Top 20 Casino Movies: Best Gambling Movies

Movies and Casino is indeed a deadly combination. And why not, both these genres are ruling the entertainment industry for decades.

Gambling-themed movies add the thrill of casino games with amazing plots.

It is all the more fun to watch the finest actors around creating their on-screen charm playing lead roles in such movies. 

The craze of gambling has been instigating an increasing number of casino fans to sign up to the Online betting sites and enjoy the exciting range of betting on different sports tournaments like BBL, IPL, EPL, Champions League, F1 Car Racing, etc.

There are a host of games such as slots, different variants of table games such as Blackjack, Poker, and Roulette which you can play on the go on the apps of these casino sites.

The interface of the casino site or the app is designed in such a way that even a novice can register and start playing without a hitch. 

Listed below are the best classic casino-themed movies.

1. The Sting: Featuring the great depression era, with Paul Newman and Robert Redford in the lead, this movie is certainly going to hook you on your screens. It is directed by George Roy Hill.

The Sting

Packed with thrill, romance, revenge, and blood bath, get ready to watch money swindlers in action in this award-winning movie.

The movie was released in 1973 and has won around seven Academy awards since then.

The plot is based on a corrupt banker who is served his fate by a con artist and a young fellow.

2. Casino Royale: This is a great movie for lovers of James Bond. The classy performance by Danielle Craig who takes up the role of the famous spy in the movie is nerve-recking.

Casino Royale

Full of suspense and thrill, Mr. Bond is tasked to beat a well-known financier on the casino table. The story is based on the famous novel by Ian Fleming.

There are 2 versions of this movie, one of them was released in 1967 and the remake in 2006. Buckle yourself up for a good dose of thrill and suspense.

3. The Gambler: Rupert Wyatt directed ‘The Gambler’ released in 2014 is based on James Toback’s 1974 movie with the same name.

The Gambler

The scene starts with the character of Jim Bennett played by Mark Wahlberg in the main role who had a gambling addiction.

The interesting point about the movie is that he used to play to lose and not win as if on a self-destructive spree.

More than the addiction, he also had accumulated debts due to his reckless habit.

He had to borrow and steal and got into ultimate trouble owing to all this. 

4. Rounders: Matt Damon, Edward Norton and John Malkovich join in to create the casino aura in Rounders sitting discreetly on a Poker table.

Rounders

The plot revolves around McDermott or Matt Demon who had quit gambling due to pressure from his girlfriend.

He returns to the casino table to help his friend- Lester Murphy pay his old debt. Further in the story, he meets John Malkovich- The Russian Gangster to whom Murphy (Edward Norton) owes most of his debt.

The classic Poker strategies keep Poker fans on the edge while the lead actors move from city to city to play hard also justifying the title of the movie. It was released in 1998. 

5. The Hustler: This classic movie dates back to 1961 with Paul Newman playing the anchor. Robert Rossen took the idea from Walter Tevis’s 1959 novel titled- The Hustler.

The Hustler

The movie revolves around Eddie Felson who is a pool Hustler showing some great guts to challenge Minnesota Fats in a high stakes match. Eddie goes on losing due to his overconfidence and self-destructive attitude.

Be prepared to watch some foggy smoke-filled pool halls which seem to be the hub of all dirty action. The movie bagged the Writers Guild of America Award for best-written drama.

6. The Cincinnati Kid: Eric Stoner or the Cincinnati Kid is a young Poker player’s role played by Steve McQueen. His high aspirations led him to challenge the great Lancey Howard who plays his game like an artist.

The Cincinnati Kid

Edward G. Robinson plays the character of Lancey Howard. Karl Madden- Stoner’s friend bring the two of them together for a match. The movie is directed by Norman Jewison.

It came to the theatres in 1965 and the plot is set during the hard days of the 1930s. The drama revolves on high stakes and love with the kid losing it all at the end.

7. The Cooler: The 2003 movie featuring Bernie Lootz or William H. Macy who works in a Las Vegas casino.

The Cooler

He is adept at bringing misfortune to the winners at the casino and jinx them enough to lose all their earnings.

All goes well with the casino owner- Shelly Kaplow played by Alec Baldwin until Bernie meets Natalie Belisario (Maria Bello) who is a waitress in the same casino.

The title came from the literal meaning of a cooler who is a person sent to the casino table to cool down the ongoing winning streak of a player. 

8. Casino: Hollywood stars Robert D. Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci come together to create this classic movie which was released in 1995.

Casino

The movie became popular as it depicts the queer background to what is generally portrayed in the glamorous world of casinos.

Directed by Martin Scorsese, this movie never looked back ever since it was released. Ace who is the underworld mafia associate runs a casino on the Las Vegas strip.

Issues with his friend Nicky and his girlfriend Ginger created problems in the path of his success and fortune. 

9. The Hangover: The super hilarious trilogy with the first one released in 2009, followed by Hangover 2 in 2011, and 3 in 2013 are all popular movies and an all-time favourite of viewers around.

The Hangover

Todd Phillips created this ultimate drama with four friends- Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, and Justin Bartha who went to Las Vegas to celebrate Doug’s (Justin Bartha) bachelors party.

The viewers went gaga when the three of them wake up to find the fourth one missing the next day. The hilarious part is that none of them remembers a thing as to what happened the previous night.

The movie got great ratings from critics around.

10. 21: This movie features the classic casino card game of Blackjack or 21. Micky, a professor at MIT sends five ambitious students to Las Vegas on a hunt to crack the code of winning the Blackjack game and they fail to do so.

21 Movie

The movie was released in 2008 and directed by Robert Luketic. The director built on the idea from Ben Mezrich’s book of the same name. Jim Sturgess, Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, Liza Lapira, Jacob Pitts, Aaron Yoo, and Kieu Chinh played the lead roles in this heist-based movie.

11. Hard Eight: The movie derives its name from a term in the game of craps where both the dice roll to the number four. The movie appeared on the screens in 1996.

Hard Eight

Paul Thomas Anderson is the director of this movie that was originally titled Sydney.

Sydney being the protagonist and a seasoned gambler who teaches John the tricks of gambling. Romance comes into the picture and John starts dating Clementine making things awry all around. 

12. Ocean’s Eleven: George Clooney is all set in action with his character Dapper Danny Ocean on the sets of Ocean’s Eleven with his friend Rusty Ryan.

Ocean’s Eleven
Ocean’s Eleven

He attempts to take revenge on his rival- Terry Benedict with a gang of eleven people herded off to loot the vault which has his earnings from three casinos in Las Vegas.

The plan was sketched in his mind within 24-hours since he was out of a New Jersey jail. He is portrayed to be a thief with principles. Ocean’s Eleven is the first in the series of three movies released in 2001.

It is a remake of the classic created in 1960.

13. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels: The 1998 movie stars Nick Moran and P.H Moriarty with the latter being the local crime mafia- Hatchet Harry.

Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels

Nick Moran playing Eddy went on to convince his three friends to pool funds for a Poker game to be played against the mafia. Smart Mr.

Harry manages to deceit Eddy and asks him to return his 500,000 pounds or give him his dad’s pub. Eddy’s neighbours being robbers were to rob a drug dealer and Eddy with his friends plan to rob them, in turn, to pay off the debt.

Guy Ritchie, the director is rumoured to have changed the climax of the movie after the first attempt.

14. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Again a 1998 movie, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas took a cue from the famous 1971 published novel by Hunter S.Thompson.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Johnny Depp starred movie features the protagonist Raoul Duke as a journalist who went to Las Vegas with his attorney Dr. Gonzo played by Benecio Del Toro to cover a motorcycle race.

It was no sooner than they realized that work fell in the background and drugs took over, hauling them right in the middle of a cat and dog fight with the police. The movie is directed by Terry Gilliam.

15. Beyond the Edge: Francesco Cinquemani and Aleksandr Boguslavskiy directed ‘Beyond the Edge’ the casino-themed movie that was released in 2018.

Beyond the Edge
Beyond the Edge

The movie features a gambler who gathers his team of people with supernatural powers to win big at the casinos. They come across a mystical opponent who looks to know better and is far adept at the game he plays.

16. Owning Mahowny: Owning Mahowny is a banker’s tail who has ready cash available, thanks to his job, which he spends on gambling.

Owning Mahowny
Owning Mahowny

He does not want to cheat and plans to return the money to the bank once he wins. Things do not go as planned and he finds himself stuck in poverty and misery in the end.

The movie is starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Maury Chaykin, John Hurt, and Minnie Driver and had hit the screens in 2003.

Richard Kwietniowski nailed this one with his creativity and a fantastic depiction of the storyline. He won the hearts of his viewers with this yet another action-packed venture.

17. Molly’s Game: Based on a true story, this movie was released in 2017 directed by Aaron Sorkin. The storyline revolves around Molly who participated in Olympics as a Skiier.

Jessica Chastain in MOLLY’S GAME

An injury led her to enter the world of betting where she ran high-stake Poker games for business titans, sports stars,

Hollywood stars, and the Russian Mob. She was arrested after a decade by 17 FBI agents in the middle of the night. Her friend and lawyer Charlie Jeffery went on to help her with her case. 

18. Vegas Vacation:  This movie was released in 1997 featuring the Griswolds on a family vacation to Las Vegas.

Vegas Vacation
Vegas Vacation

Starting off, the head of the family- Clark Griswold played by Chevy Chase had a misfortune at the Blackjack table.

To add to his troubles, his wife Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) hooks up with the lounge performer- Wayne Newton.

The kids, Rusty and Audrey are busy in other locations, one playing a dice game at a casino and Audrey finds herself in shady nightclubs.

The drama unfolds and the audience wait to see how the family finally unites. The movie was directed by Stephen Kessler.

19. Bugsy: Directed by Barry Levinson, the movie was released back in 1991.

It features a New York-based mobster Benjamin ‘Bugsy’ Siegel played by Warren Beatty who leaves New York to enter the glamorous world of Hollywood and to build gambling rackets.

Smitten by Virginia Hill, the Hollywood actress, Bugsy was forced to betray his wife. Further on, he takes his racket to the Nevada desert where he illegally constructed The Flamingo Hotel.

The movie is based on a famous book by Dean Jennings- We Only Kill Each Other.

20. The Color of Money:  This is another great casino movie that won Paul Newman an Oscar for his scintillating role with the character of Fast Eddie Nelson.

The Color of Money

He became friends with Vincent Lauria played by Tom Cruise and taught him the tricks to play and scam. Fuss begins when Paul gets tired of his showboat antics leading both the gambling lovers on different roads.

But not far away did they find themselves facing each other one to one on a pool table. The movie is directed by Martin Scorsese and was released in 1986.

These classic movies are an absolute delight to watch particularly for people who regularly visit casino betting sites and are ardent casino fans.

Stream your favourite movies right away with your favourite drink, a comfy couch, and enjoy a great dose of entertainment. 

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