Top 5 Poker Movies of All Time

Every sport or game has its classic movies. Hockey has Slapshot. Baseball has A Field of Dreams and The Natural. Basketball has Space Jam, Like Mike, Coach Carter, and more. When it comes to poker, there are five movies that capture its essence.
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Every good movie leaves the viewer wanting more. No matter the subject, the viewer is anchored into their spot, shocked when the movie has come to an end after seemingly no time. For poker aficionados, there are five poker movies that are a must-watch.


Rounders (1998)

Any list of poker movies will have Rounders somewhere near the top. Matt Damon’s Mike McDermott goes through the journey that only high-stakes poker could provide. With dreams of a casino seat at the World Series of Poker, he loses big, gets back into the circuit with his scumbag buddy Worm, and ultimately comes face to face with his destiny. There are countless classic scenes in this one, including the final act showdown with Teddy KGB.


Cincinnati Kid (1965)

Before Rounders, there was The Cincinnati Kid. The oldest film on this list still stands the test of time. Steve McQueen stars as a kid who sets out to prove that he is the best poker player in the game. Set in the 1930s, the focus of the movie is Five Card Stud. McQueen’s character goes on a journey that brings him face to face with Lancey Howard, the unofficial best around.


California Split (1974)

Though it is a light-hearted movie on the surface, this movie goes much deeper than that. This movie takes a deeper dive into the darker sides of poker, how it can entrap anyone and the consequences of getting sucked in. Starring George Segal and Elliott Gould, there is no better look at just how quickly things can go wrong when going for the big win. If you’ve ever sat down at a poker table before, California Split will become very relatable in no time.


Molly’s Game (2017)

Perhaps the last true poker movie to hit theatres, the story is based on the “Poker Queen” Molly Bloom. Starring Jessica Chastain, it takes online players away from the hopes of being able to win real money and showing the world of high-stakes games. It follows her start as a youngster through her epic downfall for organizing illegal poker games.


High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story (2003)

Though not every generation knows the name Stu Ungar, they certainly will after this movie. It follows the story of arguably the greatest poker player to have ever lived. There is an in-depth look at Unger’s life and career, his demons, and how his career ended earlier than expected. It provides a real-life look into the life of a famous, high roller in the poker world like never before.

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