Our list of the very best movies about Poker ever
There’s something particularly thrilling about a good poker movie. Watching the protagonist navigate the high-stakes game always feels like a lesson in bluffing, strategy, and hiding your “tells”. We love nothing more than those moments where we see how things are going to line up for the game, regardless of who the big winner will be.
In preparation for our next big gambling trip, we’ve been studying up on our poker flicks and brushing up on our skills via Situs Poker Terpercaya. Here are our can’t-miss poker movies to get us into that royal flush mood.
The 2006 James Bond movie, Casino Royale, was more than just Daniel Craig’s premiere as the iconic spy, it also refreshed the Bond franchise as a whole. The original Casino Royale book by Ian Fleming has Bond and the villain Le Chiffre’s gamble over baccarat, a game that is based more on luck than strategy.
2006’s Casino Royale switched the game to poker, as Texas Hold’em had become increasingly popular. The swap amped up the excitement of the gambling scenes and set up Bond as a strategic and observant card shark.
Casino Royale takes place early in Bond’s career, as he has just received his “license to kill” from M16, the British Secret Intelligence Service. In Madagascar, Bond uncovers a link to Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen), a villain who finances terrorist organizations. When M16 learns that Le Chiffre plans to raise money in a high-stakes poker game, they send Bond to play at the Casino Royale in Montenegro with hopes he can topple Le Chiffre’s organization.
The poker boom that made Casino Royale into a poker movie instead of a baccarat movie also elevated Rounders into a cult classic. The 1998 casino noir drama, Rounders, starring Edward Norton and Matt Damon didn’t get the appreciation it deserved until poker was all the rage.
Rounders is titled after the slang term for a person traveling around from city to city seeking high-stakes card games, a “rounder”. When gifted poker player and law student Mike McDermott (Damon) loses his money in a poker game against Russian gangster Teddy “KGB” (John Malkovich), his girlfriend, Jo (Gretchen Mol), makes him promise to quit gambling.
McDermott agrees until his old friend, Lester “Worm” Murphy (Edward Norton), is released from prison. Worm needs to play off old debt and enlists Mike to help. When Mike finds out the debt is owed to Teddy and he makes one last-ditch effort to beat the Russian.
One of the most decorated movies of all time to feature poker, 1973’s The Sting is worth watching for the classic pairing of Robert Redford and Paul Newman alone. The poker sequence that takes place a little over a third of the way into the film is a perfect delight, concluding with the best cinematic example of the “outcheating the cheater” trope common to poker fiction.
The Sting picks up when aspiring con man Johnny Hooker (Redford) teams up with the veteran swindler Henry Gondorff ( Newman) to take revenge on the ruthless crime boss Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw), who’s responsible for murdering a mutual friend.
Hooker and Gondorff implement a complicated scheme, that’s so crafty that Lonnegan won’t even know he’s been swindled. As their big con unfolds, however, things don’t go according to plan, requiring some last-minute improvisation by the determined pair.
Bringing the poker trope all the way back to the Old West, 1994’s Maverick is based on the 1950’s television show of the same name. The television show created the stereotypical poker player, one who would rather con than fight, which is still the most used personification of the game’s players.
Maverick’s title character, played by Mel Gibson, hopes to join a poker contest with a jaw-dropping payout that will differentiate him as the best poker player of his time. However, the game requires a $25,000 entrance fee of which Maverick is $3,000 short.
To come up with the money, Maverick scams hopeful contestants, the young con artist Annabelle (Jodie Foster) and cranky gambler Angel (Alfred Molina) in a preliminary card game to win the money he needs, making enemies of both players. Full of twists, turns, all-star cameos and sleights of hand, Maverick brings a bunch of fun to the poker film genre.
A little less commercially known, but revered by critics, Aaron Sorkin’s Molly’s Game is the true story of Molly Bloom, the beautiful, Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade. Based on Bloom’s memoir: Molly’s Game: The True Story of the 26-Year-Old Woman Behind the Most Exclusive, High-Stakes Underground Poker Game in the World, the film stars Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom.
After Molly experiences a career-ending injury in the 2002 Olympic qualifiers, she decides to spend a year in Los Angeles before going to law school. Molly takes an office manager job which includes running her boss, Dean’s (Jeremy Strong) underground poker ring. Molly quickly learns the ropes, and begins her own underground poker empire, using the contacts she gained from her work with Dean.
Molly’s players included Hollywood royalty, sports stars, business titans and finally, unbeknown to her, the Russian mob. As her client list grows, Molly becomes increasingly addicted to drugs and winds up in over her head, eventually raided by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons.