Iconic Gambling Scenes From Movies

If you’re used to playing games at an online casino, you might have forgotten what it’s like to walk through a busy casino to the unmistakable sounds of decks of cards being shuffled, casino chips riffled and craps dice hitting the opposite end of the table. Or maybe you’ve only ever played online, and are intrigued by the setup and style of in-person games.

Even though you might well prefer the convenience of playing online slots from the comfort of your own home, it can be fun to look back at some of the most memorable gambling scenes from films and relive that casino experience, or take it in vicariously through the screen!

Top 5 gambling scenes from films

Movies that involve gambling are often about more than just how to play casino games. Most of the time, they involve deeper stories about people, their lives, and how they overcome the odds through sheer luck, or with dedicated skills that they have refined in one way or another.

In this post, we explore some of the most memorable scenes from films that involve casino games, organised by the type of game, namely roulette, craps, blackjack and poker.


The casino table game roulette is one of the most elegant games to play, and this comes through in classic scenes from movies such as Casablanca. In one of its most iconic scenes, Humphrey Bogart’s character, Rick Blaine comes to a couple’s rescue around a roulette table which gives an insight into what he’s like. This scene also shows how the game has retained the same allure, even since the 1940s, when this time-honoured film was made.


Continuing with the classic movie theme that we started with, James Bond films are particularly well known for featuring gambling scenes, especially the game of baccarat. However, in Diamonds Are Forever, where Sean Connery takes the lead as the suave man on a mission, craps takes centre stage instead. This is when Bond meets Plenty, and in an attempt to charm her, pretends not to know how to play the game.

After feigning ignorance, her attempts to help him play fail miserably with a poor throw, and Bond steps in – as only Bond can do – with a long list of complicated bets, humbly demonstrating his expertise while admitting to his gaming partner that he had played the game before, but “only once”.


Rain Man, with Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman, was a landmark movie, the highest-grossing film of 1988, and one that won many Oscars for its portrayal of the bond between two brothers. One of its highlights is the scene in which Hoffman’s character manages to help them strike it big in a blackjack game at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, using his own mathematical prowess, and his ability to count cards. Oh, and if you’ve never seen this film, you’ve missed some great performances by the lead actors, and a cracking plot!

The Hangover is a modern-day classic, and one that has certainly put Vegas on the map for the millennial generation. Interestingly, one of the most memorable scenes in the film, when Zach Galifianakis’ character brings his A-game to the blackjack table, is a direct tribute to Rain Man, with the matching grey suits, and his focus on counting the cards and doing mathematical calculations. This scene, however, also includes an upbeat soundtrack, and some silly behaviour by the spectators, and other players.


Poker is one of the most popular games played in casinos around the world. One of the most exclusive variants is No Limits Texas Hold’em, which requires a substantial buy-in amount before you’re even allowed to play – and the stakes can be high. In the remake of another Bond movie, Casino Royale, Daniel Craig’s Bond manages to beat the evil Le Chiffre with a straight flush (one wonders whether he pulled any strings to get it), celebrating by tipping the dealer a large rectangular chip as he gets up from the table, having won millions!

Another very well-known poker scene is in the film Rounders, where Matt Damon’s character, law student Mike McDermott, manages to beat John Malkovich’s Oreo-eating Russian “Teddy KGB” character in an underground Texas Hold’em game, after getting him to go all-in. It’s about time, considering Mike spent most of the night trying to beat him using the money loaned to him by his law professor – which certainly makes up for losing his entire bankroll on a single hand at the beginning of the film!

Create your own casino setting at Mecca Games

If you enjoyed browsing this list of iconic gambling scenes from films with us, why not try out some casino games for yourself?

At Mecca Games, we’re the place to visit if you want to play slots online. We also offer a variety of Slingo titles (which combines the best of slot games and our other Mecca trademark offering, bingo).

All you need to do to get in on the action is to register – then you can get right down to creating your own casino experience in the comfort of your own home!

/ 05 July 2021