25 Best Gambling Movies to Watch Before You Die

Check out the 25 best gambling movies ever made and get ready to spend some quality time with your family and friends!
25 Best Gambling Movies to Watch Before You Die

Tearing yourself away from the casino can be tough, especially if you're on a hot streak, but you'd do well to take a break every now then to recharge. Here is a list of 25 famous gambling movies to keep your mind in the game while you count your winnings.

25. The Gambler (2014)

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Mark Wahlberg stars in this remake of the 1974 classic. It follows the tale of a literature professor with a simple outlook on life; you either having everything, or nothing at all, a philosophy that he takes with him to the casinos. His gambling addiction leads to him owing a massive debt to the owner of an underground gambling ring as well as a notorious loan shark.

Fed up with his excuses, the gambling ring owner gives him a week to pay off his debt with cash or his life. Desperate to keep living, he enlists the services of a few of his students to help him find the money. Maybe they'll get extra credits.

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Jessica Lange, John Goodman
IMBD Rating: 6/10

24. Casino Royale (2006)

Secret agent James Bond has just gotten his status as a 007 agent. His first mission for MI:6 has him taking on a weapons dealer in a high-stakes match of Casino Royale. In this flick there's more than just money on the table.

Cast: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Judi Dench 
IMBD Rating: 8/10

23. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

This is an instant classic from one of Britain's favorite directors, Guy Ritchie. Set in England, an overly-confident card player enlists three of his best friends to aid him in pulling off a heist in order to pay off a debt that he owes to a crime boss after he loses £500,000 in a fixed game of three-card bag.

Lesson learnt from this movie: 1. Don't gamble with crooks. 2. It is possible to have an English accent that doesn't sound like English.

Cast: Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran 
IMBD Rating: 8.2/10

22. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

We all love a classic. Steve McQueen stars in this all-American drama set during the depression as he sets out to prove to the world that he is the best poker player the world has ever seen. To be the best, you have to beat the best so he challenges a veteran player named Lancey 'The Man' Howard in an attempt to take the title.

Cast: Steve McQueen, Ann-Margret, Edward G. Robinson
IMBD Rating: 7.3/10

21. Owning Mahowny (2003)

What would you do if you had access to a multi-million dollar account and a love for high-stakes gambling? Bet it all, of course. You'll win it back eventually, right? If not, at least you'll have a reputation for being involved in one of Canada's most infamous bank-fraud cases. People will make movies about you.

Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Minnie Driver, John Hurt 
IMBD Rating: 7.2/10

20. 21 (2008)

Casinos hate card-counters which is why it is best to do it with a bit finesse.
21 is about a group of MIT college students, led by their professor, who use a card-counting system that helps them fleece one casino after another in order to win big and pay off their tuition fess however things go pear-shaped when the casinos catch on to their scam.

Cast:  Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Kevin Spacey 
IMBD Rating: 6.8/10

19. Let It Ride (1989)

Let's go bet on a few ponies! In this comedy a cab driver overhears a hot tip about a horse that cannot lose and wins big. Lured in by the easy money he gets the gambling bug and then has trouble stopping. That's how we all start.

Cast: Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, David Johansen
IMBD Rating: 6.9/10

18. Two for the Money (2005)

A college football star suffers a career ending injury but he opts to keep working in the industry handicapping football games. His knowledge of the game and skill for choosing winners earns him the attention of one of sports-betting's most prolific consultants who takes him under his wing.

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Al Pacino, Rene Russo
IMBD Rating: 6.2/10

17. California Split (1974)

Bill Denny is a casual gambler who meets Charlie Walters at a gambling club. Impressed by Charlie's life as career gambler, Bill gambles more and more, getting into debt with his loan shark and eventually pawning everything he owns in order to take a trip to Reno for a high-stakes poker game and chase his dream of winning big.

Cast: George Segal, Elliott Gould, Ann Prentiss
IMBD Rating: 7.3/10

16. Hard Eight (1996)

Sydney is veteran gambler who feels most at home in casinos. Towards the end of his life, he meets a younger man who is broke and has no luck at all. Sydney sees an opportunity to leave a legacy and takes John under his wing, teaching him all that there is to know about the gambling business. Along the way John meets Clementine and she turns his life upside down.

Cast: Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow 
IMBD Rating: 7.3/10

15. The Hustler (1961)

The Hustler recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. This was the movie that rocketed Paul Newman to stardom as he played an ambitious pool shark named Fast Eddie Felson. In his quest to be the best pool-player to have ever lived, he goes under the tutelage of Brett Newman who teaches him how to play-to-win in the big time. This is a must-watch for anyone who loves to hold the cue.

Cast: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie 
IMBD Rating: 8/10

14. Ocean's Eleven (2001)

The best movies always get remakes and this one has a star-studded cast. Anything less would have been unacceptable. George Clooney plays Danny Ocean who is fresh out of prison and wants revenge on the casino owner who had him locked up so he gets a crew together and plans to rob three casinos in one night.

Cast: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts 
IMBD Rating: 7.8/10

13. A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966)

This one is all about high-stakes poker in the Wild West. Five of the richest men in Laredo gather for their annual high-stakes poker game. Nothing keeps these high-rollers from their game and one of them even postpones his daughter's wedding to make sure that he's sitting at the table. Think about that the next time life gets in the way of your love for the cards.

Cast: Henry Fonda, Joanne Woodward, Jason Robards
IMBD Rating: 7.4/10

12. The Cooler (2003)

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We all know that one guy who has the worst luck when it comes to gambling. Such guys should do themselves a favor and stay away from the gambling tables but casinos found a use for them. Once in a while they'll hire such a guy and send him in the direction of a player who's taking the house for too much money and have his bad luck infect them. They call these guys 'the coolers'. But what happens when a casino's favorite cooler becomes a lucky charm? Love strange effects on us.

Cast: William H. Macy, Maria Bello, Alec Baldwin 
IMBD Rating: 7/10

11. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)

If you're going to Las Vegas, don't hold back. Fill your trunk with every intoxicant known to man, get your buddy to ride shotgun, let the top down and take a long trip into the recesses of your own mind. I'll always remember this movie for that scene where the two of them are trying to get into the hotel lobby, legless on their ether high. Classic.

Cast: Johnny Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Tobey Maguire 
IMBD Rating: 7.7/10

10. Lucky You (2007)

The ladies love a winner...as long as he's winning.

Cast: Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, Robert Duvall |
IMBD Rating: 5.9/10

9. Croupier (1998)

If you love gambling but don't have the skill for it you could get a job as croupier. At the very least you get to see others win and live vicariously through them. This was the life of Jack Manfred, played by Clive Owen, up until he realized that he was witnessing golden material that he could use for his book. Inspiration comes from everywhere.

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Cast: Clive Owen, Nick Reding, Nicholas Ball 
IMBD Rating: 7.2/10

8. Bookies (2003)

College life is tough. Three students find that their student loans can't afford them the life that they want to live so they start a business as bookies. Their booming business soon attracts the attention of local authorities as well as rival bookies in the same territory.

Cast: Nick Stahl, Johnny Galecki, Lukas Haas |
IMBD Rating: 6/10

7. Kenny Rogers as The Gambler (1980)

"Don't ever count your money while you're sitting at the table."
This is just one of the many lessons that Brady Hawkes passed on to a young up-and-comer about the game of cards.

Cast: Kenny Rogers, Christine Belford, Bruce Boxleitner 
IMBD Rating: 6.2/10

6. All In: The Poker Movie (2011)

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Americans have been using poker to chase the American Dream for decades. This is the movie for you if you want to know all about the history of one of America's oldest games including how politicians have fought against the right of adults to choose how they spend their time and money. All In shows how the professional poker-playing community went on to become a nationally televised sport endorsed and played by celebrities such a George Clooney and Matt Damon.

Cast: Karen Abbott, Peter Alson, Nick Brancato |
IMBD Rating: 6.7/10

5. The Good Thief (2002)

Gambling and law-breaking are always going to be closely associated. Probably because when most gamblers are in the red they resort to crime to stay afloat. It makes the clean players look bad but at least it makes for good stories.
In The Good Thief, an aging gambler aims to rob a casino but the odds are stacked against him as someone has tipped off the cops about his plans.

Cast: Nick Nolte, Ralph Fiennes, Nutsa Kukhianidze 
IMBD Rating: 6.6/10

4. Dinner Rush (2000)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oE-HFYGduU

Dinner Rush follows the tale of a father-and-son duo who are proprietors of an Italian restaurant and both have vested interests in the gambling world. On one eventful night they are hosting a cop, rival bookmakers and demanding food critic. The plot thickens faster than the soup as the night draws to a climactic end.

Cast: Danny Aiello, Edoardo Ballerini, John Rothman
IMBD Rating: 7.3/10

3. Killing Them Softly (2012)

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There are two types of poker players in this world; those that play to win, and those that wait for the high-rollers to put their money on the table then organize a hold-up to steal all of the money because they're shitty players and know that they have no choice of winning.

Killing them softly is about an amateur crook who is hired by the latter-type of poker player to rob an illegitimate game being hosted by Mafia bosses. Mafia bosses are men of pride and they weren't going to let this insult go unpunished so they start an investigation into the heist, murdering anybody who may been involved to restore confidence in their local gambling scene.

Cast: Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins 
IMBD Rating: 6.2/10

2. Saint John of Las Vegas (2009)

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If you have a problem with something it may be wise to avoid it. Steve Buscemi stars as gambling addict who moves away from Las Vegas but when he finds himself falling into old patterns he realizes that he can't keep running from his problems.

Cast: Steve Buscemi, Romany Malco, Sarah Silverman |
IMBD Rating: 5.8/10

1. Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians (2011)

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Have you ever been in a casino and sat next to a pious looking gentleman with his hands to the heavens, praying for a good hand? He may just be a Holy Roller, part of a blackjack team made up entirely of church-going Christians. If you're wondering how they justify their love for high-stakes gambling under the strict rules of their faith, this movie is for you.

Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, Danny A. Abeckaser 
IMBD Rating: 5.9/10


There are your 25 must-watch gambling movies. Admittedly, some are better than others but they're bound to keep you entertained and itching for a return to the casino. If you want to spin some slots while you are watching a movie then visit Royal Panda Casino and Guts Casino which offer great slots games for your smartphone.

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