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Ranking the Best Gambling Movies

It is not an easy task to choose the movie that will be voted the best gambling movies of all time. The genre has been a blockbuster and is still very popular with movie-goers today.

This article will look at the top gambling movies of all time. We won’t be listing too many gambling movies, as there are just too many. So we will only list the top favorites and those that stand out.

1. California Split (1974)

California Split is the Citizen Kane movie about gambling. Elliot Gould’s performance as Charlie Waters (a serial gambler who can bet on almost anything) is a career highlight. Gould’s charisma is cocaine-fast, and Robert Altman has a causal realism that draws you into every frame, horse race, and casino.

2. Uncut Gems (2020)

The Safdie Brother’s absurd farce about a jeweler ( Adam Sandler) and Kevin Garnett makes betting seem hopeless. New York is a mad, chaotic city full of sad sacks and bookies. The entire city reflects Sandler’s down on his luck, out-of options plunger.

3. Oceans Eleven (2001)

Okay, so we all know that this isn’t gambling movies, and it does have slots, poker and Vegas, and it’s also a risky business to rob three casinos.

4. Croupier (1999)

Clive Owen was in many bad gambling movies. To be exact, 43 of them. He does have some gems, though, such as this 1999 classic about a croupier who writes novels at night and spins the roulette tables at night.

5. Wake in Fright (1971)

Wake in Fright is one of the greatest gambling movies ever made, although most people don’t know it. Let me explain: Gary Bond is a blonde, tanned, sweaty school teacher in Australia. 

He ends up in a small, sexist town with no water and only beer. He gambles away his entire money, and it only makes matters worse. The title doesn’t do justice to the fact that things get worse and more frightening.

6. Maverick (1994)

Maverick was nominated in 1994 for an Academy Award. Mel Gibson sells every joke, shootout, and card game. He also reminds us of how great comedy can become when the star does the right thing.

7. Casino (1995)

Martin Scorsese does not seem to be interested in gambling. Strangely, he doesn’t seem to be interested in casinos. He is interested in people and has two eccentric mobsters in his main roles and two eccentric actors in his supporting roles ( Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci). This gives him all the firepower to create another thrilling character study.

8. Hard Eight (1996)

It’s a Royal Flush when Phillip Baker Hall and John C. Reilly, Samuel L Jackson and Paul Thomas Anderson are at the table. Anderson’s debut film, which is about a retired card player and an orphan, offers a fascinating exploration of how men spend their lives in Vegas.

9. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

You’ll have Vietnam flashbacks if you ever looked at the poker board and felt like Birdman as you sat down at the table. This one is not for the faint-hearted.

10. Casino Royale (2006)

Dr. No is a master of Baccarat. Sean Connery shows off his charm at the Craps table of Diamonds Are Forever. We can’t forget Bond films, and how could we? Casino Royale is a perfect choice, and it features Bond playing poker against Le Chiffre, a terrifying villain.

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

Lock, Stock, Two Smoking Barrels is a scary game that starts with a poker match and ends in gang warfare. Pocket 6’s can be fatal. Who knew?

12. The Gambler (1974)

The Gambler happened, believe it or not. James Toback wrote the screenplay based on his gambling habits. This could explain why he has been accused of having many problems. His character is cruel and sexist, and he’s addicted to gambling. One gamble that pays off is to channel this into a movie.

13. Rain Man (1988)

This 1988 film was the highest-grossing, surpassing Coming to America and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Rain Man is a great movie because of its positive vibes and especially the scene with Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise.

14. Molly’s Game (2017)

Molly, a show-stopper who manages a profitable operation that allows wealthy people to gamble with other rich people, ping-pongs from casinos to hotel rooms to long monologues alongside her father ( Kevin Costner). Jessica Chastain is great in this role; you forget all the Arron Sorkin-Esque drivel.

15. The Big Sleep (1946)

After being named the laureate of loneliness in Casablanca, Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Treasure of the Sierra Madre, respectively, Humphrey Bogart began to show his charm with films such as Sabrina or The African Queen. The Big Sleep is a charming, sleazy noir about Lauren Bacall’s private eye, who flirts and treats her gambling debts.

16. The Sting (1973)

A list of gambling movies must include George Roy Hill’s The Sting. The Best Picture may have a stack of cards (Paul Newman+ Robert Redford=a full table), but it is also playing in a cool way, with some of the most enjoyable scenes in film history.

17. The Card Counter (2021)

Paul Schrader creates existential, stern and austere movies about existential, stern people. Why should Schrader’s poker gambling movies be any other? The Card Counter is less about poker and more about grief and trauma, faith and hope, and it’s delivered through the dark and brilliant eyes of Oscar Isaac.

18. Dark City (1950)

Gambling and noir are like chicken and waffles. They’re great on their own, but when you pair them together – the high stakes poker and the dark underworld of Los Angeles – it’s a match made in Heaven.

19. The Hustler (1961)

The 1961 classic has it all: pool games and trick shots, high stakes, and a cool-for-school Paul Newman. It has a sense of melancholy and a feeling that pool isn’t enough for Fast Eddie (Newman). He has to take it to the man, and it doesn’t have anything.