Next time you want to take a break from online gambling and try another form of entertainment, check out some great movies about gambling. Here’s a list of 11 films about gambling that you need to see.
In your downtime away from online tables and slots, sit back and watch a movie about the thrills of the casino. Check out these 11 films that feature big wins, big losses, and even bigger characters.
This sultry film follows aspiring doctor Ben as he joins a team of fellow MIT students to count cards, win big at blackjack, and pay his way through med school. Led by their professor, the team travels to Vegas on the weekend, racks up the chips, and then heads back to Cambridge with loads of cash. But when security at the casinos notice Ben and his pals skirting the rules, a chase ensues.
What’s even cooler? The movie is based on the real story of the MIT blackjack team and their card-counting drama. Starring Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess, and Kate Bosworth, 21 makes blackjack as exciting as hitting it big.
Stu Ungar is a legendary professional poker player from the ‘80s and ‘90s, just one of two people to ever win the World Series of Poker three times! High Roller is a biopic that follows Ungar’s life, from his childhood, to his WSOP days, to his addiction and downfall, to his final comeback, and everything in between.
Get a closer look at this exciting figure of poker, blackjack, and rummy history. See how he had a competitive knack for the games from an early age. Watch how his rise in the gambling scene changed his life — for good and bad.
Starring The Sopranos alum Michael Imperioli, High Roller is a triumphant, harrowing, and downright interesting take on this legend’s life, perfect for any game-lover out there.
In this 2006 take on Bond, Daniel Craig has his first romp as the infamous MI6 special agent and is tasked with beating a financier with terrorist ties at a high-stakes game of poker. Bond travels to exotic places, like Uganda, Madagascar, and of course Montenegro, where the big game is held. In a tense series of moments, Bond discovers his opponent’s tell, has to find the antidote to save his poisoned lover, and then comes back to finish the game.
With all of the typical 007 tropes — the Bond girl, fast cars, saving hostages, and saving the world — this first chapter to the Craig Bond franchise excites and thrills, no matter if it’s an action scene or a painstakingly tense poker match.
DeNiro and Pesci in a ‘90s Scorcese flick about hardened casino operators — deal us in! The Mafia sends sports handicapper Sam “Ace” Rothstein to set things straight at a Vegas casino. The casino increases profits, Sam falls in love, and he’s got his friend around to protect the operation. But trouble isn’t far behind. People from his wife’s past show up, the casino loses money, the Mafia gets mad, and the cops show up.
Casino is the test of a friendship, a marriage, and a cutthroat businessman, and every minute of it will have you on the edge of your seat. This 1995 film is a must-watch for gambling aficionados everywhere.
Follow your favorite family, the Griswolds, to Viva Las Vegas where adventure, shenanigans, and cousin Eddie screwups abound. After Clark gets a bonus from his job, he takes the family to Sin City where they hit all of the local stops, like Siegfried and Roy (remember, this takes place in the ‘90s) and the Hoover Dam.
But it isn’t long until Vegas’ seductive wiles charm Clark (and his underage son Rusty!) into gambling away the family’s fortune. But don’t worry, Clark wins it back. Kind of.
If you’re in the mood for a romantic comedy, try out Honeymoon in Vegas, starring Nicholas Cage, James Caan, and Sarah Jessica Parker. Jack and his fiance, Betsy, head to Vegas for a quickie wedding. But when a professional gambler sets his eyes on Betsy, Jack is pulled into a lopsided poker game. After losing, the pro player Tommy has a proposition — let him spend the weekend with Betsy!
A wild and ridiculous ride from start to finish, Honeymoon in Vegas still reminds us of what we stand to lose when we take risks and how to get it back.
This British crime comedy from Guy Ritchie follows four actual partners-in-crime who have to make up the debt they owe from losing a rigged card game. And they only have one week! The group — Eddie, Tom, Soap, and Bacon — go after every crooked opportunity they can to earn the money, running into crazy characters, getting chased by bookies, and making many mishaps along the way.
With signature Guy Ritchie action and flair plus rugged British accents, this card-game-gone-wrong flick is a jolly good romp.
A fresh take on the 1974 film of the same name, The Gambler stars Mark Wahlberg in a striking story of fighting gambling addiction and breaking free from debt. Wahlberg plays a literature professor named Jim, who takes his gambling fun to a new level. He borrows money from his mother to pay off his debts, only to blow it all at a casino and put him further in debt. After accepting money from a loan shark, Jim must make new risks to get all of the money, and his life, back.
When two soon-to-be empty nesters want to help their daughter pay for college, they decide to turn their friend’s house into a local gambling den. A sort of reverse Risky Business, they invite local parents to play roulette, blackjack, and poker. And they run this place like a real casino, too. They crack down on card-counters, have a mob boss on their radar, earn rugged reputations around town, and get raided by the FBI — all with hilarious twists and side-splitting performances from the cast. Starring Amy Poehler and Will Ferrel, The House is a great time for all game players and comedy lovers.
Ever hear about the underground gambling dens that were visited by multiple A-list celebrities? Writer and director Aaron Sorking tells the tale of Molly Bloom, the queenpin behind the exclusive and illegal underground ring of high-stakes poker games. After she’s fired from her gig of overseeing the games on behalf of a local tycoon, Molly takes her professional contacts and creates an underground ring on her own. But Molly gets caught up in an outside scandal that sheds light on her poker ring, and the film follows the decisions she makes along the way.
With notable celebrities, like actors and athletes, and wealthy financiers being played by other well-known actors, you may find yourself trying to guess each character’s real-life inspiration.
After you’ve gleaned some tips and tricks from the movies, head back to your favorite online casino to try to win big yourself!