Everybody will have watched films at some point in their life which have contained gambling of some sort. We can probably all recall specific scenes where characters have been in back rooms, smoking cigars and playing cards or those movies which have scenes set in the glamorous casinos of Las Vegas for example. Here we take a look at the best gambling films of all time which incorporate casinos and card games into their storylines pretty heavily.
Casino is undoubtedly the best and most famous gambling movie to ever hit the big screen. It stars big name actors such as Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone plays a hugely significant role in the plot too. It’s a story of two friends who both have very different agendas. One is employed to run a casino on the Las Vegas Strip and take the role seriously, attempting to run it properly. The other is constantly undermining him with his behavior and is looking to make a name for himself in the gangster world. The film involves a casino, mobsters, violence, and seduction and makes for great viewing. It can be summed up as one of the best gambling and crime films of all time.
James Bond was a skilled cards player from day one thanks to creator Ian Fleming. Anytime we see the secret agent gamble, he usually wins big against all the odds. Casino Royale offers a totally different view on matters though. This time Bond has to play poker against a terrorist banker known as Le Chiffre. Le Chiffre must win in order to reclaim the money of his clients which he lost or face the consequences. It sees Bond play against Le Chiffre in an all or nothing game that has gone down in history as one of the greatest movie scenes seen in recent times.
The Sting sees great performances from both Paul Newman and Robert Redford who play conmen. They’re looking to get the better of a rich criminal boss and use a big crew in order to try and pull off a scam known as “the wire.” The film sees the creation of a fake betting parlour and a high-stakes poker game where the crime boss is done out of $15,000. The mobster then wants to buy the betting parlour and this leads to plenty of twists and turns along the way, with lots of gambling and plenty of money changing hands.
The Hustler, released in 1961, sees a type of gambling that a lot of people have forgotten about. The story is about a pool hustler, he’s small time but with a big attitude which is at times self-destructive. This swagger leads to him taking on a legendary pool player but after losing it starts the story of how he has to start from the bottom in order to find himself and realize his potential once again.
The Cincinnati Kid
The Cincinnati Kid sees a beginner in the poker world set out to prove himself against the poker master as it were. It’s sort of the apprentice taking on the sorcerer with plenty of distraction along the way for The Cincinnati Kid. As you’d expect it ends in a thrilling finale which sees high stakes and even higher ones, where one of them eventually comes out on top.