Even though poker is a hugely popular game, there aren’t many movies on it. This list is ranked by IMDb as the finest poker movies.
Although poker is a popular game around the world, there are surprisingly few films that focus on the subject matter. Even though it’s not unheard of for movies to include protagonists heading to the gambling capital of the world, it’s rare to see one concentrated solely on poker.
Fortunately, poker-themed movies tend to be high quality. As with baseball and soccer movies, not every poker movie is a hit, but there are a surprising number of outstanding poker movies out there, and these are the best of the best according to IMDb. Enjoy!
1. Lucky You (2007): 5.9
Huck Cheever, played by Eric Bana in the film Lucky You, is a poker player who aspires to compete in the World Series of Poker main event in Las Vegas. However, he’ll need to pony up $10,000 to get started.
Two-time World Series of Poker winner L.C. Cheever – Huck’s estranged father – stars with Drew Barrymore as Billie Offer. Even though it’s a strange mix of poker action and romantic drama, the superb ensemble does their best to lift the material.
2. High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003): 6.1
According to the title of this biopic, High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story chronicles the life of poker pro Stu Ungar. Known as the greatest Texas Hold ‘Em player of all time, Ungar is just one of two players in history to win three World Series of Poker main event titles.
In the end, Ungar succumbed to a chronic drug addiction at the age of 45 and died as a result of his addiction. Michael Imperioli, star of The Sopranos, portrays him in the film.
3. Mississippi Grind (2015): 6.4
Mississippi Grind, starring Ryan Reynolds and BenMendelsohn, is more of a gambling movie than a poker movie. Reynold’s Curtis Vaughn andMendelsohn’s Gerry are the two main characters in the film.
On the Mississippi River, Gerry and Curtis are invited to join a riverboat casino for a gorgeous poker session, which they agree to do. Mississippi Grindis is both a buddy road movie and a terrible peek at gambling addiction, but its performances and unique Southern ambiance make it worth a watch.
4. Maverick (1994): 7.0
Maverick, directed by Richard Donner and released in 1994, has a slew of high-profile actors and was well received. Bret Maverick, performed to masterfully by Mel Gibson, is at the heart of the plot. An experienced scam artist, Maverick is seeking funds in order to buy his way into a high stakes poker tournament.
Zane Cooper, played by the late James Garner, and another con artist,Annabelle Bransford, played by Jodie Foster, join him. You can’t go wrong with such a talented group of actors in this film.
5. California Split (1974): 7.2
George Segal plays Bill Denny and Elliott Gould plays Charlie Waters in Robert Altman’s California Split. Charlie has far more gambling experience than Bill, despite the fact that they both like it. The two of them enjoy gambling together, and as Bill’s luck improves, he becomes more and more addicted to the game as a result.
With Amarillo Slim as a fictional character, Bill plays a hand of poker against him in a certain moment.
6. A Big Hand For The Little Lady (1966): 7.3
Fielder Cook produced and directed A Big Hand for the Little Lady, which was renamed Big Deal in Dodge City in the United Kingdom.
The film features an impressive cast, including Henry Fonda, Joanne Woodward, Paul Ford, Burgess Meredith, and Jason Robards, who earlier starred alongside Henry Fonda in the classic WesternOnce Upon a Time in the West. All three genres are represented in this film: Western, comedy, and poker. Is there anything not to like?
7. Rounders (1998): 7.3
Rounders is one of the most well-known films about poker ever made (receiving a significant boost in popularity after poker became big in the mid-2000s). However, according to IMDb, it isn’t the greatest. When the 1998 poker movie Rounders was released, it featured an all-star cast including Matt Damon, Edward Norton, John Turturro, John Malkovich, and Famke Janssen.
Mike McDermott (Damon) and Worm Murphy (Norton) are two pals who are hoping to win large at high-stakes poker in order to pay off some nasty loan sharks who are threatening them.
8. The Cincinnati Kid (1965): 7.3
Eric “The Kid” Stoner (Steve McQueen) stars in The Cincinnati Kid, an adaptation of Richard Jessup’s novel of the same name. The Kid is an aspiring poker player who aspires to play against Lancey “The Man” Howard, played by Edward G. Robinson.
As is typical for McQueen, the film’s poker scenes are both instructive and thrilling.
9. Molly’s Game (2017): 7.4
Molly’s Game, an Aaron Sorkin film, is based on a memoir of the same name by Molly Bloom. Sorkin wrote and directed the film. Skier Bloom was severely injured while attempting to qualify for the Olympics. It wasn’t long until she was running an underground poker enterprise in Los Angeles with a roster of wealthy celebrities, sports, and Russian mob members.
When the FBI started investigating her, she was accused with money laundering and conducting an illegal gambling network, among other charges.
10. Casino Royale (2006): 8.0
Casino Royale is the most card-heavy James Bond film to date, if not the most card-heavy Bond film of all time. When James Bond flies from London to Montenegro to stop terrorist banker Le Chiffre from winning large in the Texas Hold ‘Em tournament, the second act is dominated by poker.
Elaborate scenes of high-class poker gaming are shown in the film, including tuxedos, expensive cocktails, and a beautiful setting. This is the pinnacle of poker, and it’s a joy to see.