If you love the high stakes thrill of gambling on your favorite game or in its many other forms as much as we do, or maybe just love movies depicting the gambling lifestyle, this list is for you. Gambling has been a part of man’s life for as long as he can remember and many a great movie has been made covering various aspects of the heart-pumping action that comes with living on the edge of a high stake bet. We’ve gone in search of the best gambling movies of the last decade and found some real gems. The only criteria were gambling in some form had to be central to the movie’s plot, so movies like the remake of OCEAN’s 8 were not considered, though you may find it on other lists.
Remember, loving a good movie is largely based on opinion. So while meeting the demand of many different perspectives, we’ve considered this. And after all, choosing a good movie is much like a roll of the dice, isn’t it? Maybe with this comprehensive list, we’ve stacked the deck and the odds will be in your favor. Enjoy!
In no particular order:
ALL IN: THE POKER MOVIE (2011)
We begin our list with a documentary on perhaps the most infamous, loved and common form of contemporary gambling: Poker. This movie is great if you want to learn the history of poker, including how the game became popular to watch on T.V. The run time for this flick is about 100 minutes. So if you are a card shark with a penchant for the history of poker, this is your play.
MISSISSIPPI GRIND (2015)
This movie is pure gambling Americana. With stellar casting, the plot follows your typical gambler’s story. A down on his luck gambler who feels the big break he’s been waiting for is on the horizon. What does he need? Why a partner (Ryan Reynolds). Two is better than one against house odds. Do they win? Watch and see.
Available on Amazon Prime.
THE GAMBLER (2013)
Though this movie is a rebooted version of the original 1974 version, Mark Whalberg shows us in this film there’s nothing like high stakes when the pot includes your life. With a title like this, you know you’ve picked the right movie. This flick keeps your heart pumping as the stakes keep getting higher and every choice is a gamble with everything to lose, or win. This movie has it all, a degenerate gambler who looks like every man (only Mark Whalberg), loan shark gangsters, an illicit love affair, and gambling, gambling, gambling.
THE DIVINE MOVE (2014)
This South Korean action film follows a Baduk player who finds himself surrounded by the seedier side of the gambling lifestyle, which eventually leads him to being framed for murdering his brother and locked away in prison. Then the film quickly escalates into a revenge quest. The title itself refers to what professional gamblers call the “once in a lifetime” move that wins it all at a crucial moment. This award-winning international film is a quick pick win.
THE BEST OF IT (2016)
Another documentary film, this one covers sports bettors in that mecca of gambling, Vegas. Showing both sides of a coin toss, this film lays out the agony of losing and the joys of winning, all the while retaining the real grittiness of professional gambling. If you enjoy sports betting, this is your film.
MOLLY’s GAME (2017)
One of the more recent films on this list, this true story is sure to go down in history as one of the best gambling movies of all time. The story follows a woman, played by the beautiful Jessica Chastain, who opens an underground gambling operation in her basement, catering to celebrities who love to play, namely poker. Incredibly written and awesome for the fact it’s a true story, this one is a fan favorite and surefire bet.
COLD DECK (2015)
This Canadian thriller has us meet Bobby, a degenerate gambler whose life leaves a lot to be desired. But as with most gamblers, who dream of the big win that can change it all, Bobby is relentless. With plot twists and betrayal, gambling becomes robbery as the money pot keeps rising. Good acting, great story and plenty of gambling. Don’t scratch it off your list till you watch. It’s a winner!
Not every game is cards and slots as this film proves. The game takes a whole different approach to gambling, but as ever the stakes remain high. Life and death kind of high. This movie should be on every gambling addict’s wish list if for nothing else because it’s a dark comedy with a hot blonde for a bookie.
WOULD YOU RATHER (2013)
Ok, I’m sure most gamblers would not want to participate in this type of game, but still, it’s all about the money and all about making the big play when winning would change your life. Players in this movie are invited to dinner where the question is asked, “would you rather”. Then, a task is given and if accomplished before the clock runs out, cash is doled out. But, is it worth the risk? This movie is.
THE ODDS (2011)
Oh, sweet! A murder mystery and gambling! Win, win, winning! This movie invites us into the world of teenagers who gamble on everything and still do their homework. This crime thriller explores the possibilities of what someone losing a lot of money might do with their back against the wall. Or maybe not. It’s a case of I owe you, you owe them that makes this plot thicken. Watch and bet on who done it.
Well, there’s your top ten picks. Before we go, here are a few honorable mentions you might want to watch as a warm-up before your next card game.
WIN IT ALL (2017)
UNCUT GEMS (2019)
RUNNER, RUNNER (2013)
LAY THE FAVORITE (2012)
GUNS, GIRLS AND GAMBLING (2011)
Now, we call. Play your hand.