The most popular TV shows that involve gambling
Gambling has inspired many in human society for as long as man believed luck could change his/her fortune. It has also inspired stories, songs, and all kinds of entertainment performances for ages, as it still does today. Who would not imagine the thrill of landing a huge cash prize that will transform them into kings/queens overnight?
If you cannot live it now, perhaps you can watch it. In the recent past, there have been a number of amazing TV shows that revolve around gambling. Interestingly, though, most of these shows have a main theme and gambling as secondary. In a few shows, the gambling theme is combined with a different theme to make it more screen worthy and enjoyable.
We have filtered down the list to feature the most cinematic, well-casted, and fun-to-watch shows you will enjoy.
1. Las Vegas (2003 – 2008)
Five seasons of the comedy-drama TV show Las Vegas aired on NBC between 2003 and 2008. The name of the show being a dead giveaway, Las Vegas is a series centered around the home and work lives of employees at Montecito Resort and Casino.
When a former CIA operative (Deline) makes a career change and lands a job to run security, little did he expect his life to become more difficult with an enthusiastic apprentice (McCoy). If you are a big fan of Las Vegas city, you would love this show because despite Montecito Resort and Casino being fictitious, real locations are used throughout the show.
On top of the list that makes Las Vegas one of the greatest TV shows ever is a solid cast. Edward Deline (James Caan), Mary McConnell, and Josh Duhamel (Danny McCoy) outdid themselves, bringing the dramatic characters to life.
2. Luck (2011 – 2012)
What comes to your mind when you hear about placing horse racing bets in dingy alleys and counting wads of notes to the bookmaker? If you thought of someone getting their knee caps bashed in, that is not the Luck TV show’s main theme.
Created by David Milch and starring Dustin Hoffman, the show focuses on the day-to-day lives of multiple characters tied to the same horse-racing track. The show is well researched and received commendable reviews for realism and drama.
However, the Luck TV show was very unlucky early in its days as it was canned due to animal safety concerns. Either way, the nine episodes it aired in the first season are a great watch for anyone passionate about horse-racing and how things work in the stables.
3. King of Vegas (2006)
King of Vegas is the show for every gambler looking for more realism and a chance to learn something new from the pros. This game show, hosted by boxing commentator Max Kellerman and Wayne Allyn Root, is a gambling marathon competition of eight different games.
The participants started with playing Blackjack and completed with a game of Texas Hold ’em. For each game, players get $10,000 worth of chips and have limited rounds or hands to play no-limit games in an hour.
The show has no script and features professional commentary and odds review. The players have to think on their feet to win the $1 million grand prize without consultation or bonuses. Aldo Mcneal from CasinoReviews has a great article listing all the top rated casino bonuses.
4. Give Us a Break (1983 – 1984)
The classic BBC drama show Give Us a Break is a must-watch for gambling enthusiasts. The show follows the lives of professional snooker player Micky Noades who describes himself as “a man of overall concepts” and his protégé.
Micky prides himself on being an ace promoter. The only problem is that he has nothing to promote. He needs the guidance (perhaps even training) of his brother-in-law Mo Morris (played by Paul McGann) to attempt to get some direction in life and redeem his future.
Give Us a Break is an amazing show about talent, wit, and persistence. Sadly, the British audience was not very receptive to the snooker show, and it was canceled after only eight episodes.
5. Celebrity Poker Showdown (2003 – 2006)
The celebrity game show Celebrity Poker Showdown was one of the trendiest show of its time. It was a limited-run show that featured celebrities playing poker in tournaments. Each show featured five stars playing no-limit Texas Holdem, with all the proceeds going to charity.
Do you care about the lives of the affluent and how the glitz and glamor measure up in a game of high stakes? Then this is your kind of show to watch.
There are eight tournaments spanning over the five seasons of the show. Some of the top celebrities featured in the tournaments include Carrie Fisher, John Spencer, Coolio, Willie Garson, Nicole Sullivan, Wanda Sykes, and Ben Affleck. In total, there are 48 episodes.
There are more gambling and casino-based TV shows that are good enough to merit a place on this list. Any time you are looking to spend the time learning about gambling and how it is done in real life, such shows are a great source of inspiration.