5 Films that Will Get You Hooked on Gambling

There must be hundreds of glamorous Hollywood movie scenes out there, but only a select few of them can beat the luxurious atmosphere of a casino. For this reason, films about gambling always draw a lot of attention — hence why A list Hollywood actors want to star in these movies, instantly turning them into blockbusters.

Whether they talk about playing blackjack for real money, or whether it’s about the history of Las Vegas—when mobsters ran the whole show—there’s something about these films that completely sucks you into this world of luxury, big money, crime, greed, and punishment.

Here you will find a list of films that revolve around gambling that will surely take you to the nearest casino table.


#1. “Casino”

The choice may be too obvious or predictable. When we are talking about the classic that honestly depicts both the shiny and the ominous world of a Las Vegas casino, the first film that comes to our mind is this blockbuster bursting with the Hollywood superstars. Robert De Niro continues his exceptional cooperation with Martin Scorsese by taking the role of Sam. He is sent by the mob to conduct business in one of the most famous Vegas casinos in the ‘70s.

At first, he is doing a great job, making some serious profit for both the casino and the mafia, trouble starts when the mob sends Nicky, Sam’s friend who is renowned for having a bad temper, to look after him. Things start going downhill fast when card-counters, the FBI, and a certain woman gets involved. Like most Scorsese films, “Casino” will hold you at the edge of your seat most of the time. Here you can expect to see casino scenes full of luxury and glamour to take turns with scenes of extreme brutality. The fact the whole plot of “Casino” is based on a true story just adds up to the whole watching experience.


#2 “Rain Man”

This heartwarming story about renewing torn family ties is placed second only because the film is not entirely about gambling. This is a story that turns Tom Cruise from an arrogant bastard to a loving brother. When his father dies Charlie (Cruise) finds out that the family wealth went to a brother he never knew he had. Charlie sets off on a journey to find Raymond his autistic brother in an institution. Raymond and Charlie get on a road trip together during which numerous family secrets will come to the surface and the brothers will get closer than ever. One of the extraordinary gifts Raymond possesses is the ability to count fast. (Spoiler Alert) Cruise’s character applies his brother’s ability in the now-iconic scene of card counting at the Blackjack table in Vegas. Needless to say, they won big, didn’t get caught, and went straight to L.A. We won’t spoil what happened in the end, but we can say that this Oscar-winning classic will remind you that things have to fall apart first so that things can get back together.


#3 “21”

Simply put, this is a true story of a gang of “MIT” kids who ravaged several Vegas casinos by applying a complex card counting strategy at the Blackjack tables. The initial idea comes from their professor who involves the main character into the lucrative world of gambling, After he stepped into the world of luxury and running a lavish lifestyle, Ben, the main character, starts to disobey the instructions and loses massively on one occasion. That’s when the action starts and this movie offers a roller coaster of different emotions ranging from love to greed and betrayal. Ben has to deal with numerous issues that appeared along the way and at the same time stay under the radar. If you want to see an exciting film about gambling highs and lows, don’t miss out on this one.


#4 “Oceans 11” (and sequels)

This is an extremely successful first part of the story that glorifies the high rolling way of life. The cast itself is packed with superstars such as Clooney or Pitt, which in itself is a clear sign that this film is a must-see. When you add some of the most luxurious Vegas casinos, like the Bellagio and the MGM, you get a box office jackpot.

The whole story revolves around a “cunning” plan Clooney’s character concocts to rob the top three casinos in Vegas. He gathers a crew of ex-cons and friends to wait for the big box match night to get the ball rolling. As you can already guess nothing goes as planned, but you will certainly enjoy the whirlwind of action and witty jokes this film has to offer. The success of “Ocean’s 11” was such that two equally entertaining and profitable sequels soon followed.


#5 “Rounders”

When you finish watching the entire Ocean’s trilogy, you may feel tired of all the glamour the top-notch Vegas casinos have to offer. Rounders is a film that will take you for a tour of various secret high stakes poker rooms where you will see how the gambling underground looks like. Mat Daymon is a classic  “rounder” — a poker player who takes rounds at various secret poker rooms, trying to take a huge pot whenever he can. The trouble starts when his best friend (Edward Norton) shows up with a huge debt he has to pay. They will try to get the money at a Texas Hold’em high stakes table. This film covers the universal theme of friendship and how far certain people are prepared to go, it also displays all the beauty of Texas Hold’em gameplay.

This is our list of films about gambling that will grab your attention for various reasons. Although they can hardly teach you how to win big at the casino table, they can be an optimal choice for a themed movie night with family or friends.

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