6 Best Poker Movies
Sometimes there’s nothing like losing yourself in a movie — and these poker movies are great films for any poker fan. Some of these movies aren’t about poker as much as gamblers or Las Vegas, but all feature at least one poker scene and are simply wonderful to watch:
We must admit, many were introduced to the world of no-limit Texas Hold’em through this 1998 movie starring Matt Damon and Ed Norton. There’s still no other movie that’s about modern-day poker like this one, and the marathon poker session that Damon’s character goes through to help save Norton’s “the worm” is great. With a cameo by Johnny Chan and some great (though sometimes over-quoted) lines, this is a must-see.
This movie won’t teach anyone how to play poker, but it is a fun film that captures the old-west image of back-alley bars, cowboys, and cards. Maverick, played by Mel Gibson, travels with the original Maverick, James Garner, and Jodie Foster to the biggest poker tournament of the day — a riverboat five-card draw winner takes all contest.
III. The Cincinatti Kid
A poker classic, famous for its final climatic hand between Steve McQueen’s “The Kid,” and Edward Robinson’s Lancey Howard. The film follows the young card player through New Orleans as he tries to win the title of the best poker player of all time — which leads him to Lancey Howard, the current title holder. This a great poker-filled flick that also has a great cast featuring Ann-Margret, Karl Malden, and Rip Torn.
- IV. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
This movie isn’t about poker, but it’s the high-stakes undergroung game of three card brag that puts the whole movie in motion. After three friends stake the fourth, Eddy, to play in the game with Hatchet Harry, Eddy ends up not only losing all the money they gave him, but an additional half-million pounds. How they try to get the money to pay Hatchet Harry back is a hysterical, action-packed ride, which is well-worth watching.
- V. Honeymoon in Vegas
Once again, a plot is put into motion through people cheating at poker when Nicolas Cage loses his girlfriend for the weekend when his straight flush is beat by James Caan’s higher straight flush. Now, I would have perhaps suspected cheating here, but thankfully Cage’s character isn’t that bright, because then we’d miss out on his crazy antics from Hawaii back to Vegas to get the girl back.
- A Big Hand for a Little Lady
The biggest high-stakes game in the West draws the attention of a man named Meredity, who stakes his whole family fortune to get into the game. His wfe, Mary, a tightwad, is none too happy about it, but when her husband suffers a heart attack during the game, Mary steps in and takes up his hand.