Ranking the Top 5 Best Poker Movies of All Time

It is not a surprise that the game of poker is featured in a lot of movies, as it gives some dramatic effect to a plot. This effect also appeals to the senses of many viewers because it gives them a hint of poker subculture and its effects on poker players. Some of the greatest poker movies ever made are reputable for portraying new poker strategies which give viewers an insight into how the game really works.

5. All In: The Poker Movie

All in: The Poker Movie is a Poker-themed movie released in 2009. The movie is more like a documentary that focuses on how the game of poker rose to prominence. Also, it examines how players play the game in Lavish Casinos in Las Vegas as well as in American living rooms.

This 2009 film narrates the story of Poker from its roots, to the epic Moneymaker’s 2003 win and the infamous Black Friday. Essentially, it gives you a detailed account of how Poker became a hobby for people living in the US and a popular game globally. One striking scene that gives you new insight into the game is the part that shows Moneymaker’s account of his 2003 win. If you are a serious poker player or need to learn about its history, this movie is definitely worth watching.

4. Molly’s Game

Molly’s Game is a 2017 film acted by Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, and other famous Hollywood celebrities, professional players, and businessmen. The movie is based on the true-life story of the “Poker Queen,” Molly Bloom. The Poker Queen was known for running high-stakes games.

The storyline is simply a Hollywood adaptation of Bloom’s life, right from when she was young and aspiring to be an Olympic-class skier to her final downfall for arranging illegal poker games. The overall plot of this movie is not so bad. However, some scenes were exaggerated a bit too much. In all, the movie portrays opulence, glitz and luxury. If you are a true poker player, Molly’s Game is a must-watch for you.

3. Maverick

Maverick is a movie released in 1994 and blends action, comedy and poker. The movie features famous actors like Mel Gibson, James Garner and Jodie Foster. The plot revolves majorly around poker but combined many entertaining and funny subplots. Bret Maverick (the main character), acted by Mel Gibson, finds himself needing an extra three thousand dollars to join an impending winner-takes-it-all poker tournament. Maverick dabbles into gambling to raise the extra cash and combines forces with Annabelle Bransford, played by Jodie Foster.

Maverick’s efforts to raise the extra cash through gambling within a short period leads them to many exciting, funny, and dangerous situations. However, the film remains on a relaxed and light note till the end. The blend of action, comedy and poker makes this movie a good one. The film is suitable for you even if you don’t know anything about the game of poker.

2. The Cincinnati Kid

Released in 1965, The Cincinnati kid is one of the oldest known poker movies. The film features Edward G. Robinson and Steve McQueen. The plot of the movie centers on a young kid, played by Steve McQueen, who sets out on a journey to prove to people that he is the best poker player, peaking in his poker match with Lancy Howard (played by Edward Robinson), who is known to be the best poker player.

In all, the movie is well scripted, with the plot taking place in the 1930s New Orleans. However, it does not portray the game of poker too well because games were hardly played with table stakes, and the rules of the game were based on whatever players consent to.

1. Rounders

Released in 1998, Rounders is arguably the best poker movie of all time. The movie features famous Hollywood stars like Matt Damon, John Malkovich, Gretchen Mol, and Edward Norton. Rounders was the first poker-themed movie to reference a popular poker variation, Texas Hold’em, which was about to be a roaring success globally.

The film tells a simple story of a young man, Mike McDermott (played by Matt Damon) who dreams about becoming a professional poker player and trying his luck in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, McDermott does not fully understand how bankroll management works and loses to Teddy KGB in an underground high-stakes game. After his loss, he promises his girlfriend to quit the game for good but goes back to poker when his friend, Worm, returns from jail.