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The Best Poker Movies of All Time

Poker players love the high drama and surge of adrenaline that only a tight hand can provide. The whole scenario is tailor made for the script writing rooms of Hollywood. But what are the best poker movies of all time? We pick our 5 favourites and our reasons for loving each one.

The Final Countdown

So at number 5 on our best poker movies of all time list comes the laugh-out-loud and action packed Maverick starring Mel Gibson and a feisty Jodie Foster. Based on a television show of the same name from the late 1950s, Mel Gibson plays the protagonist Bret Maverick who goes to extreme lengths to win a prestigous $25,000 buy in 5-card draw poker tournament hosted on a steamboat.

At number 4, The Cincinnati Kid is a poker tale following the trials and tribulations of Eric Stoner, otherwise known as "The Kid", who takes on the best players in poker during the Great Depression. Steve McQueen plays The Kid and it is one of the most iconic movie performances of all time. The final hand in the movie still has the ability to keep an audience on the edge of their seats to this very day.

At number 3 is the most recent release in our top 5. Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, brings us on a trip to a gritty and highly competitive poker tournament. M16 put up the money to enter Bond in the ultimate poker tournament in a bid to bankrupt the villain Le Chiffre, excellently played by Mads Mikkelsen, hoping that he would then need to seek protection from M16.

The Gambler, at number 2, narrowly misses out on top spot but that shouldn't diminish what a fantastic movie it still is. It gives an insight to the less glamorous side of gambling and poker as James Caan stars as man that gets sucked deeper and deeper into debt with some great poker scenes en route to this films thrilling ending.

Top of the Pops

At number 1 on our best poker movies of all time list it simply has to be Rounders. Starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, Rounders has been lauded by many as launching poker into the mainstream. The plot circulates around Matt Damons character who is paying his way through a law degree by winning poker games. Needless to say, at times the drama takes you on an emotional rollercoaster as each hand could make or break the American Dream for this risk-taking law student.

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