There really is a song for every occasion, from major life events to romantic evenings. While the topic of gambling might not seem like an obvious choice, there is actually a lot of material for songwriters to work with.
Some focus on the fun and excitement – like Elvis Presley’s Viva Las Vegas – while others use it as a metaphor – see Tumblin ‘Dice from The Rolling Stones. Another common style of gambling song is to tell a cautionary story – Rambling, Gambling Willie by Bob Dylan is a fantastic example of this.
The production of gambling songs peaked in the mid to late 20th century, with blues, jazz, country, and rock and roll musicians having something to say about the habit.
But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t any more modern offers. Katy Perry and Lady Gaga released gambling-themed pop songs within a year in the late 2000s. The tone of these tunes is upbeat and fun-loving and is more in line with current attitudes towards gambling to relax and have fun with friends, when played responsibly.
Whether you want to throw a casino party or just want a playlist to keep you company while you play at the online poker tables, here are some of the best gambling songs to listen to.
The player from Kenny Rogers
Kenny Rogers ruled as King of Vegas in the 1970s, which may have inspired his album The Gambler.
The Gambler had already been recorded by three different musicians, including Johnny Cash, when Kenny Rogers picked it up and made it the title track of his album in 1978. It is one of the most famous tracks on the subject and also belongs to the sub-genre of narrative songs.
In the song, the player conveys a lot of gambling wisdom that can also be applied to other aspects of everyday life. He talks about knowing the difference between what is valuable and what can be discarded as the key to survival, both on the table and in life. Rogers’ country stylings make the song the perfect track to listen to at the end of the day or after a poker session.
The card-cheat of The Clash
Hiding cards up your sleeve used to be a popular fraud technique in land-based casinos.
The Card Cheat was recorded by The Clash in 1979 and released on their album London’s Calling. Many people have discussed the true meaning of the lyrics. On the surface, the song speaks of a card scammer being caught and shot, but The Clash are known for adding extra meaning to their words, especially ideas and messages against the establishment.
It has been suggested that the song is a metaphor for the fall of the colonial powers, or a complaint about the willingness of people to obey the orders of the monarchy, even if it meant their death. Whatever the real meaning, the gambling scam motive getting its comeuppance is a good reminder to always play fair.
Mojo Man by Jimi Hendrix
Mojo Man, a classic by the late, great Jimi Hendrix, doesn’t tell a story. Instead, the line, “I’ve always been a gamer so you know I’ll take a risk” is used to create the feeling of being a risk-taking person. With the dirty guitar and bluesy beat behind Hendrix’s distinctive voice, this is a song that screams temptations and encourages the listener to shake off their inhibitions and try something new.
It can be difficult to get people to try something new because we are afraid of failure or dislike of new experiences. Take gambling as an example, there are so many slots and card games to choose from that it can quickly become a daunting decision. This is why the best online casinos use familiar themes and styles to make people feel more comfortable.
A reputable name in the industry is 888 Casino, where you can find a wide variety of exciting and recognizable themes. Visit the online slots lobby page and you will find the legend yourself in the Jimi Hendrix slot.
Wake Up in Vegas by Katie Perry
Las Vegas is known for its abundance of casinos.
One of the recent additions to the gambling song list, Waking Up in Vegas is about how easy it is to get caught up in something and not think about the consequences. This is a problem that many players have found themselves in at one point or another, whether it is a pot because everyone else did it or spent way too much of their bankroll to chase a winning hand.
This tempo is upbeat, with catchy lyrics and a chorus that you’ll be humming long after the song ends. The video is also full of stereotypical Vegas images and a real pleasure to watch. One to wear when celebrating a victory or to make people dance.
Gambling songs manage to evoke the feelings many people have while gambling. But it doesn’t stop there. Whether it’s excitement at the prospect of a fun time or regret at the wasted opportunities, these songs also evoke everyday emotions that everyone can identify and relate to.