7 Game-Changing Gambling Movies

Game-Changing Gambling Films

There are both positive and negative benefits to watching  gambling movies. Did you know that watching comedies can lower your blood pressure? Laughing for long periods of time dilates the blood vessels and a study found that intense laughter for 15 minutes has the same effect on the cardiovascular system as exercising. The movies you watch not only affect you but they can also condition you to think outside of the box. A study of young children watched clips from the Harry Potter movies and thereafter, scored significantly higher on a creative thinking test than children who had watched a different movie. Train your game-face to to perform at it’s full potential by watching gambling movies that inspire the gambler within to be more creative than usual.

How Movies Affects the Brain

Everything one observes and experiences eventually affects the way in which they think. In this way, the brain is always growing, rewiring and responding to experiences and stimuli. Movies were invented to shape the brain into believing because the writer of the story always has an agenda. Basic stories like myths of a hero overcoming the odds, of a man who sacrifices himself for the greater good, these both demonstrate life lessons. And just like a boxer trains in the gym, they’re just as keen to watch matches at home in which, they are still watching and learning the game. Watching game-changing gambling movies are just as beneficial as playing the odds since the viewer in effect, chooses the story they wire their brain with and therein, benefits from its result. 

Every story needs to have two elements: good guys, bad guys, and a story structure that reveals a beginning, middle and end. What happens in between that story arch is what gamblers already know too well. Gambling movies hinge on spectacular odds, auspicious choices, and affirmative decisions. The stakes are high and with so much to win there also comes the peril of having much is loose. In watching movies one absorbs a narrative that can affect your brain’s wiring and for that, movies matter.

Gambling Movies rewire your mental game

Films shape and craft the lens through which one sees the world. By watching movies, one inherently relaxes and they let their guard down. Yet with your guard down, the part of your brain that is susceptible to suggestion is subconsciously creating your mythology and your belief system. When all is considered, an incredible responsibility is placed on the viewer. The viewer has to choose what they view as carefully as those on a diet would consider what they put into their bodies. As sure as food is fuel, thoughts are too and our thoughts are the stories we tell ourselves.

The following gambling movies are suggested for their fantastic love of the game for better or for worse. Their lessons of facing obstacles, playing and overcoming the odds make for poignant storylines rife with as much gaming insight as they are entertaining. All of the films selected cover a wide range of ‘gambling-related topics,’ from casino gambling to online gambling to hustling and to gambling in life. One can’t always be gambling, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experience that same excitement outside of the casino. By watching game-changing gambling movies, punters possess the potential to rewire their game all together.

7.  ROUNDERS   (1998)

“Rounders” tells the Hollywood happily-ever-after story of compulsive gambling. The hero, Matt Damon gambles away his tuition money, his girlfriend, his law degree and almost his life but somehow in the end, he’s still a happy gambler. While most gambling movies are dire warnings, Rounders is a sensational gambling recruiting poster. As for poker movies go, it’s knowledgeable and entertaining even if it’s predictable. It is set within the pro-poker underground of New York and Atlantic City. There’s the dynamic, clean-cut, young gun Mike McDermott (Damon) going at it in the world of cutthroats pro poker players. 

It becomes necessary for Mike and Worm, a friend who was just released from prison, to win a lot of money really quickly or be hurt very badly. The movie then becomes about the places they go and the people they encounter while trying to win big. Great quotes relevant to gambling are served making this gambling movie relevant and relatable at number 7. 

“If you can’t spot the sucker in your first half hour at the table, you are the sucker.”

Rounders sells the glamorized, romanticized allure of Poker. It consists of gamers that thrive and live off of brief bursts of winnings and the adrenaline that comes with it, generated by stake betting as well as risking everything that you own or can borrow. This gambling movie recreates the thrill and fear of betting and risking it all. The story arch of Matt Damon’s character Mike has the talented hero winning, losing, facing disaster, and then at last redemption against the champ. 


6.  21    (2008)

21 is a 2008 American heist drama, it’s a gambling movie directed by Robert Luketic. The film is inspired by the true story of the MIT Blackjack Team as told in Bringing Down the House, the best-selling book by Ben Mezrich. Senior math major Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess) of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is accepted into Harvard Medical School, but he cannot afford the $300,000 fee.

Despite a high MCAT score and top grades, Ben faces competition for a prestigious Scholarship that would help pay for his tuition. They’re told that the scholarship will go to the student who “dazzles” the professor. So Ben does just that in a paper he writes on non-linear equations. His professor, Rossa (Kevin Spacey) invites him onto a Blackjack team that enjoys its card counting success in  Las Vegas.

Ben Campbell: [narrating] I let down my good friends. But as it turns out, they weren’t too bad at simple math either.

Ben Campbell: [narrating] I scored the prettiest girl in school.

Ben Campbell: [narrating] I got beaten down by an old-school Vegas thug who was having trouble accepting his retirement. But I worked out a deal with him that got him a nice pension.

Ben Campbell: [narrating] And then I lied to my mother. But I confessed the lie. And, well, she still loved me.

Ben Campbell: [narrating] So my senior year of college, I joined this team. And I learned this new skill. I went to Vegas 17 times to use it. I made hundreds of thousands of dollars counting cards.

Ben Campbell: [Ben sits across from the professor] And then I had it all stolen from me. Twice. How’s that for a life experience, professor? Did I dazzle you? Did I jump off the page?

5.  THE HUSTLER    (1961)

The pool shark played by Paul Newman in “The Hustler” (1961) is an incredible gambling movie. The film is not about the hero’s victory in the final pool game, but instead it’s about his defeat by pool, by life, and by his lack of character. This time, Hollywood created a hero that wins in essence by surrendering and accepting reality instead of his dreams.

Billiards is the forte of the protagonist, but there are no attempt to follow the pool game shot by shot, or even to explain the rules of the game. Instead the storyline is based on the players challenging one another’s inner strength while playing a game that depends largely on bluff, self-confidence, money management and psychology. The world of pool halls comes with seedy characters and derisive dialogues. But in billiards just like in life, a gamer’s technique eventually reveals what you are made of, and pool is a game where skill can carry you only so far.

Bert: You got talent.

Eddie: So I got talent? So what beat me?

Bert: Character.

WATCH THE HUSTLER TRAILER NOW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7aFFqz2bXU

4.  THE STING     (1973)

Johnny Hooker (Robert Redford) is a clever con-artist as well as a cool, calm and sometimes brash individual. But any true gambler can relate to the character in this gambling movie just the same. The Sting is full of crime, corruption and revenge and it is set in the 1930’s in Chicago. It tells the story of Hooker and his partner Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) having to implement a heist on an unscrupulous gangster. 

The story is based around the themes of murder, revenge, deception and greed. Characters in “The Sting” are difficult to trust just like in life. For example, Paul Newman’s Gondorff often has a congenial smile on his face, yet his furtive overall look is that of a big-time con. The essence of 1930’s Chicago is alive and well in the characters in, “The Sting,” with impeccable attention to detail in regards to wardrobe, setting and props.

“Not only are you a cheat, but you’re a gutless cheat as well.”

“The Sting” may at first appear to be like a Noir in that it depicts the protagonist’s rise in wealth and success, but then heavily focuses on his downfall. Yet “The Sting” does not exactly go in that direction and it is ultimately “anti-noir” in many ways. Overall, this mystery thriller is eloquent and smart with solid, honest characters and strong performances. This game-changing gambling movie is intriguing with specific attention given to its detail and it’s smartly executed and surprisingly delightful.



3. THE GAMBLERS    (1974)

It all begins with the statement: “Jeez, Axel, I never seen such bad cards,” It’s Axel Freed standing in the kitchen of a New York apartment and he has never seen such bad cards either. He draws so many lousy poker hands in a row that he’s $44,000 into debt. And he doesn’t have the money, but because it’s been a game of high stakes and big rollers, he has to find it somewhere or be in heavy trouble.

That’s how Karel Reisz’s The Gambler begins with insurmountable odds. Axel Freed is not just a gambler, he’s a compulsive gambling man in his mid-thirties who is also working as an university literature teacher. He teaches the Classics yet, he doesn’t just teach their works so much as he justifies his own gambling obsessions. When he asks what Thoreau is saying, or what Dostoyevski is saying, he cries out.

“They’re saying, to take risks! To put the self on the line!”

Axel has to fight his own dangers in this gambling movie and the ultimate risk in his life as a gambler is that behind his bookies and betting cronies is the the lurking Mafia.  Mafia consists of guys who takes unpaid bets like him and if he can’t pay one way, they’ll make him pay another way.

 “It’s out of my hands,” his pal Hips explains. “A bad gambling debt has got to be taken care of.”

There’s a scene in The Gambler that has James Caan locked in a basement room, waiting to meet a Mafia boss who heatedly demands that his legs be broken for an unpaid debt. This as well as other scenes in the movie pit the character in such heightening moments of tension it keeps the viewer baited and leaning on the edge of their seat.


2. CASINO ROYALE     (2006)

Armed with a licence to kill, Secret Agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) sets out on his first mission as 007. He must defeat a weapons dealer in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale. The plot centers on a high-stakes poker game, where Bond attempts to deprive Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) of 10 million pounds that would finance terrorism. With enough chases and stunts to prove Casino Royale is an action-adventure, the house always win policy will ultimately be challenged by Bond. And by overcoming the odds stacked against him, Bond comes comes out on top in this gambling movie with a babe in tow, because he’s Bond. James Bond.

Vesper Lynd: You love me?

James Bond: Enough to travel the world with you until one of us has to take an honest job… which I think is going to have to be you, because I have no idea what an honest job is.

 1. CASINO    (1995)

It is the early 1970s, in Las Vegas where a low-level mobster named Sam “Ace” Rothstein (Robert De Niro) gets promoted by his bosses to head the Tangiers Casino. In the beginning, he’s successful in the job. Over the years however, problems ensue which put Sam in ever-increasing danger. Casino is an iconic cult classic gambling film and it ranks number 1 in this herein game-changing gambling movies list because of its epic portrayal of the highs and the lows of the gambling industry. Martin Scorsese directs this adaptation of Nicholas Pileggi’s book in which, the viewer learns a lot about the Mafia in Las Vegas from the true story of a man who once ran four casinos for the mob.

This gambling movie “Casino” is as truthful with its history as it is with its plot and characters. The city of Las Vegas is the setting, in which he shows people like Ace, Ginger and Nicky thriving until one day, they too are chewed up and spit out. All in all, the Sin City slot machine is too lucrative and powerful to allow anyone to slow its greedy and often seedy operation.

Ace Rothstein: [voice-over] In Vegas, everybody’s gotta watch everybody else. Since the players are looking to beat the casino, the dealers are watching the players. The box men are watching the dealers. The floor men are watching the box men. The pit bosses are watching the floor men. The shift bosses are watching the pit bosses. The casino manager is watching the shift bosses. I’m watching the casino manager. And the eye-in-the-sky is watching us all.