5 Movies Influenced by Online Gaming

The global downturn brought about by COVID-19 has wreaked havoc with peoples’ lives the world over, forcing us all to adapt in some shape or form to the ‘new normal’. For most, that means sacrificing some of the things we love dearest – like a trip to the cinema, cheering on your favourite sports team, or an innocent flutter down the local gambling club.

Whether you like the rush of the roulette wheel, enjoy a turn on blackjack, or prefer to don your poker face at the green felt, land-based gambling clubs represent an exciting safehouse where we come to forget everyday troubles and socialise, and where bringing down the house remains an ever-enticing proposition.

Thankfully, help is at hand for any of you out there missing the thrill of the reels, thanks to Wildz. To guide you through these COVID-19-plagued times, we’ve compiled a rundown of some of the best gambling-themed flics to have graced the big screen over the years.

So sit back, switch off the lights and burst open the popcorn to one of the following movies to be transported right to the gambling club.

best gambling movies - cards

Ocean's Eleven

Ocean Eleven comes swaggering onto our list with arguably the most stellar line-up of all gambling movies, oozing plenty of Las Vegas cool.

The incomparable George Clooney leads an all-star cast as Danny Ocean alongside the equally suave Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt) in the first of the three-part Ocean's series. Fresh from his Rounders appearance, Matt Damon also dusts himself off as Linus Caldwell for another high adrenaline gambling affair, as the group set about concocting a heist worth 160 million USD (130 million Euro) from gambling club owner Terry Benedict (García).

Director Steven Soderbergh adds a large dash of comedy to lighten proceedings in this stylish 2001 release that evokes lashings of 1950s ratpack charm, ensuring the film doesn't get bogged down in the blood-soaked dramatics of previous Sin City blockbusters.

Rounders

Arguably the finest poker movie ever produced sees a cocky, wrinkle-free Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) take on Russian mobster Teddy "KGB" (John Malkovich) in the murky high stakes underworld of New York.

Rounders is perhaps best remembered for its scene in which the KBG kingpin breaks open an OREO Cookie during a winner-takes-all poker decider - inadvertently giving off an obvious live 'tell' that reveals the true strength of his hand.

His actions don't go unnoticed by the eagle-eyed McDermott, whose poker instincts correctly interpret the gesture as a very real bluff. In the end it proves a $60,000 (€50,000) mistake to the hardline Soviet intelligence bureau, with McDermott going on to take his nemesis for the lot and finally rid himself of debt.

21

Last but by no means least, 21 relives the story of a group of math whizz-kids studying at MIT University in Massachusetts, who can lay claim to truly breaking Vegas for close to a decade.

Led by founder, Bill Kaplan, the MIT Blackjack Team's modus operandi: card counting. Simple on paper, but excruciatingly hard to execute in practice - especially under the watchful eye of heavy-handed security guards and gambling club bosses - all dumbfounded at the team's unprecedented success.

It's estimated the group cleaned out various gambling halls for more than $10million (€8million) over the course of their 10-year blackjack reign - one of the most enduring legacies ever to emerge from MIT University and earning its place in Vegas folklore. The students' legendary run also inspired the 2005 paperback penned by Ben Mezrich, Busting Vegas.