Best Poker Movies to Watch by Every Poker Player

Last updated on : 24 Jun, 2024


Pop culture and cinema have long been captivated by poker, as it symbolizes both risk and reward. This game blends strategy, psychology, and luck, making it a rich subject for storytelling. Poker reflects broader themes of ambition, deception, and the human condition.

From smoky back rooms to the glitzy casinos of Las Vegas, poker scenes have been pivotal in films and TV shows, often illustrating intense moments of triumph and despair.

The card game's allure goes beyond the table, influencing fashion, language, and character personalities, solidifying poker's place as a cultural icon that continues to fascinate and entertain audiences worldwide.

Below, We Have Listed 10 Poker Movies that are worth watching

1. The Cincinnati Kid (1965), Dir: Newman Jewison

Set in the 1930s, The Cincinnati Kid follows Eric Stoner (Steve McQueen), a young poker player known as “The Kid,” who aims to prove himself against the best. He challenges Lancey “The Man” Howard (Edward G. Robinson), the reigning poker champion.

As the game progresses, personal relationships and moral dilemmas come into play. The climactic showdown is a tense exploration of skill, luck, and human nature, highlighting the highs and lows of competitive poker.

2. The Sting (1973), Dir: George Roy Hill

In 1930s Chicago, small-time con artist Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) and seasoned grifter Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) team up to take down a ruthless crime boss, Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw), through an elaborate poker scam.

The Sting is a masterclass in deception and strategy, showcasing intricate cons and the importance of reading opponents. The clever twists and turns in the film keep viewers guessing until the final hand, making it a timeless classic in the realm of poker and con movies.

3. House of Games (1987), Dir: David Mamet

House of Games centers on Dr. Margaret Ford (Lindsay Crouse), a successful psychiatrist and author intrigued by the world of con artists.

When one of her patients reveals he owes a debt to a gambler named Mike (Joe Mantegna), Margaret visits Mike to help. She becomes fascinated by the art of the con and agrees to participate in a high-stakes poker game.

As she delves deeper, Margaret is drawn into a web of deception, manipulation, and psychological intrigue, blurring the lines between reality and the con. The film is a gripping psychological thriller that explores trust and deception.

4. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Dir: Guy Ritchie

Four friends, Eddy (Nick Moran), Tom (Jason Flemyng), Soap (Dexter Fletcher), and Bacon (Jason Statham), pool their money for Eddy to enter a high-stakes poker game against crime lord Hatchet Harry (P.H. Moriarty).

When Eddy loses and ends up heavily in debt, the friends must come up with a plan to repay Harry, leading them into a chaotic world of heists, drug dealers, and gangsters.

This film by Guy Ritchie blends dark humor, suspense, and action, with poker playing a pivotal role in the plot’s twists and turns.

5. Rounders (1998), Dir: John Dahl

Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) is a law student and a skilled poker player who loses his entire savings in a high-stakes game against Russian mobster Teddy “‘KGB” (John Malkovich). Mike later chooses to abstain from poker, focusing on his studies and girlfriend Jo (Gretchen Mol). 

However, when his friend Lester “Worm” Murphy (Edward Norton) is released from prison with a hefty debt, Mike is drawn back into the world of underground poker to help Worm.

The film explores the tension between pursuing one's passion and dealing with responsibilities, culminating in a climactic rematch with Teddy KGB.

6. High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003), Dir: A.W. Vidmer

This is a biographical film that tells the story of Stu Ungar (Michael Imperioli), one of the greatest poker and gin rummy players of all time.

The film traces Ungar’s life from his troubled youth to his rise in the gambling world, his personal struggles, and his eventual downfall due to drug addiction.

High Roller offers an intimate look at the mind of a genius gambler, capturing both the exhilarating highs and devastating lows of a life dedicated to poker.

7. Shade (2003), Dir: Damian Nieman

Shade is a neo-noir film about a group of hustlers - Vernon (Stuart Townsend), Charlie (Gabriel Byrne), and Tiffany (Thandie Newton) - who team up to con “The Dean” (Sylvester Stallone), a legendary poker player.

The plot weaves through a series of elaborate cons and double-crosses, leading to a climactic poker game where the stakes are higher than ever. The film highlights the art of the bluff and the psychological aspects of poker, with a stylish and suspenseful narrative.

8. Casino Royale (2006), Dir: Martin Campbell

The twenty-first movie of the James Bond franchise, Casino Royal sees James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a mission to bankrupt terrorist financier Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) in a high-stakes poker game at the Casino Royale in Montenegro.

As the game progresses, Bond navigates treacherous waters, balancing his efforts to win the game and stop Le Chiffre while dealing with double agents and romantic entanglements with Vesper Lynd (Eva Green).

The film includes exciting poker sequences in addition to espionage action, showcasing the strategic mind of Bond.

9. Mississippi Grind (2015), Dir: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn), a down-on-his-luck gambler, meets charismatic poker player Curtis (Ryan Reynolds) at a casino. The two form an unlikely friendship and set off on a road trip through the South to win back Gerry’s losses and change their fortunes at a high-stakes poker game in New Orleans.

Mississippi Grind is a character-driven film that explores themes of addiction, friendship, and the pursuit of the big win, with compelling performances and a gritty, realistic portrayal of the gambling world.

10. Molly’s Game (2017), Dir: Aaron Sorkin

Based on a true story, Molly’s Game follows Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain), a former Olympic skier who runs one of the most exclusive high-stakes poker games in the world. Hosting celebrities, business tycoons, and eventually, the Russian mob, Bloom’s poker empire grows until she is arrested by the FBI.

The film delves into Bloom’s rise and fall, her legal battles, and her relationship with her lawyer, Charlie Jaffey (Idris Elba). It is a gripping tale of ambition, risk, and redemption.


When discussing top-tier poker movies, these films offer a winning combination of entertainment that appeals to both dedicated poker enthusiasts and avid moviegoers.

Whether exploring timeless classics or modern narratives centered around poker, these cinematic experiences promise to captivate audiences with their compelling storytelling and engaging portrayals of the game.

Play Poker and Earn Real Money with Spartan Poker

Play real money poker on Spartan Poker and have a fun experience! So, what's holding you back? Come join in the fun and try your hand at some of our outstanding poker games.

Related Articles

Our Testimonials

Tanmaya inverted_comma

Spartan poker is one of the best platform where tournament buyins are convenient to your pocket with good prize structure. I have won multiple tournaments in spartan poker and would like to recommend it to all my friends


Deepak Bothra inverted_comma

Thanks Spartan Poker for promoting tournaments in India unlike any other website. Also the site has started unique promotions which competition had to follow without choice and ultimately created huge value for players.

Deepak Bothra

Samay Modi inverted_comma

Spartan Poker has been providing a platform that has changed the face of poker in India. From mind blowing promotions for new and existing players as well as the widest range of value tournaments, they have been successful in ensuring the best online poker experience.

Samay Modi


Best 5 Player Card Games to Play

In India, card games have become an integral part of...

Read More