19+ Best Movies About Poker (List)

Poker has always been a popular game, both in casinos and among friends. Its combination of skill, strategy, and luck has made it a favorite pastime for many.

Over the years, poker has also found its way onto the big screen, with several movies showcasing the excitement and drama of the game.

Here is a list of various movies where poker plays a central role or is a significant element in the storyline:

  1. Rounders (1998) – A drama revolving around the underground world of high-stakes poker, starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton.
  2. The Cincinnati Kid (1965) – A classic poker film that portrays a young poker player’s attempts to prove himself in a high-stakes match against a long-time master of the game.
  3. Molly’s Game (2017) – Based on a true story, this film explores the world of underground poker games run by Molly Bloom.
  4. Casino Royale (2006) – While not exclusively about poker, the film features a significant high-stakes poker game as a central plot element.
  5. Mississippi Grind (2015) – A drama that follows two poker players on a road trip to a high-stakes poker game in New Orleans.
  6. Lucky You (2007) – A drama centered around a professional poker player and his conflicts with his father, also a poker player.
  7. The Grand (2007) – A comedy that parodies the poker world, centered around a fictional poker tournament in Las Vegas.
  8. Deal (2008) – A drama that explores the world of poker from the perspective of a young poker player and a retired veteran.
  9. High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003) – A biographical film about the life of Stu Ungar, a professional poker and gin rummy player.
  10. All In: The Poker Movie (2009) – A documentary that explores the booming popularity of poker, focusing on why one of the oldest card games has had a renaissance in the past few years.
  11. Gutshot Straight (2014) – A direct-to-video action film that revolves around a professional poker player who gets mixed up with the underworld.
  12. Win It All (2017) – A Netflix film about a small-time gambler who agrees to stash a duffel bag for an acquaintance who is heading to prison, only to be tempted to gamble away the bag’s contents.
  13. The Gambler (2014) – A crime drama that, while not exclusively about poker, explores the world of high-stakes gambling.
  14. Runner Runner (2013) – A crime thriller that explores the dark and murky world of online gambling.
  15. Regalo di Natale (1986) – An Italian comedy-drama that revolves around a Christmas Eve poker game among friends.
  16. Shade (2003) – A crime thriller that delves into the world of street poker and con games.
  17. Poker Night (2014) – A crime thriller where a young detective is caught in a sadistic game of cat-and-mouse when he is kidnapped and tormented by a masked serial killer.
  18. The Cooler (2003) – While not exclusively about poker, it explores the life of a casino “cooler” who is involved in the gambling world.
  19. California Split (1974) – A drama that explores the lives and friendship of two compulsive gamblers.

Below we look at some of the best movies about poker, delving into their plots, characters, and impact on popular culture.

The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

Directed by Norman Jewison, “The Cincinnati Kid” is often regarded as one of the best poker movies ever made.

Set in New Orleans during the Great Depression, the film follows the story of Eric “The Kid” Stoner, played by Steve McQueen, as he tries to establish himself as the best poker player in town.

The movie features intense poker scenes and a memorable final showdown between The Kid and Lancey Howard, portrayed by Edward G. Robinson.

The Cincinnati Kid captures the essence of poker as a battle of wits and psychological warfare.

It showcases the importance of reading opponents and making calculated decisions under pressure.

The film’s portrayal of the poker world has influenced subsequent movies and has become a classic in the genre.

Rounders (1998)

Released in 1998, “Rounders” stars Matt Damon as Mike McDermott, a talented poker player who is forced to quit the game after losing all his money to a Russian mobster.

However, when his friend Worm, played by Edward Norton, is released from prison, Mike is drawn back into the world of underground poker to help Worm pay off his debts.

“Rounders” is known for its realistic depiction of the underground poker scene in New York City.

The movie explores the highs and lows of professional poker, highlighting the risks and rewards of the game.

It also emphasizes the importance of skill and strategy, as Mike McDermott navigates through various poker games and encounters colorful characters along the way.

Maverick (1994)

Directed by Richard Donner, “Maverick” is a lighthearted Western comedy that revolves around the character Bret Maverick, played by Mel Gibson.

Maverick is a charming gambler and poker player who enters a high-stakes poker tournament in order to raise enough money to enter a winner-takes-all game.

Along the way, he encounters various obstacles and adversaries, including the beautiful Annabelle Bransford, portrayed by Jodie Foster.

“Maverick” combines humor, action, and poker in an entertaining package. The movie showcases the art of bluffing and the importance of reading opponents’ tells

. It also captures the spirit of the Wild West and the thrill of high-stakes gambling. With its charismatic cast and witty dialogue, “Maverick” remains a beloved poker movie among fans.

High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003)

“High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story” is a biographical film that tells the story of Stu Ungar, one of the greatest poker players of all time.

Directed by A. W. Vidmer, the movie follows Ungar’s rise to fame and his struggles with addiction and personal demons.

Stu Ungar was known for his exceptional talent and his ability to win at almost any form of poker. The film portrays his genius as well as his self-destructive tendencies.

It offers a glimpse into the world of professional poker and the toll it can take on individuals. “High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story” serves as a cautionary tale and a tribute to a legendary player.

Runner Runner (2013)

“Runner Runner” is a crime thriller that explores the dark side of online poker.

Directed by Brad Furman, the movie stars Justin Timberlake as Richie Furst, a Princeton student who becomes involved with Ivan Block, played by Ben Affleck, a wealthy and corrupt online gambling entrepreneur.

The film sheds light on the shady practices that can occur in the online poker industry.

It highlights the risks of trusting unregulated platforms and the potential for manipulation and fraud.

“Runner Runner” serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of getting involved in illegal gambling operations.

FAQs – Best Movies About Poker

1. What are some other notable poker movies?

Aside from the movies mentioned above, there are several other notable poker films worth watching.

Some of these include “Casino Royale” (2006), “The Sting” (1973), “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” (1998), and “California Split” (1974).

2. Are the poker scenes in these movies realistic?

While some movies take creative liberties for dramatic effect, many of the poker scenes in these films are based on real-life games and situations.

Filmmakers often consult with professional poker players to ensure accuracy and authenticity.

3. Can watching these movies improve my poker skills?

While watching poker movies can provide entertainment and inspiration, they should not be solely relied upon to improve your poker skills.

To become a better player, it is important to study the game, practice regularly, and learn from experienced players.

4. Are there any documentaries about poker worth watching?

Yes, there are several documentaries that offer a more realistic and in-depth look at the world of poker.

Some notable documentaries include “High Stakes: The Story of Sam Trickett” (2014), “KidPoker” (2015), and “All In: The Poker Movie” (2009).

5. Are there any poker movies that focus on female players?

While the majority of poker movies tend to feature male protagonists, there are a few films that highlight female players.

“Molly’s Game” (2017), based on a true story, follows the journey of Molly Bloom, a former Olympic skier who becomes involved in high-stakes poker games.

Another film worth mentioning is “Mississippi Grind” (2015), which features a female poker player named Simone.

6. Do these movies accurately represent the risks of gambling?

These movies often depict the risks associated with gambling, including financial loss, addiction, and the potential for illegal activities.

However, it is important to remember that they are fictional stories and may not fully capture the realities of gambling for everyone.

7. Are there any poker movies suitable for children?

Most poker movies are geared towards adult audiences due to their themes and content.

However, there are a few family-friendly options that introduce poker in a lighthearted manner, such as “The Grand” (2007) and “Deal” (2008).

8. Are there any poker movies based on true stories?

Yes, several poker movies are based on true stories or inspired by real events.

“Molly’s Game” (2017), “High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story” (2003), and “Lucky You” (2007) are examples of films that draw inspiration from real-life poker players and events.

9. Do these movies accurately portray the psychology of poker?

While these movies often highlight the psychological aspects of poker, such as reading opponents and bluffing, they may exaggerate certain elements for dramatic effect.

Understanding the psychology of poker requires a deeper study of the game and human behavior.

10. Are there any foreign-language poker movies worth watching?

Yes, there are several foreign-language poker movies that have gained recognition.

“Tilt” (2003) from Hungary, “Cold Deck” (2015) from Canada, and “Kakekomi” (2015) from Japan are a few examples of non-English language films that explore the world of poker.

11. Are there any poker movies that focus on online poker?

While most poker movies revolve around live poker games, there are a few films that touch upon the world of online poker.

“Runner Runner” (2013) provides a glimpse into the dark side of online gambling, while “The Grand” (2007) features a comedic take on an online poker tournament.

12. Do these movies accurately represent the poker community?

While these movies offer a glimpse into the poker community, it is important to remember that they are fictional stories and may not fully capture the diversity and complexity of the real-life poker world.

The poker community is made up of players from various backgrounds and skill levels.

13. Are there any poker movies that focus on specific poker variants?

While many poker movies feature Texas Hold’em, there are a few films that focus on other poker variants.

“California Split” (1974) explores the world of high-stakes stud poker, while “The Grand” (2007) showcases a variety of poker games, including Omaha and Razz.

14. Are there any poker movies that provide tips and strategies?

While these movies may offer some insights into poker strategies, they are primarily meant for entertainment purposes.

If you are looking for tips and strategies to improve your poker game, it is recommended to study books, online resources, and seek guidance from experienced players.

15. Can these movies inspire someone to become a professional poker player?

These movies can certainly inspire individuals to explore the world of poker and develop their skills.

However, becoming a professional poker player requires dedication, discipline, and a deep understanding of the game.

It is important to approach poker with realistic expectations and a willingness to learn and adapt.

Summary – Best Movies About Poker

Poker has captivated audiences for decades, and its portrayal in movies has only added to its allure.

From intense showdowns to high-stakes tournaments, these films have captured the excitement and drama of the game.

Whether you’re a poker enthusiast or simply enjoy a good movie, these films offer entertainment and valuable insights into the world of poker.

From the classic “The Cincinnati Kid” to the modern thriller “Runner Runner,” each movie brings its own unique perspective on the game.

They showcase the skills and strategies required to succeed in poker, as well as the risks and rewards that come with it.

These movies have not only entertained audiences but also influenced popular culture and inspired countless poker players around the world.


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