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What are some of the best movies with gambling themes?

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Movies about gambling have inherent drama, owing to the risk involved. Gamblers in gambling movies are seen to be cautious and prudent whilst putting their well-being on the line for that one big score. 

Gambling is undoubtedly a fascinating activity, and the excitement has won the hearts of millions which is why the genre has seen such success on the silver screen over the last five decades. 

New research from an online gaming aggregator recently crowned 1973 ‘The Sting’ and 2001 hit film ‘Oceans’ Eleven’ as the ultimate gambling films of all time, due in part to their box office success.

The two films topped the list of 12 popular casino-based films scored against a number of criteria including their box-office earnings, the number of accolades received and their current IMBD rating.

As well as the various locations each film was set in and how glamorous or gambling related these were, as well as whether the main character was ‘lucky’ in the end or not.

So, whether you’re looking for tips on how to win big and beat the house or just looking for some chip-stacking ASMR, British gambler has pulled together a few notable films with themes for gambling enthusiasts to explore.

Our top picks of the ultimate gambling themed movies you should watch

  1. Casino (1995)  

Directed by Martin Scorsese, Casino showcases the glamorous and mysterious Vegas lifestyle experienced by regular people. Robert De Niro plays the role of Sam Ace, a former gangster who leads an everyday life and works for a reputed casino in Vegas. Soon he is joined by his old friend, Joe Pesci, a mafia boss. The trio then join hands to cheat the system. The movie, however, also showed their downfall and was brought down by the FBI, corrupt government officials, and angry mafia leaders.  

  1. The Gambler (1974) 

The Gambler conveys the story of a university professor with an addiction to casino gambling. The film progresses with the destruction of Caan, with his mental state becoming precarious. Slowly, his habit of borrowing increases with the need for thrills, threatening to endanger his life further. The film builds to a brilliant climax and a steady crescendo. It also had its share of a remake in 2014, starring Mark Wahlberg.  

  1. Uncut gems (2019) 

This is one of the best gambling movies to have intrigued gambling enthusiasts. The movie is darker and reflects Howie’s chaotic descent into financial turmoil. His association with dodgy characters makes for tense viewing, which, although it might be exhaustive for a beginner, is a thrill for a professional British gambler. The movie ends with a noble teaching of how you should not gamble more than you can afford to lose.  

  1. Ocean’s Eleven (2001) 

The movie revolves around Danny Ocean, a known thief who assembles a group of con artists to steal from prominent casinos in Vegas. The theft is an act of personal revenge, as the three casinos are owned by Danny’s rival, Terry Benedict. The movie stands out for its legendary cast, which includes superstars such as Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, etc. In addition, the movie combines several comic references and presents the combined beauty of elegance and glamour.  

  1. High Roller (2003) 

The movie is a well-articulated biographical offering for gamblers. Although it is not a high-octane thriller, it weaves around the story of an intelligent, promising young man and his addiction. The story unfolds by showing his phenomenal poker-playing habits. The movie not only entertains audiences but also teaches them about the best poker-playing skills.   

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