Top 5 Best Gambling Movies About Poker & Casino

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Top 5 Best Gambling Movies About Poker

Many Hollywood movies have been produced about gambling, live casinos and online casinos, but only a few qualify as the best gambling movies of all time. Here’s a list of the top five movies in this category.

The Gambler

The Gambler from 2014 is a remake of the 1974 movie starring James Caan. This time, it stars Mark Wahlberg as the central character Jim Bennett, a university professor who secretly gambles in his spare time. He starts to run into problems when his dying father tells him that he will inherit nothing. This triggers a period of out-of-control betting that puts him and his family in danger. 

Jessica Lange plays an outstanding role as his mother, and John Goodman steals the movie with his excellent portrayal of Frank, a loan shark in the seedy Los Angeles underworld. He’s a sinister character who offers his philosophy to the young gambler who doesn’t know when to quit. 


In Rounders, a young Matt Damon and his partner, played by Edward Norton, star in this classic gambling film about high-stakes poker as they decide to hit the tables to pay off a loan shark. This movie features some of the most intense Texas Hold ’em play of any film and is a must-watch for anyone at all interested in poker. 

Damon plays Mike McDermott, who has had several recent life-changing events. After being betrayed by his poker-playing friend Worm, played by Norton, he decides to play some high-stakes poker to get it all back. 

Finally, John Malkovich plays the character of Teddy KGB, who is an Oreo-eating Russian poker room owner. The final poker matchup between him and Mike is an unforgettable scene, helping to make this one of the best gambling movies of all time. 


The list of best gambling movies would not be complete without mentioning 21. It’s the real-life story of six MIT students who made millions in Las Vegas after training to become expert blackjack card counters using a system set up by their teacher, played by Kevin Spacey.  

Spacey plays the mentor who is the brains behind the plan to make millions off the Vegas casinos using his system by recruiting a team of his best students to work the blackjack tables. It’s a very entertaining movie with lots of plot twists and is a fascinating true story that all poker fans and everyone, in general, should learn about.

Casino Royale

You can’t talk about the best gambling movies without mentioning Casino Royale. In this remake of the 1967 James Bond film of the same name, Casino Royale stars Daniel Craig as the secret agent who must go head-to-head with another villainous figure, Le Chiffre, who is a mob banker. 

The film’s highlight is the poker showdown between Bond and LeChiffre at the Monte Carlo casino. As you would expect with any Bond movie, there are many high-adrenaline sequences, with some that are more violent than other movies in the series, but overall this is an action-packed movie and is a must-see for all film fans.


Casino is the true story of Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, whose character in the movie was named Sam Rothstein and was played by Robert DeNiro. Rothstein is an expert handicapper and gambler who is hired by the mob to oversee their casino enterprises. He is given the role of head of the fictional Tangiers Casino and proceeds to skim funds from the casino’s profits which he provides to his mafia bosses.

Everything goes well until the bosses decide that Sam needs some muscle to back him up and sends his old friend Nicky Santoro, played by Joe Pesci, to keep things in line. However, between the activities of Nicky and Sam’s wife Ginger, played by Sharon Stone, everything starts to unravel with a series of acts of violence and betrayal. 

Although it’s almost three hours in length, the movie never fails to hold the viewer’s attention. It is deserving of its role as one of the best gambling movies of all time. Remember, if you want to know more about Vegas Aces, check our social media and be aware of every news.

Best Gambling Movies FAQs

Who stars in the 1970s movie The Gambler?

James Caan

What school didn’t the students in the movie 21 attend?


What kind of cookies does Teddy KGB like in the movie Rounders?