Gambling has been a massive influence on many aspects of society throughout the span of humanity on this Earth. Games of chance have formed part of our culture for thousands of years, to the point where the human brain seems to be made to love gambling and feels compelled to do it at least once in the life of a human being.
The same influence can be seen in many other aspects of our culture. Hollywood has been one of the main exponents of gambling in the last 70 years, with casino movies gaining a lot of popularity and some of them being extremely influential in the 70s.
We have decided to create this article as a way to honor the best gambling movies of all time, in our opinion, and tell you which movies you need to see if you want to get into the mood of gambling before you dive straight into the action.
Just remember that we’re mostly focusing on post-2000s productions, but there are some cult classics that we simply couldn’t leave out. We didn’t want to shower you with too many ‘oldies but goldies’, anyway.
Oh, and one last thing: we’ll be doing our best not to spoil any of these movies for you. We’ll give you a general summary of each title to help you get an idea of what they’re about, but the truth is that we want you to watch them!
10. Hard Eight
If you’re into more violent films, then Hard Eight is probably one of the best ones to watch. Hard Eight deals with a man who recruits a younger acquaintance and teaches him all there is about the world of gambling so he can win enough money to pay back his debts.
Things get much more complicated when issues of the past between the two men resurface, which cause a very violent endeavor to unfold around them – all of it happening in proper Las Vegas fashion.
9. The Gambler
This movie has a few layers to it. It talks about the story of a man who has to borrow money to pay some debts, which he naturally ends up spending in gambling, where his debts originated in the first place.
One of the main aspects about this movie is that the film never openly acknowledges that the main character and protagonist of the film, has a gambling addiction.
The movie just goes on to develop the plot, but there’s never anything to openly suggest that he has a problem. It deals with the darker side of gambling in your daily life, and it’s a movie that everyone needs to watch. Maybe just try to watch the original film and not Mark Wahlberg’s, though.
8. The Cooler
The Cooler has a very interesting plot, and it’s much more lighthearted than the majority of casino films that often take some very dark twists. In this movie, we follow the story of a man who is working for the casino in an attempt to pay off his debts with the establishment (see a pattern here?). He has the ability to attract bad luck and basically take other players to go bankrupt, giving the casino an even bigger edge than what we often discuss in our articles.
Things get complicated when the man falls in love with the new waiter – a relationship that the owner of the casino is not very keen on approving. A fantastic film, even if not a blockbuster, and one that every fan of casinos will definitely enjoy watching once or twice.
21 deals with the semi-real story of a few university students who get together and make a point to learn how to master the art of card counting to win money in real casinos. Being outstanding in their respective fields, they become experts at card counting and win ridiculously highs sums of money in some casinos by playing blackjack against the house.
As you can imagine, stories like this one hardly end well. How many of these students get caught and what type of trouble do they get into? Check out this amazing film and find out – you won’t regret it. It’s a very fun watch.
6. Lucky You
Are you a fan of poker? If you are, then this is the movie that you need to go and watch right now. It deals with the story of an extremely talented poker player who falls in love and now needs to find a way to deal with his emotions whilst also looking to make his way to the World Series in Las Vegas.
If he manages to make his way to the finals, he will have a chance to face no one else than his father (played by Robert Duvall!) and attempt to mend his legacy and establish himself as one of the greatest players of all time.
5. Molly’s Game
Molly’s Game is another one of those movies that deals with the darker side of poker. It’s based on a real story, too, which makes it far more interesting.
Molly sets up an underground betting saloon where high-profile gamblers. Only the biggest names from Hollywood gain access to Molly’s tables. It all goes pretty well for her until the FBI decides to intervene and, well, you can guess what happens afterwards.
Do check out this movie – it’s based on a true story and you can actually read more about this case if you’re interested!
4. Mississippi Grind
This semi-independent movie had a very small budget to produce, but it quickly became one of the best gambling movies of all time.
A man with a gambling addiction makes a new friend who he truly believes is an amulet of good luck, which leads him to take his new acquaintance on a trip across the states and into New Orleans. There, a high-stakes poker game is happening, and the gambler is in dire need of winning.
It’s one of those movies that you see with low expectations but you come out pretty surprised!
Featuring all-time greats Matt Damon and John Malkovich, this movie deals with the story of a reformed gambling addict who is forced to return to the world of gambling in order to save his friend.
Rounders deals with the darker side of friendships and gambling addiction. It’s one of the most high-profile movies to do it.
2. California Split
It was necessary for us to rank California Split here, even though the movie was released back in 1974. It’s one of the best gambling movies of all time, mixing comedy with gambling in a very revolutionary way for its age. A must-watch even if you’re not a gambling fan, and one to never miss if you like casino games!
1. Ocean’s Eleven
Not only is this movie filled with a plethora of Hollywood big names, but it’s also one of the most influential gambling movies of the 21st century. In a cast of stars led by George Clooney himself, this movie probably set the tone for many people to fall in love with casinos in the 2000s and 2010s.
The only issue with the movie is that it made a lot of people believe that you could actually use some patterns to trick slot machines into helping you win money. Don’t worry, though – you can’t be deceived or fall victim to such trickery in any of the world’s best online casinos.
Create Your Own Adventure at These High Roller Casinos
Some of the characters portrayed in these movies would be some of the most successful gamblers in history, should they exist in real life. You’re probably more than in the mood for gambling now, and if you’re truly looking to recreate the adventure that some of these characters have experienced, you might be better off doing so in a casino that accepts large bets.
Not only that, but as an online gambler, you have an advantage over movie characters: you can claim the best casino bonuses to kickstart your journey with free cash that wasn’t available to most of the characters in any of those films!
In any case, here are the best high roller casinos to place your bets and set yourself on a journey towards glory: