Ranking the 13 Top Songs About the Game of Poker

Why is poker such a dominant metaphor in music? Besides the fact that poker metaphors are predominant in the English language, the game personifies the human condition and our approach to life.

All life is at risk, even for the lower orders of animals like skinks and my in-laws, and we use poker to describe those risks and how we react to the various successes and failures of those risks.

So, of course , our songwriters will use those metaphors in their music. It would be more surprising if they did not. Let’s look at the best poker songs for something more important.

And maybe we’ll find a few top poker songs that are actually about poker itself. That would be totally meta, man. 13. Queen of Hearts — Juice Newton

Welsh singer Dave Edmunds covered this Hank DeVito song first back in 1979, but it was Juice Newton’s cover in 1981 that got all the attention. The song itself is only tangentially related to poker, but it manages to make everybody’s list of poker songs (including mine) because—who knows? Is it a toe-tapper? They shuffle cards a lot in the music video? See how easily I evade admitting that I actually like the song?

Next up on our list of best poker songs with references to the casino game, Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” uses a few poker metaphors to talk about how she plans to seduce someone.

I wanna roll with him, a hard pair we will be
A little gamblin’ is fun when you’re with me

The song was off her 2008 debut album and released as a single that same year. It won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording. By the way, “Poker Face” was written by Stefani Germanotta, which they call Lady Gaga when she’s at home. 11. Losing Hand — Ray Charles
Ray Charles somehow manages to impart the simplest lyrics with more meaning than some entire novels manage. While the poker references are sparse, they have some meat on their bones in this bluesy song from his debut album in 1957.Like many blues songs, the lines are […]

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