When the popularity of gambling, it’s no surprise that singers want to include it in their songs!
Music is often inspired by common things such as love, heartbreak and general emotions experienced. As these emotions can be fickle and completely left to chance, it makes sense that gambling influences certain songs as well. Most people gamble with their emotions on a daily basis so it’s logical for a collaboration between emotion and gambling.
Whilst gambling can traditionally involve online slots or poker, it can also relate to anything in life that you risk on. Here at Slot Gods, we are committed to providing you with the best information regarding the world of slots and everything around it. Here are 10 of the most famous songs inspired by gambling.
The Stranger Song - Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen is known for his poetic lyrics but ‘The Stranger Song’ is one that stands out as his most confusing. It follows the everyday life of a card dealer whilst detailing how horrible life can be and how cruel humans can be as well. The song references how humans cheat and use each other whilst trying to fight for their own survival. Dark lyrics include “sweeping up the joker that he left behind, you find he did not leave you very much, not even laughter” to reference the heartlessness in life and gambling. An utter masterpiece of the song showcasing Cohen’s understanding of humanity.
Ace of Spades - Motorhead
The metal classic track by Motorhead is full of gambling references. If the name itself didn’t give it away, then the rest of the lyrics will. The song states “if you like to gamble, I tell you I’m your man” and many other lyrics to showcase that the singer loves to gamble with everything in his life. It tells the story of man gambling and relates it to a dance with the devil due to the uncertainty. On the surface it’s all about gambling, but can relate to just about anything.
The Dealer - Stevie Nicks
Even the iconic Stevie Nicks couldn’t resist equating a song to gambling. In her track, ‘The Dealer’, she relates gambling to love and loss. She references herself as the dealer who held the cards to her fate but ultimately let herself down. Nicks mentions that “it was my fault, my move, my game” and she should’ve reconsidered her tactics in her romance. It’s a song that’ll leave you reflecting on your love life and your gambling style.
Queen of Hearts - Juice Newton
Country songs are often about love and loss - usually with loads of drama thrown in. Thankfully, this song by Juice Newton is exactly that but with gambling references thrown in. She is ultimately getting played like a deck of cards by some guy. In the song she mentions that he’s “playin’ with the Queen of Hearts” and that the “Joker ain’t the only fool” in this game. The song is super infectious and even featured in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
The Gambler - Kenny Rogers
Arguably the most famous song about gambling out there, the legendary country singer tells the story of an encounter he had on a train with a gambling man. Throughout the song, Kenny Rogers tells his story about the highs and lows of gambling whilst reflecting on the similarities in everyday life. With lyrics such as “you’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em. Know when to walk away, know when to run” - how could the song not relate to everyday life?
Poker Face - Lady Gaga
The literal title and first lines of the song are all about playing poker. However, whilst the song references loads of poker topics, the focus is really all about love. It’s about keeping your cards - aka emotions - close to your chest rather than just showing everything you’ve got. There’s no denying that this song is incredibly catchy and has so many extra meanings. The chorus is literally all about someone trying to read Lady Gaga’s actual poker face to understand her emotions but she’s remaining strong.
The Winner Takes it All - Abba
Abba may not come to mind when you think of songs about gambling, but ‘The Winner Takes it All’ is literally all about gambling your heart. The song details a woman’s struggle with her partner and how they have both been playing games but she knows that the fate of their relationship isn’t up to her. Perhaps the most famous line related to gambling is “the winner takes it all, the loser has to fall” commenting that even if someone wins, there will be a loser. Just like in life and in gambling.
When You’re Hot, You’re Hot - Jerry Reed
Describing an illegal game of craps in a back alley, Jerry Reed sings all about his winning streak throughout. Despite the good luck in the game, he is dealt poor fortune in his life as a police officer discovers the game and takes away his winnings. The iconic chorus of “when you’re hot, you’re hot” mixed with the later “when you’re not, you’re not” showcases that luck is fickle and doesn’t mean a thing. A valued lesson that everyone should remember in gambling and in everyday life - it always helps if you don’t bribe the judge like Reed.
Luck Be a Lady - Robert Alda
Many will have heard this song either through the hit musical Guys and Dolls or through the iconic Frank Sinatra. It may come as a shock that this song came out way before then and was originally sung by Robert Alda. The song details the perspective of a guy dating a woman and if he can save his relationship with her. With lyrics such as “a lady doesn't wander all over the room, and blows on some other guy's dice” is the guy projecting his fears of her wandering all whilst equating it to gambling.
Waking up in Vegas - Katy Perry
As the title suggests, this song is all about waking up in one of the most famous gambling locations in the world. Katy Perry sings about a regretful night in which she hopes it will all stay in Vegas. The song details her and her new lovers' winnings in Vegas with the focus on cashing out their winnings whilst they are successful. Ultimately, this song is about a funny night in Vegas but the ideology of cashing out whilst you are winning rings true for any person.