10 Best Gambling Movies of All Time


There are a number of films that are based around gambling, whether that is in the casino hall or down at the local race track. Big stars have appeared in them, and many of them have gone down very well at the box office. Here is a rundown of the top 10 gambling movies of all time.

10 – Rounders

Matt Damon stars in this film and plays an entrepreneur who wins his university fees at the poker table. The movie has plenty of great scenes around the poker table, with pinpoint strategies being used in the film to give it a very realistic feel. Damon goes onto play in a high stakes game that is brilliant to watch and something that all gambling fans will be able to relate to. This movie has a great storyline running through it, which is needed but it also has very realistic and authentic gambling references, which are a must for fans.

9 – The Cincinnati Kid

This film features Steve McQueen playing an up and coming gambler, who decides to take on the very best and highest roller, Lancey Howard. We see Howard take on the high roller, who agrees to the game after seeing he only has experience playing in small, backroom casino games. The film builds up to a huge game, where both of them raise their stakes and things get serious. The culmination is that one of them wins, and one loses, but who comes out on top?

8 – The Cooler

This movie centres around a strange character, who is known for his bad luck. This gets to a point where it is so bad that he is employed by a casino to stand at the tables of players who are winning, to try and change their luck. This happens without fail, but a change in luck suddenly sees him become the lucky charm of many gamblers in Vegas. This makes the casino turn on him, and this fun, interesting look at how gamblers are superstitious is a great film to look at if you want to look into the mind of a gambler.

7 – The Gambler

From the name of this film, you instantly know what it is about, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. The Gambler is based on the main character who has a gambling addiction, and one that becomes increasingly worse as the film develops. Throughout the film, he borrows more and more and requires an even bigger thrill to get his fix. The character is someone that a lot of gamblers will be able to relate with, and a timely reminder to people about the seriousness of gambling addictions and what they can lead to.

6 – Seabiscuit

Seabiscuit is a completely different type of gambling film, focused on horse racing. This is a real rag to riches story, showing the rise of a horse, trainer and jockey from the bottom of the pile to the very top. If you are looking for a film about gambling with a real feel-good factor about it then this could be the one for you. It is focused on the underdog, and the film certainly gives you hope for the future after seeing this and realising what could happen if luck is in your favour.

5 – The Sting

This is a story about two con men who come together, one is a complete beginner while the other is a mastermind and a professional of the highest order. They come together and target a criminal boss who is heavily involved with gambling. The film builds up with many different twists and turns keeping the audience on edge. Eventually, the pair get close to their target, and as the story becomes even more complicated, do they pull off the sting or not?

4 – The Hustler

The Hustler is a classic film to many people, and an old one too, set in a time where gambling was done in person between men. The film is set in the US pool halls, where gambling first began so this is a very early look at what gambling was like in the first stages. After finding himself out of luck and out of money, Eddie Felson gets on board with mentor and manager Bert Gordon, and the task that Gordon has ahead of him is to turn Felson back into the player he was.

3 – 21

The film 21 is based on a real-life story, and one of the few modern gambling films to have come out in recent years. A maths professor and a group of talented students train to count cards in Vegas, leading them to a life of trickery and betrayal that can sometimes be difficult to believe, despite this being based on a real life story. If you have an interest in blackjack, casinos and card counting, this film is certainly one for you.

2 – Casino

An absolute classic and one of the greatest films ever made in any genre, never mind gambling films. This is a tale of a casino in Vegas controlled by the mob, sending you down a dark path of organised crime and casino play. This film takes you down into the underworld of gambling, showing you what really happens when things go wrong in the world of organised crime. There are some great scenes in this film, and it will go down as an all-time classic.

1 – Casino Royale

When you are looking at the biggest and best gambling films, one that stars James Bond has to be near the top of the list. This film combined the very best of gambling with the very best on-screen star to bring together a film that many will rank as the best gambling film of all time. Played by Daniel Craig, we see James Bond face an incredible showdown in Monte Carlo in an all-or-nothing game that keeps you right on the edge of your seat throughout. A great film and one many people will see as the best.