Whether we like it or not, gambling is deeply rooted in our culture, and it comes as no surprise that many musicians wrote songs about it. Some are about winning, some about losing, and others sing about it as a metaphor for life. In any case, we put our headphones on and made you a list of the most famous songs about gambling.
One of the first mainstream tunes about gambling must be this one. It’s not just a famous song about gambling, but also one of Elvis Presley’s biggest hits. Although Elvis doesn’t specifically sing about any casino game here, he praises the “bright light city” of Las Vegas as the American capital of gambling.
“Ace of Spades” by Motorhead
The most hardcore song on our list by far. This heavy metal hit came out in 1980 and it describes the love of poker using the terms like “pushing up the ante”, “double up or quit”, etc. It’s also one of Motorhead’s most popular songs, being around the top of UK Singles Chart for several weeks upon release.
“The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers
An anthem of gambling and a true masterpiece. A lot of people love this song whether or not they are fans of the country music. Kenny Rogers sings about his encounter with a gambler on a train who shares his advice on playing cards. The gambler talks about how he “made a life out of readin’ people’s faces” and how you should “know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em”.
“Losing Hand” by Ray Charles
Written by Charles E. Calhoun, this amazing song uses gambling terms as a metaphor for love. The most obvious analogies in the song are “I gambled on your love baby and got a losing hand”, “While I was playing fair baby you played a cheating game”, and of course “I thought I’d be your king baby, yes and you could be my queen, but you used me for your joker, cause I thought your deal was clean”.
“Poker Face” by Lady Gaga
Just at the time that the poker craze peaked in 2008, Lady Gaga released a hit called Poker Face. The song immediately skyrocketed on worldwide chart lists and today counts over 500 million views on YouTube. Also, this is the newest song on our list and the only one from this century.
“Shape of My Heart” by Sting
A song that is totally different from any other we listed here. Sting does not sing here about winning or losing, nor does he use card game terms as a metaphor for something else. This song is about a poker player who tried to figure out the game and learn it’s “hidden law of a probable outcome”.