Poker Movies: Maverick

Posted September 5, 2009 by Andrew in Articles

MaverickThough not exactly about tips on playing poker, Maverick shows the whole picture of the adventurous life of a gambler in the old days in the West. This movie was released in the mid 90s, 1994 to be exact. As opposed to the past two movies we have featured, this one is not all that serious. In fact, Maverick is a comedy and Western movie combined. It has Mel Gibson in it as the lead guy.

Mel Gibson plays Bret Maverick (of course). His goal is to somehow come up with $25,000 so that he can enter a five-card draw poker tournament. For those who want to refresh their memories, five-card draw poker is where each player around the table gets 5 cards. You then have to come up with the best hand possible by trading in some of the cards. Five-draw poker can be played with 2 to 8 players around the table.

The poker action is mostly seen at the latter part of the movie when Maverick makes it to the poker tournament. The tournament starts off with smaller tables of 4 players each. The winner for each table then would move on to the finals where the rule was to “play until you drop.” The movie shows how hard they were on cheaters back then. As the tournament was played on a riverboat, any cheaters were thrown overboard. This scenario – riverboat gambling, that is – is what some operators are trying to project even today. Though riverboat gambling is not at all that big a thing these days, there are still short gambling cruises offered in the US. The movie ends with… ok, I decided not to write any spoilers in case some people haven’t watched Maverick yet. It’s suffice to say that the ending made allusions to a probable sequel. To date, however, one has not been made.

The movie is not without other stars. It in fact features Danny Glover – who as we all know, co-starred with Gibson in his Lethal Weapon series. There were obvious references to the movie in fact. Maverick also boasts of having Jodie Foster in the line up.

Some trivia about the movie from Wikipedia:

  • The Commodore states that he has “two small pair, eights and eights” as a way of deceiving his oppponents at the table (Maverick and Angel), but it has been common in poker for cards to “call themselves,” meaning that so long as a player lays all his final cards face up on the table, the player’s best possible hand will be recognized.
  • The poker tournament scenes feature many familiar faces, either from appearances in western movies and television programs, or from careers in country music. These include (in no particular order) Johnny Cash, Carlene Carter, Waylon Jennings, Kathy Mattea, Denver Pyle, Vince Gill, James Drury, Clint Black, Dub Taylor, and others.
  • The scene with Danny Glover, Gibson’s co-star on the Lethal Weapon film series, also includes a strain of the ‘Lethal Weapon’ theme plays as they lock eyes.
  • Margot Kidder, has a small role as a woman that lost her wedding suit and asks Maverick and friends to recover it. She worked with director Richard Donner in the 1978 film Superman.

About the Author


Andrew Keyes is a poker enthusiast, a writer, researcher, speaker, and consultant. You can visit to get poker articles along with winning poker tips, tested poker strategies, the latest poker news, free poker tools, cool poker resources, and more! Visit today and you can download some of the best poker bots for automating your poker play!