The Best Gambling Movies of All Time | Top 15 List

How Do We Rank Our Films in This List?

In order to provide you with accurate and relevant details, we have sorted our list of casino and gambling movies based on their ratings as they appear on IMDb, starting from the highest rated. We have used their scores from Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic as additional sources. The three websites use different but objective rating methods that allow users and critics to vote and rate each film.

  • IMDb uses a very simple, yet effective ranking system. It takes all individual votes cast by registered users and calculates a single rating. The final rating displayed on the page is the film’s average weighted rating. Any film ranked above 5 or 6 is considered good and recommendable.
  • Rotten Tomatoes measure the percentage of positive and negative critic reviews given about a film to calculate its final score in the Tomatometer. Scores above 60% are considered fresh, while anything below it is called “rotten”. Additionally, the site also includes audience score based on the ratings given by the users. For our list of films, we will use scores from the Tomatometer.
  • Metacritic‘s Metascore is the weighted average rating of many reviews written by reputable critics. Thus, the website ranks the film based on professional opinions only. Critics’ favourite movies are usually considered “very good” and have a rating above 70%.

Looking for a good casino movie to watch? For easier navigation, in the table below we have listed all of our best gambling movies together with their rankings.

Best-Rated Gambling Movies
Gambling MoviesYearIMDbMetacriticRotten Tomatoes
Casino Royale20068.0/1080%94%
Ocean’s 1120017.8/1074%82%
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas19987.7/1041%49%
Molly’s Game20177.5/1071%82%
The Cincinnati Kid19657.3/10n/a85%
The Gambler19747.3/10n/a75%
Mr Lucky19437.2/1072%100%
Hard Eight19967.2/1078%83%
Owning Mahowny20037.1/1070%79%
The Cooler20037.0/1069%77%
Mississippi Grind20156.4/1077%90%

1. Casino (1995) | IMDb: 8.2/10

Metacritic: 73% Rotten Tomatoes: 79%

Based on the true story brought to the screen with the expertise of Scorsese and the spectacular performances of Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone, Casino is undoubtedly the down-to-earth game-related movie classic that tops every list. The film makes us feel like we’re getting the curtain lifted from the scene that we really need to protect our eyes because of our own health. De Niro portrays a bookie who has to run Vegas casinos for his mob bosses, while Joe Pesci’s character, Nicky Santoro, is a thief and a murderer whose imprudently violent conduct puts both of them at risk. In true Scorsese complex editing, Casino stands out from the director’s other Crime movies with some of the most unforgettable scenes in the history of cinema, played at a macro stage – behind closed doors where the steaks are really, really high. Read our Unique Casino (1995) Movie Review for more detail about the movie.

2. Casino Royale (2006) | IMDb: 8.0/10

Metacritic: 80% Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

Would you like James Bond’s classic movies? If so, you’re going to love Casino Royale. It follows a rookie agent, James Bond, who set out on his first mission as 007, in which he must kill Le Chiffre, who is the banker of the terrorist organizations of the world. As Hidden Intelligence reveals that Le Chiffre is attempting to raise money in a high-stakes poker game, it is up to Bond to compete against and kill him, which will lead to the collapse of his criminal organization. If you’re interested in learning more about Agent 07’s poker game, please visit our Casino Royale Poker Scene blog post. Casino Royale is also Daniel Craig’s first film as James Bond and arguably among the best ones in the franchise. It shows the legendary agent in a new light and exposes the glamorous private high-stakes casino games.

3. Ocean’s 11 (2001) | IMDb: 7.8/10

Metacritic: 74% Rotten Tomatoes: 82%

Ocean’s 11 is definitely one of the best and most exciting movies in the world. This tells the story of Danny Ocean, who breaks his parole soon after being released from jail and returns to Las Vegas, where he prepares, with the aid of his old friends and associates, to rob The Bellagio, The Mirage, and the MGM Grand Casinos, all run by his competitor Terry Benedict. The film, directed by Steven Soderbergh, features magnificent performances by George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Andy Garcia, Matt Roberts, Julia Roberts, Bernie Mac and others. Besides being well received by the public, Ocean’s 11 has received a number of well-deserved film awards.

4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) | IMDb: 7.7/10

Metacritic: 41% Rotten Tomatoes: 49%

In front of his string of vibrant eccentric characters, Johnny Depp acted outstandingly as Raoul Duke, who takes a trip to Las Vegas in search of the American dream along with a crazy lawyer. This adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson’s novel of the same name follows their mystical journey, filled with several different forms of drugs and alcohol. The pair falls short of achieving its American dream target, crossing paths with disillusioned hitch-hikers, gamblers, and, of course, a mysterious police officer in a series of surreal encounters as intoxicating drugs slowly take hold. Check out our dedicated article here to learn more about the movie.

5. Molly’s Game (2017) | IMDb: 7.5/10

Metacritic: 71% Rotten Tomatoes: 82%

Molly’s Game is an American biographical crime thriller film based on the true story of Molly Bloom. Jessica Chastain is a world-class mogul skier who is forced to give up her career after being seriously injured at the 2002 Winter Olympic qualifying event. Instead of pursuing her initial intention to attend a law school, however, Molly chooses to relocate to Los Angeles, where she eventually joins the underground poker world. She’s been running some of the world’s most lucrative poker games for ten years before she’s arrested by 17 FBI agents. The film is certainly a masterpiece, nominated for a variety of awards. It also includes star performances by Idris Elba, Michael Cera, Kevin Costner and Jeremy Strong. Eager to know more about this fascinating story? Read our post on the true story of Molly Bloom.

6. Rounders (1998) | IMDb: 7.3/10

Metacritic: 75% Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

Okay, what do we have here — John Malkovich playing a mental Russian mobster and a Will Hunting with a twist facing off in Texas Hold’em’s no-limit heads-up game. Will that get any better? This film examines the dark side of addiction in a nonchalant way. The excellent performances of both Malkovich and Matt Damon prove that there is nothing glamorous about the queasy obsession with risk and the short-lived adrenaline rush induced by fear and thrill in gambling. Dark humor in this neo-noir, however, keeps you from considering the futility of life and flawed human existence, because you can’t get all philosophic when watching a gangster munching on biscuits.

7. The Cincinnati Kid (1965) | IMDb: 7.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 85%

It’s been more than 50 years since the premiere of one of the most popular gambling movies ever and the last-hand debate on the scene has still sparked heated debate among players to this day. Poker experts are more concerned with how impossible and even “laughable” it is, tossing poker out the window, while film critics prefer to concentrate on the inspiration of growing up and coming up and the comparison of maturity versus the imperative spirit of youth. If you’re interested in the fundamentals of stud poker, and you’re discovering all the possibilities that you might find yourself facing, or you’re just a sucker of good old Hollywood classics, bump this up in your watch list.

8. The Gambler (1974) | IMDb: 7.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%

The Gambler gives a look into the addict’s mind in a way that no other gambling movie ever does. Carried by superb performances, the film examines the dark world of gambling addiction from the momentary jittery fear of losing the game to its further growth into the overwhelming need for deeper and darker obsessions. James Kaan builds up a true and believable character unlike any we have seen so far – Axel Freed, a troubled college teacher who is intrigued by danger and not only welcomes him to his life, but also tries and wooses him, heading deeper down the road of debt and self-destruction; a grim reminder of the unstable existence of compulsive gambling.

9. Mr Lucky (1943) | IMDB: 7.2/10

Metacritic: 72% Rotten Tomatoes: 100%

No contemporary rom-com will ever make this list, but what we have here is Cary Grant depicting a crooked gambler who is attempting to cheat a war relief charity by taking the identity of a dead gangster only to change his heart after falling for a wealthy socialite. Black and white, exuding Hollywood glamor in the 1940s, with all the black spots flashing and sound crackling, this old-timer uses the “bad guy gone wrong” theme in a non-obtrusive, stylish manner. So, Nicholas Sparks, you can use your notebook to write a few notes on a nice romance. Just imagine what the Blood Bank scene would look like if we were lucky enough to have Hitchcock directing it.

10. Hard Eight (1996) | IMDb: 7.2/10

Metacritic: 78% Rotten Tomatoes: 83%

This neo-noir thriller is the debut of Paul Thomas Anderson with an original plot and convincing characters. Philip Baker Hall plays a gambler past his prime who becomes an unexpected father-figure for a young kid (John C. Reilly) on his luck, in love with a waitress, and short of the money he wants for his mother’s funeral. While the complexities of other gambling movies are missing, Hard Eight focuses on human story and character depth. A gentle, languid plot, the film goes into the specifics of gambling schemes, but never loses the emphasis on the characters ‘mistakes, interactions, and relationships.

11. Croupier (1998) | IMDb: 7.1/10

Metacritic: 75% Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

With so many gambling movies concentrating on player tales, Croupier is a rare, elegant gem that tells the dealer’s tale as a link between his bosses and customers. Clive Owen has a brilliant performance as Jack Manfred – a hard-fought writer working as a croupier who narrates his own story in the third person. Detached and emotionally cold, Manfred seems sure of his ability to remain in control of his life, to narrate it, and to write it in a book. He doesn’t play at the casino, but seems to be putting high bets on his personal life, as he finds himself embroiled in the casino heist and juggling three women. Would you like to hear more about the film and the life of the croupiers?

12. Owning Mahowny (2003) | IMDb:7.1/10

Metacritic: 70% Rotten Tomatoes: 79%

Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Dan Mahowny – a Toronto bank manager who seems like a smart, friendly, gray suit guy, confident in his career and focused on frugality. A peek below the surface shows that a calm, mild-mannered man is secretly stealing money from his clients ‘bank accounts to support his gambling addiction. Hoffman succeeds beautifully as he shows just what gambling addiction does to players – it’s not the thrill of winning or the despondency of losing – it’s the entire cycle of losing control.

13. The Cooler (2003) | IMDb: 7.0/10

Metacritic: 69% Rotten Tomatoes: 77%

Bad luck incarnated by Bernie Lootz, depicted by William H. Macy, is a seasoned loser who has found a way to capitalize on his uncanny ability to lose every single bet he makes. Paying off a debt to casino boss Shelly Kaplow (Alec Baldwin), Bernie is a full-time “cooler” responsible for restoring the house edge by breaking high-roller streaks as he seems to be able to pass his bad luck to other teams. Bernie’s fling with a waitress seems to have damaged his cooling abilities, causing him and his boss a lot of trouble. With a strong performance and a humorous premise, the film accentuates the whimsies of destiny and the notion of superstition and luck in

14. 21 (2008) | IMDb: 6.8/10

Metacritic: 48% Rotten Tomatoes: 35%

The American heist thriller film 21 is definitely another gambling movie worth watching. Inspired by the true story described in Ben Mezrich’s book Taking Down the Building, the film tells the tale of a group of talented students who make up a special blackjack team. However, the party uses special tactics such as card counting and subtle signalling to maximize their odds of winning. The team makes substantial profits quickly, but also experiences some adverse effects for their personal lives. Protagonist Ben takes a long journey from becoming one of the most critical and talented students to being an outstanding blackjack player..

15. Mississippi Grind (2015) | IMDb: 6.4/10

Metacritic: 77% Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

The American drama road movie Mississippi Grind tells the story of Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn), a professional poker player with a dangerous gambling problem, who meets young traveler Curtis (Ryan Reynolds) and convinces him to hit the road together, visiting some unusual gambling ventures. Wishing to take part in a famous high-stakes poker game in New Orleans, both of them embark on an unforgettable gambling trip full of highs and lows and many wins and losses. The film focuses on the subject of gambling in a specific way, showing the thrill that comes from it as well as the potential negative and positive effects that could lead to it.

Want to Try Your Luck Gambling Online?

We hope you enjoyed our list of the best gambling and casino movies, but if you need more movies to watch, why not check out our article about the best gambling movies on Netflix. And if you feel motivated and want to try your luck, why not pick one of our best gambling sites? Each of the websites on our list have been reviewed, scored and carefully selected to make sure you play with the best incentive deals and under the best conditions!

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