5 Top Poker Songs and What They Are Really About

Numerous professional and recreational poker players in play in cash games and tournaments while wearing headphones and listening to music. They may not be listening to songs about poker, but there’s certainly a good chance that one or two poker songs are on their playlists; many such songs are about more than just the game. People who start playing in a casino only to discover poker games might be familiar with a lot of these songs way before they get into the action in a poker room, and some of the classics have definitely colored the way people view the game (in the mainstream).

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Here, then, is a list of 5 top poker songs, followed by brief descriptions of what they’re really all about.

The Gambler

If this was the first song you thought of when you saw the title of this article, you’re not alone. The poker song The Gambler is world famous, and it is hard to find people who can’t recite at least parts of it. It was written by Don Schlitz and originally sung by Kenny Rogers. The song is about how to play poker but also about how to live life. “You got to know when to walk away, know when to run” is a line that rings true to many as well as “You never count your money when you are sitting at the table, there’ll be time enough for counting when the game is done”. In other words, you’ll have enough time to count your riches when your time is up on this earth.

Of course, the beginning of the song’s chorus “You gotta know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em”, resonates well with anyone who has ever played a hand of poker.

Viva Las Vegas

From The Gambler we move on to a very glitzy song, Viva Las Vegas from Elvis Presley. The lyrics of this song are pretty straightforward. While it has an upbeat tempo, it is actually about burning through lots of money in Las Vegas. “All those hopes down the drain” is a line that clashes somewhat with the title of the song, but also what makes it so much more real and perhaps also the reason for why people love it so much.

I for one, sing the sing every time I fly or drive into Las Vegas. There’s just no more exciting feeling than approaching all those casinos and singing Elvis…

Poker Face

This song by Lady Gaga has less to do with poker than it has to do with romance. This is a good example of poker terminology used to describe love and relationships. The refrain goes “can’t read my poker face” which obviously means more than hiding what cards you have on hand.

It’s also a great example of product placement in music videos, with logos on the cards and chips and Beats by Dr. Dre headphones prominently displayed throughout.

It also happens to be my favorite poker song 🙂 Here, have a listen:

Ace of Spades

Motörhead is a popular heavy metal band and they are famous for the song Ace of Spades, which is about a die-hard gambler. For those interested in taking their love of music to a new level and jazzing things up with some gamble, this band is now also featured in a casino slot game from Netent called Motörhead, which will be launched later this year. For people looking for this kind of music game it is always great to use sites like APNET that recommend casinos with the Netent slots and other games with musical themes.

“What’s the poker connection in all this?”, you ask. Simple – the title! As per poker lore, everyone knows that the ace of spades is the “prettiest card in the deck.” 🙂

Losing Hand

If you’ve ever lost money playing poker – and who hasn’t! – you might want to listen to Ray Charles singing Losing Hand. “While I was playing fair baby, you played a cheating game” is quite the line, indeed. Any fan of Ray Charles music know that his songs can give you all the feels. Perhaps, then, there’s no better or more apropos song to fire up on your music player after the cards just won’t go your way in your home game or local casino.

Do you have any other favorite poker songs? Let us know about them in the comments section below.



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Written By.

Robbie Strazynski

Robbie founded in 2009. A veteran member of the poker media corps, in addition to writing and video presenting, Robbie has hosted multiple poker podcasts over the years, including Top Pair, the Red Chip Poker Podcast, The Orbit, and the CardsChat Podcast. In 2019, Robbie translated the autobiography of Poker Hall of Famer Eli […]


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