Four of The Best Indian Gambling Films of All Time

Gambling movies have been a hit since day dot—but when it comes to India, the world of gambling is a whole lot different, and by that, we mean a little smaller. As of 2023, there were over 8 million movies across the world, but only a select few of them are gambling themes mixed with Indian culture.

The role of casinos in India is huge, with the total market being worth over $60 billion and that figure is rising year-on-year. Known for a rich, vibrant culture, India is currently experiencing a monumental rise in both online and physical casinos, so it’s no wonder that their movie selection is only getting bigger and better.

We’re going to dive into the world of Bollywood and its mark on the online casino and gambling space. From betting, to counting cards, Hollywood may have seen all the casinos you can think of, but Bollywood is only just getting started.

The movies themselves aren’t just about the casino and the strategies in play, but they offer a level of entertainment that jumps far beyond any regular movie script. Let’s take a look…

1) Teen Patti, 2010

Produced by Leena Yadav in 2010, Teen Patti is a movie that’s name translates to ‘three cards’ – which is a popular card game that’s played throughout South Asia and originated in India.

The movie itself explores this game, as it follows the protagonist, Perci, in his pursuit of winning big. Known as the world’s greatest mathematician, he finds Venkat, who is a reclusive genius in his own right. Venkat goes on to teach Perci about a theory that could change the principles of probability, where they soon establish this could help them see green when it comes to the casino—and they were right.

Not originally starting out for money reasons, it soon changes when they win big after practicing his equation on the ‘Teen Patti’ game in an underground gambling den. With the film following this highly card-oriented game, it’s a far cry from today’s roulette online—but just as great to watch and enjoy. The main characters end up in a casino ring that teaches them about greed and desperation; which as a whole gives suspense and excitement to the film.

2) The Great Gambler, 1979

Throwing it back to the years when casinos first kept cropping up on the street, The Great Gambler is a Bollywood classic. It is an Indian crime action film directed by Shakti Samanta and follows an expert gambler called Jai on his journey to being the ultimate best at gambling.

Having never lost a game in his time, this allure was being brought to the people in the underworld casinos, who were interested in hiring him. Wanting Jai to win large amounts of funds for rich individuals, the underground scene set out a pursuit to persuade Jai to join their side. When things get messy and funds start to get lost for the first time, the main character ends up being blackmailed for intelligent information relating to the government. It’s witty, it’s clever, and you’d never guess it was as old as it says on the tin. P.S. Spoiler alert—it ends well.

3) The Striker, 2010

The Striker premiered in 2010 and it holds a special place in every Indian’s hearts, given that it was based on a true story. Centering around the theme of underground gambling and the game ‘carrom’, the movie watches Surya and his involvement in the gambling circuit. Navigating all the challenges in the hustle and bustle of Mumbai’s slums, The Striker focuses on the highs and lows associated with illegal underground gambling.

We get to see the high stakes, high risk, and exciting game that Surya plays, along with all the temptations he faces along the way. It’s a film of survival, consequences, and the endgame for what happens when you spend too long getting involved in the underworld. It’s a game of greed and The Striker shows everything that you can know about this risky game.

4) Jannat, 2008

Jannat is a crime romance film produced and directed by Kunal Deshmukh in 2008. Featuring Emraan Hashmi, the movie follows the protagonist, Arjun, as a small-time gambler and part-time bookie who has dreams far beyond his current life. He has an aspiration to strike it good on the bets and lead a luxurious and rich lifestyle but ends up getting involved in illegal cricket betting.

Through this form of winning, he quickly rises in the ranks and earns the big bucks—which was all he ever wanted. The movie ends with moral dilemmas, love, and redemption as he faces the consequences of his actions.

Overall, gambling-themed movies in Bollywood follow more of a drama pathway, to ensure the viewer gets an overall feeling of the pros and cons of the games. They’re exciting, thrilling, and most importantly, high rolling—which is what makes casinos and gambling loved by the masses.

Content Produced by Indian Clicks, LLC