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Poker in Hollywood

Poker in Hollywood – The Best Poker Films

Hollywood shows the tough times and the glory of poker players in movies such as Rounders, Maverick, and Kaleidoscope.


Rounders is probably the best known of all poker movies. Unlike most movies that deal with the casino scene, Rounders doesn't take place in the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas. Instead, Rounders looks at the life of a poker addict. Mike McDermott, played by Matt Damon, decides after a shattering $30,000 loss at the poker tables, that he will stop playing poker, and instead focus on his legal studies and his girlfriend, another law student. Rounders shows how it isn't so easy to break out of the life of a poker player. Mike is continually being drawn back into the world gambling and poker. In the end, Mike wins back all he has lost, and he realizes that he is meant for the world of “rounders,” professional poker players. He gives up his law career, and goes to play at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.


Maverick is another very well-known movie about the poker scene. Starring Mel Gibson, Maverick is a film about a man who needs to gather money in order to enter a poker tournament. Maverick is set in the American Old West, and the poker played in Maverick is five card draw, rather than a modern day game like Texas holdem or seven card stud. The star of the movie, Bret Maverick, goes to Crystal River to get the $3,000 he still needs in order to enter the tournament. Maverick is a con artist, and he eventually gets the cash he needs. Following many misadventures, he arrives on the paddle steamer where the tournament takes place. He plays well, and is set to join the final table in the morning, but he discovers that he is locked in his room. He still manages to get to the final table, pull out the winning cards, and win the tournament. Another contestant, Cooper, steals the money, and Maverick steals the money back. In the end, it is revealed that Cooper is Maverick's father, and the two are ambushed by a female contestant named Annabelle Bransford. She manages to steal half the money, and Maverick is intrigued by the prospect of getting the money back from her.


Starring Susannah York and Warren Beatty, Kaleidoscope is a film which came out in 1966, and was never released on VHS. The DVD was released in April 2009. The film is about Barney Lincoln, a young poker player who hits upon the ultimate way to cheat casinos. He goes to the card manufacturing plant in Geneva and marks the kaleidoscope on the plates that print the high valued cards so that he can win every game. Lincoln heads to Monte Carlo to beat the casinos, but his downfall comes in the form of a fashion designer named Angel. The two have dated before, and Angel soon discovers Lincoln's scheme. Her father, Manny McGinnis, is an inspector at Scotland Yard, and Lincoln is in trouble until McGinnis agrees to use Lincoln to capture a drug dealer in a high stakes game.

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