Movies About Poker

15 Best Movies About Poker About Poker

Movies About Poker

Movies about gambling and casinos are everywhere. Since it’s in our blood, the temptation to live like those that we’re watching is really hard to resist. But not all of the movies that are about gambling are about gaming for a big payoff. In fact, there are plenty of poker-based movies. Whether they include poker or not, all of these films have a story about losing big to some lucky character, sometimes a well-known one.

15 best movies about poker:

King of Vegas

What are the chances of two unrelated poker movies being featured on the list of the best poker movies? They’re pretty close to one, and in the case of King of Vegas the odds are ½. With the tagline “Win big and lose your soul”, the movie stars George Hamilton, Bill Clinton and Sylvester Stallone, and follows the loser of a top poker tournament as he battles it out in Las Vegas. A variation on the story, King of New York tells the story of the best poker player in the world who, in an effort to lose the image of being a wealthy, fast-living player, loses all his money.

The High Roller

Robert Duvall’s (who, like Bill Clinton, has been portrayed in movies as well) story is more like those of the other poker-focused movies, about the kind of person who has to bet all his chips to win, and has to deal with the consequences of being a gambler. A Las Vegas gambler named Fitz teams up with an ex-stripper and her parrot in order to win big and help them to return to their old lives. The High Roller also stars Dennis Quaid, Billy Bob Thornton and Lisa Marie Presley.


The best of the poker-focused movies from the 1990’s, Rounders stars Matt Damon as Matt King and Edward Norton as Brendan Donnelly. This is the story of a student at Harvard who comes to the United States from Ireland in order to learn how to play poker, after a chance meeting with a fellow student, Kevin Morrissey (Dennis Quaid). Both are students of Harvard Law School, but unlike Matt King, Kevin Morrissey can’t afford to go, being left in the care of his aunt and uncle. With the help of Matt King and two friends, Brendan is able to beat the local poker clubs in order to earn his tuition back and to play in bigger games, eventually becoming the best player in the world.

Down By Law

One of the biggest poker movies of the 1980’s, Down By Law tells the story of Wade MacLeod (played by Tom Hanks), a young black man who gets drafted into the army and befriends Nelson, the only black soldier in his company. Upon his discharge, Nelson joins Wade on the road to stardom as poker players. The story involves, as it does with many other poker movies, the loss of all the money in a high-stakes game, and what happens next.

The Hustler

One of the most famous poker movies of all time, The Hustler tells the story of the famed hustler, Billy Walters. Billy (played by Paul Newman) joins the Navy, and while on leave from school he comes into some money and forms a partnership with his friend Bobby Baldwin. While Billy is in his teens, his brother has committed suicide. With the help of Bobby, Billy begins working at his uncle’s pool hall in LA and soon draws the attention of underworld figures, all of whom want to get a cut of Billy’s game.

The Last Poker Game

I’ll start this one off with a confession: I haven’t seen this movie yet, but the trailer for it looks pretty interesting. The Last Poker Game is a film about the breakup of two rival poker teams, and follows one of the former players as he seeks a rematch with one of his exes. Charlie Sheen plays the main character, Joe Nicks.

For the Boys

The story of the late-life realization of the importance of family, in which a man ends up single and ends up playing Texas Hold ‘Em to make up for his father’s gambling debts, in order to pay off the bad investments his father made in the stock market. The movie is also about the head of the family, who has seen all his sons die in a motorcycle accident, yet has to battle the IRS to get them to leave his family alone.

Let It Ride

Bond is a gambler on a quest for financial security. On a trip to Nevada, he ends up playing poker with a murderer who’s looking to collect on some of the bad debts Bond owes to a loan shark. What follows is a tense and disturbing movie, based on an award-winning novel of the same name.

The Big Short

The Big Short, with Adam McKay directing, tells the story of a group of unqualified bond analysts in the investment banking field. Over the course of the movie, they make huge bets with other investors on the financial markets, predicting that the housing market would crash. The movie ends on a horrible cliffhanger, in which the analysts are on the hook for billions.

The House of Games

The film stars Jack Black as Alex Karp, a child prodigy and poker Phenom. When his grandfather and father lose all of their money, Alex is forced to play poker in order to win enough to keep his family in the style to which they’ve become accustomed. It was an early preview of another Jack Black film, Hotel Transylvania, which was released the same year as the poker film, but did not see the light of day until three years later. It later had a direct sequel, Hotel Transylvania 2. You can watch it on Netflix Instant.

The Big Short

The same team from the movie above made the sequel, The Big Short. The same names are in the cast, including Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling, but it is a completely different film. It is based on the same book, but was made to be more of a comedy. There was a reference in the movie to New York Times poker columnist William Neff, the first celebrity in poker to write an autobiography.

Get Shorty

Wet Willie wager that their partner Miles, an alcoholic screenwriter, will be able to score a lucrative script from a Hollywood studio. But Miles is in way over his head and decides to get a job as a bootlegger, partnering with a Hollywood producer in a highly illegal trade. The two of them try to make as much money as possible by bootlegging as many liquor bottles as they can in the middle of Prohibition. There’s lots of comedy, and the main character Miles gets involved in many other interesting and even more illegal things. This is an early 1990’s movie based on the novel by Elmore Leonard. It is one of the better movies based on a novel that I’ve seen.

Nine Hold’em

A poker movie with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Starring Billy Bob Thornton and Kevin Costner, along with some other big names. About a man who steals the identity of a Texas millionaire in order to make a living. He’s forced to enter a high stakes poker game in order to cover up his “crime.” It’s a good movie, and there are great poker scenes.

Poker Face

The film stars Jennifer Aniston as Alice Jones, a rock star whose career takes off after a duet with a fan goes viral. Her newfound fame attracts the attention of a ruthless music exec, who convinces her to become a songwriter, in order to launch her career. It has a lot of great performances and a very good plot. It isn’t just a good movie; it’s great movie.

High Stakes Poker

Matthew McConaughey has a supporting role in this movie. An up and coming poker player decides to test himself against the best in the game. The movie is quite interesting, and is a little different from most poker movies. Instead of the game just being about money, there’s a lot of character building and personal issues involved. It ’s a pretty good movie. You can watch it on Netflix Instant. It’s a poker movie with a pretty solid plot. It has a lot of character building and personal issues involved, which will make it quite different from most poker movies. It’s also based on a poker novel.


These are just some of the poker movies that I think are worth watching. There are many more good ones out there, but these are some of the best. I am a big fan of poker movies, especially ones about poker. I am sure that there are tons of poker movies that I’ve missed, so let me know in the comments. Have you seen any good poker movies? Share your views below.

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