Gambling is a hugely popular pastime in India and it is one which has generated plenty of interest in the Bollywood movie industry.
While the likes of The Gambler, The Cincinnati Kid, The Sting, and Casino Royale are well-known to western society, Bollywood has done its bit to create similarly themed movies.
The glitz and glamour of gambling at places like JackpotCity provide a perfect backdrop for Indian filmmakers and they have produced some of the best casino movies ever made.
Read on as we look at some of our favorite Bollywood casino films.
The Great Gambler (1970)||
This 1970s casino film bombed at the box office, but did well in Mumbai and has since gone on to be viewed as something of a cult classic.
Amitabh Bachchan plays Jai, an unbeaten gambling specialist who ends up working for a crooked casino boss.
He is paid to play against and defeat the casino’s high-rolling clients, before becoming mixed up in a complex plot that just about manages to stay believable.
Jai ends up teaming up with his long-lost twin brother to stop a top-secret military laser weapon falling into the wrong hands – a far cry from his expertise as a gambler.
|Released in 1971, Gambler is one of the best-known Bollywood gambling movies. It’s also one of the most important, as it was the penultimate film featuring the late Kishore Sahu.
Sahu played a Public Prosecutor in this Crime/Romance film and it was the last film he shot in the 1970s, 9 years before his untimely passing. Gambler was also the first Bollywood film featuring Zaheera, who got her big break a year earlier in the James Bond classic On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Gambler was directed by Dev Anand, who also assumed the lead role, playing alongside a master criminal and card-sharp (played by Jeevan). However, Amar Jeet was credited as the director in the film’s credits.
One of the songs featured in the film, Mera Man Tera Pyasa (sung by Mohammed Rafi) went on to feature in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, introducing this Bollywood casino movie to a new audience over 40 years after it was filmed.
This 2010 movie holds a unique place in Indian film culture, as it was the first to be premiered on YouTube on the same day as it was released in cinemas.
Striker follows the story of Suryakant Sarang, a youngster who wins the Junior Carrom Championship at just 12 years of age.
As he progresses through his teenage years, he tries to secure a job in Dubai, but is swindled out of his winnings by an unscrupulous employment agency.
He returns to one of the best Bollywood film games to take on Jaleel – a champion player from another region who stands in his way of recovering his money.