Roulette has been exceptionally popular ever since Blaise Pascal’s keen exploration of perpetual motion machines in the 1700s. The engineer, scientist and philosopher inadvertently created roulette in the 18th century, ultimately sparking a remarkable casino evolution during the 19th century. Nowadays, roulette is still one of the most high-octane gambling options out there, with the wheel game being particularly popular at modern live dealer online casinos.
While roulette in itself is outrageous fun, the number of movies featuring the game has also done wonders for its global popularity. As one of the most thrilling options on the casino floor, there are no wonder directors, and film producers turn to the game to make their casino scenes tick. But what are the best movies featuring roulette games? Keep reading to find out our quintessential favorites.
Starring Clive Owen, Alex Kingston, Gina McKee and other famous actors, Croupier is the story of a writer called Jack who takes up a job as a casino croupier. As he gets increasingly comfortable in his job, a mysterious lady approaches him about being part of a planned heist at the casino. One thing leads to another, and at the end of the movie, it turns out that Jack’s father planned the whole thing all along, from getting his son the job to orchestrating the robbery.
Croupier was celebrated as being a roulette film telling the story from the dealer’s side rather than the gambler’s. With the emergence of live casino, more and more people are seeing what it’s like to work as a croupier. For example, playing one of the popular wheel game variants at live dealer platforms can put you in contact with real-life croupiers working from remote studios.
Indecent Proposal (1993)
Indecent Proposal generated over $250m at the box office after its 1993 release, with Robert Redford, Demi Moore and Woody Harrelson propelling this sensual and erotic drama film to stardom. While the movie isn’t exclusively about roulette per se, the game does act as a pretty important plot driver. In fact, without it, there probably wouldn’t be much of a plot at all.
David and Diana Murphy were leading a happy life together until the recession led to disaster, and they were left needing to find $50,000 to save their dream home. Naturally, they decide to travel to Las Vegas to win the money they need. Unfortunately, the couple loses everything on the roulette wheel, but this sets the wheels in motion for an unlikely meeting with a billionaire. After that, everything changes – but we won’t spoil it for you!
One of the most seminal films from the 1940s, Casablanca has gone down as a bona fide cinematic classic. Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid star in the WWII drama, with the American aiming to help his love interest and her husband escape from Casablanca, which was under proxy occupation by the Germans at the time.
There are several iconic moments during Casablanca, but arguably the most memorable one is the roulette scene. Rick the American suggests a gambler pick the number 22, with the legendary line: “Have you tried 22 tonight?” and the lucky receiver of his advice wins the next two spins.
California Split (1974)
California Split is the tale of two good friends who indulge in their gambling habits at various casinos and saloons across the US. It stars George Segal and Elliott Gould in the leading roles, playing Bill Denny and Charlie Waters. They strike up a strong friendship after being robbed by somebody they had just beaten at cards, going on to win and lose together, playing casino games and placing sports bets.
By the end, Bill Denny is exhausted by the increasingly erratic and exhausting gambling lifestyle that his friend Charlie has been living for years. He admirably calls it quits after a lengthy winning streak that generates almost $100,000 in winnings. The pair split the cash and ride off into the sunset.
Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Ever since Daniel Craig bowed out in 2021, people have been wondering when we’ll meet the new James Bond, but you mustn’t forget the classics. Diamonds Are Forever, starring Sean Connery, is almost exclusively based in Las Vegas, with countless casino scenes encompassing blackjack, poker, craps and of course, roulette.
The game isn’t exactly central to the action, with an illegal diamond smuggling operation being the plot driver. Nevertheless, the Bond is repeatedly seen at the roulette table, creating a quintessential Las Vegas casino atmosphere that’s difficult to get elsewhere.
“Prone to fits of apathy. Introvert. Award-winning internet evangelist. Extreme beer expert.”