Top 10 Best Poker Movies for Every Poker Fan

Top 10 Best Poker Movies for Every Poker Fan

Poker is one of the most popular card games in the world, and over the years, it has played a pivotal role in many works of art. 

When it comes to film in particular, there are countless movies in which the protagonists play cards or learn how to play poker on screen at some point, but only a limited number whose action revolves almost entirely around poker. 

If you are a poker fan, there are some movies you absolutely have to watch, as we can guarantee you will find them incredibly exciting and fun from start to finish. 

This is the list of the top 10 poker movies out there, starting with the very best and listing a number of others in no particular order. 

#1 – Rounders

  • Released In: 1998
  • Director: John Dahl
  • Starring: Mat Daemon, Edward Norton
  • IMDB Score: 7.3/10
Rouders Best poker movie

Rounders is one of the few poker movies that can be called a true masterpiece. Coming close to its 30th anniversary, the movie is still watched every year by thousands of avid poker fans who simply can’t get enough of the iconic scenes from this film. 

Starring Matt Damon as Mike McDermott, Rounders follows the life story of a young New York rounder who forgets the cardinal rule of poker and loses his entire bankroll in a single sitting in an underground game against the villain Teddy KGB.

Mike vows to his fiancé that he is done with poker, but when his childhood friend Worm gets out of prison, he is quickly suckered back into the lifestyle he enjoys the most. 

Rounders appeals to many poker players as they can see a little bit of themselves in Mike, Worm, or some of the other characters in the movie, but for many other reasons as well. 

The games and poker hands depicted in the movie may be a bit unrealistic at times, but they paint a pretty good picture of the way poker was in the 90s. 

What’s even more, the movie features cameo appearances of the likes of Jonny Chan, one of the biggest legends of poker, making the movie an absolute must-watch for any would-be poker fan out there. 

#2 – Molly’s Game

  • Released In: 2017
  • Director: Aaron Sorkin
  • Starring: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner
  • IMDB Score: 7.4/10
Molly's Game Best poker movies

Molly’s Game hit the movie theaters much more recently than Rounders, but it quickly became one of the most popular poker movies of all time. 

Featuring Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom, the film follows a story based on real events, as told by Molly Bloom herself in her book. 

Bloom became the hostess of some of the biggest private poker games in Hollywood and New York after starting out not even knowing basic poker terms, and the movie tells the whole story of the things that went down in those games. 

Savvy poker professionals, compulsive gamblers, and other characters you would expect to see in high-stakes private games make Molly’s Game a movie that speaks to every poker player out there. 

If you enjoy watching high-stakes poker games on shows like Hustler Casino Live, Molly’s Game is a movie that you will fall in love with from the very moment you start watching. 

#3 – The Cincinnati Kid

  • Released In: 1965
  • Director: Norman Jewison, Sam Peckinpah
  • Starring: Steve McQueen, Ann-Marget, Edward G. Robinson
  • IMDB Score: 7.2/10

The Cincinnati Kid is a classic from the 60s that may not depict poker in the most realistic of lights, but it paints a reasonable picture of how a poker player’s lifestyle might look in that day and age. 

The film pits “The Kid” against “The Man” in a symbolic fight between a new-school card player and the old guard in a high stakes game of 5 card stud, something we have all had a chance to see in real-time during the era of the Poker Boom and beyond. 

The players back then were a little different, as was the perception of the whole game of poker, but the essence remains more or less the same. 

The Cincinnati Kid is a spectacle definitely worth watching, with a slight warning for those poker fans who might have a problem with watching older movies, as Cincinnati Kid was filmed some 60 years ago, and the audio-visual quality is nothing close to the likes of Molly’s Game. 

#4 – Lucky You

  • Released In: 2007
  • Director: Curtis Hanson
  • Starring: Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, Robert Duvall
  • IMDB Score: 5.9 /10

A fantastic cross-section between the real world of high-stakes poker and fantasy, Lucky You came out in the years of the Poker Boom, and it definitely shows. 

The film tells the story of a young and brash up-and-comer in poker circles who is looking to make a name for himself and get into the World Series of Poker Main Event. 

Action follows Huck (the main protagonist) everywhere he goes, and he never backs out from it, whether at the table or in real life. 

However, while his poker game is sharp, his life skills are often lacking, as he continually fails to create lasting relationships. 

On his way to his dream, Huck encounters love, disappointment, success, and failure and must go up against his father, who is a legend in poker circles. 

The movie features numerous legendary poker players from the real world, like Sammy Farha, Daniel Negreanu, and Phil Hellmuth, and is an absolute must-watch for any poker fan out there. 

#5 – Mississippi Grind

  • Released In: 2015
  • Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
  • Starring: Ben Mendelsohn, Ryan Reynolds, Yvonne Landry
  • IMDB Score: 6.4/10
Mississippi Grind great poker movies

Mississippi Grind somehow managed to be a complete miss at the Box Office, but the movie received plenty of kind reviews from both professional critics and the general audience. 

It follows the story of two gamblers who travel the American South in pursuit of gambling action and with the goal of ridding one of them of his gambling debts. 

Starring none other than Ryan Reynolds, Mississippi Grind is a great story for poker players and everyone else, as it is not as poker-centric as some of the other films on this list. 

Still, Mississippi Grind has to be one of the best poker movies out there, as it tells a story all too familiar to many of us in the gambling world. 

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Mississippi Grind just yet, it’s definitely one you should add to your watch list and get to as soon as possible. 

#6 – Casino Royale

  • Released In: 2006
  • Director: Martin Campbell
  • Starring: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Judi Dench
  • IMDB Score: 8.0/10

Probably the poker movie that was seen by the widest mainstream audience is Casino Royale, and the reason lies in the fact it’s a James Bond movie. 

The 2006 version of James Bond follows the legendary Agent 007, played by Daniel Craig, as he plays high-stakes poker against the film’s villains and brings his unmatched charisma and cool to the tables. 

As is usually the case in James Bond movies, Casino Royale includes much more fighting action than poker hands, but there is just enough card action thrown in to make this a perfect film for any poker fan. 

One thing to note is that the poker hands played in Casino Royale are anything but realistic, and if you have a problem with massive coolers, set-ups, and completely ignoring things like pot odds, this movie might make you cringe at times. 

#7 – Maverick

  • Released In: 1994
  • Director: Richard Donner
  • Starring: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner
  • IMDB Score: 7.0/10

If you think the whole Old West card shark and gambler lifestyle doesn’t sound realistic and is a bit of a joke, Maverick is the best movie for you, as it is a comedy revolving around this exact topic. 

Maverick great poker movies

Maverick follows a poker player playing cards in a fictional city of the American West in the 1850s as he looks to put together enough money to play in a poker tournament. 

Along the way, Maverick (played by none other than Mel Gibson) comes across countless obstacles and looks for innovative ways to get around them, often in a very comical way. 

Maverick is a very lighthearted film and we can guarantee you will have fun watching the action unfold before your eyes, as every sentence out of Maverick’s mouth is likely to make you cackle. 

#8 – All In: The Poker Movie

  • Released In: 2009
  • Director: Douglas Tirola
  • Starring: Karen Abbott, Peter Alson, Nick Brancato
  • IMDB Score: 6.6/10

Do you want to see a poker movie that’s based on real-world poker and has more of a documentary feel to it? Then All In: The Poker Movie is the right film for you. 

Released in 2009, All In: The Poker Movie looks at the events of the so-called “Moneymaker Boom” and follows the development of the game in the early 2000s. 

In the movie, you will see interviews with the likes of Phil Hellmuth, Antonio Esfandiari, Chris Ferguson, and many others. 

While the game has changed dramatically since those days, All In: The Poker Movie remains one of the best poker movies of all time and an important part of poker history. 

#9 – High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story

  • Released In: 2003
  • Director: A.W. Vidmer
  • Starring: Al Bernstein, Andrew N.S. Glazer, Michael Imperioli
  • IMDB Score: 6.0/10

If you have never heard of Stu Ungar, you are probably not much of a student of poker history, but there is plenty of time to become one. 

Ungar is widely considered to be one of the best poker players who ever played the game, as well as the very best gin rummy player in all of history. 

High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story follows the life of Stu Ungar from his youngest age to his untimely death and portrays the life of one of the greatest gamblers ever. 

From his birth in New York, through his early years hustling in gin rummy games and being associated with the mafia, to the great triumphs he had in Las Vegas, this movie will take you on one hell of a journey. 

At the same time, the movie is a cautionary tale, teaching us about all the bad things that led to Ungar’s untimely death and all the traps that gambling life carries with it. 

#10 – Kid Poker

  • Released In: 2015
  • Director: Gary Davis, Francine Watson
  • Starring: Daniel Negreanu, Mike Negreanu, Oren Farkash
  • IMDB Score: 6.7/10
Kid Poker great poker documentary

If you want a look into the real world of poker, Kid Poker is a documentary movie you should definitely watch, as it tells the story of one of the greatest poker players of all time, Daniel Negreanu

Released in 2016 by PokerStars, Kid Poker offers a unique insight into the life and career of Daniel Negreanu, from his early days in Toronto to his high-roller success in Las Vegas and beyond. 

Being one of the most popular poker players in the world, Daniel Negreanu is a name that both poker fans and those outside of the poker community often recognize and speak in awe. 

Whether you are looking for some inspiration to play poker or simply want to learn more about how Daniel got to where he is today, Kid Poker is a documentary you don’t want to miss.

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