movies about gambling

16 Movies about gambling that every gambler should watch

Last Updated on October 21, 2020

Whether you are trying to learn more about gambling or you are just planning a movie night with your friends, you came to the right place. This list features our top 16 list of movies about gambling that everyone should watch. movies about gambling Learning betting strategies is the first step to successful gambling. And you can start learning them with this list of movies about gambling. Enjoy!

Movies about gambling and poker

This list is sorted by year

Uncut Gems (2019)

Maybe Adam Sandler should be sticking to more dramatic parts. Sandler, known more for his recent line of mediocre at best comedies, took everyone by surprise in the thriller Uncut Gems. Like, for real, people thought Sandler was going to get an Oscar for his role as gambling addict and jeweler, Howard Ratner. It’s easily the best movie Sandler has made in a while, possibly ever, with the raw realness of it.

Gambling addiction has never been quite as brutally explored than in Uncut Gems. It’s a recent film that should really be witnessed to be believed. Lucky for you, Uncut Gems is available on VOD so be sure to check it out. Just prepare yourself for the sheer brutality of it.

Mississippi Grind (2015)

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

After losing his job and wife, and spending time in a mental institution, Pat Solatano (Bradley Cooper) winds up living with his parents (Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver). He wants to rebuild his life and reunite with his wife, but his parents would be happy if he just shared their obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles. Things get complicated when Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who offers to help him reconnect with his wife, if he will do something very important for her in exchange.  

21 (Robert Luketic, 2008)

It can be a little tough to find a true story gambling movie that’s jam-packed with suspense, thrill, and humor. Robert Luketic classic film 21 provides you with all these and then some. It’s serious yet comical, which is why IMDB’s score of 6.8/10 doesn’t do it justice.

How the movie unfolds can make you forget that it’s based on a true story of 6 MIT students who were taught by their unorthodox math professor Micky Rosa (played by Kevin Spacey) how to count cards. After several weekend trips to Las Vegas, they eventually took The Strip casinos for millions of dollars in blackjack winnings.

Perhaps the most heartwarming story is that of Ben Campbell (played by Jim Sturgess), a gifted student and an aspiring medical doctor. With no way of getting $300k to attend Harvard Medical School, Ben decides to join the card-counting team. Unfortunately, power and greed get the best of the students, putting their plan in jeopardy.

Lay the Favorite (2012)

Chance brings Beth to work for Dink, whose Las Vegas gambling business seeks to make money on the margins between betting odds. She has the misfortune of being mistrusted by Dink’s shrewish wife and then of having the temptation to try her luck with roguish `Rosie’ operating illegally in New York.  

Even Money (2006)

Gambling destroys the lives of various people who are either addicted to it or involved in its promotion. Carol (Kim Basinger) hides her addiction from her family, who believe she is writing a novel rather than pulling slots in a casino. Clyde (Forest Whitaker) convinces his brother to shave points in his basketball games, and Murph (Nick Cannon) tries unsuccessfully to keep his girlfriend (Carla Gugino) from finding out he works as a bookie.  

Two for the Money (2005)

After suffering a career-ending injury, a former college football star aligns himself with one of the most renowned touts in the sports-gambling business.  

Bookies (2003)

Tired of losing money on sports bets they’ve been placing with local mobsters Larry (David Proval) and Vincent (John Diehl), California college students Toby (Nick Stahl), Jude (Johnny Galecki) and Casey (Lukas Haas) begin their own bookmaking business. Their operation is soon wildly successful, placing a strain on Toby’s relationship with his disapproving girlfriend, Hunter (Rachael Leigh Cook). When Larry and Vincent learn their territory is threatened, they try to shut down the boys.  

High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (A. W. Vidmer, 2003)

If you keep a tab on what’s happening in the world of poker, then Stu Ungar needs no introduction. He’s well-known poker guru famed for becoming the first-ever player to scoop 3 WSOP Main Event tournaments in the history of World Series of Poker. Unfortunately, he lost the vast majority of his poker winnings on horse racing.

High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story is an indie biographical film about the fascinating life of the high roller Stu Ungar, who is played by Michael Imperioli. Vidmer’s docudrama features every aspect of the player’s life, from when he had everything and hedonistic highs to when his life caved in. The film spares nothing, capturing Stu’s dramatic rise to the zenith of poker gambling, and then his equally meteoric downfall.

Rounders (John Darl, 1998)

It’s a little difficult to find gambling movies that offer plenty of humor and inspiring drama. Rounders gives you a slice of everything, with a drama-filled script, great rating (7.3 stars), and a star-studded cast (with the ranks of Matt Damon as the main star, as well as Edward Norton and John Malkovich). What more could you ask for?

Rounders follows the story of Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) who must beat Teddy “KGB”, a Russian gambling baron in a high stakes poker. At home, McDermott is being pressured by his girlfriend Jo to call it quits from gambling. However, he must pay his college fees with poker winning.

The push-and-pull between the couple continues until Lester (a friend of McDermott’s) comes out of the slammer and is required to pay off an old debt owed to the KGB. The showdown unfolds right before your eyes, with lots of table banter and poker bluffing strategies.

Casino Royale (Martin Campbell, 2006)

Perhaps one of the most notable gambling movies ever, Casino Royale follows the exploits of James Bond (aka 007, played by Daniel Craig) as he tries to defeat Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), a well-known financier of terrorist organizations.

After getting word that Le Chiffre wants to use high stakes poker to raise money for terrorist activities, MI6 enlists the help of Mr. Bond to try to beat him at the poker table. Not only does Bond show off amazing bluffing strategies but it also manages to break down Le Chiffre organization.

Casino (1995)

In early-1970s Las Vegas, low-level mobster Sam “Ace” Rothstein (Robert De Niro) gets tapped by his bosses to head the Tangiers Casino. At first, he’s a great success in the job, but over the years, problems with his loose-cannon enforcer Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci), his ex-hustler wife Ginger (Sharon Stone), her con-artist ex Lester Diamond (James Woods) and a handful of corrupt politicians put Sam in ever-increasing danger. Martin Scorsese directs this adaptation of Nicholas Pileggi’s book.  

Diggstown (1992)

After being released from a Georgia prison, smooth-talking con man Gabriel Caine (James Woods) teams up with his partner in crime, Fitz (Oliver Platt), and travels to remote Diggstown. Upon arriving, Fitz and Caine bet the wealthiest resident, former boxing manager John Gillon (Bruce Dern), that they know a guy who can beat Diggstown’s 10 best fighters in one day. After Caine reels in “Honey” Roy Palmer (Louis Gossett Jr.), an aging boxer and old acquaintance, the grift is on.  

Eight Men Out (1988)

The Chicago White Sox, who are set to play the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series of 1919, are at odds with their team’s owner, Charles Comiskey (Clifton James), who pays his players unsatisfactory wages despite the team’s popularity. A group of professional gamblers offers the Sox’s best athletes a fortune to throw the series, and the players agree. However, their reputations and careers are ruined when the dark secret, dubbed the “Black Sox Scandal,” reaches the public consciousness.  

The Color of Money (1986)

Former pool hustler “Fast Eddie” Felson (Paul Newman) decides he wants to return to the game by taking a pupil. He meets talented but green Vincent Lauria (Tom Cruise) and proposes a partnership. As they tour pool halls, Eddie teaches Vincent the tricks of scamming, but he eventually grows frustrated with Vincent’s showboat antics, leading to an argument and a falling-out. Eddie takes up playing again and soon crosses paths with Vincent as an opponent.  

The Gambler (1974)

New York City English professor Axel Freed (James Caan) outwardly seems like an upstanding citizen. But privately Freed is in the clutches of a severe gambling addiction that threatens to destroy him. After a heavy loss betting on basketball, he relies on his mother to bail him out to the tune of $44,000. Unfazed, he continues to gamble recklessly, winning big at a casino, only to blow it all just as quickly. When his debts become more than he can handle, the loan sharks begin to circle.

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