No matter what your favorite hobby may be, chances are there’s a movie out there based on it. For avid knitters there’s Yarn: The Movie, cooking enthusiasts may enjoy Chef and for hikers there’s, erm, The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Fortunately for poker fans, there are quite literally dozens of movies either based on the game entirely or some at least feature poker heavily. However, as not all poker movies are created equally we thought we’d take a look at the best recommendations out there for you:
For many millennials, our first introduction into the world of no-limit Texas Hold’em came from John Dahl’s 1998 hit Rounders. Unlike its predecessors that often focused on the Wild West or mafia mobsters playing cards in dingy bars, this iconic poker film explored the world of modern poker. Okay, so it starts off in a Russian mobster’s underground poker room but throughout the movie you’ll watch Matt Damon’s character flourish before he is finally ready to play at the World Series of Poker Main Event. Plus, Rounders featured a cameo from the one and only Johnny Chan as well as some impeccable one-liners.
A Big Hand for a Little Lady
Then there’s A Big Hand for A Little Lady – a movie that proves you should always think twice before placing a big bet. The movie begins when a small family finds themselves watching the biggest poker tournament of the year on their way to San Antonio. After watching for a few minutes, the husband enters the poker game, betting his entire family fortune. As the game enters its final moments the husband has a heart attack, leaving his wife to take over. However, as the wife didn’t have the luxury of playing a quick practice poker game on her smartphone or reading a tutorial on how to play beforehand, things get even trickier.
Although Maverick may not let you in on how to tackle a poker game with ease and finesse, it does offer some incredibly fun insight into how Wild West bars used to be. That is, if Mel Gibson appeared in the Old West to make wisecracks around the poker table and went on numerous misadventures in an attempt to play a game of poker. We don’t want to give too much of the plot away but if you enjoy an edgy comedy with more plot twists than you ever thought imaginable, Maverick is definitely the poker movie for you.
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
This movie may sound as though it takes place in the Old West but in reality, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is the story of a London card game gone horribly wrong. Our main characters Bacon, Soap, Tom and Eddie have somehow managed to cobble £100,000 together to bet against the deeply unstable “Hatchet” Harry Lonsdale. Unfortunately, when things go awry the four are charged with the task of paying Hatchet back £500,000 with a time limit of just seven days. We won’t give away the ending, but there’s a reason this movie has won a BAFTA.
Let us know if you have any other poker movies to recommend, and make sure to share your favorites with us in the comments below.