TOP Gambling Movies

Movies have many different genres, storylines and themes. Not everybody gets their rocks off to a sinking ship, an exploding volcano, a hot and steamy romance, or a tissue-grabbing tear-jerker. Some movie fans want to see gambling and plenty of it. After all, gambling is just as good a theme as any. In fact, some of the best and most popular movies of all time have gambling running through their veins. On this page, we will take a quick look at some of the best (and the worst), in no particular order.

The All-Time Favourites

Where better to begin than with the all-time favourites. It is hard to think of a film which is related to gambling more than the simply-titled, Casino. The 1995 epic-crime film is one of Scorsese’s best, and good chunks of it take place at the Starburst Resort, which doubled as the fictional Tangiers Casino in the film. The movie was a box office hit, won Sharon Stone a Golden Globe for Best Actress and is well a watch.

Another movie you may wish to watch is the 1998-film Rounders. Starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton (as well as Bond’s Famke Janssen) the title of the movie refers to high-stakes players who travel from venue to venue. The story here follows two “rounders” desperately in need of money to pay off a sizable debut. It wasn’t a runaway success story, but any avid film fan with a nose for gambling will like what it has to offer.

If you prefer something rough around the edges, they don’t come much better than Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The film that launched the careers of Vinnie Jones and Jason Statham revolves around a group of four lads who desperately need to win cash to pay off a local gangster. Even Sting makes an appearance in this off-the-walls, but hilarious gang, drug and gambling-themed comedy.

Baccarat at its Best

It was James Bond that introduced baccarat to many Canadians. You don’t have to look far and wide to find a Bond movie which sees the suave, sexy MI6 agent frittering away bundles of cash on the baccarat tables while sipping Martinis. Shaken, but not stirred, remember? However, 2006 saw Bond try his hand at something entirely different – hold’em poker. Much of the mid-section of Casino Royale, we saw Daniel Craig’s Bond losing considerably to villain Le Chiffre, while Eva Green looked on worryingly in the background. We won’t spoil the outcome of the high-stakes poker game; you’ll have to watch it for yourself.

Other big blockbuster films worth of mention include Tom Cruise’s The Color of Money, and the epic Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Is That Even About Gambling?

There are more than a few major Hollywood films which scarcely have anything to do with gambling. The Oceans series is a fine example. Yes, Brad Pitt and George Clooney dish out lessons in poker, but those films revolve more around heists than gambling. Of course, these films appeal in other ways. If you don’t want to get stuck watching a film which is solely about the turn of a card, then Ocean’s Eleven its subsequent sequels do offer something you might like.

Vegas Baby

Modern movies do not tend to go as in-depth into gambling as they used to. You can’t smoke at the tables, and loud-mouthed show-offs, gorgeous girls in revealing dresses and the like just aren’t as appreciated by the modern cinema-going audience as they used to be. However, that doesn’t mean to say that you can’t work gambling into a film somewhere. Both The Hangover and The Grand managed to do just that.

The Hangover is one big, fun and often side-splittingly funny ride. Like Ocean’s Eleven, it centres more on other topics (in this case, Las Vegas) than gambling, but Vegas is unquestionably well-represented in the film.

By contrast, The Grand regularly covers a poker tournament taking place in the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas. Perhaps oddly, near enough the entire movie focuses on this single tournament. Entertainingly, the winner of the game wasn’t written into the script. Instead, the game was played by the cast, and the actual winner was determined in reality – bizarre.

True Gambling Movies

Some Hollywood films are based on reality. High-Roller: The Stu Ungar Story is a biopic released in 2003, and follows the life and times of Stu Ungar, a renowned poker and gin player. The movie is told through a flashback. Don’t expect to watch this one comfortably, though. The film follows cocaine abuse, the breakdown of Ungar’s marriage, the birth of his daughter, and his third WSOP victory in 1997. If there were ever a movie which highlighted how much trouble excessive gambling could cause, this would be it.

The Golden Oldies

Sometimes, the older movies are the best. In 1974, we were treated to The Gambler. The film was remade in 2014, starring Mark Wahlberg, but many believe the original to be better. It tells the tale of Alex Freed, a Harvard tutor with a gambling problem. Dark, gritty and full of controversial moments, it is another film which shows the darker side of gambling, as the main character’s life spirals out of control.

Not all the classics are as downbeat, though. 1968’s 5 Card Stud takes you on a tale of gambling in the Wild West. Dean Martin’s epic film tells the story of several people caught cheating being murdered by a mob, and subsequent vengeance enacted by Reverend Rudd.

If you want to go further back, you can step into the 1931 film, Smart Money. Yes, there are plenty of gangster-elements to this film, too, but the sheer age of this film (and its card-betting storyline) provides an exciting look at gambling before the rise of Las Vegas.

The Movie List (TOP 100)

21 Movie(2008)

If ever there was a time the words Inspired by were used loosely, then it is in the Film 21 ...
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5 Card Stud Movie (1968)

The film 5 Card Stud (1968) is an obscure movie from the 60s starring Robert Mitchum and Dean Martin, both ...
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711 Ocean Drive Movie (1950)

Director: Jospeh M. Newman Writers: Richard English and Francis Swann Genre: Action, Drama, Crime, Thriller, Romance, Film-Noir Cast Edmond O'Brien ...
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A Big Hand for the Little Lady Movie (1966)

The film is set in the West just before the 20th century. Then, a retreat from the blazing heat of ...
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All In Movie (2006)

All in 2006 is a mood crusher. Chances are you will spend the first 20 minutes with a wrinkled forehead, ...
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Any Number Can Play Movie (1949)

Crew Director: Mervyn LeRoy Writers: Richard Brooks (screenplay), Edward Harris Heth (based on his novel) Producer: Arthur Freed Music: Lennie ...
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Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie Movie (2002)

Director Ernest R. Dickerson Written by Michael Ritchie, Jason Keller Stars David Krumholtz, Tory Kittles, Carmine Giovinazzo Music by Reinhold ...
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Bugsy Movie (1991)

Warren Beattyhas a smoothie mannerism, even in real life, which makes this character quite useful in a film set. His ...
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California Split Movie (1974)

For a film that is essentially a slice-of-life movie depicting a world in which derisible men resign themselves to gambling, ...
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Casino Movie (1995)

Expecting some Raging Bull passion, or the quirky wittiness of The King of Comedy? You won’t find that in Casino ...
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Casino Royale Movie (2006)

On film, Daniel Craig has proven capable of donning the robe of a long-standing tradition handed down from one formidable ...
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Cool Hand Luke Movie (1967)

The film Cool Hand Luke (1967) stars Paul Newman, a lone ranger in a movie about a Dixie chain gang's ...
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Dark City Movie (1950)

Director William Dieterle Producer Hal B. Wallis Scenario John Meredyth Lucas, Larry Marcus Cinematography Victor Milner Music Franz Waxman Based ...
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Deal (I) Movie (2008)

Set in the backdrop of high stake poker, this film is about the life of Tommy Vinson, played by Burt ...
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Dinner Rush Movie (2000)

Director: Bob Giraldi Writers: Brian S. Kalata, Rick Shaughnessy Music: Alex Lasarenko Cinematography: Tim Ives Stars: Danny Aiello, Edoardo Ballerini, ...
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Eight Men Out Movie (1988)

Director: John Sayles Producer: Sarah Pillsbury Writers: Eliot Asinof (book), John Sayles (screenplay) Stars: Jack Cusack, Clifton James, Jace Alexander, ...
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Even Money (I) Movie (2006)

Director Mark Rydell Producer David S. Greathouse, Mark Rydell, Danny DeVito Screenplay Hue Rhodes Writer Robert Tannen Stars Kim Basinger, ...
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Factotum Movie (2005)

Director: Bent Hamer Producer: Bent Hamer, Jim Stark Writer: Bent Hamer, Jim Stark Based on: Factotum by Charles Bulowski Starring: ...
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Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Movie (1998)

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) is the kind of film you could describe as a terrible trip. It's ...
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Fever Pitch Movie (1985)

Director: Richard Brooks Producer: Fredie Fields Writer: Richard Brooks Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Catherine Hicks, Giancarlo Giannini, Bridgette Andersen Music: Thomas ...
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Finder’s Fee Movie (2001)

Director Jeff Probst Producer Brad Van Arragon, Katy Wallin, Shawn Williamson Written by Jeff Probst Story by Jim Gulian Cinematography ...
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Freeze Out Movie (2005)

Director: M.J Loheed Cinematographer: Karen Korn Editor: Tom Gould Screenplay: M.J Loheed Genre: Comedy, Drama Running Time: 95 min Release ...
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Funny Man Movie (1994)

Director: Simon Sprackling Producer: Nigel Odell Writer: Simon Sprackling Starring: Tim James, Christopher Lee, Benny Young, Ingrid Lacey Music by: ...
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Gambling City Movie (1975)

Director Sergio Martino Producer Luciano Martino Screenplay Ernesto Gastaldi Story Ernesto Gastaldi Stars:   Luc Merenda, Dayle Haddon, Corrado Pani, ...
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God of Gamblers Movie (1989)

Directed by Wong Jing Produced by Jimmy Heung Written by Wong Jing Starring Chow Yun-fat, Andy Lau, Joey Wang, Charles ...
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Guns, Girls and Gambling Movie (2011)

Director: Michael Winnick Writer: Michael Winnick Producer: Michael Winnick, Henry Boger, Bob Yari Cinematography: Jonathan Hale Editor: Robert A. Ferretti ...
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High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story Movie (2003)

High Roller: The Stu Ungar (2003) is a film about Stu Ungar or Stuart Errol “Stu” Ungar. In his time, ...
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Honeymoon in Vegas Movie (1992)

Director Andrew Bergman Producer Mike Lobell Writer Andrew Bergman Cinematography William A. Fraker Music David Newman Editor Barry Malkin Stars ...
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Intacto Movie 2001

Director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo Writer Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, Andres M. Koppel Cinematography Xavi Gimenez Music Lucio Godoy Editor Nacho Ruiz ...
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Kenny Rogers as The Gambler, Part III: The Legend Continues Movie

Credits Director Dick Lowry Screenwriters Roderick Taylor, Jeb Rosebrook Music Larry Cansler Genre Western/ Sequel TV Movie Running Time 240 ...
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Killing Them Softly Movie (2012)

Director: Andrew Dominic Producers: Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Steve Schwartz, Paula Mae Schwartz, Anthony Dominic Cinematographer: Greig Fraser Editor: Brian ...
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Lesser Prophets Movie (1997)

Director William DeVizia Producer Richard Temtchine Screenplay Paul Diomede Stars Michael Badalucco, Zachary Badalucco, Amy Brenneman Music Darren Solomon Genre ...
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Let It Ride Movie (1989)

Credits Director Joe Pytka Producer David Giler Cinematography Curtis Wehr Music Giorgio Moroder Editor Dede Allen, Jim Miller Based On ...
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Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Movie (1998)

Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) with a somewhat average visual style and a large cast that needs you ...
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Lookin’ to Get Out Movie (1982)

Director Hal Ashby Producer Andrew Braunsberg Writers Al Schwartz, Jon Voight Stars Jon Voight, Ann-Margret, Burt Young Cinematography Haskell Wexler ...
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Maverick Movie (1994)

Maverick (1994) isn’t a perfect film, but it has all the traits of a summer movie: It features great action ...
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McCabe & Mrs. Miller Movie (1971)

Director: Robert Altman Screenplay: Robert Altman, Brian McKay Producer: David Foster, Mitchell Brower Based on: McCabe by Edmund Naughton Cinematography: ...
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Ocean’s 11 Movie (1960)

Las Vegas owes much of its sparkly reputations to the film Ocean's 11, the forerunner to Ocean's 8 featuring an ...
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Ocean’s Thirteen Movie (2007)

The Ocean's films feature A-listers that it would be mistaken for a bunch of celebs having a never-ending party. But, ...
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Ocean’s Eleven Movie (2001)

It’s quite rare for the remake of a movie to becomes hit and do better than the original version. Ocean’s ...
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Owning Mahowny Movie (2003)

Owning Mahowny (2003) is a film about the struggles of the character Dan Mahowny who is suffering a serious case ...
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Phoenix Movie (1998)

Director: Danny Canon Producers: Victoria Nevinny, Tracie Graham Rice Writer: Eddie Richey Stars: Ray Liotta, Anthony LaPaglia, Daniel Baldwin, Jeremy ...
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Rat Race Movie (2001)

Rat Race (2001)? No winners in there, just a bunch of comedians making a lot of noise, trying very hard ...
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Revolver Movie (2005)

If you have previously suffered through some of Guy Ritchie's films, then you are privy to the joke that he ...
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Rounders Movie (1998)

Critics have dubbed Rounders as irresponsible because it glorifies compulsive gambling. It’s easy to see why: the main star blows ...
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Shade Movie (2003)

Shade (2003) is a film set in Clubs, and martini bars in L.A. Damian Niemen wrote and directed this film ...
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Smart Money (1931)

There's plenty regarding our history that we can unravel from just a few hours of classic movies. Things that people ...
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Sunset Trail Movie (1938)

Direction Lesley Selander Production Harry Sherman Scenario Norman Houston Cinematography Russell Harlan Music Gerard Carbonara Editor Robert B. Warwick Jr ...
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The Big Town Movie (1987)

Director Ben Bolt, Harold Becker Producer Martin Ransohoff Writer Robert Roy Pool Based on novel ‘The Arm’ by Clark Howard ...
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The Cincinnati Kid Movie (1965)

Before the likes of Rounders (1998) graced our cinemas and in anticipation of the poker craze that was going to ...
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The Color of Money Movie (1986)

When the film starts, you get the sense that the director is a man fanatical tickled by romance movies; in ...
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The Cooler Movie (2003)

The film title The Cooler (2003) is as icy as it gets, and as you will come to know, it’s ...
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The Frame-Up Movie (1937)

Director D. Ross Lederman Written by Richard Wormser, Harold Shumate Stars Paul Kelly, Julie Bishop, George McKay Cinematography Benjamin Kline ...
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The Gambler Movie (1980)

Directed by Dick Lowry Written by Jim Byrnes and Cort Casady Genre: TV Movie, Western Length: 94 min Cast Kenny ...
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The Gambler Movie (1997)

The Gambler (1997) was adapted from Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Novella, and was co-produced by Hungarian Karoly Makk. The film marks Luise ...
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The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw Movie (1991)

Year 1991 Running Time 240 min Writers Joe Byrne, Jeb Rosebrook Director Dick Lowry Genre Western / Sequel. TV Movie ...
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The Gambler: The Adventure Continues Movie (1983)

Year 1983 Run Time 195 min Director Dick Lowry Screenwriter Jim Byrnes, Cort Casady Theme Music Composer Larry Cansler Cinematography ...
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The Good Thief Movie (2002)

Directed by Neil E. Jordan Produced by Seaton McLean, Stephen Woolley, Neil Jordan Written by Neil E. Jordan Based on ...
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The Grand Movie (2007)

Fun becomes the order of the day when a bunch of nobodies for whom luck is just something they hear ...
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The Hangover Movie (2009)

The storyline in this film is as simple as it gets. Some guy is tying the knot, so he, brother-in-law, ...
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The Hustler Movie (1961)

The film The Hustler can easily mislead you into thinking that it is basically about Pool's game – most of ...
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The Killing of a Chinese Bookie Movie (1976)

Director John Cassavetes Producer Al Ruban Writer John Cassavetes Cinematography Mitchell Breit, Al Ruban Editor Tom Comwell Distribution Faces Distribution ...
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The Lady Gambles Movie (1949)

Direction Michael Gordon Production Michael Kraike Scenario Roy Huggins Cinematography Russell Metty Music Frank Skinner Editor Milton Carruth Story by ...
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The Music of Chance Movie (1993)

Director: Philip Haas Writers: Paul Auster, Belinda Haas, Philip Haas Producer: Paul Colichman, Topher Dunne Music: Philip Johnston Cinematography: Bernard ...
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The Sting Movie (1973)

For a while there, Guy Ritchie was the master of comedy, but the real king of comedy in that era ...
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Two Dollar Bettor Movie (1951)

Director Edward L. Cahn Producer Edward L. Cahn Screenplay William Raynor as Bill Raynor) Music Irving Gertz Stars John Litel, ...
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Vegas Vacation Movie (1997)

Perhaps the funniest film of the late 90s, Vegas Vacation, has continued to entertain its fans with some tremendous coming ...
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