Music is arguably the most effective medium to capture a very specific, very human feeling that words alone cannot express. Throughout our lives, various songs will become important to us and act as reminders of pivotal memories; whether that be the first song at a wedding, the soundtrack to a teenage breakup or even the music chosen for a loved one’s funeral.
Hearing that same song years later has the power to take us right back to the time and emotion of that life event. And of course music can also conjure up many other sentiments. It can bring levity and joy, psych us up for a sporting event or simply help a car journey go by quicker.
There’s a song to suit every mood and occasion, even when you find yourself at the roulette table. Whether you’re in the high rollers rooms in the Monte Carlo Casino or simply enjoying a game on a uk poker site from the comfort of your own home, the stakes can feel just as significant and the perfect musical accompaniment can really help set the tone. We take a look at some of the best gambling songs of all time.
Elvis Presley – Viva Las Vegas (1964)
Where better to start than the neon lights and the global casino epicentre of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada – Sin City! Released to coincide with the premier of the motion picture by the same name starring Elvis himself, it has become almost impossible to say the phrase “Viva Las Vegas” without singing the famous tune. And we’re pretty sure this iconic song from ‘The King’ encouraged a whole generation of gamblers to take to the casino floor.
Another character synonymous with the casino is Ian Fleming’s international man of mystery, agent 007. Throughout the 27 Bond flicks to date, the titular hero has found himself at some of the most glamorous gambling houses across the globe, from Lisbon to Monte Carlo and from the Bahamas to Macau, China.
It’s hard to pick a stand out theme song from the franchise since it has attracted a glittering host of musicians over the years but Live And Let Die from former Beatles frontman Paul McCartney might be hard to beat.
Motorhead – Ace of Spades (1980)
The metaphors are rife in this headbanging offering from English heavy metallers, Motörhead. The late Lemmy Kilmister refers to blackjack, craps, baccarat and a host of other casino mainstays as the backbone to this energetic song.
Maybe it won’t put you in the perfectly calm and calculated frame of mind that’s important for many casino games but it will definitely put you in the mood for a good time.
Lady Gaga – Poker Face (2008)
The most modern song on this list from a contemporary pop icon is actually about hiding her true intentions in a relationship but the lyrics make for a fitting backdrop to a game of Texas Holdem.
Abba – The Winner Takes It All (1980)
The Swedish pop megagroup Abba knew how to write a catchy song and The Winner Takes It All is no exception. When you scratch the surface, this one is more melancholic than it first seems.
It’s Agnetha’s favourite of all their back catalogue and was written by her former husband and bandmate Björn as their marriage broke down. But somehow it still seems to suit a successful evening at the gambling tables as you collect your winnings.
Kenny Rogers – The Gambler (1978)
If there’s one genre of music that is well known for referring explicitly to a very particular circumstance in an often creative way, it has to be country music, some which can be found on various online music platforms. Whether it be Johnny Cash exclaiming, “I’ve been flushed from the bathroom of your heart” or Conway Twitty doing a great job of not beating around the bush by declaring, “you’re the reason our kids are ugly, little darling”, country musicians have an exceptional way with words.
And there’s certainly a lot of sage advice within the lyrics of Kenny Rogers classic singalong, The Gambler, all wrapped up in a gambling theme:
“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away, know when to run.”
The Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog (1969)
Of course you’re not always on top when you leave the gaming table and sometimes there needs to be a fitting soundtrack that encapsulates that feeling. Guy Ritchie did a good job of doing just that in his seminal London gangster action of 1998, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
As one of the protagonists, Eddie walks away from the poker table having been (unknowingly) cheated out of a vast sum of money, Iggy Pop’s iconic guitar riff intro starts to play. Eddie stumbles out of the boxing gym (because of course that’s where an illicit poker match should take place) as the gravity of the situation dawns on him. Perhaps not an ideal outcome or one we’d wish upon ourselves but a great song, nonetheless.
Ultimately, it’s your choice what you choose to listen to while at the casino tables. You might prefer a relaxing soundtrack to keep your mind focused or maybe an upbeat jam to set the tone. Either way, have fun and gamble responsibly.
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