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Gambling Movies and Books About Poker, Blackjack and Casinos

Top Gambling Films and Novels

This list of top gambling movies and books is based on the editor’s personal taste. Many others movies about poker, blackjack and casinos could easily make the list. Share your opinions on whether you like these casino and gambling movies and recommend others you think are among the best!

Check out these excerpts from great gambling movies and books.

1. Owning Mahoney

Here is a sample excerpt from the gambling movie Owning Mahoney:

Investigator #1: You’ve got a gambling problem, right?
Dan Mahowny: No…
Dan Mahowny: No, sir.
Investigator #1: Come on. You didn’t get a buzz out of it?
Dan Mahowny: I have a… financial problem. A shortfall.

View Utube clip from Owning Mahoney

2. The Gambler

Here is a sample excerpt from the gambling movie The Gambler:

Tagline: For $10,000 they break your arms. For $20,000 they break your legs. Axel Freed owes $44,000.

View Utube clip from The Gambler


3. Casino

Here is a sample excerpt from the gambling movie Casino:

Ace Rothstein: “In Vegas, everybody’s gotta watch everybody else. Since the players are looking to beat the casino, the dealers are watching the players. The box men are watching the dealers. The floor men are watching the box men. The pit bosses are watching the floor men. The shift bosses are watching the pit bosses. The casino manager is watching the shift bosses. I’m watching the casino manager. And the eye-in-the-sky is watching us all.”

View Utube Clip from Casino

4. Rounders

Here is a sample excerpt from the gambling movie Rounders:

Mike McDermott: “Listen, here’s the thing. If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker.”

View Utube Clip from Rounders

5. The Hustler

Here is a sample excerpt from the gambling movie The Hustler:

Bert Gordon: Eddie, is it alright if I get personal?
Fast Eddie: Whaddaya been so far?
Bert Gordon: Eddie, you’re a born loser.
Fast Eddie: What’s that supposed to mean?
Bert Gordon: First time in ten years I ever saw Minnesota Fats hooked… really hooked. But you let him off.
Fast Eddie: I told you I got drunk.
Bert Gordon: Sure you got drunk. You have the best excuse in the world for losing; no trouble losing when you got a good excuse. Winning… that can be heavy on your back, too, like a monkey. You’ll drop that load too when you got an excuse. All you gotta do is learn to feel sorry for yourself. One of the best indoor sports, feeling sorry for yourself. A sport enjoyed by all, especially the born losers.
Fast Eddie: Thanks for the drink.

View Utube Clip from The Hustler

6. The Croupier

Here is a sample excerpt from the gambling movie The Croupier:

Jack: Gambling’s not about money… Gambling’s about not facing reality, ignoring the odds.
Marion: I must be a fool – I never think about the odds.

View Utube Clip fromThe Croupier


7. The Cooler

Here is a sample excerpt from the gambling movie The Cooler:

[Natalie sees herself in the rear-view mirror]
Natalie: Oh my God.
Bernie: Hey. You look in the mirror, you don’t like what you see, don’t believe it. Look in my eyes, I am the only mirror you’re ever gonna need. You look in my eyes, Natalie.
View Utube Clip from The Cooler

Top Gambling Novels

The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoevsky

“Even as I approach the gambling hall, as soon as I hear, two rooms away, the jingle of money poured out on the table, I almost go into convulsions.”




Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

“The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the difference between lightning and lightning bug.”




Grifters by Jim Thomson

Myra Langtry: I’m Roy’s friend.
Lilly Dillon: Yes. I imagine you’re lots of people’s friend.
Myra Langtry: [taking a good look at LILLY] Oh, of course, now that I see you in the light, you’re plenty old enough to be Roy’s mother.
Lilly Dillon: Aren’t we all?
Roy Dillon: Play nice. Don’t fight.


The Queen of Spades by Alexander Pushkin

“The bread of the stranger is bitter,” says Dante, “and his staircase hard to climb.” But who can know what the bitterness of dependence is so well as the poor companion of an old lady of quality?”



Bob the Gambler by Frederick Barthelme

“On this Sunday, after the NFL preseason game, we were sitting on the porch quiet as mice when Jewel held up the newspaper and said, “Raymond. Let’s go here and do this,” and “here” was the Paradise casino, a dozen blocks away on the beach in Biloxi, and “this” was gambling.”


The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart

The dice in position before him, he knelt silently for two minutes and prayed. He then picked up the two dice and began shaking them gaily in the bowl of his hands.

Tremble in my hands, O Die,
As I so shake in yours. And holding the dice above his head he intoned aloud:

‘Great bleak Blocks of God, descend, quiver, create,
Into your hands I commit my soul.’

The dice fell: a one and a two – three. He was to leave his wife and children forever.

Fools Die by Mario Puzo

“Love is like the little red toy wagon you get for your Christmas or your sixth birthday. It makes you deliriously happy and you just can’t leave it alone. But sooner or later the wheels come off. Then you leave it in a corner and forget it. Falling in love is great. Being in love is a disaster.”




Loser Takes All by Graham Greene

I SUPPOSE the small greenish statue of a man in a wig on a horse is one of the famous statues of the world. I said to Cary, “Do you see how shiny the right knee is? It’s been touched so often for luck, like St Peter’s foot in Rome. “She rubbed the knee carefully and tenderly as though she were polishing it.

“Are you superstitious?” I said .


“I’m not.”

“I’m so superstitious I never walk under ladders. I throw salt over my right shoulder. I try not to tread on the cracks in pavements. Darling, you’re marrying the most superstitious woman in the world. Lots of people aren’t happy. We are. I’m not going to risk a thing.”

“You’ve rubbed that knee so much, we ought to have plenty of luck at the tables.”

“I wasn’t asking for luck at the tables,” she said.

The Cold Six Thousand by James Ellroy

“LBJ will deplete his prestige on the home front and recoup it in Vietnam. History will judge him as a tall man with big ears who needed wretched people to love him…”

“Cuba appeals to hotheads and the morally impaired. It’s the cuisine and the sex. Plantains and women who have intercourse with donkeys.”


Sucker Bet By James Swain

”The mark’s name was Nigel Moon.

Jack Lightfoot recognized Moon as soon as he stepped into the Micanopy Indian Reservation casino. Back in the eighties, Moon had played drums for an English rock band called One-Eyed Pig, his ransacking of hotel rooms was as well publicized as his drum solos. Unlike the other band members, who’d fired their brains out on drugs and booze, Moon had opened a chain of popular hamburger joints that now stretched across two continents.

View Utube clip from Owning Mahoney

View Utube clip from The Gambler

View Utube Clip from Casino

View Utube Clip from Rounders

View Utube Clip from The Hustler

View Utube Clip fromThe Croupier

View Utube Clip from The Cooler

4 Responses to “Gambling Movies and Books About Poker, Blackjack and Casinos”

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