Best Poker Movies of All Time – TOP 9 Gambling Films

best poker movies of all time

Winter is coming ! So are the restrictive covid measures. Actually they never left, but this is topic for another day. Staying at home and playing poker is the only way to have fun and earn money simultaneously. But when we are not grinding, what is the next best thing ? Watching poker movies of course !

Today we will provide you with our favorite poker movies. Some of them you probably have seen, others you maybe will hear for the first time. The list is no particular order, as there is something for everyone – poker comedies, pure gambling movies, poker documentaries , real poker stories and many others. Let’s get into it !

The Grand ( 2007 ) – The Funniest Poker Comedy

the grand movie

The Grand is directed by Zak Penn , while cast of actors include names such as Ray Romano, Woody Harrelson, Chris Parnell, Jason Alexander, Dennis Farina, and a few others.

The movie is about a group of players gathering to play in a 10,000,000 poker tournament taking place at the Golden Nugget.

Surprisingly, the movie script was left open-ended, as actors were meant to play real poker on set, with no predetermined winner. Pretty surprising, in the wake of almost all other movies, which have over dramatic and even unreal poker gameplay moments.

The Grand has mixed reviews and rating, but the fact, that there are almost no poker comedies to choose from, make it appealing enough.

Finder’s Fee ( 2001) – Unorthodox Poker Movie

Finder's Fee Movie

The movie is about a group of players gathering to play in a 10,000,000 poker tournament taking place at the Golden Nugget.

This poker movie is about Tepper (played by Erik Palladino), a young man who found a wallet with a winning lottery ticket inside. Tepper contacted the owner to retrieve it that same night.

What makes this poker movie different, is that the story is relatable. It is not about sharks, high stakes tournaments or going against the odds against poker pros. Instead it is about finding a missing wallet and playing against your poker buddies. The whole story happens in one night ! Very interesting approach for a Gambling film and the IMDB rating of 6.4 , is less than what this movie deserves.

All In : The Poker Movie (2009) – The Best Poker Documentary Film

All In movie

All In tells the story of poker, from its beginning, right through the Moneymaker’s epic 2003 win in the Main Event, to infamous Black Friday incident.

Unlike the rest of the films on this list, All In is actually an award-winning documentary directed by Douglas Tirola.

This poker documentary movie features many familiar faces, such as Antonio Esfandiari, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Annie Duke, Chris Ferguson, Phil Laak, Moneymaker, and others. It is a detailed and interesting account of how poker came to be one of the favorite hobbies for the people in the US and across the globe and, for many, their way to chase the American Dream

If you’re only starting your career as a poker player, this movie is something that you have to watch. It covers everything you need to know about poker, including history, the rise and fall of poker, and every reason why it became so popular. If there’s one film that you have to watch to learn everything about poker, it’s All In: The Poker Movie.

Shade (2003) – A Poker Movie about Cheating

Shade Poker movie

This poker film is another one on this list, which takes slightly different approach – It is about poker format known as 5 Card Stud . Today it is not vastly popular, but back in the day it was one of the most popular ones , especially in underground games.

Shade is a 2003 crime thriller poker movie that follows three con artists cashing in on card games using a “card mechanic” named Vernon (played by Stuart Townsend). They created an elaborate plan to defeat the legend of poker named “The Dean” (played by Sylvester Stallone).

Shade does a great job of educating the masses of 5 Card Stud gameplay, with all the weaknesses you can exploit. It is breath of fresh air from the mainstream Texas Holdem Format.

Luna’s Game ( 2001) – One of the Poker Movies ahead of its time

Luna's Game movie

Luna’s Game is a movie that tells a story about being a professional poker player, even before playing poker was cool. It also goes through the question of what makes a poker player great: nature or nurture?

Luna’s father is a professional poker player who was murdered by a loan shark. Despite her negative experience with poker, she was pulled into it because it’s in her blood. Will she suffer the same fate as her father?

Luna’s Game is, perhaps, one of the most accurate depictions of a poker player. Many of us feel we’re incomplete without poker, and despite the risks, it makes us feel alive. It’s the premise of Luna’s Game, and one of the reasons we think it’s an excellent poker movie.

Maverick (1994) – Gambling Film or Poker Classic Movie ?

Maverick Movie

Answer to this question lies in the middle. You probably have heard of Maverick – it is movie almost all poker lovers have watched. At the same time it is the movie, which has least to do with poker. This paradox is due to the reason, that the movie is so good, that almost everyone will enjoy it.

Bret Maverick, played by Gibson, finds himself needing an additional three thousand dollars to enter an upcoming winner-takes-all poker tournament. To make money, Maverick turns to only things he knows – gambling – and joins forces with Annabelle Bransford (Foster).

It’s one of those that you can watch regardless of how much you’re into poker. It’s simply a good action comedy with elements of gambling.

Poker King ( 2009) – Asian Poker Movie with lots of heart

Poker King Movie

Poker King is movie made in Hong Kong and set in Macau. This is not one of those dry poker movies, in which emotions are the enemy. Here everything revolves around emotions – throwing tantrums, proving yourself, trusting and feeling… ”Lucky”

Poker King tells the story of Jack Chang (Louis Koo), an online poker pro who inherits a casino empire from his father. The problem is Chang is a complete man child in the worst possible way.

He’s naive to the point of stupidity, cares little about etiquette and throws tantrums when things don’t go his way. His father’s trust, Cheuk, decides to kick him out into the real world to teach him a lesson. Chang must prove his maturity to access his inheritance.

While in the urban wilderness of Macao, he meets his key to victory: a woman names Lucky. Lucky is ironically the unluckiest woman ever, but her luck changes for the better when she meets Chang. They work out an arrangement in which she just sits with him, giving him good luck as he plays. Eventually he ends up at a final table heads up against Cheuk.

This poker movie is illustration with the hard journey poker players have in the beginning. They have to convince all their relatives and friends, that poker is worth it and more often than not – much better than having a ”safe” profession. Poker is not only hobby or gambling problem, for those who wish it to be. This movie shows that if you believe and love what you do, you can achieve your goals.

 High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003) – Poker Movie Based On True Story!

High Roller Movie

High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story is a film based on a true story about a professional poker player named Stu Ungar. Widely regarded as the greatest Texas Hold ‘Em player of all time, Ungar is a three-time World Series of Poker main event winner – only one of two players in history to accomplish the feat.

Considered by many one of the best players to have ever lived, Ungar’s career was abruptly stopped as he died at the age of 45, having won five WSOP bracelets up to that point. 

Unfortunately, Ungar faced a debilitating drug addiction throughout most of his life and eventually died from drug-related complications at just 45 years old. In the movie, he is played by The Sopranos‘ Michael Imperioli.

This Film illustrates the inner demons which many of us can have, by losing ourselves in our craft.

Molly’s Game (2017) – The Best Poker Movies are Based On a True Stories

Molly's Game Movie

Yes ! There is no Rounders on our list. This does not mean it is not good film. It just means that there are better poker movies, as well as others, who are largely unknown and many poker lovers will know have the chance to enjoy them.

Molly’s Game is one of the latest true poker movies to hit the big screens. Released in 2017, it is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, the “Poker Queen” who used to run private high-stakes games featuring some of the biggest Hollywood celebrities, businessmen, and professional players.

The movie stars Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, and Kevin Costner, and shows the Hollywood adaptation of Bloom’s life – from her young age as an aspiring Olympic-class skier to her eventual downfall for organizing illegal poker games.

The story follows the journey of Molly Bloom, a real-life aspiring Olympic skier, who continuously suffered the ups and downs of life. She later discovered the big money she can make by organizing high stakes poker games.

It’s not a film that follows the actions that happen at the poker table, but the money that the game can bring.

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