Top Casino Movies to Watch

South Mississippi Casino Hosts John Travolta's Movie Shoot

Casino movies have been popular for decades and for a good reason. The emotional roller-coaster that the gamers on the big screen invoke is simply phenomenal. After all, the high stakes, the desperation, and the big wins that come with gambling are almost tailor-made to entertain huge crowds.

Films that feature in casinos go for high-intensity games like poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat to deliver an enjoyable experience. Sometimes, they even go as far as to include activities like sports betting and the lottery. On the side, they’ll show an array of slot machines with enthusiasts trying their hand with lady luck.

If you want to learn to be a pro at these games, like movie stars, you can visit a local casino and get acquainted. But of course, not all of us live in the Sin City of Vegas or near a gaming establishment. The good thing is you can access online casinos anywhere and choose from thousands of games. Reviews like NJ online casino reviews will help point you in the right direction.

Some movies use casino gaming as the backbone of their intense action and thrilling storylines. Others guide the viewer into exploring the psychological implications of placing high stakes. But do you know what all of them have in common? They’ll always keep you glued to your seat until they’re over. Having watched multiple casino movies, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best ones below.

1. Casino Royale (2006)

At the top of our list is Casino Royale, a movie that follows the adventures of James Bond, played by Daniel Craig. After getting Intel that Le Chiffre(Mads Mikkelsen) wanted to use high stakes Poker to generate income for a terrorist organization, the MI6 enlisted Mr. Bond to beat him. To add to the thrill, the film’s central scene was set at Montenegro’s glamorous Casino Royale, hence its name.

Not only does Bond showcase the intensity that comes with gambling, but he also manages to bring down the terrorist organization. That’s why Casino Royale remains among the most loved and watched movies in the Bond franchise, averaging an impressive eight stars on the popular movie review site IMDb.

2. The Gambler (2014)

Loosely based on the 1974 James Caan movie, The Gambler stars Mark Wahlberg as Jim Bennett, a literature professor with a gambling addiction. Fans loved this movie because it portrays the everyday struggles that problem gamblers have. These include losing some of their possessions, as shown when Jim loses all his money and home in one night at a casino.

Not only that, but it also encourages these people, as it shows how Mark’s character overcomes his addiction. All these are situations that many gamers have found themselves in, which is why people find it easy to relate to the movie and enjoy it.

3. Rounders (1998)

Though a bit dated, Rounders is also a favourite for all casino movie fans. It sucks viewers into the underground gambling world through its main character, Mike McDermott (Matt Damon), a talented poker player trying to help a friend pay out his debts. In the inspiring drama, he faces Teddy ‘KGB’, a Russian gambling pro, in a scene full of table banter and real-life poker strategies.

As a result, the films give insight into the risks, obsession, friendships, and loyalty involved in casino gaming. It also shows the effect of gambling partners on relationships, as Mike’s girlfriend tries to pressure him to quit gambling. All in all, the show encompasses some of the most relevant aspects of a gambler’s life, making it such a great watch.

4. Casino (1995)

What makes this movie realistic is that it’s based on the actual events of crook Frank Rosenthal as it tries to explore the brutal side of the gambling world. Its main characters, Robert De Niro and Sharon Stone deliver a stunning performance in this tale of greed and deception. Casino takes place in Vegas and, as you might expect, unravels the relationship between dealers and bosses and shows some winning strategies.

One such strategy used in this movie by De Niro is card counting. In one scene, the character observes the cards he is dealt and calculates when to bet high and when to stop gambling. This is a real-life strategy that some blackjack players use to beat the dealer.

5. The Card Counter (2021)

Starring Oscar Isaac, The Card Counter explores how an ex-military interrogator struggles to overcome post-traumatic disorder through gambling. As you can expect, his haunting past significantly reduces his odds of winning, making it challenging to keep up with his gambling activities. Through all this, he keeps pushing his luck with the help of strategies such as card counting.

Gamers will especially enjoy the movie’s realistic recreation of the World Series Poker tournament as Isaac attempts to win enough money to help a young man cover his debts. Eventually, The Card Counter becomes about more than just gambling, as it tells a story of regrets, hope, and the search for forgiveness.

Keep Yourself Entertained with the Best Gambling Movies

From the fun and glamorous experiences to the darker and deceptive ones, each movie above offers a unique perspective into the world of gambling. They give you insight into a gamer’s mindset, including the descent into obsession and the exhilarating card-counting techniques. All in all, they are must-watch gems, not only for gambling enthusiasts but for anyone who enjoys a powerful plot.

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