12 of the Best Movies to Learn About Poker and How to Win

Poker is a staple in the gambling world and is arguably one of the most popular casino games. Unfortunately, it's also one of the hardest to play. Poker is a combination of skill and strategy and requires players to truly learn it before they try any version of it. Unlike other games like blackjack or slots, Poker relies more on strategy and experience rather than simple luck. One unconventional way to learn is to watch movies about Poker. If you're a casino fan and also a film buff, then we have a list of the top 12 movies you must watch.

Written by Amanda Evans 6 minute read
12 movies you should watch to learn more about poker

Top 12 Movies to Help You Learn about Poker

As a casino game, Poker is one of the hardest games to master, with a steep learning curve. To give you an alternative way of learning the ropes of the game, we've made a list of the top 12 movies that can help you better understand its mechanics, strategies, and history. Most of the movies are centered around Poker and gambling and depict scenes of actual play, as well as some tips, tricks, and strategies that might be helpful to players. From a Western Comedy to a documentary, our Top 10 Casinos list has it all. Below are the top 12 movies, in random order, to help you learn about Poker.

  • Maverick


    When you first hear the name, you might think of Top Gun Maverick, but this movie has a different kind of action going on. Released in 1994, Maverick is a classic starring Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, and James Garner. The film setting is in the American Old West and follows the comical events and mishaps that happen to Bret Maverick, a gambler and con artist. It features a lot of fun moments, cameos from Western Movie Stars, and a whole lotta Poker action.

  • The Cincinnati Kid

    The Cincinnati Kid

    Filmed in the distant 1965, this movie is centered around an up-and-coming Poker player, Eric "The Kid" Stoner, who is on a mission to prove that he is the best in the game. This brings him to challenge Lancey "The Man" Howard, an experienced player who is considered one of the best. Some critics state that it's not the most realistic portrayal of Five-Card Stud Poker, as some of the hands are debatable if they would happen in real life. Nonetheless, the movie ends with a very exciting stand-off between the Kid and the Man, which is definitely worth a watch.

  • The Gambler Series

    The Gambler Series

    We've started this list with movies from the past century and we're continuing with the trend, but what can we do when some of the most amazing Poker films have been filmed around this time? The Gambler is actually a series of 5 movies, starring Country Music Hall of Famer Kenny Rodgers. The introductory movie to the series, Kenny Rodgers as the Gambler showcases professional gambler Brady Hawkes meeting a young Poker player Billy Montana, en route to save his son from an abusive casino-owning step-father. Brady takes Billy under his wing and teaches him everything he knows about Poker and you'd be wise to listen to what he says too.

  • The Card Counter

    The Card Counter

    Starring the super charismatic Oscar Isaac, The Card Counter has been such a hit because of its realistic portrayal of Poker. In fact, it was so well portrayed that they were even allowed to use the WSOP Circuit brand. The story follows a former special ops soldier William Tell, who uses Poker and gambling as a way to find solace for his past transgressions as a soldier. There are plenty of Poker scenes and lessons to be learned about the game, card counting, and the reality of playing Poker at the mid-major level.

  • Casino Royale

    Casino Royale

    Nothing like a classic 007 movie, with beautiful women, lots of action, and card games! James Bond is known for playing Baccarat, however, in Casino Royale he trades it for Texas Hold'Em, giving Poker fans a sight for sore eyes. While the movie's premise is not entirely about Poker, viewers are treated to exciting scenes of our favorite agent playing high-stakes Poker in order to save the world. While the movie is action-packed, experts particularly praise the Poker scenes as they were more elaborate and meticulously prepared.

  • Lucky You

    Lucky You

    Lucky You is an excellent movie for players who wanna learn about Poker. While it's not considered a classic among Poker fans, it's still a great movie that showcases some excellent card-playing scenes in Vegas' most famous real money casinos but also features several Poker stars like Sam Farha, Barry Greenstein, Jason Lester, Ted Forrest, Erick Lindgren, and many more. While the underlying story is that of a broken relationship between a father and son, it's obscured by the amazing Poker scenes...and no one seems to mind it. We sure don't!

  • Rounders


    Now this is considered a classic and you'll find it on most lists of greatest poker movies of all time. It is one of the first movies that popularized Texas Hold 'Em before this game variant took the gambling world by storm. Experts agree that Rounders feathers some of the most realistic card play on a felt table, providing viewers with an authentic look into the game. This movie also features a Two-time WSOP Main Event champion, Johnny Chan, at a time when WSOP was not yet popular in the mainstream.

  • Molly's Game

    Molly's Game

    Another biopic on the list, Molly's Game is based on the true story of Molly Bloom, a former professional skier, who after an injury, turns to hosting illegal Poker games at the Cobra Lounge. Starring the beautiful Jessica Chastain as Molly, and Idris Elba, and Kevin Costner in the supporting cast, this movie features some great Poker scenes, exciting plot twists, and some truly heartbreaking characters. It is one of the fan favorites among Poker fans and has even garnered several accolades.

  • Poker Queens

    Poker Queens

    Poker Queens is all about Poker tournaments through the prism of women's eyes. It's an insightful documentary about women in Poker and features some of the greatest names in the game. Jennifer Tilly, Kristen Bicknell, Jennifer Harman, Liv Boeree, Loni Harwood, and Kathy Liebert, as well as Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Joey Ingram, Ryan DePaulo, and more all share their views on women in Poker. But this is not just a documentary as it also offers important insights and lessons like bluffing, that are most helpful in poker games.

  • All In: The Poker Movie

    All In: The Poker Movie

    Moving along the line of documentaries, All In: The Poker Movie features a lot of popular faces Phil Hellmuth, Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari, Annie Duke, Chris Ferguson, Phil Laak, Moneymaker, and many more. The documentary is an excellent introduction to Modern-day Poker and is well-received by both novice and experienced players alike. There's much to learn, as you can't really learn to play the game, without learning how it got so big, especially if you like online casino games.

  • Kid Poker

    Kid Poker

    We've already mentioned Daniel Negreanu in this list several times, but rightfully so. With 6 WSOP bracelets on his hand, he's one of the best and most popular players in recent Poker history. The documentary showcases his entire backstory, from playing games with his friends to his first stints at the green felt table at tournaments in Vegas. Daniel is extremely candid and open about the highs and lows of playing Poker, and it's a great lesson, especially for new players.

  • Deal


    Probably most fans would not agree, but Deal is a solid choice for players who want to learn the game. It features Brut Reynolds, who takes a young Bret Harrison under his wing and teaches him the tips, tricks, and strategies of Poker. Likewise, you also have a lot to learn, as this movie focuses more on the Poker scenes and plays, rather than the actual plot. Plus, Burt Reynolds makes for a very convincing teacher, so take out your pen and paper, and jot down the strategies for your next game.

Learn More About Poker With Top 10 Casinos

So that concludes our list of the best poker movies you should watch to learn how to play poker. We included movies from all genres, even documentaries as we believe it's important to learn about the history of the game, and whys and hows before you catch up on the strategies and skills. Remember, that practice makes perfect, so be sure to play with low or no stakes until you get comfortable raising them. If you prefer reading to learn, there are some great Poker books you can read, and if not, we hope you'll play at least one of the movies on our list.

 Amanda Evans
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Amanda Evans - Chief Editor

Amanda has been involved with all aspects of the content creation at Top10Casinos.com including research, planning, writing and editing. The dynamic environment has kept her engaged and continually learning which along with +15 years iGaming experience helped propel her into the Chief Editor role.

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