Poker scenes are memorable for many different reasons. The excitement, tension and thrill of a poker hand being revealed online on poker sites is huge, but it cannot compare to that of one in a movie scene. It’s tangible and can create a lasting nostalgia from a particular film. Here are five of the best.
Matt Damon is Mike and John Malkovich is a Russian gangster. Intimidation is the latter’s game whilst Mike does seriously well to keep his cool and eventually triumph with an 8 and 9 of spades against the mob leader, infuriating him even further.
Time is the universal currency in this dystopian world and Will Salas – Justin Timberlake – is seconds away from using all of his. As such, he engages in a poker game with a time loan shark that goes by the name of Weis. In literally playing for his life, Salas ends up triumphing, thus keeping his mere existence alive in an incredibly tense scene.
Daniel Craig is, of course, James Bond as he faces off against Le Chiffre and two other highly-skilled competitors. In a remarkably brave decision, Bond calls all-in the Frenchman’s hand for over $40 million – one of the highest stakes poker game ever seen on film.
Rather than tense, it’s a humorous one that fills the next space as Rusty – Brad Pitt – teaches poker to some young idols. The group have little idea how to play poker as Rusty gets obviously frustrated.
Danny Ocean – Sean Connery – joins in and Rusty attempts to lecture the group on bluffing, yet Ocean ends up with wiping the floor with Rusty and his friends.
Old, but not outdated, 1970s film Trinity features one of the most thrilling poker scenes in film history. Almost completely silent, sounds only seem to be made when Trinity shows off his dealing talents with card flicks and shuffles that baffle the group of players.
The tension increases as the game progresses and, with the shift of the camera, each player’s own anxiety is heightened. The poker game also leads to the well-known gun/slap scene.