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6 Best Movies about Gambling


There’s nothing like a good gambling movie to get the heart pumping. Whether it’s the thrill of the game, the high stakes, or the drama of it all, gambling movies are always captivating. Here are our top 6 picks for the best gambling movies of all time.

Casino (1995)

Casino is a powerful movie depicting the dark underworld of early Las Vegas, a world where there was no ZodiacCasino BOC and the Mafia had control over casinos and other shady operations. It was a time of high-stakes gambling and rival mobster feuds.

The audience follows the lives of Sam “Ace” Rothstein, played by Robert De Niro, and handsome former-boxer-turned-gambling-cowboy Nicky Santoro, played by Joe Pesci. Both characters portray different sides of the corrupt landscape of casinos in the 1970s, adding new layers to some dark criminal activities that most people are unfamiliar with.

Lastly, this movie tells a fun story while also showing how different crime groups ran Las Vegas in the 1970s.

Rounders (1998)

Rounders is a crime drama with Matt Damon and Edward Norton in the lead roles. It was directed by John Dahl. The movie follows the life of Mike McDermott, a professional poker player who gets involved with loan sharks while trying to pay his friend’s debt.

He must use his skill at playing cards in high-stakes games to win back the money he needs to pay off the debt. With the help of his mentor, Mike learns what it takes to be a winner in the underground world of poker.

It also explores how far someone will go for friendship, loyalty, and justice. Rounders not only entertains with its story, but it also sheds light on an often-overlooked aspect of gambling—its dark side.

Owning Mahowny (2003)

Owning Mahowny is a movie that explores the power of an all-consuming addiction and the devastating effect it can have on one’s life. In the movie, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Dan Mahowny, a bank manager who steals money from the bank to pay for his gambling habit, which has terrible results.

This movie is based on real events and shows how dangerous gambling without rules can be for people who are already weak. It shows how far someone will go to satisfy an illness, even if it means giving up their whole career and future plans. Even though the story is sad and has a sad ending, Owning Mahowny is an important look at problem gambling and gives useful information about how to get better.

California Split (1974)

“California Split” is a comedy-drama movie that stars George Segal and Elliott Gould as two gamblers who become friends. The movie was directed by Robert Altman. The film is a character-driven story that explores the thrill and danger of gambling, as well as the camaraderie and competition that can develop among gamblers.


The film is notable for its realistic portrayal of the gambling world, which is both exhilarating and gritty. Altman’s direction is top-notch, and he captures the frenzied energy of the casinos and the desperation of the characters with great skill. The performances by Segal and Gould are also outstanding, and they have great chemistry together.

“California Split” is a well-crafted film that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. It’s a timeless classic that is still relevant today, and it’s a must-see for fans of Altman, Segal, or Gould, as well as anyone who enjoys a good character-driven story.

Molly’s Game (2017)

Based on Molly Bloom’s memoir of the same name, “Molly’s Game” is a biographical drama film that Aaron Sorkin wrote and directed in 2017. The film stars Jessica Chastain as Bloom, a former Olympic-class skier who runs a high-stakes poker game for the rich and famous.

The movie shows Bloom’s rise and fall as a poker game organizer in a fast-paced and interesting way, and Chastain gives a powerful performance that shows how complicated her character is. Sorkin’s direction is sharp and dynamic, and the film is full of witty dialogue and intense poker scenes that keep the audience on the edge of their seats.


While the film does take some liberties with the actual events of Bloom’s life, it still manages to capture the essence of her story and the high-stakes world of underground poker. The supporting cast, including Idris Elba as Bloom’s lawyer and Kevin Costner as her demanding father, is also excellent and adds depth to the film.

This is a gripping and entertaining film that tells a fascinating story of ambition, betrayal, and redemption. It’s a must-see for fans of Sorkin and Chastain, as well as anyone who enjoys a good biographical drama.

The Card Counter (2021)

“The Card Counter” is a 2021 drama film written and directed by Paul Schrader. Oscar Isaac plays a former military interrogator and skilled card player who now lives alone and travels from casino to casino. The film also features Tye Sheridan, Tiffany Haddish, and Willem Dafoe in supporting roles.

Schrader’s direction is impeccable, and the film is a slow-burning character study that delves deep into the psyche of its main character. Isaac gives a captivating performance as William Tell, a man who struggles with his past and tries to atone for it by playing cards. The supporting cast is also strong, with Haddish in particular delivering a standout performance as a mysterious figure from Tell’s past.

The film’s cinematography is striking, with beautiful shots of the casino world and the desolate landscapes of the American Southwest. The Robert Levon Been soundtrack also contributes to the gloomy atmosphere of the movie.

Overall, it’s a beautiful and thought-provoking movie that looks at guilt, redemption, and what it means to be human. It’s a must-see for fans of Schrader and Isaac, as well as anyone who enjoys a good character-driven drama.

Bottom Line

These three films offer viewers an entertaining and sometimes educational insight into the world of gambling. No matter your level of experience with gambling, these films will give you a good idea about its dangerous side as well as its captivating lure.

6 Best Movies about Gambling

6 Best Movies about Gambling

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