Humanity is fascinated with gambling and it is the thrill we get from it that makes us love gaming. We have incorporated gambling in various spheres in our life. Naturally, we have included gambling in the film industry as well. In fact, some of the flashiest and most memorable movies ever made are precisely about gambling. So, if you do not have something important to do today, we recommend that you watch at least one of the movies below – these are the ten best movies about gambling ever made.

10. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

Directed by Norman Jewson, this movie portrays poker like no other. Starring Ann-Margret, Edward G. Robinson, and Steve McQueen the movie hit $7 million at box offices when it was released.

The movie tells the story of Eric Stoner (or the Cincinnati Kid) who lives in 1930s New Orleans. The Kid loves all forms of gambling, but stud poker is his favourite thing. When the supposedly best poker player Lancey Howard comes to town, Stoner wishes to play with him, thus increasing his reputation in gaming circles. Stoner gets to meet Howard, but he has to face various distractions. One of them is the Kid’s girlfriend—Christian—who wants to spend more time with him. Another obstacle is presented by Melba, Stoner’s friend’s wife who cheats her husband and increases betting odds against Stoner in the big game. Then there is the wealthy William Jefferson Slade who tries to blackmail basically everyone involved in the game, except for the two players.

9. Hard Eight (1996)

This brilliant movie was created by Paul Thomas Anderson and it hit over $222,000 at box offices worldwide. Starring are Philip Baker Hall, Gwyneth Paltrow, John C. Reilly.

The movie tells the story of Sydney who is a gambling veteran in his sixties and who spends most of his day at casinos. At one casino he is accompanied by John—an unlucky gambler with no money—and he sees him as a son, so he attempts to lend a hand to the man. Sydney takes care of John and tutor him all the moves he knows.

He even helps the man get a girlfriend, and John begins a romance with Clementine, a young girl who has a career at the casino. Life seems to be perfect, and then something that would change their lives forever happens.

8. California Split (1974)

The movie is directed by Robert Altman and starring are George Segal, Elliott Gould and Ann Prentiss.

The movie is so good that there hardly is a poker player who has not seen it.

Bill Denny and Charlie Waters are the main characters. They meet on the same end of a fellow gambler’s wrath in a gaming club in Southern California. Bill is a casual gambler whose full-time job is writing—he writes for a magazine—whereas Charlie tries to make a career as a gambler and his life’s purpose, it seems, is to beat those at his poker table. As the two men start to spend more and more time together, Bills starts to emulate Charlie, and he goes as far as hang out with Charlie’s prostitute friends Barbara Miller and Susan Peters. Bill’s life slowly falls apart and he goes into debt to loan sharks as he does not stop gambling. Nevertheless, the two men are determined to raise enough money for a trip to Reno where they would win more money at high stakes poker.

California Split hit $5 million in box offices.

7. Croupier (1998)

Directed by Mike Hodges and starring Clive Owen, this movie shows dealers’ point of view on gambling.

Clive Owen portrays Jack Manfred who is struggling to make a career as a writer, and is forced to take a job as a croupier. He soon find himself drawn to the casino world and the job he did not want to take at first consumes his life completely. Even his relationship suffers from his croupier career and despite his girlfriends’ initial attempts to save the relationship, Marion (his girlfriend) leaves him eventually.

Jack takes a liking to one particular gambler – Jani. The woman has a bad luck and she is pressured from her creditors on a daily basis. Jack starts to go out with her and she confesses her plans to heist the casino. Will Jack join her?

The movie made a total of $7,075,068 worldwide.

6. The Music Of Chance (1993)

The movie is adapted from the novel of Paul Austen The Music of Chance. It hit a little over $300,000 in box offices.

Jim Nashe (played by Mandy Patinkin) is an ex fireman who has nothing but his final $20,000. Nashe meets the gambler Jack Pozzi (played by James Spader) whose plan is to win at poker against two millionaires, whose roles are played by Charles Durning and Joel Grey.

The movie will show us a thing or two about good fortune which both hardcore gamblers and casual gamblers will find familiar. The movie made an overall of $313,967.

5. The Cooler (2003)

William H. Macy stars this amazing movie directed by Wayne Kramer. Macy plays a man whose bad luck is so devastatingly bad that casinos would employ him to stand at tables of people on hot streaks. You think this will not work? Wrong. Peoples’ luck changes and the house restores its edge.

However, the cooler’s own luck changes and he finds himself as every Vegas gambler’s lucky charm, which, of course, costs him his casino job.

4. Casino (1995)

The movie is based on a real story and it undoubtedly is one of Scorsese’s masterpieces. Leading roles are played by stars like Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone. This is arguably the best gambling-related classic that usually takes the first place in most lists.

De Niro is a hardcore bookie who is pressured to run Vegas casinos for his mob bosses. Nicky Santoro, played by Joe Pesci, is a thief and killer whose behaviour puts both men in a grave danger.

Thanks to Scorsese’s mastermind editing and the actors’ great performance, the movie hit $116,112,375 in box offices.

3. The Gambler (1974)

The movie is directed by Karel Reisz and the leading role is played by James Caan.

The Gambler is about the mind of a gambling addict – this is one of few movies to portray such a realistic image. Axel Freed is a successful college professor and a gambling addict. He wins big, but he doesn’t know how to count cards on blackjack and he loses all of his money. He borrows extensively from his girlfriend, his mother, and, of course, from loan sharks. Things start to fall apart for Axel as he realises that he can not stop gambling.

2. Casino Royale (2006)

Undoubtedly one of the best James Bond movies ever made, Casino Royale made nearly $600 million dollars, showing us the amazing performances of Daniel Craig and Eva Green.

Casino Royale tells us the story of James Bond, who was recently promoted to “00” status. The agent is sent on a mission where he meets a mysterious private banker to world terrorism and poker player, Le Chiffre. Bond participates in various high stake poker games set by Le Chiffre, along with a beautiful Treasury agent and a MI6 man.

The movie is sprinkled with unexpected plot twists, which make it even more capturing and memorable.

1. Ocean's 11 (2001)

Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, Ocean’s 11 is our No. 1 movie. While it is not the biggest hit in the box offices—it made roughly $450 million—its storyline and effects are our favourite.

Daniel Ocean had already planned his next hit before being released from prison in New Jersey. He targets three casinos which all belong to a ruthless entrepreneur called Terry Benedict – The Bellagio, The Mirage, and the MGM Grand, and plans to rob them.

To achieve his goal, he starts hiring professionals from all over the country. He gets a card magician, an expert pickpocket and an ingenious pyrotechnic. And then there is the guy who gives them all the money they need to achieve their goal – Reuben Tishkoff. Reuben hates Benedict for he lost a casino to him. Danny even hires drivers and an expert card dealer. Then he gets job at the casino and starts watching the routines.

Saul Bloom is planned to play the role of a hardcore dealer in the hotel, while Livingston Dell spies on the place in order to check out what goes on around the security guard. Amazingly, Danny’s plan also includes a Chinese acrobat who is expected to move inside the vault before motion sensors are turned off.

The movie has it all – money, plans, thefts, love. That is why it is our favourite. We recommend that you watch it as it will undoubtedly become your favourite film about gambling, too.