The Best Card Movies in Hollywood History

The Best Card Movies in Hollywood History

Hollywood may seem like a place with limited love for gambling-based movies, but over the decades, there have been several that are not only the best in the genre but also touted as some of the best movies ever made. 


Firstly, Rounders is easily one of the most famous poker movies. Featuring a young Matt Damon and Edward Norton, the film tells the story of a law student playing poker at night to fund his law school tuition. 

Rounders is widely regarded as a movie that was far ahead of its time, and with a star-studded cast and gritty script and atmosphere, you will be shocked at how invested you get in someone just trying to get through life by playing poker

The Cincinnati Kid

The Cincinnati Kid is a classic in the world of cinema – for a good reason. The movie tells the story of a young poker player, played by Steve McQueen, and his arduous and tense poker game against a seasoned pro, Lancey Howard. 

While the premise is simple, the movie is intense and will have you on the edge of your seat from the start. The plot is unpredictable, and unless you have seen it already, the ending will hit you out of nowhere. 

Molly’s Game

Molly’s Game is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, an aspiring Olympic skier who moves to Los Angeles after a career-ending injury and becomes tangled up in the world of high-stakes, underground poker games. 

She becomes the kingpin of the underground poker scene, hosting various celebrities at her games, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Toby Maguire, Nelly, and Ben Affleck. It is an exceptionally well-made film that gives you insight into the sometimes dark and dangerous world of underground gambling. 

The Best Card Movies in Hollywood History

Image by: Jaroslaw Kwoczala via Unsplash


Another movie based on a true story, 21, tells the story of six MIT students who mastered the art of card counting and subsequently won millions on Blackjack games throughout Las Vegas. 

While the story is embellished and dramatized to a certain extent, it’s still an exciting and fun watch and shows how six MIT geniuses were able to beat massive casinos with nothing more than math. 


Croupier is the movie many believe launched Clive Owen’s career and provides brilliant insight into the ins and outs of casino work. With an exceptional script and a neo-noir detective style, this movie is one of the more unique titles on this list. 

The best part is at its core — it is not a film about gambling or casinos at all, but rather a story about the human condition as a whole. 

Casino Royale

Casino Royale is on this list because of the way it seamlessly combines the action and adventure of James Bond with the patience and intensity of a high-stakes card game. Not only is it the first Bond movie featuring Daniel Craig as 007, but Mads Mikkelsen’s portrayal of Le Chiffre makes him one of the best villains in the franchise. 

Once again, Casino Royale may not be a casino or card-game-focused movie, but the way it intertwines the worlds of James Bond and poker is almost perfect. 

High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story

If you aren’t a poker fanatic, you may not have heard of Stu Ungar, but that doesn’t mean his story isn’t exciting or enthralling. Stu Ungar was the first to win three World Series of Poker titles, but this movie shows a darker tale. 

Chronicling Ungar’s fall from grace, the movie shows him transforming from a promising and intelligent young poker star into someone using his poker skill to fund his incredibly unhealthy habits. While there is little to no action, the story is more of a retelling of the life of one of the best poker players that you have never heard of. 

Ocean’s Eleven

Another film that blurs the line between card game and heist themes, the remake of Ocean’s 11 became an instant classic after its release. It tells the story of a group of con men with a variety of skills who want to pull off the heist of the century, robbing three major Vegas casinos, all at the same time. 

With a star-studded cast that includes the likes of Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, and many more, it is easily one of the best casino/heist films of the modern age. 

Rain Man

While Rain Man isn’t necessarily a gambling or card game movie, it has to be on this list simply because it has one of the most famous Blackjack scenes in cinema history. Starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman, the movie was also praised for its depiction of autism at the time. 

It shows how easy it can be to beat the casino at its own game, and it is also fascinating to watch how Vegas casinos view card counting and how they were over three decades ago. 

The Best Card Movies in Hollywood History

Image by: Michal Parzuchowski via Unsplash

Draw Your Cards

Whether you are a card game enthusiast, casual player, or simply want to immerse yourself in the world, these are a few of the best movies ever created that are packed with action and suspense but tell stories that you won’t forget any time soon.

Comment with Facebook