If you are into gaming and love movies, you must enjoy watching casinos on the silver screen. In this article, we have curated a list of films that have the best gambling moves. Most games such as poker and blackjack, among other card games, have been depicted in these films in an entertaining fashion.
“In Vegas, everybody’s gotta watch everybody else.” – Ace Rothstein.
This Martin Scorsese film is the most famous casino movie of all time. It’s exemplary of the mob-controlled casino gaming of Vegas. It stars Robert De Niro as Ace and Sharon Stone as a charming singer. It shows Sin City’s ties to the mafia back in the ‘70s. Ace is portrayed as a super-intelligent gangster guy running a casino. In the seedy world of 70’s Vegas, he prefers doing things the right way. It’s an intricate tale of greed and deception that gradually transforms Sin City into today’s Vegas.
Casino Royale (2006)
This one is for the Ian Fleming fans! Starring Daniel Craig as James Bond and Judi Dench as “M” the boss of MI6, Casino Royale is about a poker game. M sends Bond to Monte Carlo to win a poker game against Le Chiffre, who funds terrorists. It’s amazing to watch the scene when Bond takes down Le Chiffre in the all-or-nothing match.
The Sting (1973)
“If I didn’t know you better, I’d swear you had some class!” Louise Coleman.
If you love card games and horse racing, you can’t miss out on this award-winning fun film by George Roy Hill. In the movie, two grifters played by Robert Redford and Paul Newman con a crime lord. The famous train scene involving the main characters in a classic poker game, is a delight to watch. Paul Newman and Robert Shaw are seen cheating their way through the game in a hilarious way. It’s a lightweight comedy film loved by poker fans everywhere.
The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
“Making the wrong move at the right time.” – Lancey Howard.
The Cincinnati Kid by Norman Jewison is about a high-stakes poker match between the protagonist, who’s an amateur, and a legendary champion. The Kid who’s learning the ropes wins a few games and begins to get cocky. When pitted against the master player, he realizes that he’s not as great as he thinks. But who wins in the finale? Watch the film to find out more.
California Split (1974)
“Everybody’s named Barbara.” – Bill Denny.
It is a comedy-drama film about a casual pro gambler who befriends an experienced one. Together, both of the friends delve deeper into the shady world of gambling. The stakes keep getting higher, and they need to devise strategies to keep winning; else, they risk losing a lot. The film sheds light on people in this industry and some oddballs.
“Listen, here’s the thing. If you can’t spot the sucker in your first half-hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.” – Mike McDermott.
Directed by John Dahl, this film has garnered a bit of a cult status among poker fans. This film is a must-watch if you’re a fan of the Cadillac of Poker, also known as no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em. Matt Damon plays the role of a young gambler who wants to reform his life and start as a lawyer. But to help his friend pay off a massive debt, he gets involved in a high-stakes No-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em game, much like the ones you can find at your favourite casino website.
The Hustler (1961)
“They called him “Fast Eddie“… He was a winner… He was a loser… He was a hustler.”
This film is about The Fast Eddie, who’s a small-time pool player and hustler. He plays against a champion, “Minnesota Fats”, in a high-stakes game. When Eddie loses in the game, it knocks his confidence. He then joins the ruthless manager Gordon to learn the ropes and enters into a re-match with the Fats.
This film is based on the real-life story of MIT students. Their professor trains them to count blackjack cards. Ben, a brilliant student, joins four other students led by their unorthodox Math professor. Ben needs money to pay his tuition fees, and thus, he goes to Vegas on weekend trips with his group. They make thousands of dollars, which leads to Ben getting greedy to earn more. Ben’s corruption and his changed behavior ultimately put the group on the security’s radar. The entire flick leading the climax is entertaining.
The Gambler (1974)
“Forty-four thousand dollars, Axel. It ain’t just numbers.” – Hips.
This film is about a professor who’s addicted to gambling. He loses all of his money in gambling but doesn’t give up. He borrows money from his girlfriend and mother and plunges deep into gaming, which affects his mental health. He even borrows from loan sharks. Due to his addiction, his mother and his girlfriend quit on him, and the gang chases him. That’s when he decides to win big in the game to pay off the debt and restore his lost dignity. What happens next is worth watching!
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
“Because the house always wins. Play long enough, you never change the stakes, the house takes you. Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big, and then you take the house.” – Danny Ocean.
This film is about the robbery of three Las Vegas casinos. Danny Ocean, played by George Clooney, wants to pull the greatest heist in history. To accomplish that, he makes a group of eleven people, each with a particular skill to assist in the mission. Their target is to get in and steal $150 million without getting caught.
We hope you enjoyed this list of movies. Some other gaming movies worth checking out are High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003), The Cooler (2003), Maverick (1994), Lucky You (2007), among many others.
Any movie fanatic that has a taste for the casino and gambling life will find that some of the greatest cinematic moments are found in this list.