by John Todd on May 1, 2023

in Extras,Film

Almost all movies and TV shows with a casino scene quickly make it into classic cult status. Films that feature casino scenes are usually fast-paced, with a strong build-up and intense and exciting soundtracks.

Something that always comes up is that there are usually a couple of mistakes in casino scenes in order for the movie to be more exciting. You are more likely to see hands that are almost impossible or card counting that is far beyond what you might see on a regular casino table.

It used to be that online casino games didn’t hold up when pitched against movies and real-life casinos; however, with new technology, live casino games on websites like Virgin Games are possible!

But what are the best movies with live casino scenes?

Casino (1995)

Casino is often mentioned as one of the best casino movies of all time and features some actors that are now synonymous with casino gangsters and the mob. Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro play strong leads in this movie, and after the massive success of Goodfellas – Casino was always going to be a hit.

There are some strong gang themes in Casino, while they show plenty of in-casino play; they don’t focus completely on the gameplay. Casino isn’t a movie for the faint of heart, and it does lean into the history of Las Vegas and the mob – power, money, lies, and family fallouts.

Molly’s Game

What sets Molly’s Game apart from many other smash-hit casino movies is that it is based on the real experience of a poker ring. The book is available to buy, written by Molly Bloom – and it is packed with details and experiences of her time with high-profile celebrities.

The movie has an interesting way of teaching about the games that are in play and the play style of many of the players. It also talks about the house advantage and how the poker ring was run.

While the movie doesn’t out and out name any of the celebrities who are playing, you can easily find who is being represented on screen by heading to a search website like Google.

Molly’s Game, while it does have some exaggerations, adheres pretty much to the book, and all the details about how to play and strategy is factual.

Casino Royale

For James Bond fans you’ll already know that the game James actually played was Baccarat. For the 2006 Casino Royale movie, it was changed so that viewers would be treated to a high-octane, intense Texas Hold’em poker game.

The reason for such a big change was that the directors felt that people would resonate more with a poker game.

The scene has been hailed as one of the best casino scenes of all time. James Bond faces one of the hardest games of his life against Le Chiffre. The stakes get higher and higher, and in case you haven’t seen it, there are no spoilers here – but it is one of the most intense scenes in the movie.

Rain Man

Anyone who loves 80’s movies will have enjoyed Rain Man and probably more than once. Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise are the main characters and play brothers – one who wastes money away and is in debt – and the other who has an incredible gift. What starts out as one brother taking advantage of the other turners into something else as the movie goes on.

However, we see both the brothers play some big winning hands of Blackjack.

One of the most iconic scenes from Rain Man is played out in The Hangover, where one of the main characters attempts to count cards.

Cincinnati Kid

A rising star faces off against an old pro. Lancey Howard is a veteran player who has nerves of steel, high confidence, and sharp instincts. At the same time, the up-and-comer Eric Stoner is the young, cool, and slightly detached player who is out to make a name for himself.

We see these players circle each other looking for body language and tells to give them a competitive advantage. One of the best things about the Cincinnati Kid movie is that they waste no time in getting into the story – meaning you’re going to be hooked in seconds!

What makes The Cincinnati Kid stand out is that there are a few twists and turns, and the writers do an incredible job of leading you to think one thing – while something completely different happens.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

While Ocean’s Eleven is highly entertaining, not everything they show is factually correct. However, that doesn’t detract from the very cool casino scenes or how luxurious and sleek Vegas can look.

There are a lot of witty one-liners, and if you have never seen the movie, you are in for a treat when everything is revealed. While most casino movies offer some mob, violence, and more, Ocean’s Eleven leans more into a comedy.

If you’re into poker or any card games these are a great place to start – as is the movie Rounders!

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