The 5 Best Casino Film Scenes

by Staff & Contributors on February 2, 2016

in Gaming

Casino-based films rank among some of the greatest movies of all time but trying to decide which scenes from these films are the greatest is a harder task. This list covers five of the best scenes in films set in a casino.

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Casino Royale (2006)

The first James Bond movie with Daniel Craig playing the English secret agent 007 was a hit with fans and critics alike. The plot focused on Bond hunting down the evil villain Le Chiffre with the two coming face-to-face in lucrative high stakes game of Texas Hold’em poker at the renowned Casino Royale. Bond was given funds to play at the table and this whole poker game includes some of the most dramatic footage ever shot in a Bond movie.


Tension reaches a climactic and dramatic high when Bond returns to the table having just been poisoned by Le Chiffre’s henchmen. After narrowly averting death, Bond is involved in a four-way all-in call at the table with $115 million in the pot. The first player reveals an Ace high flush. The second player then shows a full house of 8s over Aces. Le Chiffre then goes one better and reveals a higher full house of Aces over sixes. Finally, Bond shows his cards to reveal a straight flush. It is arguably the most unrealistic yet brilliant casino scene in movie history.


Rain Man (1988)

This heart-warming comedy drama won four Oscars at the 61st Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. It tells the story of selish yuppy Charlie Babbit (Tom Cruise) and his autistic brother Raymond Babbit (Dustin Hoffman) as they travel across the US after they discover their estranged father has died and left most of his inheritance to Raymond.


It is a movie that creates awareness over the condition of autism and delivers the positive evolution of Charlie’s character as he gets to know the brother he never knew he had. The best scene in this movie is when Charlie realises the pair can use Raymond’s superb memory skills to win money at the blackjack tables at the casino. The scene has since been parodied a number of times in popular culture including in the next movie on our list.


The Hangover (2009)

There was little fanfare before the release of this movie that featured four relatively unknown actors in Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, and Justin Bartha. However, it went on to become the highest-grossing comedy in US movie history. The plot followed three friends searching Las Vegas for their soon-to-be-married friend the day after an epic stag party. 

The stand-out scene in this movie comes when the weird Alan, played by Galifianakis, uses his card-counting skills to win the group of friends $82,000 at the blackjack tables in the casino to help them in their efforts to find the missing stag. The whole scene parodies other movies that use blackjack to create such suspense including the above mentioned Rain Man with Alan even wearing the same outfit that both Cruise and Hoffman donned for the famous scene in the 1988 movie. The time-lapse scene in particular has been parodied in memes and fan-made videos showing the influence it had. 

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Casino (1995)

It simply makes sense to include a scene from a movie that is called Casino. This dark interpretation of life behind the scenes at a fictional casino covers the topics of greed, money, power, deception, and murder with the plot focusing on two gangster friends and the one friend’s trophy wife starring Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, and Joe Pesci. It has gone down as one of director Martin Scorsese’s most brilliant pieces of work.


The scene that has gone down as the most renowned from this epic movie is when Sam “Ace” Rothstein orders security to exit an abusive player off the premises by using the player’s head to open the security doors. It is a scene that not only has an element of classic dark humor to it but also shows how “Ace” is not the man to mess about.


21 (2008)

If there is one movie that has split fans of gambling down the middle then it is this movie. Inspired by the Ben Mezrich novel “Bringing Down The House” that detailed the real-life activities of the MIT Blackjack Team that hit the Las Vegas casinos and earned millions of dollars through elaborate card-counting techniques it was a movie that had fans and haters in equal measure. Starring Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess, and Kate Bosworth it still grossed over $81 million in the US alone.


However, the iconic scene from this movie is when the main character Ben (Sturgess) goes on a tilt and loses all the money. This shows that the plan is not flawless and gives the viewers a real sense of how high the stakes are and what sums of money can be lost if the game plan does not come off.

@OldSchool80s April 12, 2016 at 6:07 am

How can you leave off Vegas Vacation???

Cracks me up every time!

Donna October 26, 2018 at 1:59 am

My favourite films in this post. Brilliant

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