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10 Greatest Gambling Scenes in Movies

Movie Gambling Lists by Joey Paur

I'm not the biggest gambler. Sure, I do it for fun every now and then when I'm passing through Vegas, and I always seem to come out ahead, but I don't want to push my lock, so I gamble sparingly. It's always fun when I do, though, and I love the adrenaline rush! 

There have been some great scenes that revolve around gambling. I thought it'd be fun to point out awesome gaming scenes from ten different films. Not all of the films I pulled these scenes from revolve around gambling. This is just a collection of scenes that I've enjoyed watching over the years.

Look over the list and let us know what some of your favorite movie gambling scenes are!

Swingers

Vegas, Baby! One of my favorite scenes from Swingers is when Trent (Vince Vaughn) forces Mike (Jon Favreau) to go to Vegas to get him out of a funk. Mike goes over the the Blackjack table trying to act like a high roller, buying in for $300 at a $100 minimum bet table. This scene hilariously plays out as Trent is coaching Mike through the process telling him to always double down on 11. To this day, I always quote this scene when I play Blackjack, and I always double down on 11.

Rounders

I was nervous as hell the first I watched Mike (Matt Damon) sit down at the poker table against Teddy KGB (John Malkovich) in the final Texas Hold'em showdown. Acting out of desperation to repay Worm’s debts, Mike borrowed $10,000 from his old professor to buy in to the game. The scene plays out brilliantly, the intensity is through the roof, and the outcome is all you could ever hope for.

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

The stakes get insanely high during this game of Three Card Brag between Fast Eddy (Nick Moran) and Hatchet Harry (P.H. Moriarty). During the game Eddy opens with a $20,000 bet, Harry raises to $30,000, Eddy re-raises to $50,000, Harry then takes it to $80,000, Eddy comes back with $100,000, Harry explodes up to $250,000. Eddy wants to call but he doesn’t have the cash to do it! So Harry offers to loan him the money at the same time he tells him it’ll be an additional $250,000 to see the cards—$500,000 all day! Holy shit! Watch the scene.

Tombstone

Tombstone is one of my favorite westerns of all time. They just don't make good, classic style westerns like this anymore. Val Kilmer's Doc Holiday is one of my favorite one screen characters, too. In this scene Doc finds himself all liquored up and in good spirits after 36 straight hours of poker. He's still sharp as a knife, though, and quick witted. "Let's have a spelling contest."

Goodfellas

“So he got shot in the foot. What is it? A big fuc*in deal?”

The character that Joe Pesci played in this movie, Tommy DeVito, was one of the most terrifying loose cannons ever put on film. I also think it's one of the  best performances of Pesci's career. This is a character that you don't want to piss off, even if it's just an honest misunderstanding.

Toy Story 3

The last thing I expected to see in Toy Story 3 was a gambling scene, but here it is, and it's great. They have several characters sitting around a See 'N Say, betting on where the spinner will stop. I loved that they took that toy and turned it into a gambling game. I'd love to walk into a casino one day and see that.

Ocean's Eleven

The poker scene at the beginning of the movie with Brad Pitt and George Clooney is just classic Hollywood. In the scene Pitt is teaching a small group of actors how to play poker, and it's so freakin' funny. There's a lot of great quotable lines in it, one of my favorites being, "I'm not sure what four nines does, but the ace I think is pretty high." I also love  "All reds."

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

I loved it when Austin Powers (Mike Meyers) sat down with Number Two (Robert Wagner) to play a round of blackjack. It was such a ridiculously funny scene with the whole liking to live dangerously aspect of it. I love it when Powers sticks with his fives. I also like that they are playing the game wrong. For example, at one point Number Two is asked if he wants to hit before Powers even gets his second card.

Run Lola Run

This whole movie is great, but the scene where the main character goes into a casino is so awesome. To save her boyfriend, Lola needs some really quick cash, and in an attempt to get it she enters a casino and drops down all that she has on a roulette table, ultimately putting it all on 20 black. Sure the odds are 1,296-to-1, but when you're in a movie, odds don't mean a thing.

Cool Hand Luke

Because Paul Newman is the man, the guy wins for having the best poker face of all time, and “Sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand.”

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