Important things in life often serve as an inspiration to songwriters, from love and relationships to gambling. It doesn’t matter whether you like to play slots, poker, or roulette, it’s likely there’s a song about it. But have you ever wondered what were the best songs about gambling? If you haven’t, we have. And that’s why decided to make our own list of all-time top twelve gambling songs. Let’s check them out. Many of them have gained a cult status over the years, and are very catchy as well. So don’t blame us if they get stuck in your head.
As soon as this song starts playing, you’re sure to picture a casino in your head. Released in 1964, “Viva Las Vegas” is a song that will put you in a mood for gambling. It’s actually a song made for the eponymous movie, starring the King himself. Elvis plays the role of a race driver working at a restaurant to pay off a debt.
For many, the song released in 1978 by the famous country singer Kenny Rogers is the number one gambling song. According to the author himself, a conversation with an experienced poker player served as an inspiration for the song’s chorus: “If you’re gonna play the game, boy you gotta learn to play it right, you’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.” That’s a great piece of advice.
This one also comes with great gambling verses: “The pleasure is to play, makes no difference what you say, I don’t share your greed, the only card I need is the Ace of Spades”. The band’s lead singer “Lemmy” Kilmister said he got the inspiration for this song from slots he often used to play in London pubs. This classic heavy metal hit will set you in the right move for gambling, that’s for sure.
Frank Sinatra released this hit song in 1965. It’s about a man who’s hoping he’ll win a bet. But, it’s no ordinary wager, as its outcome will decide the faith of his relationship with the woman of his dreams. Sinatra was a passionate gambler and a regular guest in Las Vegas even before the Sin City became the world’s gambling capital. He later owned a casino.
One of the gamblers’ favourites, Tumbling Dice was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards back in the 1970s. The number features a catchy blues boogie-woogie rhythm and tells a story of a gambler who can’t stay faithful to a woman. Tumbling Dice has to this day remained of the greatest songs ever to have been released.
There’s also Casino Boogie, which found its place at the band’s Exile on Main St. album from 1972. This song has never been played live by the Stones.
B.B. King first recorded Gambler’s Blues in 1996, although it was released a year later and appeared on his Back in the Alley album from 1970. When you think about it, blues and gambling are a perfect match. So if you haven’t had the chance to hear it yet, this is the opportunity to check it out for yourself.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a gambler or not, we’re sure you enjoy listening to the Swedish pop sensation’s songs. This one is very catchy, there’s no doubt you’ll be singing it in no time. “The Winner Takes It All” doesn’t explicitly mention gambling, although it uses the popular betting term. In this case, it’s an analogy for divorce. The rumour says that Bjorn Ulvaeus, one of Abba’s male members, wrote a song about his divorce and penned it on his fellow band member Agnetha Faltskog.
The next song on our list is the third one from the 2009 album Get Lucky, released by British singer Mark Knopfler. His album got excellent reviews and reached top positions on charts in several European countries, including Poland, Italy and Germany. Apart from being very catchy, the song also offers another great piece of advice: “You can’t bear the house, you can’t bear the house, tell the man, somebody, you can’t beat the house.”
If you’re a blackjack lover, then this is a song you’ll enjoy as you play your favourite game. The legendary musician released this song back in 1955. Apart from being a timeless classic, it also carries a crucial message, emphasising the brutality of the popular card game. Rumour has it that Ray Charles wrote it after beating his fellow musician T-Bone Walker in blackjack.
Ray Charles has another famous gambling song, called Losing Hand. It’s a lovely song, but don’t put it on your playlist while gambling.
The band released this song in 1975, and nearly half a century later it’s capable of giving you an adrenaline boost. “She gave me the queen, she gave me the king, she was wheelin’ and dealin’, just doin’ her thing, she was holdin’ a pair, but I had to try…”. Yup that hits the spot.
Lady Gaga’s song was released in 2008 and became a huge hit, topping the charts in the US, Canada, Australia, and many other European countries. Although the song itself is more about love and romance, rather than poker, the catchy lyrics earned it a spot on this list: “Can’t read my, no he can’t read my poker face”.
Many will be surprised to find this song on this list, as most of us never pay close attention to lyrics. “Shape of My Heart” was released in 1993 and appeared in the film “Leon”. Sting himself once explained the song is about a card player who continues to bet not to win, but to understand the mystery of luck and his own fate. The British singer defines that as “a scientific, almost religious law”.
That concludes our list. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article. Does any of these songs have a place in your collection? We’re eager to know. The next time you pick your favourite game, be sure to play the songs we’ve picked out. Enjoy the beat, and be sure to have fun! That’s what it’s all about.
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