Over the years, there have been countless cinematic tributes to casino culture. From classic movies that depict poker playing in Depression-era America, to opulent portrayals of glamorous casino adventures in modern European gaming parlours, gambling and cinema have a pretty intricate relationship.
So which gambling movies manage to bring those classic casino games come to life and help us feel the thrill of the gaming table from the comfort of our cinema and TV screens?
2014’s The Gambler served up a pretty standard example of how Hollywood views gambling culture. With Mark Wahlberg playing a troubled individual who can’t control his gambling activities, it shows how the lure of riches can be the downfall of even the most gifted gamer.
There are similar battles of the gifted individual against the shadowy underworld in other gambling movies like Owning Mahoney, Rounders and 21. But for an undeniable example of how crime and casino culture can make for a fantastic cinematic experience, then it’s hard to beat Martin Scorsese’s 1995 masterpiece, Casino.
With a monumental cast featuring the likes of Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone and Joe Pesci, it showed the dark side of gambling in the casinos of Las Vegas and would make most of us think twice about trying to win against the mob.
Not that all casino-related movies are so gloomy. The Oceans franchise was endlessly fun and stylish in attempting to pull off a daring heist of a casino in Las Vegas, and it even looks to be getting an all-female revamp in the coming months.
And if the glamour of Ocean’s Eleven didn’t make you instantly rush off to find the best casino signup bonus through Lucky Mobile Casinos, then perhaps Casino Royale could induce a touch of gambling fever.
This 2006 James Bond movie was Daniel Craig’s first in the role of 007, and the sheer opulence of his card game against the villainous Le Chiffre has quickly become one of Bond’s most iconic scenes. And whilst the actual location of the game has been questioned, there’s no denying how Daniel Craig and Mads Mikkelsen managed to make a game of poker look like a matter of life and death.
But whilst all of movies have managed to update these casino games for a new generation, there’s something about classic gambling movies like The Cincinnati Kid, The Sting and California Split that’s almost as timeless as the games themselves.