Card games have been around for centuries, which is evident from the numerous movies centered around card games like Poker and Rummy. Be it Hollywood or Bollywood, card games are a popular genre for entertaining movies. Films based on card games involve all elements of drama, comedy, romance, and thrill. By definition, these movies are all about risk – how a person takes risks and puts a lot at stake in desperate hope for that one big win. No one finds it fun to watch a person being cautious and prudent in a movie.
Watching a movie on rummy or poker is as entertaining as playing the game online. Moreover, movies also deliver essential messages and learnings apart from entertainment. So, if you are a rummy player, love playing poker, or any other card game, for that matter, here’s a list of the must-watch movies handpicked for every card game lover. These movies are sure to provide you with maximum entertainment, and you may pick up some great learnings or skills that you could use in your next poker game or defeat your opponents in rummy.
Movies based around Rummy Games
Rummy is one of the most popularly played card games alongside poker and has different variants. Indian rummy variants, such as points rummy, deals rummy, and pool rummy are pretty popular in India. Other popular rummy variants that are played across the globe are Gin rummy, 500 rummy, Canasta, and Oklahoma rummy. Here are some of the most entertaining movies that feature different rummy games:
The Gin Game (2003)
Released in 2003, The Gin Game has an IMDb rating of 7.1. The movie has been adapted from a play written by D. L. Coburn, which depicts the life of two elderly residents of a nursing home and how their gin rummy games bring out the best and worst in them. In the movie, Weller Martin challenges his friend Fonsia Dorey in a game of gin rummy. Weller teaches his new friend Fonsia how to play gin rummy. However, even after playing a series of games, Fonsia always ends up winning each hand. Weller is soon found to be in for more than what he wagers in the game.
Inspired by a true story of the MIT Blackjack team, 21 is an American heist drama film. The movie has a rating of 6.8 on IMDb but it was a box office success and the number one movie in Canada and the US when it was released. The movie’s plot revolves around Ben, a mathematics major at MIT, who needs to make quick money to pay his tuition fee to enroll in Harvard Medical School. An MIT professor, Micky Rosa, invites Ben to join his MIT Blackjack Team, and they work together to win at casinos using covert signaling and card counting to increase their probability of winning. The team wins big in Vegas, and when Ben crosses paths with Cole Williams, a casino enforcer, he realizes the stakes are higher than he had imagined.
Also Read: Poker vs Rummy comparison
Movies based around Poker Games
Inarguably, poker is one of the most played card games in casinos and on online gaming platforms. You will find more movies based on poker than rummy. There are numerous movies featuring poker games in a casino setting. Below are some of the best movies featuring poker that you should add to your must-watch list:
The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
With an IMDb rating of 7.3, The Cincinnati Kid is an entertaining American drama film that tells the story of Eric Stoner, a young poker player. The kid, also known as the Cincinnati Kid, seeks to beat the best player around, Lancey Howard, to build his reputation as the best poker player in town. The kid goes on to challenge the older player Lancy, which culminates into a climactic final hand between both.
A poker movie from 1998, Rounders has an IMDb rating of 7.3. The film features the underground world where people play high-stakes poker, focusing on two friends who need to pay off a massive debt for which they need to win the high-stakes poker games. The term rounders refers to people traveling from city to city to play and win high-stakes card games. The movie is full of ups and downs for the two poker players who get involved in a deep mess.
Casino Royale (2006)
Casino Royale is one of the most popular movies based on Poker. Guess why? Of course, it’s a James Bond movie. The movie has an 8 IMDb rating and should be the next movie you watch if you still haven’t seen it. Casino Royale is a spy film starring Daniel Craig as James Bond. The plot of the movie is centered around Bond taking up an assignment to bankrupt Le Chiffre, a terrorist financier, in a high-stakes poker game. The poker game is played at the Casino Royale in Montenegro.
Teen Patti (2010)
A Bollywood movie amongst Hollywood movies, Teen Patti, is a thriller film starring big names such as Amitabh Bachchan, Madhavan, and Shraddha Kapoor. Teen Patti is a game of Indian Poker and is closely related to the Poker game. In the movie, a mathematics professor attempts to write a thesis on probability, linking it to the game of Teen Patti. According to his theory, a person playing Teen Patti can guess other players’ cards and guess who will win the theory of probability just by knowing one player’s cards.
Also Read: List of best card games in India
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Starring George Clooney and Brad Pitt, Ocean’s Eleven is a comedy movie about an American heist. In the movie, Clooney and Pitt plan a $160 million heist from a casino owner. The two go to Las Vegas and convince the former casino owner to get back at his rival with their plan. They gather eleven people to steal from three casinos owned by the same rival, Terry Benedict.
Other Popular Movies Based on Card Games
Numerous movies are feature card games played in casinos or home gatherings. These are heavily poker game-focused movies and should definitely be a part of your must-watch list.
The Card Counter (2021)
A crime drama film, The Card Counter stars Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan, and Tiffany Haddish. This movie is one of the latest ones of 2021 in the card games genre. The plot of the movie revolves around William Tell, a gambler. Tell learned how to count cards during his 8-year military prison stint. His strategy always remains to bet small and win modestly to avoid any attention. Tell is approached by a young man, Cirk, who is looking for revenge against a military colonel. He decides to help Cirk as a way of redemption.
Uncut Gems (2019)
Uncut Gems is a crime thriller movie with a 7.4 rating on IMDb, starring Adam Sandler and Julia Fox. Howard Ratner is a jeweler and a gambling addict who should retrieve an expensive gem at any cost to pay off his gambling debts. Ratner ends up making a high-stakes bet that may lead to a jackpot. You must watch the movie to find out what happens.
California Split (1974)
California Split is an old comedy-drama film from 1974 with an IMDb rating of 7.2. The movie features Bill Denny and Charlie Waters as gamblers who develop a friendship after they get beaten up by a card player. Charlie is an experienced gambler who loves betting in poker, boxing, horse racing, etc, while Bill works a full-time job but is pacing towards gambling addiction. The movie features card games such as Blackjack, Roulette, Poker, and Craps.
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
An 8.2 IMDb rating justifies why you must watch this movie. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is a crime comedy film that involves a heist. The story revolves around four friends who are small-time criminals. One of them, Eddie, is a genius cardsharp who participates in a high-stakes three-card brag game with £100,000 pooled in by the four friends. Eddie and his friends end up owing £500,000 which has to be paid within a week. The friends decide to rob another small-time and to pay off their debts.
Another Bollywood movie from 1971 revolves around a protagonist, abandoned by his mother at a young age. The movie stars Dev Anand, Raja, as the lead role, brought up by a Master criminal. Raa learns a lot about card games from the Master and feels confident to work on his own. He leaves the Master and treads on a journey full of twists and turns.
If you are a card game lover, you may have already added many of these movies to your watchlist. There’s a lot you can learn by watching these movies and implement those learnings when you play your next game of rummy or poker.