Many of the best gambling and casino-themed movies follow a similar trajectory to one another. They tend to depict a very specific genre on a shoestring budget which aren’t usually instant hits. However, what they do achieve is the feeling of excitement, especially for those who like taking a gamble.
Individuals who enjoy gambling, slot machines, or playing poker may say the sensation from watching a casino-themed movie comes close to what they experience at the gambling table. Here we will take a look at some of the most popular gambling and casino-related movies that dive into the glitz and glamour this world is known for.

The Gambler

Aptly titled, The Gambler explains the story of a university professor who has a casino gambling addiction. As the movie continues, we find the character plunging into self-destruction, with his mental wellbeing becoming increasingly precarious. Over time, the professor’s borrowing worsens, and his desire for thrills threatens to wreak his life. The movie builds to a steady crescendo and a fantastic climax.
The Gambler is a classic casino and gambling-related film that came out in 1974. Even over 4 decades on, the film serves as a pretty stark warning against addiction and the importance of gambling responsibly. While there has been a 2014 remake of the film starring Mark Wahlberg, it’s best to stick to the original.


Set in a time when shuffle machines were still a thing of fiction, 21 is a fact-based movie about 6 MIT students who were trained to become card-counting experts, before going on to the Las Vegas casino scene to score millions. The story stars Kevin Spacey who plays math professor Micky Rosa. He educates a gang of young disciples on how to play an optimum and what Blackjack strategies to use to win.
Throughout 21, there are a lot of hip, snappy, and fast-paced entertaining scenes that mirror the big-budget production it’s known for. If you watch 21 and are on a high afterward, you may want to check out a list of the top betting sites uk where you can make your own bets and potentially win big cash prizes yourself.

High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story

Released a couple of months prior to Chris Moneymaker’s win at the 2003 World Series of Poker main event, this film – titles ‘Stuey’ and ‘High Roller’ in certain countries came out a little too quickly to cash-in on the poker surge of the mid-2000s.
While High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story was created on a shoestring budget, it’s a well-crafted biographical flick portraying the entirety of Stu Lingar’s life. The movie narrates the rise and fall of an intelligent young man with brilliant promise who over time, becomes addicted to drugs. Gambling is what funds his habit thanks to his extraordinary poker-playing skills. As entertaining as it is devastating to watch, for many, this movie is somewhat of a hidden gem.

Molly’s Game

Aaron Sorkin is a renowned screenplay writer best known for his work on The West Wing and A Few Good Men. However, Sorkin made his debut with Molly’s Game as director. Based on her memoirs, this 2017 fast-paced movie outlines the true story of Molly Bloom’s which is an exclusive underground poker club that attracted rich high-rollers.
What makes Molly’s Game stand out from the crowd is the lead character being a female in a normally male-dominated gambling world. Jessica Chastain’s representation of Bloom is as masterful as it can be. In the support role, Idris Elba excels too. There are also cameo roles from Joe Keery and Chris O’Dowd who add a welcome touch of humour.

Uncut Gems

Arguably one of the most popular gambling films on Netflix, Uncut Gems stars Adam Sandler who plays Howard ‘Howie’ Ratner. He is a bungling NYC Jeweller who cannot resist the risky business of high-stakes sport betting. Unlike the comedic blockbusters Sadler is known for, not to forget his upcoming stand up tour, Uncut Gems is certainly darker than it is comical. However, that’s not to say it hasn’t got wit thrown into the mix.
NBA betting plays a key role in the storyline, with former Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics centre Kevin Garnett excelling in a support role who plays a fictionalised version of himself. Those who enjoy the excitement of sports betting will sympathise with Sandler’s character. Uncut Gems provides another conscious reminder that you must never gamble what you cannot afford to lose.


Rounders is a 1998 release that features a youthful Edward Norton and baby-faced Matt Damon. The film tells the tale of a law student burning the candle at either end by playing poker during the night to fund his tuition fees. This movie was filmed long before online poker burst onto the scene and become a worldwide phenomenon.
Some would say Rounders is a dark film that features a stellar cast. Although it was created on a low budget, Rounders does feature the likes of Martin Landau and John Malkovich who play large roles. The movie has you cheering for Damon’s good guy character from the beginning. You do not have to be a pro at poker to appreciate the storyline. However, for those who are, you’re sure to enjoy the poker scenes.


For a fifth time, Joe Pesci, and Robert De Niro partnered up to make Casino. Directed by Martin Scorsese, Casino is a gangster epic movie with a captivating narrative, theme, and casting. Set entirely in Las Vegas, Casino is arguably the most famous gambling-themed movie around. However, unlike many of the titles listed, Casino is certainly gruesome in some parts, meaning it’s not one for the faint-hearted.
While there isn’t any pool hustling, tense poker hands, or true love story, Casino is widely considered one of the best casino movies. The film is a factual tale of money, deception, power, greed, and murder. Casino concentrated on the final years of Las Vegas’s gangster control, which brings many exciting elements together.
The bright lights and casinos of Las Vegas have always been an inspiration to filmmakers who look to add a level of excitement and intrigue to their films. Over the decades, many movies have concentrated on gambling and casinos. All the suggestions above heavily focus on casinos and gambling which may be of interest if you dabble in this world.