The 7 Greatest Poker Movies of All Time!

The gambling industry is frequently represented in extremes in cinematography – from the glitzy casinos of Las Vegas to the unkempt apartment of an unfortunate player who’s lost it all. There are great highs like winning a large pot and terrible lows like loan shark threats. As a result, these films are frequently filled with suspense, action, and sadness. However, some directors are able to capture the lighter side of this lifestyle, creating light-hearted comedies that make you want to seat at the poker table on your next vacation to Vegas or make a bet at the safest Australian internet casinos. With this in mind, we have made the list of the finest poker movies ever filmed. So feel free to pick any of them and have a great time watching.

The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

  • Director: Norman Jewison
  • IMDb user rating: 7.2


“The Cincinnati Kid” stars Steve McQueen as Eric “The Kid” Stoner, a rising Depression-era poker opponent from New Orleans who flaunts his arrogance. Stoner perceives Lancey “The Man” Howard’s visit to the town as an opportunity to dethrone him. They compete in a five-card stud game that starts with six players and culminates in a showdown between the Kid and the Man. The last hand is one of the most famous and contentious situations in the poker film.

Cool Hand Luke (1967)

  • Director: Stuart Rosenberg
  • IMDb user rating: 8.1


“Cool Hand Luke” is a prison drama, although its title is derived from a line spoken by Lucas “Luke” Jackson (Paul Newman) after winning a poker game by bluffing with a meaningless hand. “Sometimes, nothing may be a genuine cool hand,” he replies, inspiring Dragline (George Kennedy) to give him the moniker Cool Hand Luke. For his role in the film, Newman was nominated for an Academy Award, while Kennedy won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

California Split (1974)

  • Director: Robert Altman
  • IMDb user rating: 7.2


“California Split” is a film about addiction, friendship, and the human condition, not only poker. The film stars Elliott Gould and George Segal as two gamblers who become friends. Following a wild ride that starts with Bill Denny (Segal) hitting a big win at a poker table, the pair split their large winnings and eventually part ways.

Atlantic City (1980)

  • Director: Louis Malle
  • IMDb user rating: 7.3


Susan Sarandon plays Sally, a casino waitress who wants to be a blackjack dealer but has an estranged husband whose criminal activities haunt her in “Atlantic City.” Though the film is not primarily about poker, a turning moment occurs during an illicit poker game in a hotel room; this is when the action starts. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Original Screenplay. However, it did not win any of them. Nonetheless, it was added to the Library of Congress’s U.S. National Film Registry in 2003.

Rounders (1998)

  • Director: John Dahl
  • IMDb user rating: 7.3


Anyone who adores poker and gambles at top Aussie casinos from BestAuCasinosOnline ratings watched this movie. The film stars Matt Damon as Mike McDermott, a gifted card player who aims to win the World Series of Poker, but his journey to the prestigious tournament is not simple. Famke Janssen, Martin Landau, John Turturro, Gretchen Mol, Edward Norton, and John Malkovich also star in the film. So the movie cast is just outstanding.

Croupier (1998)

  • Director: Mike Hodges
  • IMDb user rating: 7.0


In “Croupier,” Clive Owen plays Jack Manfred, a failing writer who reluctantly accepts a job as a card dealer at a small casino. The British neo-noir strikes the perfect balance between action and atmosphere, evoking early detective noir films with interior monologues. It also aided Owen in launching his acting career in the United States.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

  • Director: Steven Soderbergh
  • IMDb user rating: 7.7


Though poker is not the central theme of “Ocean’s Eleven,” money, gambling, casinos, and heists are. When it was released in 2001, the remake of the 1960 film of the same name was a box office success. Its ensemble cast (George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia, Bernie Mac, and Julia Roberts) and great entertainment value earned Steven Soderbergh the opportunity to direct two sequels: “Ocean’s Twelve” in 2004 and “Ocean’s Thirteen” in 2007.


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