Gambling has been a common and popular theme in Hollywood movies, but no other game has spent more time into the spotlight as poker. There are dozens of casino-themed films where poker was at the cornerstone of the narrative, but only a few are truly worth recommending. The poker craze makes these movies very popular, you can play UK online casino games and qualify for live poker tournaments such as the WSOP. These movies were defined by stellar acting, had compelling narratives and some of them even made a significant contribution to the growing popularity of online poker.

Casino Royale

Perhaps the most important movie for the online gambling industry in general and the poker community, in particular, is Casino Royale. It was the first James Bond movie where the protagonist played high-stakes poker instead of baccarat, and also one of the best 007 films ever made. Daniel Craig portrayed James Bond in this film and he did so brilliantly, reigniting interest for the franchise and its charming secret agent. The director worked closely with poker experts to create a film as authentic as possible and the results met expectations. Over the next few months after the film aired, the number of people playing poker at online casinos surged to new highs. Poker still remains the most popular card game online and people can enjoy it at cash games tables, sit ‘n goes and major tournaments with huge guaranteed prizes.


Matt Damon, Edward Norton and John Malkovich have the merit of turning an otherwise predictable film into a memorable poker move. Texas hold’em was the game of choice and the decision to pick this game was ideal, because it came at a time when this type of poker has gained a lot of traction. The stellar cast did a brilliant job at capturing the very essence of high-stakes poker, an intense game played at a high psychological level. In the wake of this film, many online casinos found it worthwhile to add poker to their lineup of games and this led to an increasingly high number of people signing up to play online.


Maverick was released nearly three decades ago and back in the day, poker was not nearly as popular as it is today. There were no online casinos offering players the possibility of enjoying poker on real or virtual currency and the game was largely played in home games and at local gaming parlors. Mel Gibson did a fine job in keeping the audience at the edge of its seat, although from strictly a poker player perspective, the hands were greatly exaggerated.

The Cincinnati Kid

The Cincinnati Kid is a classic movie from an entirely different time than modern films trying to depict Texas hold’em in the most authentic manner possible. Steve McQueen and Edward Robinson starred in this movie and not surprisingly, these immensely talented actors delivered exceptional performances. The game of choice was 5 card stud, a game that is featured in the offer of modern online casinos, where it can be played on real and virtual money, although it is played by considerably fewer people.