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The Five Best Betting Movies

california split
We look at some of the best gambling themed movies.

There’s something inherently cinematic about gambling. From the roll of a dice to the spin of a roulette wheel, laying a bet is fraught with nerve-tingling suspense, something many filmmakers have taken advantage of with narratives set in the world of gambling. If you prefer to take part yourself rather than just watch, you can find the best sport betting sites at, but we recommend you check out these five movies. You might even get some betting tips from them.

The Gambler (1974)
the gambler
Ignore the recent Mark Wahlberg starring remake and instead check out the far superior original from director Karel Reisz. James Caan delivers a career best performance as a college professor who lives for the rush of gambling. Unfortunately for him, this leads to him owing money to a ruthless mob boss. Can he gamble his way out of the situation? Screenwriter James Toback based the story on elements of his own life.

California Split (1974)
california split
1974 also gave us Robert Altman’s California Split. Elliott Gould is at his oddball best as a middling gambler who strikes up a friendship with George Segal, a gambler who seems to have the midas touch. The pair rise through the ranks of the LA gambling scene, with the film culminating in a deliciously tense high stakes poker game.

Hard Eight (1996)
hard eight
Before Boogie Nights put him on the map, Paul Thomas Anderson directed this indie drama in which an aging gambler (Philip Baker Hall) teaches his skills to a young man (John C Reilly) while in the world capital of gambling, Las Vegas. Look out for early appearances by Gwyneth Paltrow and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Two for the Money (2005)
two for the money
Matthew McConaughey is a former football star whose knack for picking winners brings him into contact with Al Pacino’s sports consultant. The two combine their knowledge and begin winning big, leading to a nerve-wracking climax that literally comes down to the toss of a coin.

Casino Royale (2006)
casino royale
When the 007 franchise was rebooted with Daniel Craig in the role of Bond, it kicked off with a more cerebral take on the spy genre than we had previously seen. While it offers big action sequences, the highlight of Casino Royale is arguably a scene in which Craig faces off against Mads Mikkelsen in a poker game.