Poker is one of the most popular forms of entertainment. It is proved by the crowd around the poker table in both land-based and online casinos. Cinema is a tool that reflects our life, of course, cannot miss out on this topic. If you’re looking for movies about poker, this article is very suitable for you. Let’s take a look at the top 5 best poker movies. The stories behind poker tables, the lives of the poker gamblers along with the super technique of playing poker are all waiting for you. No more waiting.
Let’s start with the movie poker at the 5th position in the list.
5. Lucky You (2007)
This is an attractive poker movie, especially with those who love this intellectual sport. You will be satisfied with the gambling scenes in the majestic Las Vegas casinos. The film truly portrays the most famous poker tournament in the world– WSOP. You will also see poker stars in real-life such as Daniel Negreanu, Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, and so on.
Huck Cheever – the main characters in Lucky You. He is a talented poker player who cannot control his emotions. Thus, many times he was out of money. Different from the characteristic on the poker table, Huck is a “solid” guy in his private life. He is good at avoiding emotional bonds and long-term relationships. However, Huck meets and falls in love with Billie Offer – a young aspiring singer from the countryside.
The World Poker Championship (WSOP 2003 – Main Event) comes closer. Huck aims to win the champion as well as conquer the hearts of the beautiful Billie Offer. However, a great obstacle suddenly appears. That is the legendary poker L.C. Cheever – Huck’s father. Huck hates him for abandoning his mother and him many years ago. Huck’s psychology is once again challenged. With great support from Billie, Huck has overcome to play well. When his father and Huck reach the Final Table, Huck realizes that to win the game of his life and poker, he has to gamble the way he has lived and has to live the way he has played cards.
This film is full of humanity. When watching this film, you can gain many lessons from life and how to play poker.
IMDb Score: 5.9.
Genre: Psychology, Romance, Sports.
Director: Curtis Hanson.
Main casts: Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, Robert Duvall.
4. Molly’s Game (2017)
Molly’s Game is a true story of a beautiful girl named Molly Bloom, who was once known by the American media as Hollywood Poker Queen. Based on Molly’s memoirs, the film recreates the process of her building an underground casino empire and its collapse in a flash.
From a young age, Molly had to practice rigorously to become a skier. However, a serious injury ruined her Olympic dream and her life turns into another direction.
Delaying attending law school, Molly joins a nightclub in Los Angeles. Then, she becomes an assistant for a pro who opens poker games. Molly discovers poker players including celebrities and people who come from the upper class. They play tens of thousands of dollars for each game and tip her each game thousands of dollars. Molly realizes how lucrative this business will be able to be. With her sharpness, she quickly grasps how to organize poker rooms.
Molly’s intelligence makes her boss become jealous. Therefore, she loses her job. Being unsatisfied, Molly moves to New York. By the skills she has learned, she opened the High Stake poker room. Her players are Hollywood superstars, sportsmen, businessmen, even players that Molly does not know – Russian gangsters. Although she is very successful, Molly also begins to become addicted to drugs to remain awake for hours.
Eventually, Molly’s underground poker casino chain becomes the target of the FBI. After a decade of operation, Molly’s empire collapses when she is arrested overnight by 17 automatically armed FBI agents.
Molly’s Game has conveyed almost the entire memoir of female poker boss in the underworld. The film prolongs up to 140 minutes but it does not create a sense of boring due to the abundant scenes and rich dialogues. When watching this movie, you are also introduced to many poker terms, techniques and psychology of poker quite correctly.
IMDb Score: 7.5.
Genre: Biography, Criminal, Psychological.
Director: Aaron Sorkin.
Main casts: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner.
3. Rounders (1998)
Rounders takes viewers to explore the world of underground poker clubs along with notorious card players. This may not be one of the best movies, but it is definitely one of the best poker movie movies.
Mike McDermott – the main character, is a student in a law school and he is good at poker. Once, he lost all his money saved of $30.000 to Teddy KGB – the mafia boss and the boss of an underworld poker club. Then, Mike decides to focus on his studies and promises his girlfriend to give up gambling.
Mike keeps his promise until Lester “Worm” Murphy – his childhood friend, is released from prison. This guy is also a poker player and is in a large debt before he went to prison. Being Intrigued by Worm, Mike quickly returns to the casino. Because of that, Mike’s relationship with his girlfriend comes worse. He gradually loses his interest in studying as well.
The period of debt repayment comes closer, Mike embarks on a race to make money for his friend. While Mike plays fairly, Worm cheats. Being implicated by Worm, Mike and Worm are arrested and lost all of their money while they have made enough money. After the incident, Worm tries to escape. At that time, Mike finds out that Worm’s creditor is also KGB – the mafia that made him lose all his money in the past. Being angry about that, Mike breaks his relationship with Worm. At the same time, Mike is in debt on Worm’s behalf.
In order to repay the debt, Mike decides to fight the KGB with a $ 10,000 loan that he borrows from a professor in the school. Defeating the KGB, Mike pays off the debt and even earns the amount of $ 30,000 that he lost.
The ending of the film is that Mike officially drops out of the law school, says goodbye to his girlfriend and goes to Las Vegas to participate in the World Series of Poker.
With the simple plot, Rounders focuses on describing dramatic confrontation scenes on the poker table. There are many types of poker in the movie such as Hold’em, Omaha and so on. Those who do not understand gambling or poker will still feel excited about this movie because of the intense atmosphere that this movie brings to. Besides that, Rounders is truly a work of art.
IMDb Score: 7.3.
Genre: Criminal, Psychological.
Director: John Dahl.
Main casts: Matt Damon, Edward Norton, Gretchen Mol.
2. Maverick (1994)
Maverick is recreated from the character James Garner in the television shows of the 1950s. Maverick is a gambler who would rather trick people than confront them. He lacks $ 3,000 to attend a poker match in which a prize of half a million dollars will take place in the next few days. He tries to make enough money by playing poker and going around collecting old debts. He joins with Annabelle Bransford – a charismatic gambling lady who is also aggressively making money to enroll in this attractive tournament. When following the adventure of this gambling couple, you will be made more laughter.
This is a comedy with a poker subject that you can watch again and again without getting tired. The actors, plot, and cameraman are all excellent.
IMDb Score: 7.0.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy.
Director: Richard Donner.
Main casts: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner.
1. Casino Royale (2006)
Have you ever heard of the nickname 007? Of course yes. However, do you know that this famous spy knows how to play poker? In this film, the mission of him is to defeat a gangster boss on the poker table at the Royal Casino.
Casino Royale is in the time when James Bond’s career begins after he is licensed to kill.
While on duty, James Bond successfully loses a large amount of money from the boss Le Chiffre who transfers secret money to terrorist organizations in the world. In order to save himself, this man was forced to earn the same amount of money by playing poker. He organizes a Poker tournament with an entry fee of $10 million at Casino Royale in Montenegro. Because Bond is the best poker player at MI6 (British Intelligence), he is asked to move there to prevent Le Chiffre from winning.
The government pays Bond to play, but they also send Vesper Lynd – a beautiful female treasury staff to observe him.
On the poker table, Bond loses all his money to Le Chiffre after a game of errors. Thinking that Bond would lose further, Vesper refused to fund him. Finally, another poker player on the table who is also a CIA agent sponsoring Bond. In exchange, Bond will hand Le Chiffre to the CIA.
Gradually, Bond recovers the stack and defeats Le Chiffre in an impossible game. But then, will Bond and Vesper be safe?
Actor Daniel Craig in Casino Royale has taken the James Bond brand to a new level, although many people had doubted him before. It is not only is it a good poker movie but also the second most successful episode in the 007 series as well as a classic of American cinema. If you love poker and 007, you definitely watch Casino Royale. However, do not put too much emphasis on the authenticity of poker tables because that is not what the producer focuses on this movie.
IMDb Score: 8.0.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sensational.
Director: Martin Campbell.
Main casts: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Judi Dench.