Whether its movies, books or music, tales about taking risks just seem to make art seem that little bit cooler. There’s been hundreds of songs about poker, casino, roulette and everything in between since music began, and we take a look at ten of the best. From rock, to pop, and even heavy metal, check out these gems!
Snake Eyes – Mumford And Sons
The seventh track featured on their 2015 album Wilder Mind, Snake Eyes is a rather somber piece referencing bad luck with an ex-lover. The title Snake Eyes is a reference to the dice roll resulting in a single pip on each dice, the lowest score available from rolling two dice, and generally considered an omen of bad luck.
Ace of Spades – Motörhead
One of the most famous rock songs in history, 1980’s Ace of Spades from the album of the same name has become an anthem across the globe. The card referenced is traditionally considered the highest card in a deck of cards, but its value can change from game to game. Both the song and the album became firm fan favorites in Motörhead’s catalog, and the song has been played at every single show since its release.
Poker Face – Lady Gaga
Featured on her debut album “The Fame” and one of the singers most famous songs, Poker Face landed at number one in charts across the globe and has been a staple of Gaga’s career ever since, earning itself covers from artists such as Pixie Lott, Chris Daughtry and even Finnish country band Steve ‘N’ Seagulls.
The Angel And The Gambler – Iron Maiden
This 1998 single from British band Iron Maiden was featured on the album Virtual XI, their second with new vocalist Blaze Bayley. The mostly CGI video features the band playing to an animated crowd, and their infamous mascot Eddie acting as house dealer against the bands bass player Steve Harris.
The Jack – AC/DC
Written by the Young Brothers and Bon Scott and appearing on their 1975 album T.N.T, the song has been featured in most of the bands live releases since its debut.
“She gave me the Queen, she gave me the King. She was wheeling’ and dealing’ just doin’ her thing. She was holdin’ a pair, but I had to try. Her deuce was wild but my ace was high.”
Although lyrically themed around gambling and packed with poker terminology, it’s rumoured that perhaps that’s not necessarily the case.
The Winner Takes It All – ABBA
A fan favorite in the ABBA catalogue, and earning itself over an incredible 40 different cover versions, this single hit #1 in Belgium, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, and South Africa. Featured on the 1980 album Super Trouper, the song was rumored to be about the divorce of band members Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus but has been heavily denied by both parties on numerous occasions.
Tumbling Dice – The Rolling Stones
Featured on the infamous 1972 double album Exile On Main Street, the lyrics tell the story of a gambling man who can’t remain faithful to any woman. Credited as a Jagger/Richards composition, the song was initially called Good Time Women, but after Jagger decided he wasn’t a fan of the lyrics so decided to write new ones, settling on the title, and turning to his house keeper for inspiration for the rest of the words.
Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley
Probably the most famous gambling song in the world, and the unofficial soundtrack to the city that never sleeps, this track was initially released as a B-Side to “What’d I Say” from the film, Viva Las Legas. Although Presley never played the song live, it’s been covered live by numerous artists and is credited with selling over half a million copies.
Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple
Without a doubt the most popular guitar riff in history, the lyrics to this song tell the story of Deep Purple recording their album Machine Head in Montreux, Switzerland with a mobile recording studio called “The Rolling Stones Mobile Recording Studio” The day before Deep Purple were due to start recording, the Mobile was parked next to the Montreux Casino, an arena that was part of a complex of gambling halls, restaurants and theatres.
While Frank Zappa and his band the Mothers of Invention were onstage, a fire was ignited when an audience member shot a flare into the venue ceiling. The Casino burned to the ground (online casino gaming is much safer), but the studio and band were moved in time to escape damage.
Train of Consequences – Megadeth
Featured on the 1994 album Youthanasia, the lyrics to Train of Consequences tells the story of a man whose laundry list of poor decisions and betrayals eventually start to catch up with him.
“No horse ever ran as fast, as the money that you bet. I’m blowing on my cards and I play them to my chest”
The album received positive reviews upon its release and was commercially successful, peaking at number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart, and was certified platinum for shipping one million copies in the United States by 1995
(Article provided by Gina Hutchings, Gaming and Gambling Consultant at Paddy Power Casino)
Author: Buddy Iahn
Owner & Founder of The Music Universe and Atolma Productions.