Poker has had a long history of popularity, but it’s only been able to grow as an industry in the last decade. It is a popular pastime enjoyed by millions.

You can now play table games at online casinos in the US because each state has passed the appropriate legislation.

It doesn’t matter if you are playing online poker in New Jersey, or Michigan, it is an extremely enjoyable game that recreates the thrill of playing in person.

Poker has had a significant impact on cinema. Many people can identify with poker’s cultural influence. We see stars on the big screen enduring the pain of having the wrong card turned on the river, or the thrill of obtaining the last draw to win a lucrative flush.

These are five movies in which poker and card games were prominently featured.


It’s one of the greatest poker movies ever made. A great exercise in taking calculated risks in order to win the pot. It’s a dark comedy in which Matt Damon deals with the ups, downs, and struggles of a small-time poker player.

He decides to cash in his chips to get his law degree. That is until his best friend escapes. You know things aren’t going to go well from the moment Edward Norton appears onscreen.

Worm (Norton), sets off a series of events that puts Mike (Damon), in hock to some very dodgy people. The film’s final, which is addictive even though you know what’s coming, sees him taking KGB (John Malkovich), to the cleaners. He clears Worm’s debts, and he sets out to Las Vegas to join the high-rollers at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

This film teaches you some tricks of poker and is a lesson for poker players. However, the most important takeaway from the film is to not get in debt to the mafia.

The Sting

The story centers on a pair of con-men who attempt to con Robert Shaw into committing a long-running heist. Shaw has also killed a friend Robert Redford and Paul Newman. The film is dominated by a horse racing sting. It was a fantastic vehicle for the leading couple, who appeared in many great films including Butch Cassidy’s Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy.

Paul Newman takes on Shaw in a fiery poker game on a train. This is a memorable scene that shows the two con artists trying to con their opponents out of their stake money.

It is all done well and serves as a catalyst to what comes next, namely the ultimate reward at the movie’s end.

What is the moral of this movie’s Poker scene? Do not try to out-con someone.

Mississippi Grind

This movie is great, but it’s not as well-known. It centers on a couple of gamblers. The one is a wise loser, the other is a young upstart. Ryan Reynolds is refreshingly different from his usual roles. He plays opposite Ben Mendelsohn in this classic indie flick.

Gerry (Mendlesohn), is always looking to win a card to pay off his ever-growing debts. Curtis (Reynolds), is a gambler who seems to be into any kind of gambling, just for the thrill.

They create a strange couple vibe. The interaction between them works well. The film doesn’t sugarcoat either character’s flaws and does a good job not to sugar coat their obvious weaknesses.

The film is very bittersweet and the story is well-written. This is the lesson for poker players. You should only lose what you can afford.


Blackjack is the root of 21. It is effectively a movie about heists. Kevin Spacey portrays a professor who uses a star student to count cards and use signaling tricks to win big in a series casino games.

It is based on real events and is very entertaining. Jim Sturgess portrays Ben Campbell, a genius youngster who leads a group of students doing what Micky Rosa (Spacey), outlines.

The situation becomes more complicated when Ben begins to notice his grades dropping and security beats him up in a casino that is well-aware of their plans. The movie ends with a satisfying payoff. Rosa gets his reward for using students for his own ends. Ben Campbell gets the girl (Kate Bosworth) and, somewhat predictably, it all works out.

It’s an enjoyable ride. This is the lesson. Do not try to count cards, we cannot all be Raymond from Rainman.

Lock Stock and Smoking Barrels

This film was Guy Ritchie’s debut. It centers around the antics and machinations of a small-time group of crooks looking to make a living. It opens with a brilliantly shot and directed poker game that ends in disaster for Nick Moran (Eddie). He then becomes indebted to local mobsters. The film is about the big escape to pay him back.

Ritchie was instantly recognized for the way that the poker scene was shot. It’s a very compelling and innovative film. It’s a fantastic scene in a mini-masterpiece movie.

This is the most important lesson: Don’t let your emotions get in the way.