Top 10 Casino Moments In Movies

In this article, we review 10 casino movies that featured epic gambling scenes that led to the loss of huge sums of money or winning the grand prize.

Let’s face it. There’s almost no chance you’ll ever find yourself fighting mobsters at the tenth floor of a Las Vegas skyscraper before beating them at a high-stakes poker game to win millions of pounds. Yet, that’s how most casinos work, even those that involve minimal action.

In this article, we review 10 casino movies that featured epic gambling scenes that led to the loss of huge sums of money or winning the grand prize.

Casino Royale (2006)

In Daniel Craig’s first film as James Bond, he was tasked with taking down Le Chiffre, a multimillionaire banker who finances terrorist organizations. Bond had a brilliant idea for defeating the banker: he would destroy his investments and force him to gamble his final fortune in a high-stake Texas Hold’em game.

The plan worked, and Le Chiffre faces off Bond in a $10 million buy-in game at the Casino Royale in Montenegro. After several rounds of the villain winning, Bond gets poisoned, and he whisks out of the casino to find an antidote.

The drama heightens in Bond’s absence, but he later arrives in the final round. All the players agree to go all-in, but Bond wins the $115 million cash prize with a straight flush.

Swingers (1996)

If you have a friend who sometimes pretends to know things when they don’t, you should make him or her watch Swingers.  Starring Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn as Mike Peters and Trent Walker respectively, Swingers takes place in Las Vegas. When the friends get into a casino to have some fun, the struggling comedian creates some awkward yet hilarious moment when he attempts to act like a high roller. At one moment, Mike attempts to force his way into a $1000 buy-in blackjack tournament with only $300. But Trent quickly steps in and teaches him how to play the game.

Rounders (1998)

Trouble brews when Mike McDermott (played by Matt Damon) links up his ex-convict friend Lester Murphy (Edward Norton), who isn’t ready to quit his criminal habits. He starts by wasting $10,000 using Mike’s credit but quickly ramps up the debt to $15,000.

Mike’s problems worsen when Russian mobster Teddy “KGB” gets involved in the saga and asks him to repay the money within a week. Being the gifted player he is, the law student agrees to play against KGB in a high stake underground poker game.

When Mike and Trent attend the main event at a club run by KGB, they come risking their lives. But Mike remains calm even when taunted by his opponent wins enough money to pay off his debts in the end.

Goodfellas (1990)

Goodfellas was so good when it came out that it was selected to be preserved in the National Film Registry. Starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesci, the film depicts the rise and fall of Henry Hill and his criminal family. Goodfellas takes place mostly in night clubs where the mobsters spend most of their time drinking, hitting on women, and gambling. The characters are mean-hearted and quick to anger, which often leads to unexpected gang shootings and murders. But it’s these scenes that make Goodfellas unpredictable, tense yet exciting to watch.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

When Brad Pitt and George Clooney teamed up to create Ocean’s Eleven, everyone knew it would be a great film. But what no one expected was to see Pitt teach a group of enthusiastic learners how to play poker. Pitt does it with a dose of hilarity as he says, “I’m not sure what four nines do, but the ace, I think, is pretty high.” I also love “all reds.”

Run Lola Run (1998)

At standard fruity slots UK casinos online, there are odds of winning every game. The odds of winning European roulette, for instance, are 1 in every 36 attempts. In Run Lola Run, also, the main character gets into a roulette game. But her odds of winning a game where she bets the ball to land on number 20 black are 1 in 1,296 attempts. She needs money, urgently or her boyfriend could get murdered. So, when she gets into a casino and bets all her chips on the number 20 repeatedly, it creates remarkable moments. She wins all her bets, though, which go on to show that odds don’t matter in casino movies.

The Gambler (2014)

Put aside the thought that the original 1974 version of The Gambler will always be a classic. Mark Wahlberg recreated the film beautifully in 2014 and produced some spectacular scenes. Mark’s character, Professor Bennet, is a compulsive gambler who can’t help himself from borrowing money. But when he earns the courage to face off his debtors and bets successfully in the final round, you’ll be left sighing in relief as much as the professor does.

Rain Man (1998)

When Charlie Babbit inherits a fortune from his father and also discovers he has an autistic elder brother called Raymond, he joins up with him. Raymond follows strict routines and can be challenging to communicate with. But he has one exceptional talent. He’s a mental calculator, a skill the two later uses to count cards in Las Vegas and win $86,000.

The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

Looking back at the best casino movies of the 20th century; The Cincinnati Kid ranks as one of the most enduring. It features a simple premise, but it’s immersive and unpredictable. When a young poker player sets out to beat the best player in the world, he comes close to winning. But his lack of experience and the older player’s ability to read his opponent wins him the game.

The Sting (1973)

Robert Redford and Paul Newman had combined to make several successful films throughout their careers. In The Sting, the duo play characters set out to con a criminal boss through gambling. It was a massive dare that nearly costs their lives. But after taking you through a series of nail-biting scenes, the pair succeeds their mission.


Amilia Totten
About the Author
Amilia Totten is a freelance writer, photographer and erstwhile time-waster. Her eclectic film favourites include the latest Hollywood blockbuster to European avant-garde and the joys of Bollywood.

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