There are many games in this world, but none of them compare to poker and its mystery and intrigue. Poker will always be thrilling without caring if you are playing in a famous casino in Las Vega, in a nightclub, in a friend’s house or if you are playing poker online.
Knowing this, it comes not as a surprise the fact that poker is used in movies to creating a dramatic effect and, also, as an important quality and personality trait of a charismatic and intelligent character. But not all the films show this game accurately and that’s the reason we wanted to present you this list of the best poker films of all time, so you can learn which are the top 10 poker films that do more than showcasing the game. We’ve composed for you a poker films list that will get you to understand the poker subculture and the effect this game has on the people that plays it.
Top 10 poker films list
Here we offer you the 10 best poker films of all time. We hope you watch them all and enjoy them as well as we do.
The Grand – 2007
It’s one of our favorites, since it’s an improvisational comedy which characters compete in a poker tournament. The cast ensembles both actors and real Las Vegas poker stars. The plot is quite curious, starting with a man who catalogues himself as a serial husband (nonetheless he’s been married 75 times) and who enters The Grand, a huge poker tournament in Las Vegas. The Grand leads the top of our poker films list since it counts with poker stars such as Phil Gordon, Phil Laak or Doyle Brunson, among others.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – 1998
This crime comedy film was written and directed by Guy Ritchie and the plot talks about a confident man who loses £500,000 against a crime lord in a game of three-card brag. That’s kind of the end of the poker plot, since then the film goes around the robbery he and his friends have to carry out in order to pay his debts.
Even if this film has a very small amount of the game in it, we wanted to include it in our top 10 poker films list, since the poker scene is absolutely amazing. We can assure you that it captures perfectly what this game is all about.
Poker King – 2009
Many people think this film is awful but, when they give it a chance, they definitely get into it. If we like it it’s because of how it treats poker and the passion that uses to describe it, that will rub off on you.
Rounders – 1998
Even if it’s a film that we consider that doesn’t treat very well poker game, we also like it. All poker films try to get the audience to understand poker clubs and the game and its players, but Matt Damon’s poker film doesn´t and that’s exactly the reason why this film connects with its public better than any other way.
Matt Damon’s poker film portrays a gifted poker player who dreams of winning the World Series of Poker but loses his whole $30,000 bankroll in a single hand. After that, he promises to quit poker but ends up returning to his poker lifestyle when a friend racks up an important debt in his name.
If you like poker, you may like Matt Damon’s poker film, since it became a cult hit in the early 2000s.
California Split – 1974
Are you a pro poker player or you want to become one? Then, this is your film. It starts with the main characters always living on the edge and falling into debt to a bookie while playing poker. It’s a film that captures perfectly the desperate life of a gambler and the poker scenes of this film are extremely good.
Casino Royale – 2006
Yes, we want to include Casino Royale in our list of the best poker films of all time. Bond has always been known for playing a lot of poker. Some poker purists don’t like the way poker was portrayed in this film, especially when a lot of new players wanted to emulate this film: bad idea, please, don’t do it. But still, Casino Royale had to be included in our poker films list.
Smart Money – 1931
Nick the Barber is the best poker player in this hometown and so, he tries his game on a bigger city and gets no discouraged when loses. He soon gets back his money and uses it to build a whole net of underground casinos for both elites and common folks.
We know it doesn’t look like something special, but we like it since it beats the system by excelling poker, which is the great dream of every poker player.
Luna’s Game – 2001
Luna’s father, a professional poker player, was killed and she was raised by a group of denizens of the cardplaying world and grows up trying to follow his footsteps. We wanted to include this film in our top 10 poker films since it shows perfectly how it feels when poker is in your blood.
Lucky You – 2007
Even if it may be a little romantic in the way it portrays poker, this film really shows how the game can be in the professional way it Las Vegas. It’s full with actual poker pros like Sam Farha, Doyle Brunson, Minh Ly or Erik Seidel and even Jennifer Harman, the only woman to hold two bracelets in World Series of Poker open events.
The Sting – 1973
An absolute classic. Yes, you will not learn many modern poker techniques, but it will show you another trait of poker that people tend to find enticing: cheating. Paul Newman and Robert Redford both play amazing parts in this film and show the essence of poker clubs in a really funny movie.
Want to know something curious? When the conductor announces the poker game to be a Straight Poker this was a mistake, since what they actually play is Draw Poker. Straight Poker, as its name tells, has no draws.