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Poker in cinema, and the way it's used

Poker has been featured in movies almost since the birth of the silver screen – with the silent two-reeler from 1912, A Cure for Pokeritis, starring the legendary John Bunny, being the earliest known example. In movie terms things have come a long way since then (although the actual depiction of poker is not always a whole lot more realistic now than it was then), but poker is still the casino movie king.

James Bond used to favour baccarat of course, but since 2006, he has been working on a poker face to rival Lady Gaga's – starting with Casino Royale. The Texas Hold'em sequence that forms one of the centre-pieces of that film is a classic example of cinema creating tension, despite the actual game details being a load of old tosh. If you want to see how it is played properly, then you can check it out at Gaming Club to see for yourself. Movie fans will be on the edge of their seats, as 007 and Le Chiffre battle for psychological supremacy, while poker fans will be on the edge of their sanity at the ridiculous hands that both characters get during the course of the scene.

That said, reality and James Bond movies have only ever had a passing acquaintance with each other. Another very memorable poker scene from the movies is the one in Cool Hand Luke – a movie that is made up of one memorable scene after another, held together by Paul Newman's charisma and some boiled eggs. This scene features the bluff to end all bluffs, as Luke (Newman) wins the game with an absolutely useless hand – and then comes out with the line that gives him his nickname.

You should probably not try it in a real-life game though – unless you plan to inject yourself with botox before the start (get the dose right though, as too much and you won't be able to move your lips to deliver the line reference).
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