The silver screen has been graced by many great casino scenes over the years. With images of suave tuxedos and glamorous dresses around tables in Las Vegas, Monaco, and around the world.
All the fun and adrenaline of playing casino or online casino makes for quite the storyline. As such, there have been some iconic gambling movies to have come from Hollywood - so there were plenty to choose from when compiling this list of our personal favourite casino movies.
We’ve got blackjack movies, games of poker against evil villains and even a smattering of laughs with a comedy pick amongst the choices of the best casino movies.
The 1980s cult classic Rainman has to be on our list of the best casino movies. A comedy-drama that stars two A-listers in Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, the film involves counting cards at a blackjack game at Las Vegas’ famous Caesar’s Palace, collectable sports cars and a whole lot of cash.
Released in 1988, the film's box office hit over $400 million - talk about a jackpot. Rain Man is also critically acclaimed with 4 Academy Awards to brag about, along with 2 Golden Globes, one of which was for Dustin Hoffman’s portrayal of the autistic lead character, Raymond Babbitt.
You might not think of The Hangover as one of the great gambling movies, but we had to include some comedy on our list. This movie surprised many with its combination of high impact humour and impressive production value. It’s now regarded as one of the all-time great American comedy movies.
Caesar’s Palace features once again. Alan, the group’s misfit on this bachelor party from hell, demonstrates card counting at the blackjack table as the characters try and resolve their debts in a quest to find their missing friend in time for his wedding. Of course, all sorts of chaos plays out in a movie that only took two weeks to film. It features Mike Tyson alongside Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zack Galifianakis, who apparently all formed a real-life friendship thanks to the shooting of the movie.
The first of two James Bond films on the list is Licence to Kill, a 1989 spy film that is filled with cliches and tropes of the genre that were considered a little more cutting edge at the time than they may appear now. Online casinos did not exist yet, so access to casino culture like this was rare and certainly seen as very sophisticated.
Timothy Dalton’s portrayal of Bond as a cool, calm and collected gambler is one of the most memorable performances in the franchise, as he orders a dry vodka martini, “Shaken, not stirred,” whilst playing with poker chips.
Sticking with Agent 007, the iconic spy movies have to feature at least twice on our list due to the sheer quotability of the films originally adapted from Ian Fleming’s novels. Played by Daniel Craig in his debut Bond outing, Casino Royale sees the main character play some seriously intense games of poker with high stakes in every sense of the word.
Movies buffs say that the scene is less about the poker being played and more so the mind games between James Bond and Le Chiffre, the villain of the film. The casino movie was shot in Prague, and scenes like this one just ooze decadence and class.
Released in 2006, there was actually a boom in poker playing at the time largely due to the rise of the online casino, and then a further boom thanks to the success of this film. Surely one of the best casino movies and the best Bond movies ever made.
Finally, Ocean’s Eleven makes our list of best casino movies for its sheer production value and the quality of the plot. An incredible heist is carried out by a star-studded cast that gets cooler on every watch.
George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon and more feature in a modern Hollywood classic that crosses crime, drama and comedy in a seamless way. Released in 2001, the film is effortlessly clever and swanky, with a killer soundtrack that involves the likes of Henry Mancini and Elvis Presley.
The premise is all about identifying a safe casino to rob and, with a heavyweight boxing match weaved into the plot, the superteam of criminals realised they could pull off a heist worth over $150 million.
Now it’s time to watch the best casino movies!