Gambling is a hobby enjoyed by so many people across the world that it is no surprise to find that it has inspired countless songs in different genres.
Some of them are among the most memorable pop song of recent decades and some of them you might have forgotten about or never even have heard of before now.
The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
This atmospheric song by country legend Kenny Rogers tells us about how the singer meets a wisened old gambler on a train. He listens as the experienced card player doles out sound advice on gambling (only missing the paddypower promo code!) that also applies to life in general.
“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em / Know when to fold ’em / Know when to walk away /And know when to run” he sings. Other classic lines in The Gamble include “Cause every hand’s a winner / And every hand’s a loser.”
Ace of Spades – Motorhead
Lemmy was far more of a slots machine fan than a cards player. However, the bassist and singer realised that it would be easier to write an iconic song about card games than about his favourite hobby.
“You win some, lose some / all the same to me” are some of the classic lyrics that set the tone for this song. The lyrics could be taken as a metaphor for the risks involved in living a hard, fast rock n roll lifestyle but it is the combination of great rock and Lemmy’s distinctive vocals that really bring it alive.
Luck Be a Lady – Frank Sinatra
No matter what type of game you prefer to play, there is no doubt that you need Lady Luck to be on your side. One of Sinatra’s most memorable songs, Luck Be a Lady was written for the musical Guys and Dolls.
“A lady doesn’t wander all over the room / And blow on some other guys dice” sings Frank as he mixes the need to win a bet with the desire to save his relationship with the leading lady.
Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley
This classic pop song first appeared on the Elvis Presley film of the same name and has been covered by many different artists since then. The feel-good music and the carefree lyrics make it the kind of song that many people can relate to, even if they have never gambled, used a promo code, or been tempted by the bright lights of Las Vegas.
The lyrics give us classic lines such as “Got a whole lot of money that’s ready to burn / So get those stakes up higher”. You have probably heard this song on countless movies and TV shows yet it still manages to retain a tremendous vitality and energy.
A Good Run of Bad Luck – Clint Black
Another song that explores the connections between gambling and love, A Good Run of Bad Luck appeared on the soundtrack to the Maverick movie about a poker tournament.
“If I’m bettin’ on a loser / I’m gonna have a devil to pay” are among the best lyrics in this gambling song, as the movie shows a man who is gambling on love as well as with cards.