Songs about gambling and poker have existed since the neanderthal started humming catchy beats while playing Caveman Wars!
Okay, probably not, but there’s been a long cultural shift in appreciation for casino games and other forms of gambling, coinciding with the rise of the gambling mecca with Las Vegas, Monaco and Macau, to name a few. These cities are unique in their own ways, but they share a simple philosophy: keep the players entertained and coming back for more!
It’s unsurprising, then, that music plays a big role in our collective appreciation for gambling. There are countless songs about the highs and lows of poker and gambling, and they’re spread out across multiple genres including country, rock, soul and pop. I’m sure you’ll find some death metal poker songs out there as well. Here are our favourite songs about gambling.
Best Gambling Songs Of All Time
No list of the best gambling songs of all time would be complete without Kenny Rogers’ iconic poker song, “The Gambler”. Even the most novice of poker players can appreciate the song’s message, particularly its most powerful lyric: “You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em”.
It’s drowning in ‘80s beats and grunts, but it’s hard to ignore the underlying message of Madonna’s Gambler: “I’m a gambler, and I will take you by surprise / Gambler, I’ll aim this straight between your eyes,”
Wise words of advice for any poker player.
“Ace of Spades”
If you need an adrenaline rush before a night of cards, Motorhead’s Ace of Spades is the track for you. This rockin’ tune about a die-hard gambler living on the edge is fast and intense, perfect to prepare you for the night ahead.
This somber tune should resonate with any blackjack player. It’s real and confronting, but an important track to keep you aware of the highs and lows of card games. On its own, it’s just a superb blues track.
“Luck Be A Lady”
Classic swooner Frank Sinatra pleads with Lady Luck to be kind to him when he hits the table, something most of us can appreciate!
“The House Of The Rising Sun”
You might recognise this ageless classic from countless movies, most notably Casino and Goodfellas. It tells the story of a man who lost everything in a gambling establishment, and while it’s not a happy tale, it’s a brilliant song with a powerful message worth listening to.
This telling tale from AC/DC is about lead singer Bonn Scott’s experience with a woman who, despite not looking like she had experience gambling, ended up beating him in a game of Poker.
This perky song is about a man’s passion for gambling, from horse racing to cards and many other casino games. If you love a cheeky bet, this song’s about you.
“Viva Las Vegas”
No song epitomises the bright lights, glitz and glamour of America’s gaming mecca Las Vegas quite like this song. If Elvis’ Viva Las Vegas doesn’t prime you for a night of cocktails, blackjack and shows, nothing will.
The Rolling Stones
This track is not so much about gambling, but it has plenty of references to it. It tells the tale of a gambler unable to remain honest to the women in his life, yet commits to his lifestyle of poker games and blackjack.