poker songs article

Just as a poker game is only as good as the hands that are dealt, a song about poker is only as good as its lyrics.

There are a number of “best gambling songs” lists out there, such as Yahoo!’s 25 Great Gambling Songs or Partypoker’s 10 Greatest Poker and Gambling Songs. But what about strictly from a lyrical perspective? What are the sharpest lines–verses or choruses–about gambling?

Here are the top ten best lyrics written about gambling:

1. “You 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 dealing’s done.” – The Gambler, Kenny Rogers, 1978

2.   “My wallet’s gettin’ thin
And I just lost my watch last night
I got a problem
Just one answer
Got to throw it all down
And kiss it goodbye.” – Crazy Game of Poker, O.A.R., 1997

3. “When you played your cards with Willie, you never really knew
Whether he was bluffin’ or whether he was true
He won a fortune from a man who folded in his chair
The man, he left a diamond flush
Willie didn’t even have a pair.” – Rambling, Gambling Willie, Bob Dylan, 1962

4. “I sat there with two tens
I thought I’d have some fun
The dealer hit sixteen with a five
Just enough to make twenty-one.” – Blackjack, Ray Charles, 1958

5. “It goes to show you don’t ever know
Watch each card you play
And play it slow
Wait until your deal come ’round
Don’t you let that deal go down.” – Deal, Grateful Dead, 1981

6. “Down in a crap game
I’ve been losin’ at roulette
Cards are bound to break me
But I ain’t busted yet.” – Go Down Gamblin’, Blood, Sweat and Tears, 1971

7. “Playing for the high one, dancing with the devil
Going with the flow, it’s all the game to me
Seven or eleven, snake eyes watching you
Double up or quit, double stake or split.” – Ace of Spades, Motorhead, 1980

8. “Roll of the dice
Take a spin of the wheel
Out of your hands now
So how do you feel
But you’re never gonna win
You’d better go back again.” – The Angel and the Gambler, Iron Maiden, 1998

9. “Oh, there’s blackjack and poker and the roulette wheel
A fortune won and lost on every deal
All you need’s a strong heart and a nerve of steel.” – Viva Las Vegas, Elvis Presley, 1964

10. “Russian Roulette is not the same without a gun
And baby when it’s love if it’s not rough it isn’t fun.” – Poker Face, Lada Gaga, 2008

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