Best Casino Movies: Our Picks For The Top Casino Movies of All Time

You know what they say: the house always wins.

Or don’t they?

The truth is, some movies give the house a run for its money. We’re not just talking about movies where the players win big and walk away with a fat stack of chips. This article is also about films that showcase the casino as an intriguing backdrop for drama and intrigue.

In this list of our favourite casino films, we’ve got everything from heist thrillers to quirky comedies, all set in the world of casinos and gambling. Check them out!

Best Casino Movies

The Movie Draws Inspiration From Real Events

The film industry is famous for producing movies that depict real-life experiences, and gambling is no exception. Here is a list of the best casino movies you should watch:

8. Rain Man

The movie depicts the relationship between Charlie Babbitt, played by Tom Cruise, and his autistic brother Raymond, played by Dustin Hoffman.

The two brothers meet after many years of separation and go on a road trip to visit their father’s grave. During the trip, Charlie and Raymond end up playing blackjack. They work together to cheat Vegas Casinos by counting cards in blackjack.

Barry Levinson directs this epic to show you the importance of family and expands on dealing with autistic people. Additionally, the movie also focuses on the legal activities in Vegas, giving you an insight into what you can get away with. 

Rain Man is both touching and humorous. Hoffman’s performance as the autistic brother is memorable. This gambling movie is a classic in its own right, and it will make you laugh, cry, and feel a whole range of emotions. It is a must-watch for anyone who loves movies about brothers or gambling.

7. Molly’s Game

Molly’s Game is a movie about the world of high-stakes poker. It is based on Molly Bloom’s memoir of the same name, in which she details her life as a high-end poker hostess.

Molly Bloom is a woman who ran an underground poker game in Hollywood. She lives the high life, driving fancy cars and living in a mansion. When she is arrested for her part in this illegal operation, she must face the ramifications of her actions.

The movie is entertaining but offers insight into how people make money by hosting games like these.

Directed by Aaron Sorkin and starring Jessica Chastain, this movie is a great watch for anyone who loves poker or enjoys a good story. This epic movie is set in the late 2000s in LA and New York.

Other cast members include Idris Elba, Chris O’Dowd and Joe Keery in supporting roles as the poker players. Molly’s Game appeal results from being one of the few movies that feature a female playing the lead role.

6. High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story

This movie is a biography of the legendary poker player Stu Ungar. It tells the story of his rise to fame and how he became one of the most successful players in history. The film focuses on his life but also explores how poker has evolved over time, as well as some of its biggest controversies.

Best Movies Based On Gambling

High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story is a biographical film that takes you through the life of Stu’s days as a Vegas High Roller. The film features some of the biggest names in poker history, including AI Bernstein, Andy Glazer, and Vince Van Patten.

This movie also looks into Stu’s dramatic fall from grace through effective storytelling. Michael Imperioli plays the lead. His acting makes for an entertaining and emotional biopic.

If you’re a fan of poker, this is a must-see. The film does an excellent job of capturing the culture and lifestyle that surrounds the game. It also explores some of its biggest controversies, including cheating scandals and player collusion.

5. Rounders

A Rounder is a poker player who plays in underground games, often for high stakes. The film stars Matt Damon and Edward Norton as two friends who get themselves into trouble while playing poker. Their story follows them through various ups and downs over a decade of their lives in New York City.

Damon plays Mike, a law student with a natural talent for poker, but quits his gambling following a huge loss to Teddy (John Malkovich). However, he returns to his gambling ways following a debt his friend owes to some shady people. The movie is an emotional rollercoaster with gameplay dialogue that interests any poker player.

The movie is also known for its classic poker scenes and the actors playing them beautifully. The movie will keep you on your feet with twists, turns and surprises that come out of nowhere. It’s worth watching if you want to see what life is like for top-level poker players.

4. Casino Royale

The first James Bond movie to go for the poker-themed plot, Casino Royale, is a classic. Released in 2006, it featured Daniel Craig as the newest version of 007 and Eva Green as Vesper Lynde. The movie is set in Montenegro, where Bond must play against an evil villain who plans on taking over the world.

Casino Royale

Casino Royale is full of suspense and intrigue. The poker scenes are fantastic, showing the high stakes that Bond must play against a villainous character. You’ll feel like you’re in the room with them as they battle it over cards and money.

The movie is a great one to watch if you love poker and want to see an exciting, action-packed movie. Some technical terms might be confusing if you’re not familiar with the game, but the storyline is easy enough to follow.

This 2006 film is based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. It’s a great movie for Bond fans, showing how Bond became the famous secret agent we know him to be today.

3. The Cincinnati Kid

The Cincinnati Kid is a classic poker movie and one of the best films on this list. It’s based on the novel by Richard Jessup. The film takes place in New Orleans during the 1930s, featuring Steve McQueen as “The Kid,” a young man trying to make it big playing poker.

He is up against “The Man,” played by Edward G. Robinson, an experienced poker player who wants to crush The Kid’s dreams of becoming a big winner. This film is full of action and drama, providing viewers with a thrilling story that will keep them on the edge of their seats.

The movie enjoys a 7.3/10 rating on IMDB, which is pretty high for a 1965 movie. As the main character, Steve McQueen, stops at nothing to become the best poker player in the Great Depression. The movie explores all aspects of the gambling world, including the illegal activities people engage in to get an edge.

The Cincinnati Kid is a classic film that will never get old. It has been entertaining audiences for over 50 years and will continue to do so for many more years.

2. The Hustler

The Hustler is a 1961 movie that follows the story of a pool player named “Fast Eddie” Felson, who is determined to beat the best in the world. This movie stars Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason, both excellent actors. The two actors have been working together since they were teenagers, creating an on-screen chemistry that helps make this film great.

Las Vegas Strip Casinos

The Hustler is now part of those the National Film Registry has chosen to preserve. Meaning the movie is significant for its representation of history, culture and aesthetic value. The Hustler movie shows how much work goes into becoming a champion.

Not only does it show the dedication needed to play pool, but also the camaraderie and friendship between Eddie and Minnesota Fats. The Hustler is one of those movies that has stood the test of time because it’s not just about the pool. It’s about life.

1. Casino

Casino is a highly stylised film that pulls you in from the first scene and never let go. The movie is based on a novel by Nicholas Pileggi, who also wrote Goodfellas. This film is directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Robert De Niro as Sam “Ace” Rothstein, who works at the Tangiers casino in Las Vegas during the 1970s.

The movie is an adaptation of the novel Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas by Nicholas Pileggi. In this film by Martin Scorsese, Robert DeNiro plays a Vegas casino operator with mob affiliation. Despite living a modest life, the arrival of a mob lynch-baron (Joe Pesci) results in all hell breaking loose.

Casino is based on real-life events that took place at the Stardust, Fremont and Desert Inn casinos in Las Vegas. You experience all the action, suspense and drama you have come to expect from a classic mob movie.

Is Casino the Best movie?

It’s a tough call to make, but we think Casino is one of the best movies about gambling. The film gets you right inside the action, with some brilliant performances from DeNiro and Pesci in particular.

Here is why Casino ranks as one of the top gambling movies:

The movie draws inspiration from real events

Frank Rosenthal, a Vegas casino manager during the 1970s and 1980s, inspires Robert DeNiro’s character. Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone play a real-life mobster and Vegas socialite from the same period. As a result, the story accurately depicts the Vegas casino industry between the 1970s and 80s.

The movie also anchors its storyline on the findings of investigative journalist Nicholas Pileggi. It explores the corruption networks of Vegas, including ties to the Chicago mob and the Midwest mafia. Also, the violence the movie shows is based on real-life evidence Pileggi found.

The movie has a stellar cast

Casino is one of the earliest movies to feature an elite list of movie stars. As such, it’s a must-watch for fans of classic Hollywood. The movie is also one of Martin Scorcese’s masterpieces, attaining an audience score of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. All the cast are flawless in their acting, bringing you an entertaining look into Vegas’ history.

All the indoor scenes are inside the Riviera Casino

The Riviera Casino enjoys a rich history since the 1950s. Therefore, it was the ideal setting to offer an authentic casino experience from the past. Also, the extras you see in the indoor scenes are live casino staff at the Riviera Casino. You’ll feel like you’re in a real casino watching these actors in action.

Is Casino The Best Movie?

But the shooting of the scenes was done after midnight when the casino was less busy. The Riviera Casino was the perfect setting for the movie. It offered a unique experience for the cast and crew to bring you an authentic casino experience from the past.

Casino appeals to your true emotions

The movie pulls on your heartstrings. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. The film appeals to everyone. Casino’s characters are easy to relate with, especially those of Sam and Nicky. Both are trying to achieve their dreams by any means necessary, even if it means taking dangerous risks.

All the characters endure varying degrees of tragedy throughout the movie. Despite their minimal triumphs, you cannot help but feel empathy toward them. The movie simulates human tragedy to great effect and accuracy.

You will love it from start to finish

Casino has a runtime of 197 minutes. The film keeps you interested throughout. There are no boring parts that you have to skip through. You will enjoy every minute of this movie because of its great writing and acting.

It builds up well from start to finish. You can easily identify with the characters, and the storyline has no plot holes. The movie’s reviews focus on great editing and excellent storytelling. The film is a masterpiece.

There’s no point in watching any other movie when you can watch Casino and enjoy every minute. The pacing is superb, and the acting is amazing. It’s definitely worth your time if you want an excellent movie experience.

The movie has four wins and eleven nominations

Casino is one of the best movies you will ever watch. The film is well-edited and has an excellent soundtrack. Here are some of the most notable awards and nominations it received:

  • Sharon Stone’s Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
  • Thelma Schoonmaker’s win for Best Film Editing at the 20/20 awards.
  • A third-place finish at the Cahiers du Cinéma Top 10 Film Award for Best Film.

What Are The Other Best Movies Based on Gambling?

There are plenty of great movies based on gambling. The best include Casino, Rounders and The Hustler. These films are all about poker and other card games. Below is a bonus rundown of some of the best gambling movies in case you want to check out more.

Online Casinos

The House: A 2017 comedy about a basement casino.

Ocean’s Eleven: The movie stars George Clooney and Brad Pitt as professional thieves undertaking a casino robbery.

Croupier: It stars Clive Owen as a casino worker whose gambling spirals out of control.

Atlantic City: The movie covers how the legalisation of gambling was essential in improving the fortunes of Atlantic City. Shot in 1980, the movie is a nice throwback to the early days of filmmaking.

Owning Mahowny: Philip Seymour portrays a compulsive gambler as he navigates the complicated world of huge wins, obsessive gambling and curbing addiction.


Looking for the best casino movies?

The best casino movies are entertaining, suspenseful, and even educational. They’re also a great way to get some insight into how casinos work and how to play the games they offer.

We’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for a laugh, a thrill, or an education in the gambling world, our list of top casino films has got you covered.

We hope these movies help you enjoy your next trip to a casino. If you have any questions about casino movies or the gambling industry, feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to help.

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