From 1974’s “The Gambler”, to a modern “21”, Hollywood’s fascination with gambling is nothing new and has in fact been present since the era of the silver screen began. Whether the story reveals the dark side of the casino lifestyle, or is about strategic card counting, the best casino movies of all times are all filled with the tense atmosphere of gambling scenes. Here’s a list of our favourite casino movies where, by watching, you can find out some useful tricks. So, browse through our list and try your luck at online casinos here on AskGamblers!
1. The Gambler (1974)
On the surface, Axel Freed (James Caan) is an inspiring English literature professor, but deep inside, he is a troubled man with a serious gambling addiction and debts. After losing all his money, he borrows from his girlfriend, then steals from his mother, after which he heads to Vegas hoping to win it all back. “The Gambler” gives us a powerful story about an addiction, isolation and how far one can go when his stakes are high.
2. Casino (1995)
An old classic “Casino” takes us back to a romantic time way before there were any online casinos or online casino games on offer. It is a story about Sam “Ace” Rothstein (Robert De Niro), who is a low-level mobster, living a decent life with his wife in Las Vegas. Once his best friend from childhood and mafia underboss Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) arrives in town, it disturbs Ace’s life.
3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Based on the novel, the popular movie “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” describes Raoul Duke’s (Johnny Depp) psychedelic road trip across the US, with his attorney Dr Gonzo (Benicio del Toro). In an attempt to cover a motorcycle race, Thompson and Samoan head to Las Vegas, blowing the money on an enormous amount of drugs they set out in the search of the American Dream.
4. Rounders (1998)
Starring Matt Damon as a poker player Mike McDermott, “Rounders” is undoubtedly the best poker movie of all times. After losing all his money to a Russian mobster Teddy KGB (John Malkovich), Mike promises to quit gambling and focus on studying. However, he manages to keep his word only until his childhood friend Lester “Worm” Murphy gets released from prison.
5. Croupier (1998)
Jack Manfred (Clive Owen) is a writer, who starts working as a croupier. Driven by the shady casino lifestyle, the main character gets involved in illegal dealings at the casino, which begins to affect his personal life. In comparison to other traditional casino movies, ”Croupier” shows a different perspective portraying the cold reality, which is far from the glamourous lights of Las Vegas.
6. Oceans 11 (1960, 2001)
Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his eleven talented, risk-taking, partners plan to rob three Las Vegas casinos in one night all owned by the same person – Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia) who had Danny Ocean locked up. Unsurprisingly, the group encounters several twists and turns along the way.
7. Casino Royale (2006)
Being a remake of the same name movie made in 1967, “Casino Royale” has become a favourite among all casino fans. Le Chiffre is a banker to the world’s worst terrorists and is attending a high-stakes game of poker in Casino Royale, where he needs to win his money back if he wants to stay safe amongst the terrorists. Secret agent James Bond is sent on a mission to play the game and prevent Le Chiffre from winning the money and escaping.
8. 21 (2008)
"21" is the fact-based drama about six students who join a hand-picked group of gifted individuals that become trained to use their card counting skills and make hundreds of dollars at Vegas casinos. Along the way comes greed and power, so the students end up in a situation where everything they have learned and earned becomes jeopardised.
So, these are some of our favourite casino movies of all times. Do you have any other movie suggestions that you think we should add to the list? IF so, let us know in our forum!