We’ve all been there – looking around for the best casino bonuses with a suitably themed movie in the background. Yet this always raises the big question of what is actually the best casino movie of all time? Just like a trip to the pit, we’re looking for excitement, thrills and ideally a drop of glamor, too. So while any list is always going to be contentious, here’s a run of the best casino movies any serious player ought to see.
1) Casino Royale (2006)
Without spoiling the story too much, Daniel Craig in his first outing as the spy/assassin ended up being bankrolled by the CIA to bring in the villainous Le Chiffre. The plot doesn’t end with Bond winning over a hundred million on one game of poker though – you’ll need to see it to find out the rest!
2) Casino (1996)
The film is set in Las Vegas back in the mid 70’s. All Ace wants is to run his casino, send a share back to the mob and live quietly. As if that was ever an option in Vegas! Featuring numerous brilliant – and occasionally brutal – scenes, the remarkable thing is that it’s based on a true story.
3) Oceans Eleven (2001)
Ignore the dire sequels, the original is a cracking tale of how to break into casino vaults. Many people forget that it’s actually a remake from a much less successful movie dozens of years previously; yet with a stellar ensemble cast, it’s a white-knuckle ride where you always question who is your favorite crook. The casino scenes themselves are absolutely glorious and will be very familiar to anyone who visits Vegas nowadays.
4) Rounders (1998)
Isn’t it incredible how Matt Damon never seems to age? Nearly two decades ago this movie arrived just at the right time as online poker was starting to become mainstream. There’s no doubt that it really raised the profile of the game, as the semi anti-hero tries to chase his losses after falling out with a fixing crew. By no means is it the best movie in the world, but interesting for the accurate insight into the mathematical factors that pro gamblers use.
5) The Gambler (1974/2014)
Personally, I prefer the more recent remake, but both are excellent movies in their own right. The story follows the way an otherwise monied, highly-regarded college professor is also a secret high stakes gambler. He doesn’t stop until he loses – bad policy for any betting fan! Given a tight deadline to pay back his cash to loan sharks, he does what he does best – gambles. I’ll leave it to you to find out what happens (and check out the alternate endings!).
6) The Hustler (1961)
While the movie is primarily about pool, fact is that it’s also about gambling. It’s an insight into how casual – and actually professional – gambling can be decided on the roll of a few balls to the correct pocket. Without question one of the greatest films of his career, everyone always roots for ‘Fast Eddy’ – but is he playing you?