Top 10 Best Gambling Movies

If you have been around people who love gambling, then you will often hear arguments about several gambling topics; one of the most common ones being on which 10 gambling movies are the best ones. These movies are unique in their plots and delivery as they expose viewers, particularly gamblers to the risk involved in gambling, how to understand these risks, and beat them for success. Having learned about online casinos and seen a comprehensive Bspin review, it is common to wonder why people love this activity so much; and these movies play a huge part. These are the cinematic tools that keep viewers glued to their screens for hours. In these films, you would watch different characters being prudent and also exercising the utmost caution with every step that is taken. However, these films show how a person can constantly risk the things they hold on dearly, to get something bigger.

The top 10 best gambling movies are not just one of those James Bond Casino Royale, Cincinnati kid, James Caan, Robert de Niro, or Matt Damon action-themed casino movies that are usually about poker and set in Las Vegas. Although everyone acknowledges the greats like Sharon Stone, Steve McQueen, or Clive Owen and their works, this list is compiled based on the representation of the gambling arts.

Gambling movies always express pain, determination, and the happiness that comes from having a big win. Gamblers in these films always want that big win and every poker game always seems to them like the last. The twisting side to the lives of these gamblers in these films is that they always don’t end up with the lives they desire. They work so hard to get that big win by studying poker odds and taking the risk. When the win comes, they want to use it to take another risk because they feel every big win can produce another big win.

How will watching gambling films help you as a gambler understand the game better? You can read all you want about it or study all that there is to study, but none of it can be compared to the knowledge of watching the game of poker in a casino setting. Gambling films open you up to the dynamics of the game as well as the life of the gambler. Through this, you can learn a lot of lessons that will help you avoid the negativity of the game and build up your abilities in no small ways for your next casino appearance.

This compilation of the top 10 best movies focuses not only or the art of gambling but the lives of gamblers and that of their families.

This list comprises of carefully selected movies that will surely help you improve as a gambler. With that said, let us get to the analysis of the best gambling movies.

Here is the list of the 10 Best Gambling Movies:

Uncut Gems

Uncut Gems movie poster

Uncut Gems might not be a Robert De Niro film, but it is a recent gambling movie that was released in 2019. This thriller starring Josh and Benny Safdie was not only intense, but it was also nerve-wracking. In this film, Adam Sandler plays the role of Howard who was a hopeless gambling addict. Howard became so addicted to gambling that he started threading on the part of utter self-destruction. At a point in the film, Howard placed a bet in himself after he had nothing to secure a bet.

The interesting thing about this film is how well Howard can paint addiction deeply giving us the hope that he will get out of it while in reality, he was getting deeper into it. Watching the finale of the film and how addiction paid off for Howard might just want to make your search deep and get back into addiction.

The point this film looks to stress to gamblers is that addiction continues because the game always gives you something to hold on to. Addiction may not be good for gamblers, but it is not always easy to come out of it because you always look up to that big win even when it is not forthcoming.

Vegas Vacation

Vegas Vacation movie poster

This might not be the best film when you see it as a vacation film set in a Las Vegas casino but it has been included on this list because of how funny and illustrative it is. This film is reputed most probably to be the single best funniest and dumbest casino film of all time. One of the classical parts of this comedy film has to be the terrible reboot with Ed Helms – everyone is sure going to love that.

The major character in this classic is Clark Griswold who from the start of the film is said to have a gambling addiction. Clark all of his life was being tormented by Wallace Shawn who was a car dealer. In this film, Clark wasn’t a good gambler and this resulted in him losing a lot of his earnings. He wasn’t good at it, but because of his addiction, he just couldn’t stop. The movie sums up what gambling is like in a Las Vegas casino and the type of players and games like minesweeper game that exist there like the “Pick a number between 1 and 10” where Clark once lost about $20. It might not be James Caan, Matt Damon, or Cincinnati Kid related, but Vegas Vacation remains one must-watch movie for all gamblers.

Owning Mahowny

Owning Mahowny movie

There are several sides to gambling that many movies focus on. While some focus on the glamour and flamboyant lifestyle that comes from its proceeds, others focus on explaining the mathematics behind gambling. There are, however, very few movies that stress extensively on the danger of addiction and ‘Owning Mahowny – a 2003 crime thriller is one of such.

Based on a true story of Phillip Hoffman – a Canadian bank Manager, Owning Mahowny takes viewers through the process of being a gambler and how addiction sets in. Phillip who was able to steal a lot of money in his time as a bank manager used all of it to bet in Atlantic City. The first few years were great for Hoffman because he made use of his brilliance and intuition in betting. After a while of continuous betting, Hoffman began to experience oppressive addiction which not only caused him to lose all his money but he began being aggressive to himself and others. Sadly, this is the true story of many gamblers across the globe who started nice like Hoffman but have become dangerously addicted now.

Lucky You

Lucky You movie

‘Lucky you’ is a hackneyed story of a superstar poker player by the name Eric Bana. This movie that was released in 2007 shows the somewhat complicated relationship that existed between Eric Bana and his father Robert Duvall who was in himself a bigger superstar in the poker playing arts. At several points in the movie, there were disagreements between these two individuals as to who is better. The movie, however, portrays two different characters of gamblers through both of them. They had different playing tactics but shared a similar desire for achieving a win at all times and staying on top of the game. In the end, these two men had to go against each other in what became a Big Game. While this game was a very tough one for both characters, it revealed certain truths that were unknown about their characters.

This movie helps you as a gambler to see gambling from the lens of two different gamblers who knew the game, played the game, and continuously won the game. Lucky you are not just one of those casino themed poker movies, but one highly recommended movie for gamblers. This movie will upgrade your poker and betting skills in no small way.

The Color of Money

The Color of Money movie poster

Released in 1986, The Color of Money earned Paul Newman what later went on to become his only Oscar award. This movie revisited the phenomenal character of Fast Eddie Felson a player in The Hustler. So this movie is more of a sequel and it centers on an aging pool shark who was at the crossroad of deciding whether or not to stop gambling. Seeing gambling as a hustle, the major character in this movie had to make a decision either to continue gambling or quit it and go on with his business of selling liquor. While Eddie Felson wanted to quit gambling, he didn’t want to miss the fun of the game as is with many gamblers in today’s world.

This movie is more of a cautionary one than it is of an informative one. It looks to expose to gamblers the addiction that comes with gambling over a long period. It gets to a stage where the game becomes difficult to quit because of the fear that you might miss the joy the game gives.

The movie also stresses the need to have around you those who are magnetic to gambling and almost cannot quit it. They have through several years of experience gathered the right knowledge that can help you thrive in the world of gambling.

Twenty One

Twenty One novie

Released in 2008, 21 is a true life experience story of the MIT BlackJack Team. The MIT BlackJack Team is a made up of professional individuals who did many great things together as a team. This team beat the house (casino) for almost a decade and had many of their experiences later authored into books by Ben Mezrich. 21 is simply a story about maths and business with a little gambling twist. Featuring the likes of Jim Sturgess, Aaron Yoo, Josh Gad, and Jacob Pitts as its cast, this movie is a must-watch for all gamblers out there.

Though largely criticized by many especially for whitewashing by turning Asian-Americans into generic white people, this movie has one of the richest plots in gambling history. For several parts of the movie, major characters were seen trying to pull one over on Kevin Spacey. At a point, Spacey was kidnapped and subjected to torture.

Watching this movie as a gambler will help you understand the science and mathematics behind gambling in real life casino settings. Through this, you will no doubt become a better and more careful gambler.

Molly’s Game

Molly's Game movie

Released in 2017, Molly’s Game is a gambling movie and the directorial debut of Aaron Sorkin. This movie is said to be based on the memoir of a former champion skier – Molly Bloom. Molly at the height of her career as a renowned skier who suffered a terrible accident. This accident forced her into changing careers and becoming an underground poker game organizer. Molly was so good at an underground poker game that this film was fashioned after her. This film showed that you didn’t need to go to casinos to gamble.

One major character in the film is Jessica Chastain who exposed the illegal but lucrative ecosystem run by Molly to viewers. She was in charge of organizing high stakes games for gamblers and following through on their winners. You are also going to meet heartbreaking characters in this film like Bill Camp. Bill was a very hopeless gambler who suffered terrible losses but was still always ready to bet on himself.

All these characters put together in their unique differences exposes you as a gambler to a better view of the world of gambling. This film also gives you a holistic understanding of how the ecosystem works to benefit a select few and the expense of many others. With this film, you will learn that it is possible to be a gambler at any poker table, make the most of the game without necessarily being addicted.


Maverick movie poster

No doubt one of the most popular gambling movies of all time, Maverick was released in 1994 by Mel Gibson. Since its release, this film has remained relevant and helped many gamblers across the globe understand the art of gambling better. Mel Gibson, the brain behind this film was considered to be a lively man that was full of light. This film, is largely based on the popular ‘50s television series, which is seen as a bloated contraption. With every event carefully linked to the other, viewers need to pay rapt attention to get the gist of the movie and appreciate it. While you might find some scenes in this film quite unnecessary to the storyline, you will surely find every scene played by Jodie Foster very interesting.

Jodie in this film had a blast for playing the damsel-in-distress role living off the hard earnings of her gambling pal. She did not pay attention to the source of the income and wasn’t so interested when Gibson tried talking to her about it. Not so much of her was seen when a loss was recorded. From this movie, you are going to have a sneak peek into the inner lives of gamblers and see how pleasurable and stressful it can be.

The Cooler

The Cooler movie

The Cooler, a gambling movie that was premiered in 2003 expresses the life and everyday living of a professional loser named Bennie. Bernie was seen all through this film for being responsible for ruining hot streak because he played at the craps table. It was quite surprising that despite the many gambling experiences gathered by Bernie, he still kept on losing. This goes on to show that beyond experience in the game of gambling, there is a mathematic to it that needs to be understood.

Starting as a depressing study of a gambling addict who has lost almost all of his earnings to the casino, the film expressed a fair balance of loss and win. Bernie at the start of the movie was largely indebted to Alec Baldwin who was a very tough casino owner. Bernie had to continually work to offset his debt for Baldwin and also become his go-to guy. After a while, he met a woman he loved Maria Bello – a waitress whose love turned his fortune around and spelled a season of luck for him. Bernie though being a failure at gambling, never stopped placing a bet and this shows the place of consistency. Many times, that painful act of consistency in gambling might just be all you need for a breakthrough in gambling.

Ocean’s Eleven

Ocean's Eleven movie poster

There is one thing that is common to almost all gambling movies and that is presenting its character as always being sober. Steven Soderbergh was able to look the other side and was able to convert creaky rat pack caper into an amazing piece. In the early scene of this film, George Clooney and Brad Pitt started as really cool characters who squared themselves up at the card table. However, as the film went on, a lot of things began to change between these two individuals.

Ocean eleven not only expressed the gambling spirit in Las Vegas but also shows viewers how adult pleasures are achieved. Gamblers are portrayed in this film as having ‘swag’ as they are always seen well-dressed in very expensive clothes and gold chains. Kind of like that in the James Bond movie, Casino Royale. The best moment and what has remained the major highlight of this film shows how gambling metaphors are not only silly but also not as difficult as they are portrayed to be. This is must probably why this movie did not delve into the deep substances of gambling instead focused on the fancy lives of gamblers.


With the top 10 best gambling movies and their IMDB links provided above, you need to get yourself together and start watching these movies. They have enjoyed positive reviews and ratings from many online casinos and players across the globe. These movies will not only teach you about the positives of gambling including how to dominate the poker table at the casino, how to master bitcoin casino slot, but it also highlights the negatives of the art as well. You will also learn how gamblers live and what addiction can do to you as a gambler. There are many resources online to teach you how to become a professional poker player and you can take advantage of them.

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