The Gambler Lyrics

Kenny Rogers


publisher: ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
writers: Don Schlitz
album: No. 18 track in album The Gambler
release date: 1978
popularity : 200 users have visited this page.
length: 3:30

Cover Art


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On a warm summer's evenin' 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
'Til boredom overtook us and he began to speak

He said, "Son, I've made a life, out of readin' people's faces
And knowin' what their 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 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 dealing's done

Every gambler knows that the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away and knowing 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 finished speakin', he turned back towards the window
Crushed out his cigarette and 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 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 dealing's done

You 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 dealing's done

You 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 dealing's done

Track Listing

  • 1 The Gambler
  • 2 I Wish That I Could Hurt That Way Again
  • 3 (The) King of Oak Street
  • 4 Making Music for Money
  • 5 The Hoodooin' of Miss Fannie DeBerry
  • 6 She Believes in Me
  • 7 Tennessee Bottle
  • 8 Sleep Tight, Goodnight Man
  • 9 A Little More Like Me (The Crucifixion)
  • 10 San Francisco Mable Joy
  • 11 Morgana Jones