Comfortable and Furious

5 Best Movies to Watch to Improve Your Gambling Skills

What better way to get into the mood and prepare for an exciting trip to Vegas or a night of poker with friends than to watch gambling based movies? In fact, even if you’re just planning a visit at Royal Vegas to enter an online casino tournament, gambling movies are a great way to feel the buzz while also cementing casino laws in your mind. There are a variety of great films, some based on true stories, so there is bound to be something to inspire every avid casino player.

Owning Mahowny

Owning Mahowny earned a more than respectable IMDB rating of 7.1 stars, by telling the story of a wealthy banker who turns his hand to gambling. This film has a slightly different take to many others as it focuses less on the glamour of the casino and more on the importance of understanding when its best to step back from the table.

Viewers watch as the bankers gambling consumes him and becomes an addiction that he needs to find more funding for. We watch as protagonist Dan Mahowny (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) goes on to embezzle millions of dollars from his employer, to fund his addiction, committing bank fraud in the process. A gripping film overall, and one that will see viewers rooting for Mahowny. Owning Mahowny shows a real-life gambler and the domino effect his addiction has on his life.


Starring Matt Damon, Rounders is a quintessential poker film for all casino fans. Matt Damon, himself a huge poker fan, plays a highly intelligent student who knows his way round a deck of cards. Mike played by Damon, is a poker sensation and finds himself trying to manage his law school studies and a relationship while also being captivated by the underground poker scene that New York has to offer.

In this movie we see Mike take a brief break from gambling but watch as he is drawn back in when an acquaintance of his is released from jail. Mike is trying to earn his stake for the World Series of Poker and the film draws to a close with a make-or-break poker game. Viewers watch as Mike is lead through a series of trials and tribulations to get what he wants. Poker fans will love watching Damon’s character participate in realistic games they can relate to as well as enjoying the camaraderie between poker players.

Molly’s Game

Another true story with a female lead character, Molly’s Game poker takes on a roller coaster of ups and downs as we follow Molly Bloom through her gambling career. Molly begins her adult life as an Olympic class skier, pressured by her father to do her best in the sport. Following an injury, Molly enters the gambling world but goes on to run her own games, which were regarded as the worlds most exclusive and high-stake games around. Molly attracts the attention of FBI agents and we watch as she and her lawyer explain Molly’s actions. Viewers are invited to watch games in great depth, observing as Molly explains tactics over some of the action. A very attention-grabbing film for any casino lover, and a film to learn from.

Cincinnati Kid

Released in 1965, the film Cincinnati Kid is a legendary gambling movie; some critics claim it to be the best poker film ever made. The story line follows Eric ‘the kid’ Stoner (Steve McQueen) in his attempts to establish himself as a successful player. One of the obstacles in the way of achieving this is Lancey ‘the man’ Howard, the current player to beat. Lancey comes to town and the action transpires from there. As viewers go back in time watching this film, the characters can appear a little cliched and perhaps some of the story is a little hard to swallow. Having said that, there is a depth to this film as we see the strength of ambition and morals shining through. This is another gambling film that concludes with a head to head and allows viewers to examine differing tactics.

Hard Eight

Hard Eight is a story of an experienced gambler who takes a budding gambling enthusiast under his wing and teaches him the tricks of the trade. A great film for anyone looking to brush up on some dos and don’ts. It doesn’t take too long before the student becomes a successful player. This film is a crime thriller and sees the two leading characters panic when the police are alerted to their criminal ways. Another perfect gambling film to watch before your trip to the casino.



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