The Most Famous Gambling Songs

Humans tend to make art about the things they enjoy, and throughout the ages, gambling has been a topic of much artistic focus because it’s one of humanity’s oldest vices. From Cezanne to Caravaggio, countless greats have portrayed rolling the dice or betting on cards. Modernity’s music is by no means above focusing on the flick of the dealer’s wrist, and there are thousands of songs that portray gambling, the highs, and the lows. Here are the most famous for you to enjoy as you join their ranks.

Warning!

If you’re putting on these jams to supplement your own gambling, make sure you’re playing responsibly and that you’re only trusting your money with a casino that has the right credentials. According to spin casino, 128-bit SSL encryption and a trusted license like one from the Kanawake Gaming Commission are highly recommended if you’re gambling online.

The Gambler by Kenny Rogers

Famous for laying down some of the most iconic songs of the ’70s, Kenny Rogers released The Gambler in 1978, and it became an instant classic and a surefire hit. It is simply about a man taking advice from a gambler who knows what he’s talking about. It’s worth listening to just for the guidance of “know[ing] when to hold them and know[ing] when to fold them” – simple but effective advice if you’re ever on tilt.

Ace of Spades by Motorhead

Mention Motorhead to any rock fan, and you’ll get a bittersweet “ahhh” as they remember Motorhead’s legendary frontman, Lemmy, who died in 2015. Ace of Spades is about cards but also Lemmy’s love of gambling in general – not many people know that he got his name from his love of gambling, as he was always asking his friends: “lemmy [or lend me] a bob or two until payday” when his luck wasn’t great on the slots. He loved slots so much that he toured with them in his dressing room.

Viva Las Vegas by Elvis “The King” Presley

 

The King can get any gambler’s spirits rising when he croons beautifully about perhaps the most famous gambling location in the world: Las Vegas. He sang this song for his movie “Viva Las Vegas,” and it ended up paying for his later years as he toured the Vegas strip. The major chord progression rises before the chorus, creating anticipation and then joy in a way that cleverly reflects the process of winning a bet.

Luck be a Lady by Frank Sinatra

Ol’ Blue Eyes sure did his fair share of gambling, in fact, he and his gang would overindulge so hard in Vegas that when they went to Hollywood to see Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall afterward, Bacall described them as being like a pack of rats. The name ‘The Rat Pack’ stuck as an informal nom de guerre for Sinatra and co forevermore. Luck be a Lady comes from the musical Guys and Dolls, in which he stars, and it recounts his alleged love of shooting craps. Sinatra wasn’t the biggest gambler in the Rat Pack – that title firmly falls in the hands of Dean Martin – but “Money Burns a Hole in my Pockets” isn’t quite as uplifting a gambling song.

About the author

There’s a lot of music out there - good music. At Essentially Pop our remit is that we cover music that deserves to be heard, with a particular focus on independent artists. That doesn't mean we won't cover your old favourites - rather we hope to give you some new favourites as well.

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