About The Song

“The Gambler” is a country music song recorded by Kenny Rogers, released in 1978. Written by Don Schlitz, the song tells the story of a chance encounter between the narrator and a seasoned gambler on a train ride. The gambler imparts wisdom about life and gambling, with the famous refrain: “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.” The song’s narrative is filled with metaphorical advice about taking calculated risks and making wise decisions, both in gambling and in life. Its catchy melody, memorable lyrics, and Rogers’ smooth vocal delivery contributed to its widespread popularity. “The Gambler” became one of Kenny Rogers’ signature songs and one of the most iconic country music songs of all time. It topped the charts in several countries, including the United States and Canada, and won a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
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The success of “The Gambler” led to a franchise, including a made-for-TV movie starring Rogers as the gambler, which aired in 1980. The song’s enduring popularity has led to its inclusion in various films, television shows, and commercials, cementing its status as a classic in the country music genre.

Video

Lyrics

🎵 Let’s sing along with the lyrics! 🎤 On a warm summer’s evening 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 He said, “Son, I’ve made a life Out of readin’ people’s faces Knowin’ what the cards were By the way they held their eyes So if you don’t mind my sayin’ I can see you’re out of aces For a taste of your whiskey I’ll give you some advice” So I handed him my bottle And he drank down my last swallow Then he bummed a cigarette And asked me for a light And the night got deathly quiet And his face lost all expression Said, “If you’re gonna play the game, boy You gotta learn to play it right You’ve got to know when to hold ’em Know when to fold ’em Know when to walk away And know when to run You never count your money When you’re sittin’ at the table There’ll be time enough for countin’ When the dealin’s done Every gambler knows That the secret to survivin’ Is knowin’ what to throw away And knowin’ what to keep ‘Cause every hand’s a winner And every hand’s a loser And the best that you can hope for Is to die in your sleep” And when he’d finished speakin’ He turned back toward the window Crushed out his cigarette Faded off to sleep And somewhere in the darkness The gambler he broke even But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep You’ve got to know when to hold ’em Know when to fold ’em Know when to walk away And know when to run You never count your money When you’re sittin’ at the table There’ll be time enough for countin’ When the dealin’s done You’ve got to know when to hold ’em (when to hold ’em) Know when to fold ’em (when to fold ’em) Know when to walk away And know when to run You never count your money When you’re sittin’ at the table There’ll be time enough for countin’ When the dealin’s done You’ve got to know when to hold ’em Know when to fold ’em Know when to walk away And know when to run You never count your money When you’re sittin’ at the table There’ll be time enough for countin’ When the dealin’s done
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