When a composer sits down to write what will hopefully be a hit, there are many themes to choose from. Gambling and casinos are definitely a couple that are full of good source material. There’s lots of stories to be told about gambling and here are five of the very best.

Image credit: UnsplashImage credit: Unsplash

The Gambler – Kenny Rogers

This seems a highly appropriate song to start with. “You've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run” are lyrics to pay great attention to take heed of.

They may sound a bit like the introduction of a Texas Hold ‘Em Poker manual but taking heed of them is a good idea for any gambler. Those are lyrics from this Kenny Rogers number one hit that went on to spawn a movie too.

The song is about the advice given by a long-term gambler while on an otherwise boring train journey. It’s amazing what you can get in exchange for a much-needed drink of whiskey. 

You can bet the advice on how to win grabbed the other person’s attention. He and any gambler who listens to the lyrics might be recalling them the next time they’re not sure what the next decision should be when playing Texas Hold ‘Em Poker.  If it’s online where you want to play casino games, it’s always best to check out the current promotions.

Poker Face – Lady Gaga

Still on the subject of poker, here’s a massive hit from Lady Ga Ga. It’s about relationships but the poker link is an important one. It doesn’t really relate to the more anonymous online poker that many play. However, it most certainly does when you are sat around a table with poker players.

The aim is not to give away the actual emotions that are running through your head. That applies to the time you have a full house of four of a kind or if you’re bluffing with a poor hand. It’s the same with relationships though because do you really want your partner to know just how happy or otherwise you are currently feeling?

Even Russian Roulette gets a mention in this song. That’s not a very popular game at casinos, certainly not one to play too long.

Waking up in Vegas – Katy Perry

Yes, people do actually wake up in Vegas. All that betting needs some energy so getting a few hours sleep is advisable. This Katy Perry song tells the story of a couple who have had the traditional wild night in the gambling capital of the world.

Just how wild a night it was isn’t that clear. No clear memories seem to exist of what precisely happened. There might have been a marriage, the fake ID has gone missing and a distinct lack of cash. The desire for another wild night is there though and it’s time to get some cash somehow and do it all over again.

If you are chasing that big win in a Vegas casino, then this is the one for you, It might just inspire you to go to the casino and finally achieve your dreams. 

Ace of Spades – Motorhead

If you are waking up in Vegas, listening to this record first thing isn’t a good idea. You can bet it’ll make any headache (or hangover) you have at least ten times worse. Motorhead produced some great heavy metal classics as any WWE fan will know.

The lyrics to this song will put a smile on your face and the odds are that will be accompanied by an earache too. Lyrics such as “You win some, lose some, all the same to me” will be recognised by many a gambler.

You know I'm born to lose, and gambling's for fools” might also be recognisable and might end up being used by a responsible gambling support group in time. Just try not to sing this the next time you get dealt the Ace of Spades. At least the song is about gambling, unlike ‘The Jack’ by AC/DC!

Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley

How could this be left out of any list of songs about gambling? It was recorded 56 years ago can you believe! Anyone who is planning a trip to Las Vegas has to give this Elvis hit a play to get them in the mood.

There’s everything from poker to blackjack and one arm bandits included in the lyrics of this great song. You might just find yourself singing it after a big win at one of the many casinos in Vegas. 

What if your trip to Vegas isn’t a successful one though? It might be best not to sing the lyrics “If it cost me my very last dime. If I wind up broke, oh well.”