Poker Face: Our Top 10 Movies About Poker Players and Games

Playing poker has always had a sort of glamorous edge to it, maybe a little mystery too! People who play poker well guard their talent and their secrets closely, lest their competition should figure out their tricks and learn how to beat them at their own game. There is a prestige to getting invited to the world’s most exclusive games, played in lavish rooms with no public access; who wouldn’t want a little glimpse into that world? Poker has captivated our imaginations to such a degree that many excellent movies about the game and the players have been made to date. The players’ outfits, the many variants of poker games, and the secrecy that the best players sometimes operate in are all fascinating to those of us on the outside. As a result, poker has become the subject of many Hollywood movies over time, and we’re not mad about that at all! Join us as we count down our top ten poker movies of all time.

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10. Casino Royale

There’s no way the smoothest international man of mystery in the history of MI5 wasn’t going to make our list! In Casino Royale, James Bond makes his way to Montenegro to stop Le Chiffre from winning his way through a poker tournament. In this film, we get a look into the highest stakes games possible, with sleek-looking suits and stunning dresses to match. It gives you a glimpse into the highest class of poker games that few have had.

9. Molly’s Game

While this film may not have all the chic locations and gorgeous outfits that feature in Casino Royale, it’s an exciting movie because it’s based on a true story. The titular character, Molly Bloom, is played by Jessica Chastain. Before becoming infamous for her poker games, Moll was an Olympic skier who was tragically struck down in her prime and unable to continue her career. It didn’t take long for her to land on her feet; by the time she was in her early thirties, she was running one of the wealthiest underground poker games in LA that attracted celebrities.

8. Finders Fee

Tepper, standup guy and resident of Greenwich Village, has a standing poker game with his friends once every so often. Though their shared love of poker is what keeps them together, its Tepper finding a mysterious wallet that contains a winning lottery ticket that might pull them apart.

8. The Cincinnati Kid

This is a legendary poker film; make no mistake! Starring the one and only Steve McQueen as “The Kid,” an up-and-comer in the world of poker who wants to take the scene by storm. He has his sights set on challenging “The Man,” Lancey Howard.

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7. Rounders

Rounders is the film responsible for single-handedly bringing poker to a whole new generation of potential players in 1998. The film features Matt Damon, John Malkovich, Famke Janssen, Edward Norton, and John Turturro, making it one of the most well-cast poker movies ever to grace the silver screen.

6. A Big Hand for the Little Lady

This film is often known as Big Deal at Dodge City. The comedy Western is another poker film featuring an incredible cast: Joanne Woodward, Jane Fonda, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, Burgess Meredith, and Paul Ford. There are excellent comedy and poker moments that come together to make the film something special.

5. California Split

This film focuses on two friends, Bill Denny and Charlie Waters. Both of the pair love to play poker, but Charlie is the slightly more experienced of the two. They spend a lot of time gambling together, but as the less experienced Bill begins to win more games, he steps deeper and deeper into the world of poker.

4. Maverick

This 1994 blockbuster is yet another poker film with a stellar cast. Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, and James Garner come together in a Western movie full of all the good things you know and love about poker and classic Westerns. Maverick, a con artist, is getting stolen money together to join a high-stakes game. Annabelle, another con artist, is along for the ride.

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3. Mississippi Grind

This film features lots of different gambling but has its fair share of excellent poker moments. Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn star as a young, up-and-comer learning the ropes and an older, down-on-his-luck player, respectively. They team up for a gambling trip down the Mississippi which is where one of the most beautiful poker scenes takes place on a classic riverboat. It’s a wonderfully shot film featuring gorgeous locations to boot.

2. High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story

A real-life story about a player who climbed the ranks of the world’s best is just the thing to add to this list! Even today, the talented Stu Ungar is regarded as one of the best Hold Em players ever to have played the game. Though he won some of the world’s most prestigious poker events, such as the World Series, more than once, Ungar faced a lot of personal issues that would complicate his life.

1. Lucky You

Our final film stars Eric Bana as a young poker player with a lot of ambitions and his sights set on a place in the World Series. Desperately searching for the $10,000 for the buy-in, Bana must make his way on his own, independently of his famous poker-player father, played by Robert Duvall.

Wrap Up

If you’re a poker lover, check out these movies to get excited and inspired!