Stacked Deck: Gambling And Casinos In Popular Media

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While gambling and casino games have featured prominently in TV and movies over the years in shows and films like Maverick and other westerns, there have been some movies and shows in recent years that don’t just have gambling and casino games as an element, but rather as the focus. Here are a few of those shows and movies that we feel are a must watch:


Anime, or Japanese animation, has steadily grown as an industry, evolving far beyond kid’s cartoons. One good example is Kakeguri. The plot revolves around a school where students are graded based on their gambling skills and how an upstart obsessive gambler will turn the current school hierarchy on its head. Definitely not your usually cartoon experience, and definitely not something you can watch with the kids!

Casino Royale

Chronologically the first of the Bond stories, the movie revolves around British secret agent James Bond trying to infiltrate and stop an arms deal from going down. Daniel Craig is brilliant as a more action-centric and physical Bond as compared to the previous stars who filled Bond’s shoes. A high-stakes poker game is the focus on this fun, exciting spy thriller.


In this movie, a recovering gambling addict finds himself pulled back into the world of gambling in order to help a friend who’s in deep trouble with some loan sharks. What it lacks in action, it makes up for in slick gambling, doing a great job of capturing the imagination of its viewers. This is one of the movies credited with helping start the poker boom.


The visual proof that math is evil, 21 revolves around a group of students who prove that through calculations and math, you can make a lot of money in a casino by working the odds and counting cards. A fun movie all around, it should be noted, however, that while the movie was based on a true story, the students and teacher involved were mostly Chinese rather than American.

God of Gamblers

A fun blend of kung-fu, gambling, and comedy, God of Gamblers revolves around a down-on-his-luck gambler coming across an amnesiac master gambler. As they journey together, making money through gambling while trying to stay out of trouble, the gambling master’s shady past slowly comes to light.

What are your favorite gambling movies? Do you have a movie that you always watch before heading to the casino to psyche yourself up?

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