin Campbell
ames Bond was brought back to the public’s attention as the world’s best spy by this film. The plot follows James Bond in another one of his terrorist/weapon raising operations that needs to be solved through a game of poker. The most memorable scene sees Bond taking on his adversary in an all-or-nothing game. This film is filled with action, entertainment, and casinos and it should be a ‘must watch’ for everyone.
1) Casino (1995) by Martin Scorsese
With a cast led by Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci and Scorsese as the director, Casino is arguably one of the best casino movies of all times. This film has it all – great acting, gambling, and mafia. As if that wasn’t enough, it also tells the true story of Lefty Rosenthal and the scandal that involved the Argent Corporation and the Stardust Casino.