As long as there has been modern cinema, there have been gambling movies. Many of these are now regarded as classics and are absolute must-sees, especially for those of us who enjoy playing poker, slots or betting on our favourite sports. So, we thought we’d look at four of the best gambling movies that you absolutely should watch before you die. Enjoy!
Let’s begin with a modern classic, shall we? Based on a true story, 21 is set in today’s world where online gambling has already established its place in the world. One day a mathematics professor played by Kevin Spacey decides that instead of just teaching his more talented students the statistical possibilities behind poker or slot machines he’d like to learn some rather underhand blackjack methods. The group then hits the Vegas Strip and shenanigans ensue, betrayal is rife and by the end of the movie we’re sure you won’t know whom to trust.
Casino Royale (2006)
How could we possibly write an article about the best gambling movies without featuring a James Bond title? Fans of the suave spy are sure to know there are two different editions of Ian Fleming’s thrilling story, but here we’ve decided to focus on the one directed by Martin Campbell and starring Daniel Craig as it has been highly praised by many critics. For anyone who hasn’t seen this version of Casino Royale, Bond is swiftly thrown into the ring with the villainous Le Chiffre. Throughout the film, Bond must play poker while attempting to foil the baddies plot without giving himself away. The main poker scene, where Bond clashes with his nemesis, does a great job in not only showing what makes a good poker player but also bring forth deeper aspects of these two characters’ personalities, temperament and attitudes. If you ever want a crash course in how to bluff, this film is your go to, even if you prefer to play poker at home – in fact, there are some basic differences between professional poker games and home poker games, but savvy players know how to adjust their strategy accordingly to win.
The Sting (1973)
There’s no doubt in our minds that those of our readers who belong to the older generations have been waiting for this classic to pop up. The Sting – which has an impressive rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes – stars Paul Newman and Robert Redford one of the most famous duos in cinema history. The two are con men and though they having differing levels of experience they decide to target a criminal boss with a love for gambling and a vendetta against Redford’s character. Anyone who loves plot twists is sure to revel in this movie as few gambling classics have this many twists, complications and danger as this one.
Finally, we have one of the most famous movies ever – Casino. This epic depiction of a casino in Las Vegas controlled by a rather unfriendly mob stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci as a casino owner and a crazy enforcer respectively. It is soon discovered that De Niro’s character has some rather strenuous mafia ties and once Pesci gets involved their lives are put on the line. This classic movie features some of the most memorable scenes in cinema history and is an absolute must for movie enthusiasts.
There you go! Four incredible gambling movies for you to watch during your next movie night. Let us know if we picked your favourite or if we didn’t, which movies you think we should have featured on this list.