Gambling has been a part of popular culture for centuries, and its influence on music is obvious. This article seeks to examine the greatest songs about gambling, exploring their impactful lyrics and notable artists.

The songs selected are some of the most iconic and memorable gambling songs of all time, and include classic hits such as ‘The Gambler’ by Kenny Rogers and ‘Luck Be a Lady’ by Frank Sinatra.

The article will also explore more recent gambling songs, such as Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’ and Doja Cat’s ‘Vegas’. An analysis of the lyrics of each song will be conducted to assess their impact upon the gambling-song genre.

Popular Songs

Popular songs about gambling often feature themes from blues, country, rock n roll, and synth-pop genres. Iconic songs include:

  • ‘Luck Be a Lady’ by Frank Sinatra
  • ‘Losing Hand’ by Ray Charles
  • ‘Gamblers Blues’ by BB King

‘The Gambler’ by Kenny Rogers is considered one of the greatest gambling songs ever. It’s written by Don Schlitz, and versions have been recorded by Bobby Bare and Johnny Cash. The line, ‘You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,’ has become iconic.

Other notable songs about gambling include:

  • Bob Seger System’s ‘Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man’ was his first Top 20 song.
  • Elvis Presley’s ‘Viva Las Vegas’ was released as a single and featured in a film.
  • Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’ was a best-selling single worldwide in 2009.
  • The Allman Brothers Band’s ‘Ramblin’ Man’ was their only single to reach the Top 10.
  • The Rolling Stones’ ‘Dead Flowers’ and ‘Tumbling Dice’ were influenced by country music.
  • Motorhead’s ‘Ace of Spades’ was their debut single in the US.
  • Doja Cat’s ‘Vegas’ is the lead single for the 2022 Elvis Presley biopic.
  • The Notorious B.I.G.’s ‘Mo Money, Mo Problems’ reached #1 on the Billboard Top 100.
  • Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Vegas’ talks about casino games in the context of love.

Impactful Lyrics

Lyrics that have been deemed influential in relation to gambling have been highlighted in various songs. Most notably is the iconic line, ‘You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,’ from the 1978 classic ‘The Gambler’ by Kenny Rogers. Written by Don Schlitz and popularized by Rogers, the song is often the first people think of when it comes to gambling songs. Versions of ‘The Gambler’ have also been recorded by Bobby Bare and Johnny Cash.

Other songs with gambling themes include ‘Luck Be a Lady’ by Frank Sinatra, ‘Losing Hand’ by Ray Charles, and ‘Gamblers Blues’ by BB King. ‘The Card Cheat’ by The Clash, ‘Viva Las Vegas’ by Elvis Presley, ‘Poker Face’ by Lady Gaga, ‘Ramblin’ Man’ by The Allman Brothers Band, and ‘Dead Flowers’ and ‘Tumbling Dice’ by The Rolling Stones are also noteworthy gambling songs.

The influence of these songs is undeniable, as they have been etched into popular culture.

Notable Artists

Notable artists associated with gambling songs include:

  • Frank Sinatra
  • Ray Charles
  • BB King
  • The Animals
  • The Clash
  • Elvis Presley
  • Lady Gaga
  • The Allman Brothers Band
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Motorhead

These artists have created some of the most iconic gambling songs of all time, such as:

  1. ‘Luck Be a Lady’ by Frank Sinatra
  2. ‘Losing Hand’ by Ray Charles
  3. ‘Gamblers Blues’ by BB King
  4. ‘House of the Rising Sun’ by The Animals.

Each of these musicians have created timeless pieces of music that capture the essence of gambling.