Gambling is popular not only with sports and casino fans, but it's also a popular topic in songwriting. In today's article, we will cover our favorite songs and lyrics about gambling. We won't stick to one music genre because it's discriminative, and on this list, you can see how multiple genres can sing/rap about gambling, like rock, country, rap, pop, etc.
Kendrick Lamar – Vegas
Kendrick Lamar debuted on the mainstream scene in 2012 and he has been named one of the most influential rappers of his time. In his song “Vegas” he talks about the thrill of gambling, casinos, and women. “If gambling’s a sin, then I’m rollin’ dice with Lucifer to make sure I ain’t losin’ you” is a line from the song and it's quite popular. Another gambling-related lyric is “That's what a craps shooter does, I'm bankin' on the win”
Lady Gaga – Poker Face
Lady Gaga is one of the most famous artists today and her song “Poker Face” came out in 2008 and was a hit across the globe. In the song, the singer mixes up gambling and sexual insinuations to say that “a little gamblin' is fun when you're with me” and that she has a great “poker face” and didn't show her cards. The music video shows how she is playing poker and is teasing her partner. Poker Face got Lady Gaga a Grammy award in 2010.
The Notorious B.I.G – Mo Money Mo Problems
The 1997 hit came out in The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Life After Death album and it features Puff Daddy and Ma$e. The essential meaning of the song relates to having lots of money and the more they make the more problems and enemies they encounter. The gambling lyric here is “We don’t play around, it’s a bet, lay it down” and it's from Ma$e's verse.
Blood, Sweat & Tears – Go Down Gamblin’
The 1971 single “Go Down Gamblin’” was released by rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears and it talks about how a man is so unlucky that he loses at every game he tries from poker to craps and roulette, but he will “go down gamblin’” and that is okay with him because it's his plan. The lyric “Honey, I am just a natural gambler but I try to do my share” is the perfect example and the rest of the lyrics show through what exactly the man has gone through.
The Overtones – Gambling Man
The 2010 pop song is performed by the Overtones and it talks about how the narrator has come to love a girl and that he is enthralled by her and will bet everything he has to get her to notice him. The lyrics “I played my hand, I rolled the dice, now I'm paying for my sins” and “My odds are stacked, I've never been a gambling man, I've never had the winning hand, but for you, I'd lose it all” show the man's love for this woman and in the second verse he refers to Frank Sinatra's hit song “Luck Be a Lady” and calls the woman the “queen of hearts.”
Kenny Rogers – The Gambler
Another Grammy-winning song on this list is Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler,” which was released in 1978. Although Rogers was praise for his interpretation of the song, he wasn't the first artist to record it – before him, Johnny Cash and Bobby Bare Sr. released their versions. Although he wasn't the first to record it, he was the artist who made the song a mainstream success.
The most popular lyric is the “advice” part of the song which the narrator gives after his luck runs out: “You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em; Know when to walk away, and know when to run; You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table; There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done.”
2 Chainz – Countin’
The 2 Chainz song “Countin’” isn't explicitly related to gambling, but the rapper does mention that he placed a bet at one time and lost it, but he aims to get it back because he is good at this. The exact lyric is: “Bet a hundred thou with the Falcons/Lost a hundred thousand with the Falcons/I'mma get it back cause I'm natural…” We mentioned this song because it has a gambling reference and the artist is popular these days.
Elvis Presley – Viva Las Vegas
Viva Las Vegas praises “Sin City” for the high stakes the bright lights and the strip, the beautiful women, and plenty of cash. The narrator in the song is ready to risk everything just to be a part of that energy. The song was also in a film with the same title and was one of the King of Rock n' Roll's greatest and known hits over the years. It's essentially an unofficial anthem of Las Vegas.