It’s not only that casinos and gambling are inspired by filmmakers and gamers, but even musicians, artists, and storytellers have used the glamorous or mafia life of casinos and gamblers in their songs or stories. That’s all aspects of it, from a backdrop for mafia activities in the Martin Scorsese cinematic masterpiece casino to Elvis Presley’s glorious celebration of Sin City in Viva Las Vegas.
Whether you need some inspiration to get you into that winning mood when you’re playing online casino games there is a song that will provide a perfect soundtrack to your mood. Here are five gambling themed songs you will love to play at all times when you are in a gaming mood.
1. The Winner Takes it All
I don’t want to talk
About the things we’ve gone through
Though it’s hurting me
Now it’s history
I’ve played all my cards
And that’s what you’ve done too
Nothing more to say
No more ace to play
Featured on ABBA’s Super Trouper album which dropped in 1980, The Winner Takes it All is one of the band’s biggest hits and has been covered more than 40 times. Although band members Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus have both denied it, many fans still suspect that the lyrics are based on the erstwhile couple’s divorce. Ulvaeus has explained that the song is about “the experience of a divorce”, but not specifically about his. Whether personal or general, this melancholic musing on how the gods might roll the dice and affect players as mere mortals as easily as playing a Craps game became hugely important for the supergroup. As Fältskog has said in the past, it allowed all 4 members to process the loss of the relationship.
2. The Gambler
On a warm summer’s eve
On a train bound for nowhere
I met up with the gambler
We were both too tired to sleep
So we took turns a-starin’
Out the window at the darkness
The boredom overtook us,
And he began to speak
The wisdom of knowing when to take action, when to wait and see what happens, and when to just call it a day is made perfectly clear in this undeniably catchy Kenny Rogers hit. Taking time to consider your decisions is just as important in life as it is in Poker, as a wise gambler in the song explains to a young man who is “out of aces”. Other artists have also recorded The Gambler, including Johnny Cash, but it is Roger’s 1978 version that is most known and best loved.
3. Casino Boogie
No good, can’t speak, wound up, no sleep
Skydiver inside her, slip rope, stunt flyer
Wounded lover, got no time on hand
One last cycle, thrill freak Uncle Sam
Pause for bus’ness, hope you’ll understand
Judge and jury walk out hand in hand
Dietrich movies, close up boogies
Kissing cunt in Cannes
Casino Boogie, from the 1972 Rolling Stones album Exile on Main Street, had to be included in this list, if for no other reason than the legend surrounding how it was written. The story goes that the lyrics were written by scattering pieces of paper with words and phrases onto a table, and then putting them together in arbitrary combinations.
Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards at Richards’ French villa, rather than anywhere near a casino, the song still manages to evoke exciting-yet-laidback gambling feel thanks to its lyrics and straightforward blues rhythm that creates the “boogie” in its name. Never released as a single, Casino Boogie has also never been performed live – and after hearing it you’re sure to agree that it should be.
4. Luck Be a Lady
They call you lady luck
But there is room for doubt
At times you have a very un-lady-like way
Of running out
Your on this date with me
The pickin’s have been lush
And yet before the evening is over
You might give me the brush
You might forget your manners
You might refuse to stay
And so the best that I can do is pray
Luck be lady tonight
Luck be lady tonight
Frank Sinatra spent a lot of time performing in Vegas, and Luck Be a Lady became one of his signature numbers. The song is sung by Sky Masterson, Sinatra’s character in Guys and Dolls, who needs to win a bet so that he can save his relationship. All gamblers can relate to wanting Lady Luck to behave herself as they play, and the spin Ol’ Blue Eyes puts on the idea is just right.
5. That was a Crazy Game of Poker
20 throw down in my fist of rage
And the man to my left has folded down
Well Johnny doubled up with a royal flush
There’s a reason ESPN has previously used this O.A.R. track in its World Series of Poker coverage! Rollicking country music and entertaining lyrics honour the Poker games that were played in the saloons of the Old West, and will have you itching to play a few rounds yourself.
Now enjoy these wonderful songs and dive into the casino mood.