Poker has been the backdrop for some great songs over the years. Whether it’s the excitement of playing the game or the drama that can unfold, these songs capture all the different aspects of this popular card game. Here are 20 of our favorites!
The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” is one of the most iconic country songs of all time. The song tells the story of a gambler who offers advice to a young man who is just learning the game. The gambler tells the young man that there are three things he needs to know in order to be successful: know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, and know when to walk away. The song goes on to provide guidance on how to deal with losing streaks and bad luck.
Poker Face – Lady Gaga
Poker Face is a song by Lady Gaga, and it is about the game of poker. The lyrics describe a game of poker where the singer is trying to keep a “poker face” and not show her emotions. The song is about the game of poker, but it can also be interpreted as a metaphor for life. The lyrics suggest that life is a game where we are constantly trying to hide our true feelings and emotions. We put on a “poker face” in order to try and fool others, but eventually, our true feelings will be revealed. The song is about the game of poker, but it can also be interpreted as a metaphor for life.
Ace Of Spades – Motörhead
Released in 1980, “Ace of Spades” is a song by the English heavy metal band Motörhead. It is considered to be one of their signature songs and is one of the most popular metal songs of all time. The song is about the game of poker and the dangers of gambling. The lyrics tell a story about a man who is addicted to gambling and ends up losing everything he has. Despite the dark subject matter, the song is upbeat and has a catchy riff that has helped to make it a metal classic. “Ace of Spades” has been covered by many other artists, and its iconic status was cemented when it was used in the opening scene of the classic film “The Deer Hunter.”
A Good Run Of Bad Luck – Clint Black
In the song “A Good Run of Bad Luck,” country singer Clint Black tells the story of a down-on-his-luck gambler who keeps losing at poker. Despite his string of bad luck, the gambler continues to play, hoping to turn things around. However, as the song progresses, it becomes clear that his luck is not about to change. In the end, the gambler runs out of money and is forced to leave the casino, realizing that he will never win. Despite its sad story, “A Good Run of Bad Luck” is an upbeat and catchy song that provides a glimpse into the world of gambling. Black’s humor and clever lyrics make it an enjoyable listen, even for those who have never stepped foot in a casino.
The Jack – AC/DC
AC/DC’s “The Jack” is a song about poker, specifically the card game known as blackjack. In the song, the narrator describes how he “hit the jack” (i.e., won the game) by cheating. He then goes on to boast about how he tricked the other players and took their money. The song is full of references to gambling terms and techniques, making it a fun listen for anyone who enjoys poker. However, it also serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of cheating. As the narrator says, “You can’t beat the house if you don’t play fair.” In other words, even if you’re a skilled gambler, you’ll never win if you don’t play by the rules.
Desperado – Eagles
“Desperado” is a song by the Eagles, released on their 1973 album of the same name. The song was written by Glenn Frey and Don Henley and was inspired by the character of Josey Wales, played by Clint Eastwood in the 1972 film High Plains Drifter. “Desperado” is a slow, reflective ballad with country and western influences. The lyrics tell the story of a lone gunfighter who is searching for meaning in his life. The gunfighter is compared to a desperado, an outlaw who lives outside the law. The song is widely considered to be one of the Eagles’ best, and it has been covered by many artists, including Waylon Jennings and Emmylou Harris.
Shape Of My Heart – Sting
Shape of My Heart is a song by Sting that was released in 1993. The song is about poker and how the game can be both a source of joy and pain. The lyrics describe how the game can be both beautiful and cruel, and how it can make people do things that they never thought they would do. The song has been covered by many artists, including Willie Nelson and Celine Dion. It has also been used in several movies, such as Casino Royale and The Lookout. Shape of My Heart is a classic example of how a song can be both meaningful and popular.
Losing Hand – Ray Charles
Ray Charles was a famous musician who achieved great success in the genre of soul music. Despite his success, Charles often found himself struggling financially. In “Losing Hand,” he tells the story of a poker game gone wrong. Charles was clearly a skilled gambler, but he made the mistake of playing against someone who was even better. The song reflects on the foolishness of gambling and the importance of knowing when to walk away. The lyrics also contain a message of hope, as Charles acknowledges that he can always start over again. “Losing Hand” is a classic song that continues to resonate with listeners today.
The Card Cheat – The Clash
“The Card Cheat” is a song by the British punk rock band The Clash. It was released as the lead single from their third studio album, London Calling (1979). The song is about poker, and it uses card metaphors to comment on society. The lyrics tell the story of a card cheat who is caught and executed, but the chorus features the line “the card cheat dies but the game carries on.” This provides a commentary on how society often turns a blind eye to crime and corruption. The song also criticizes gambling, pointing out how it can lead to ruin. Despite its dark subject matter, “The Card Cheat” is an upbeat and catchy song that remains one of The Clash’s most popular tracks.
That Was A Crazy Game Of Poker – O.A.R.
O.A.R.’s “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker” is a song about, well, playing poker. The lyrics tell the story of a game of poker gone wrong, with friends turning on each other and tempers running high. But despite the chaos of the game, the song’s narrator still manages to come out on top. The song’s upbeat tone belies the seriousness of its subject matter, making it clear that O.A.R. is just poking fun at the intensity of poker games. Nevertheless, the song has become a fan favorite, and its catchy chorus is sure to stick in your head long after the last card has been played.
Luck Be A Lady – Frank Sinatra
Luck Be A Lady is a song from the 1950 musical Guys and Dolls. The song is sung by the character Sky Masterson, who is a gambler. In the song, Sky sings about how he loves gambling and how he hopes that luck will be on his side. He also talks about how gambling is a dangerous game and how it can ruin lives. Despite the risks, Sky says that he can’t resist the lure of the tables. The song has become one of Frank Sinatra’s most famous recordings, and it is often associated with gambling and casinos. The lyrics of the song reflect the excitement and danger of gambling, and they capture the essence of the casino lifestyle.
Queen Of Hearts – Juice Newton
Queen Of Hearts by Juice Newton is a song about Poker. The song was released in 1981 and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song is about a woman who is dealing with a breakup and uses the game of Poker as a way to cope with her pain. The lyrics describe how the woman is trying to keep her composure but is struggling to do so. Despite the sad subject matter, the song has an upbeat tempo and is considered to be one of Newton’s most popular songs. Queen Of Hearts has been covered by many artists and has been featured in numerous films and television shows.
Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley’s “Viva Las Vegas” is a classic song about gambling and risk-taking. The lyrics tell the story of a man who is down on his luck and decides to go to Las Vegas to try his hand at poker. The song is filled with references to classic gambling games such as blackjack and roulette, and it captures the excitement and energy of the casino scene. While the song is clearly about gambling, it also has a message about taking risks in life and enjoying the ride. “Viva Las Vegas” is an iconic song that perfectly captured the spirit of Sin City.
All I Wanna Do Is Play Cards – Corb Lund
All I Wanna Do Is Play Cards is a song by Corb Lund, a Canadian country singer-songwriter. The song is about the game of poker and the various emotions that come with it, from the highs of winning to the lows of losing. Throughout the song, Lund paints a picture of a group of friends who come together to play cards and gamble, and the various ups and downs that come with it. poker can be a fun and exciting game, but it can also be frustrating and disappointing. However, Lund’s light-hearted and catchy tune makes it clear that, at the end of the day, all he really wants to do is play cards with his friends.
Diamond Jack – Wishbone Ash
“Diamond Jack” is a song written by Andy Powell and performed by the British rock band, Wishbone Ash. It was released as a single in 1973 and charted at number 43 in the UK. The song is about the game of poker, specifically the strategy of playing “diamonds” when you have a good hand. The lyrics describe a particular hand in which the player has four diamonds and Jack high. The chorus advises the listener to “play your cards right” and notes that “diamonds are forever.” While the song is ostensibly about poker, it has been interpreted as a metaphor for other aspects of life, including love and relationships.
Pokerface – Ghostface Killah And Shawn Wigs
Ghostface Killah and Shawn Wigs’ “Pokerface” is a hip-hop ode to the game of poker. The song opens with a sample of a poker tournament commentator declaring, “And here comes Shawn Wigs, Ghostface Killah!” Over a playful piano loop, Ghostface and Shawn take turns boasting about their poker skills, with Ghostface proclaiming himself to be the “poker god” and Shawn declaring that he can read his opponents like a book. The song is full of clever poker references, with Ghostface boasting that he always has an “ace in the hole” and Shawn bragging that he’s “all in” on every hand.
Kids/Poker Face – Weezer
Poker Face is a song by the American rock band Weezer, released on their self-titled album in 1994. The song is about poker, and its lyrics reference several well-known poker terms. The opening line, “I can’t read your poker face,” is a reference to the difficulty of reading tells in poker. The line “the dealer deals the cards” refers to the role of the dealer in a game of poker. The chorus, “poker face, p-p-poker face,” is a reference to the common practice of hiding one’s emotions while playing poker. Poker Face is a catchy and well-known song, and its lyrics provide a clear explanation of some basic concepts in the game of poker.
Lazy Poker Blues – Fleetwood Mac
“Lazy Poker Blues” is a song by Fleetwood Mac, released on their self-titled debut album in 1968. The song is about poker, and specifically the game of Texas Hold ’em. The lyrics describe the feeling of being caught in a losing streak, and how frustrating it can be to try and turn things around. Despite the downbeat subject matter, the song has an up tempo and cheerful feel, making it a favorite among fans of the band. In live performances, the song often features extended improvisations, giving each performance a unique flavor.
Go Down Gamblin’ – Blood, Sweat & Tears
Go Down Gamblin’ is a song written by David Clayton-Thomas and performed by Blood, Sweat & Tears. The song is about poker, and it explores the emotions that can come with gambling. The lyrics tell the story of a man who is down on his luck and struggling to make ends meet. He turns to gambling as a way to try and win some quick money, but he quickly finds himself in over his head. The song speaks to the risks of gambling, and how it can lead to ruin.
The Dark Town Poker Club – Phil Harris
The Dark Town Poker Club is a song written by Phil Harris and recorded by his band in 1950. The song is about a group of friends who meet up to play poker every week at the local pub. The pub is in a shady part of town, and the poker games are always lively. One night, one of the players loses all of his money, and he can’t afford to buy a round of drinks for the group. The other players refuse to give him any money, so he’s forced to leave the game. The player walks home, dejected and angry, vowing never to return to the Dark Town Poker Club.