Has Gambling Inspired Music?

After a less than careful glance over pop music, one can arrive at the (wrong) conclusion that it only talks about love affairs, luxurious parties, or obscenities. Songs have always been a way for composers to express themselves, their experiences, anguishes, and ecstasies. There are songs about pretty much everything, and gambling, of course, isn’t an exception. If you’re looking for a playlist for your gaming sessions, you’ll leave this article with a few tips.

Notes and Chips

happiness - lucky number roulette
Image by Greg Montani from Pixabay

The number of rockstars admittedly crazy about gambling is big. We can include names like Lemmy Kilmister, Ace Frehley, Scott Ian, Sully Erna, and others on this list. Many of them put their passion for gambling into music, creating timeless classics of pop-rock music.

Yet, the passion for gambling has been sung for centuries. Josquin de Prez, a French Renaissance composer, wrote the Mass of the Dice using a pair of dice and gambling principles to arrange a popular tune. The composition dates from the end of the 15th century. There are also references to the theme in genres like rap, hip-hop, soul, and blues.

Having the right soundtrack can also make your gaming sessions much more entertaining. Moreover, the soundtrack of most online casino games sounds more like an alarm that no one turns off than actual music. So, here are a few tips to get you in the mood, depending on the game you prefer.


You could create an entire playlist based solely on unforgettable songs about poker. Although historians might argue that the game has Persian origins, it’s today inextricably linked to the Mississippi River roots of its most popular variation: Texas Hold ’em.

So, if you want to go historical, you’d also be excused to create a blues-based playlist. Still, if you’re looking for something more specific, consider including Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” and Ray Charles’s “Losing Hand” in your playlist. Alternatively, a rock and roll approach, with AC/DC’s “The Jack,” can add adrenaline to any poker table.


Blackjack is arguably as popular as poker and has inspired its fair share of songs. Motorhead’s Ace of Spades is a mandatory name on any gambling-themed playlist. Ray Charles also took a shot at this game and composed the classic, “Blackjack.”

The King of Rock, Elvis Presley, also sings about blackjack (and other games) in “Viva Las Vegas.” It’s a great song to get you in the right mood since it talks about a guy having a blast in Las Vegas.


Slot games have some of the most annoying sound effects and “soundtracks” in existence. Unless, of course, you choose a rock band-based game, like Motorhead, Guns’ n’ Roses, Elvis Lives, Jimi Hendrix, and the like. You can also create a rave-like playlist to go with all the visual effects of your favorite games.


Roulette is one of the oldest casino games. The game was created by Blaise Pascal, a 17th-century French mathematician. The game’s date of birth is close enough to the creation of the first casino in history, the Casinò di Venezia, which opened its doors in 1638. Josquin de Prez’s Mass of the Dice could help you travel back to those times. Viva Las Vegas, in a quite different tone, would also be a great choice here.

Rockstars And Their Gambling Scores

Many rock stars lived gambling experiences quite intensively. Here are some legendary musicians that are also famous for their gambling habits.

Scott Ian

Scott Ian made famous as a thrash metal guitarist with his band, Anthrax. Besides being a fantastic musician, Scott is also a professional poker player, participating in several WSOP editions.

Sully Erna

You might remember Sully Erna from the famous American heavy metal band, Godsmack, or his accomplished solo career. Erna is also a poker enthusiast and even got a royal flush tattoo that reads “No Justice” because, according to the musician, “there’s no justice in poker.” The most desired hand in the game came after he folded a four aces hand.

Lemmy Kilmister

Lemmy Kilmister sang in Motorhead, one of the most influential bands in rock history. Lemmy’s love for gambling is made clear in Ace of Spades, which sings about the sheer exhilaration of gambling, no matter what. In a documentary about his life, “Lemmy: The Movie,” close friends and colleagues talk about excesses on gambling.

Ace Frehley

One might really love cards to make Ace his surname. Yet, that’s the case of Paul Daniel Frehley or Ace Frehley if you’re a Kiss fan. Far from the heavy make-up and RPG-like costume, Frehley plays poker for real in the most popular casinos in Las Vegas and WSOP events. Frehley was one of the players in the WSOP edition won by Scott Ian.

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