From pop to hip-hop and rock and roll, gambling is covered by all sorts of genres. Your favorite artist may have even referenced it in your favorite song.
Gambling is often associated with a lot of glitz and glamor. As such, it attracts the attention of some of the biggest artists in the world.
Everyone has heard at least one gambling song in their life, but which ones deserve to be recognised?
Here are the 10 all-time best songs about gambling.
1. Waking Up In Vegas – Katy Perry
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. That’s the old cliche and exactly what Miss Perry sings about in this massive song about gambling. She sings about a young, albeit underaged couple trying to remember the night before after a wild night out on the Strip.
It’s funny to think that the amount of time you spent at the tables takes a backseat in this scenario. Instead, it’s the fear of looking at your bank account or being confused at the sign of a ring on your and your best friend’s ring finger…
2. Ace Of Spades – Motorhead
This cool song about gambling is a completely different genre to the previous song. The heavy metal approach pays tribute the most famous card in the deck – the ace of spades.
But this song actually makes a lot of references to gambling. To name just one, here’s a great one:
“Pushing up the ante, I know you want to see me, read ’em and weep, the dead man’s hand again.”
While Motorhead may take a more relaxed approach to gambling than the winner inside us all, once this song gets going, it’s hard to turn it off.
3. The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
While Kenny Rogers is known for his country style, The Gambler is a very cool gambling song that anyone with a knowledge of the casinos and risk-taking can appreciate.
The first few lines are well-known:
“You’ve got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run”.
But this has a deeper meaning than just keeping your poker chips at the table. As noted by Obscure Sound, You need to know when enough is enough in all aspects of life.
If you are building a playlist around casinos and gambling, this song is a sure thing.
4. Huck’s Tune – Bob Dylan
This cool song about gambling was written for the hit film Lucky You and Bob Dylan hit the nail on the head. He sings about how money, poker and relationships can all be affected by the gambling industry, which is exactly what the film is about.
Anyone that has played in a casino knows how you can lose from gambling; when “the deck’s gone cold”, the luck goes with it.
But when “you push it all in, and you’ve no chance to win”, the heart gets pumping. There’s nothing like pulling a huge bluff when you’ve got absolutely nothing.
5. The Dealer – Stevie Nicks
The Dealer is an absolute must for your next gambling songs playlist, but did you know that Stevie Nicks wrote this song back in 1979? That’s right, it’s a lot older than you previously thought!
This is a great song to listen to while you’re playing poker. Despite its age, this gambling song references many of the topics you would usually associate with casinos. Nicks sings as the dealer in the games, but also talks as if she is a card shark. If you listen to the lyrics, you could be forgiven for changing the way you play.
6. Poker Face – Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga stormed to the top of the worldwide charts with this huge gambling song. With the online poker boom, she couldn’t have timed her success better, with this song making strong connections between the most famous card game of all time.
Even the very first line of the song, “I wanna hold em’ like they do in Texas” is just one of the many references to poker.
And if you know anything about pop music, you’ll know that Lady Gaga went on to win big with Poker Face.
7. On The Nickel – Tom Waits
This cool gambling song sets a different tone compared to Lady Gaga’s. Tom Waits uses a few gambling terms to describe how there are winners and losers in life, as well as at the table.
While 5th street is a poker term that refers to the river card, this gambling song describes 5th Street in Los Angeles, somewhere that does not share the same glamour of the bright lights in Vegas.
8. The Stranger Song – Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen had lots to say about gambling with this song. There are lots of lyrics crafted into this excellent track that talk about poker, but other fans argue he is actually referencing love which adds to his genius.
Gamblers have no problem identifying with lines like, “like any dealer he was watching for the card that is so high and wild, he’ll never need to deal another”.
After all, all it takes is one card and you can be set for life.
9. Shape Of My Heart – Sting
Shape of My Heart is another great example of a cool song about gambling. It’s about a poker player that does not care if they win or lose. He plays to beat the game rather than just simply winning money.
You can see this from these lyrics:
“He deals the cards to find the answer, the sacred geometry of chance, the hidden law of a probable outcome.”
Once you start hearing this song, don’t be surprised if you get the urge to have a go yourself.
10. Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley
How can you talk about cool gambling songs with mentioning the King of Rock himself. This gambling song was recorded on 10 July in 1964, and is so well-known that it has become the unofficial anthem of Las Vegas.
Elvis sings about all sorts of casino games like blackjack, roulette, poker, slots and so on, as well as how the nights become the days and the amazing time you can have in Sin City.
While this song wasn’t a big success at the time of release, it gained huge popularity – and it isn’t hard to see why.