Online streaming services are taking over the way we watch movies and TV shows, and with 85% of households in the US subscribing to at least one, it is no surprise that the industry is predicted to reach a value of $330 billion by 2030.
If you are one of the 222 million people that were subscribed to Netflix in 2021, or the 200 million Amazon Prime Video subscribers, then watching your favourite movies couldn’t be easier, whether at home on your Smart TV or connected devices, or out with your smartphone.
Gambling films have always been popular, with some of the very best films in the genre coming out in the 1970s, and there is nothing better than heading to your favourite online casino to cash in on the adrenaline and excitement of watching movies that feature games likeroulette, blackjack and other online poker games.
There are hundreds of movies about casinos and gambling, so to help you decide on what to watch tonight here is a shortlist of films that you just must see.
The Top 5 Gambling Movies for Streaming
California Split (1974)
This film is one of the oldest on the list, and yet it still holds its own against the big budget movies that followed. Directed by Robert Altman and starring Elliott Gould and George Segal, the movie centres around the friendship of two gamblers and is widely considered to be one of the greatest gambling films of all time according to online review sites.
The basic premise of the movie is that Charlie (Gould) and Bill (Segel) become friends after getting robbed following a poker game. Charlie is a seasoned gambler who will place a bet on anything with odds, while Bill is much less experienced and ended up in debt to a bookie. To solve this debt problem, the pair pool all their money and gamble it, making a series of big wins before a soul-crushing defeat.
The movie is billed as a comedy drama, but it is so much more than that for someone that understands the genre and the pull of the casino.
Uncut Gems (2019)
This film has been nominated for several awards and is quite a departure from the usual comedy that we might expect to see Adam Sandler perform.
Uncut Gems is the story of a Jewish American jeweller called Howard, who is a gambling addict. Shot like a gritty, nerve-wracking thriller, you can immediately tell that this film was produced by Martin Scorsese, but the balance of dark and shocking cinematics is expertly blended with surprising comedy by the directors Josh and Bennie Safdie.
Howard needs to find a rare and expensive gem that he bought to pay off his gambling debts, while managing his messy love life and keep his business afloat. Dealing with unhappy and threatening bookies, constant threats, and an opal that might not actually be worth all the trouble, the film is well-paced and exciting, with a surprising twist.
Sandler is supported by a stellar cast, with appearances from musician The Weeknd and a cameo from a well-known basketball player.
This British film was directed by Mike Hodges, who is well-known for directing both Pulp and Get Carter. Starring Clive Owen, the story follows aspiring writer Jack who gets a job as a croupier in a casino to help him pay the bills while he is trying to get his novelist career off the ground.
While working, he slowly becomes sucked into the life of the croupier, getting involved with other employees and even customers. Throughout the film, Jack is just trying to get by, until he agrees to take part in an armed robbery. The robbery goes wrong (no thanks to his girlfriend getting involved). There are twists and turns aplenty, and the focus on the other side of the table is an interesting twist for most gambling fans.
Directed in the noir style that we recognise in the old private detective films;Croupieris full of interior monologue and has been described as a slick thriller – and it is Owen’s best performance in a movie.
Based on a true story, 21 is directed by Robert Luketic and stars Jim Sturgess, Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne.
The plot follows the MIT Blackjack Team, who are all graduates from the prestigious school. Using their talents for mathematics, they work out the best way to increase their odds at winning at blackjack, by counting cards and using covert signalling. This leads to them making a lot of money in casinos – and causes a lot of bad feeling in the team.
Ben (Sturgess) is trying to convince a scholarship director that he should be the recipient of a scholarship to go to Harvard Medical School and joins the MIT Blackjack Team to prove a point (and live the high roller life).
Every gambler secretly wants to be able to control the outcome of the game they are playing, and this movie cuts right into that need. While the casting came under fire, the movie itself is slick and interesting enough to dispel any concerns that the actors were just a little bit too old to be believable.
You can’t make a list about gambling movies without mentioning Casino, and as it is the brainchild of Martin Scorsese you know it is going to be dark, thrilling and feel almost biographical. Starring Robert de Niro, Sharon Stone, and Joe Pesci, Casino is based on a story about the mob ownership of casinos in the 1970s.
De Niro plays Sam ‘Ace Rothstein, a Jewish American gambling expert who is asked to take over the operations of a Las Vegas casino. Through the years, the movie explores the way he made the casino more money, and how he skimmed those profits to pay his mafia handlers. With a heady combination of sex, drugs, alcohol and gambling, some critics thought that the feel of the film was a bit too close to Goodfellas, but for those that love to play the games, Casino is gritty and has that realistic feel – probably because so much of it is based in reality.
Get your poker and blackjack fix in these exciting films about gambling and the strange world of the casino on your online smartphone servicesor connected TV today.