14 of the best gambling scenes in cinema

Casino gambling offers players a chance to indulge in some fantastic casino games and win cash prizes. It comes with different risks as well, and all aspects of this drama are captured perfectly in the best gambling movie scenes.

Many movies depicting gambling display the beauty of classic games like poker, blackjack, roulette and baccarat. Whether it’s depicting the associated risks or showcasing the beauty of the gameplay, we’re sure you can glean a tip or two from watching gambling-themed movies. Needless to mention, dramatic effects are often heightened on the big screen. As such, you’ll find characters performing almost magic-like gameplay tricks leading to mind-boggling wins. Whether fact or fiction, it makes for great entertainment.

Here are 14 of the best gambling scenes in cinema according to Indiaslots.

14. The Gambler (1974)

This classic movie, which first premiered in 1974, depicts the exciting life of a university professor who is also a die-hard gambler. The lead character, played by James Caan, showcases the dangers of gambling addiction as he plunges into debt to feed his insatiable hunger for casino games. The Gambler is an extraordinary tale that stresses the importance of the saying “gamble responsibly”.

13. 21 (2008)

21 is based on the true story of a college blackjack team led by their professor. Through card counting, they played and beat the house for more than a decade. If you’re ever looking for a cinematic story that showcases the importance of math in gambling, you have your answer.

Actors including Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth, Aaron Yoo, Jacob Pitts and Josh Gad portray the college students who pull off the heists with the guidance of the mathematical genius played by Kevin Spacey. 21 is a perfect study of casino blackjack.

12. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

The Cincinnati Kid, played by Steve McQueen, portrays the life and times of a young gambler trying to build a reputation in poker gambling after the Great Depression. He must defeat the current poker champion, Lancey, to become famous.

This action-packed thriller features the complete package: women, guns, betrayal and underdog moves. This classic is recommended for anyone who needs some motivation before a poker game.

11. High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003)

Not many movies underline the beauty of poker like this one did. Shot on a low budget, High Roller is a biopic dedicated to the three-time World Series of Poker winner Stu Ungar. As smooth as a bottle of wine, the movie’s events tell the tale of a dashing young man, intelligent and witty, who falls into the antics of drugs and gambling addiction based on his love for poker.

10. Casino (1995)

Just one look at the name and you can tell what this movie is about. Casino is an epic gambling story by acclaimed director Martin Scorsese. This movie’s star-filled cast includes Sharon Stone, Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci.

The story centers on the owner of a Vegas casino owner and his ties with the Italian mob. It depicts the glamour often seen at the casino tables as well as the cruel and brutal behind the scenes.

9. Rain Man (1988)

Rain Man is not your typical gambling film where everything centers on the casinos. The story depicts the effects of autism and stars actors Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman.

The scenes showcasing casinos were shot as naturally as possible, showing the blackjack gameplay and other casino tables. You’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of eighties Vegas in this 1988 flick.

8. The Hustler (1961)

Here’s one flick that has been selected for preservation by the National Film Registry. This classic depicts the life of a small-time gambler who plays casino games cross-country with his partner. However, a streak of wins sees him challenge the legendary casino player, Minnesota Fats. You won’t find any humor in this movie, but it’s full of quality performances.

7. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Here’s one movie you should watch on the big screen. Steven Soderbergh brings the best of a textbook heist here. Danny Ocean and his team hit three different casinos, the MGM, Bellagio and The Mirage, owned by tycoon Terry Benedict. Together, they carry out the perfect casino heist.

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

Only a great gambling movie can bring in a mix of mystery, crime and good humor. This Guy Ritchie film is one of the best of its kind to grace the cinemas.

Four English friends decide to try their luck at a casino to beat Hatchet Harry in a three-card brag (England’s version of poker). This thriller takes a sour turn when Harry cheats his way to a win, and Eddy, the group leader, loses £500,000 and seeks ways to pay off the debt.

5. Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)

Perhaps that planned honeymoon to Vegas could be a bad idea, as depicted in this 1992 romantic comedy. Jack and his fiancée Betsy arrive in Vegas, where he loses his entire savings of $65,000 to a conman, Tommy, at the poker table.

As part of the payment, Jack must lend his wife to Tommy, who takes her on a trip to Hawaii. A series of unexpected events follow.

4. Croupier (1998)

Croupier depicts the other side of the gambling industry, displaying the affluence as well as the corruption. The film centers on the life of a struggling young writer who decides to become a croupier at a London casino. A series of underground dealings show his life changed for the better in this British classic.

3. The Good Thief (2002)

A well-delivered thriller, The Good Thief does not come packed with action scenes but features a compelling storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The plot follows a seasoned gambler on a losing streak who decides to steal from the Monte Carlo casino. The police have received a tip about his activities. Will he still be able to pull off a successful robbery? You’ll have to watch to find out.

2. Owning Mahowny (2003)

Like other addictions, it’s no surprise what length gambling addicts will go to satisfy their hunger. This film is based on probably the biggest one-person bank heists in modern Canadian history and follows the life of Toronto banker Dan Mahowny.

1. Casino Royale (2006)

James Bond is a man of many talents, and gambling seems to be one of his hobbies. Follow the British assassin as he plays one of the casino’s top games to defeat Le Chiffre, who uses gambling to finance major terrorist organizations.

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