The Top 4 Poker Films of All Time

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The Best Poker Movies of All Time

Hollywood has always been fascinated with poker, and over the years, we have seen some truly captivating poker-centric films. These movies not only entertain both movie buffs and card sharks alike but also showcase the cerebral and timeless appeal of this beloved card game. While not every poker film is worth betting on, there are a few that stand out from the rest. In no particular order, we present to you some of the best poker movies of all time.

1. Molly’s Game (2017)

Molly’s Game is based on the compelling 2014 memoir of the same name. The movie revolves around Molly Bloom, portrayed masterfully by Jessica Chastain. Molly, a former athlete turned underground poker room manager, finds herself immersed in the world of high-stakes poker. As she navigates this captivating realm, she not only educates herself but also educates the viewers, shedding light on the intricacies of the game.

The film portrays Molly creating her own elite poker games, attracting the attention of prominent players. However, as we all know, poker is a game of both skill and chance, and not everything is in your favor. The real-life Molly Bloom faced legal consequences, and the movie does a good job of capturing the essence of her journey. Although some elements may be exaggerated, Molly’s Game provides an engaging and accurate portrayal of the gameplay and player psychology involved in poker.

2. Rounders (1998)

Rounders, starring Matt Damon, Edward Norton, and John Malkovich, is often hailed as the best poker film of all time. This movie takes us deep into the world of high-stakes poker, following the journeys of friends Mike and Worm. As they navigate through intense poker games, take on mobsters, and chase their dreams of winning big at the World Series of Poker, viewers are thrown into the heart of the action.

What sets Rounders apart is its authenticity. The film introduces poker terminology like bankroll, blind, and fold in a way that appeals to both seasoned players and those new to the game. The impact of Rounders on the mainstream poker world is evident, as terms popularized by the film have become common knowledge. Even non-poker players now understand concepts like folding, bankroll management, and blinds.

3. The Card Counter (2021)

If you prefer darker and more introspective movies, The Card Counter is a perfect choice. This atmospheric film delves into the grittier side of poker, highlighting the slow burn nature of the game. Starring Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Willem Defoe, and Tye Sheridan, The Card Counter offers exceptional performances and a compelling storyline.

The movie revolves around Isaac’s character, Tell, a professional card counter who travels from casino to casino, counting cards and making calculated bets. The Card Counter embraces the nuances of poker by capturing the control and caution required in the game. While the poker scenes may not be as fast-paced as others, the film builds suspense through Tell’s calculated actions, ensuring viewers remain on the edge of their seats.

4. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)

Stepping back in time, The Cincinnati Kid takes us to the era of the Great Depression. Starring Steve McQueen as Eric “The Kid” Stoner, the film tells the story of a naturally talented poker player who strives to become the best. However, along the way, he learns some harsh lessons about the realities of the game.

The Cincinnati Kid stands out among poker films for its realistic portrayal of the poker world. Unlike the typical Hollywood ending where the hero triumphs, The Kid experiences a heartbreaking loss in the final match, leaving him broke. This departure from the romanticized narrative adds depth and authenticity to the film, making it a truly noteworthy entry in the genre.

Regardless of whether you are a poker aficionado or not, these poker films offer an engaging and entertaining experience. They provide a glimpse into the thrilling world of high-stakes poker while showcasing the complexity of the game and the psychology behind it. So, the next time you plan a poker night or a movie night, consider adding one of these captivating titles to your watchlist.


Poker movies have long captivated audiences with their blend of excitement, strategy, and compelling storytelling. From Molly’s Game to Rounders, The Card Counter to The Cincinnati Kid, these films transport us into the thrilling world of high-stakes poker, painting vivid pictures of the characters and the drama that unfolds at the poker table. Whether you’re a seasoned player or simply enjoy a good movie, these poker films promise to deliver the entertainment and engagement you’re seeking.


1. Are these poker movies based on true stories?

While some of these films draw inspiration from real-life poker players and events, others are purely fictional creations. Molly’s Game, for example, is based on the memoir of Molly Bloom, who ran underground poker games. On the other hand, Rounders and The Cincinnati Kid are fictional stories set in the world of poker.

2. Do I need to be familiar with poker to enjoy these movies?

No, you don’t need to be an expert in poker to enjoy these films. Although they explore the intricacies of the game, they also offer engaging storylines and compelling characters that can be appreciated by anyone, regardless of their knowledge of poker.

3. Are poker movies accurate portrayals of real-life poker?

While poker movies strive to capture the essence of the game, it’s important to remember that they are ultimately works of fiction. The filmmakers often take creative liberties to enhance the drama and entertainment value of the story. However, many poker players appreciate these films for their ability to capture the excitement and psychology involved in the game.

4. Can these movies improve my poker skills?

While watching these films won’t directly improve your poker skills, they can provide insights into strategic thinking, player psychology, and the dynamics at the poker table. Studying the characters’ actions and decision-making can inspire you to reconsider your own approach to the game.

5. Are there any other notable poker movies worth watching?

Absolutely! The list of great poker movies doesn’t end here. Some other notable titles include “The Sting” (1973), “High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story” (2003), and “Lucky You” (2007). Each movie offers a unique perspective on the world of poker, providing further entertainment and enlightenment for poker enthusiasts.