Movies and gambling are two genres of entertainment that work very well together. The pretence of desperation of that big win and reveal within a casino for any players makes up a great story line, would you not agree? Yet alas, in movies the fairy tale ending always prevails and your will find nobody is ever really defeated when it comes to gambling. We saw Daniel Craig as James Bond, suffer a huge loss in Casino Royale, only to come back stronger and win everything back and more no?
So, if you are thinking that you need a good movie to complete your night, you have come to the right place. We have compiled a great list of many casino titles for you to get tucked into with your popcorn, snacks, duvet and all. Within our overview, we have tried to look deeper into the gambling aspect beyond the storyline, just to get the story straight. So, let's get the film rolling on the 10 best gambling movies of all time then….
10. California Split
So, the first gambling movie in our series, we believe it to be a very highly underrated classic within the business. Showcasing 70’s cinema, this movie shows boys and bromances amidst one thing they can all reach an understanding over, gambling of course!
The main character Charlie Waters, lives his life to gamble, living for the next big extravagant pay day. Bill Denny is his sidekick to fortune and together they do experience the pleasures that come with money. Yet despite all the experience you get, nothing can ever prepare you for a loss of your betting high. This movie showcases their setbacks and highs, in an epic entourage of friendship. Not a bad betting fix for a movie night we tell you for sure.
9. Uncut Gems
Uncut Gems, showcases the actor that everybody loves, Adam Sandler who plays Howard. Howard is just your regular guy who cannot seem to stop his habit and addiction of gambling until he's on the brain of self-destruction. We all try to make it when we are in the high of that gambling adrenaline, yet unfortunately this film really shows the life and journey of people who get scooped up into the addiction side of things.
The gambling movie does not have the ending we hoped for, but it is a storyline that you will not really want to put on the side. Hollywood was created and gritty stories like these, just make sure you have a tissue.
8. Hard Eight
Hard Eight introduces you to the character John, a money gambler who cannot seem to get his cards aligned to give him his big payday. The moment you get introduced to his character, he is sitting outside a casino, suffering a fatal blow and defeat. Then Sydney comes along and offers to show him the ropes around actually making it within the casino.
Things seem to go well at first with this struct partnership, yet all will come to reveal how the coincident meeting was not so accidental after all. There is a hint of crime and mystery with this, alongside some classic action. The final game at craps brings the final act and conclusion for the gambling movie – the suspense is everything we tell you!
This movie gets called the movie replacement for Citizen Kane, with an added hint of gambling for all the addicts out there. The storyline covers Matt Damon as the talented Mike McDermott and one man show for poker.
Oozing masculinity, class and the brains for the winning hand, Mike must use his talents in aid and effort of aiding his friend who has become broke from loan sharks. He manages to do all this, keep the girl and slide smoothly through law school. This is why we love gambling movies and their majority of happy endings.
6. Molly's Game
Molly's game is one of the most recent releases from the movies on our list and it does not mean it doesn't capture the old style and class frequencies that are often emitted from casino and gambling movies. Yet this movie brings a twist, one that we do not often see.
The main character Molly Bloom runs the world most famous poker high stake joint in town. Oh, did we forget to mention that she is an FBI agent too?
5. Ocean’s Eleven
Would it be a casino movie list without Ocean’s Eleven? This movie is all the suspense, action, and gambling we will ever need. We find Dann Ocean leading his crew and orchestrating the biggest casino robbing in history. It is not just one casino but three, in the city and mecca of gambling and casinos-Las Vegas. Find all your favourite actors (Matt Damon, George Clooney etc.) take part in the biggest plot to steal money right from under the noses of everyone.
If you have watched this title before, how about one more time for old sake? This game will have you on the edge of your seat and believe us when we tell you, this is one you can watch over and over again, for the brilliance of storyline and sass.
So 21 gives a lot away in casino language. When you hear 21, you think of Blackjack and decks of cards. Counting cards however, and the mastermind concept behind it, is what this movie is all about. This is a true story about six students who have been trained to become the world's best card counters, casinos have ever come across. Yet, of course nothing ever is simple or easy. This gambling movie shows all the challenges faced by the dashing group and definitely makes up for some great entertainment on our part.
A word of advice is, don't take the 6,8 IMDB score too seriously, as we really do believe that it doesn't do the movie any justice whatsoever.
3. High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story
Poker, Stu Ungar never needs any introduction. Especially if you are a hardcore kind of player. This individual was named as a poker genius and guru all around the world. Winning the main WSOP (World Series of Poker) tournament, and the first ever to do so in history, this movie is a biographical interpretation of the life he led, leading up to the tournament and after. The movie highlights the rise and fall of Stu, even his unsustainable habits when it comes to gambling. You will witness how he loses all his winnings due to his addiction to gambling – in particular to horse racing.
All in all, this movie is definitely not a soul-good-feel pick me up, it's pretty raw and really does feature every angle of Stu’s dramatic rise and downfall.
2. The Hangover
So this movie is not a literal gambling themed storyline, however it is based in Las Vegas and comes with so many entertaining and laugh out loud moments, it would be a crime not to actually feature this within the list. It is a typical lads night movie, as the movie characters orbit around your regular lads’ night out and crew. Something boys could relate to, in relation to how wild lads’ nights out can actually get.
The boys Doug, Alan, Stu and Phil decide to have their bachelor party for Doug surrounded by sex, booze and gambling. The morning after the chaotic events, you see them waking up lost and alone, not actually remembering how bad things actually got. You know what made things worse? They lost the groom to be! So, you see this movie unfold with a storyline of how they actually find the missing groom, and the clues leading up to his disappearance. The movie shows a really tight schedule, as only hours before the actual wedding do they realise that they find the missing groom.
If you enjoyed this movie, then sit back and hold tight for the next two sequels that have been released. Showing the same goofy characteristics and how alcohol, drinks and gambling should never really mix in excess.
1. Casino Royale
We all love a good bond movie, right? This title in particular is perhaps one of the best casino related titles within the Bond franchise. Why? Because it features Daniel Craig as a first, within the most luxurious of casinos, the Royale-les-Eaux. The bond girl Eva Green, oozes sex appeal, but also is the brains to the operation. Her and Bond must work together to stop the financing of a terrorist operation. In the game of Poker, Bond faces Le Chiffre, the main terrorist link of the operation. Bond and the MI6 strategize ways to show Le Chiffres bluff, so they can take advantage of the game and break down Le Chiffre. Of course, he is bond, so he manages just that!
Casino Royale is one of the best loved gambling movies of all time, due to the great storyline and exposure to the heat and momentum that surrounds your everyday poker table. Of course, many things are exaggerated, yet that is always the case when it comes to Bond movies. Would it be a bond movie, if there was not muscle, a bond girl and victory?