The Fascinating Intersection of Poker and Music: Analyzing Poker-Themed Music Videos

Music Videos

Poker and music have crossed paths on numerous occasions, with artists having used concepts of the classic casino game within the lyrics of their songs. However, there are some that have decided to use the game as a visual aspect when releasing a music video, too.

There have been a number of the world’s biggest artists who have managed to incorporate both together seamlessly, as they have managed to use the playing card game as a metaphor in order to get a message across.

It can be very interesting to see why artists do this, and why they use poker as a visual aspect behind the song that is being sung. Nonetheless, when you dig deeper, it becomes rather simple to understand just how much of an effect it can have.

Katy Perry – “Waking Up in Vegas”

One instance in which poker is played as part of the music video is in Katy Perry’s “Waking Up in Vegas” hit, which was released in 2009. The track topped the charts in the US for mainstream music, although it failed to take off in other markets, despite the official video on YouTube amassing approximately 100 million views.

The video features numerous scenes where the artist is in a casino playing a number of casino classics. Poker is one of the games that she is spotted playing, where she is in a red dress with a feather boa. She manages to win a hand as four Aces appear on the table (the highest four-of-a-kind) in the final to win a prize pot of $17.2 million against one of the world’s best players, Daniel Negreanu – who happened to have four Kings. It is not unheard of for a poker game to have prize pots of a substantial amount when playing online or in person, thus making this a scenario that has some believability, even if it seems unrealistic.

The scene helps to provide viewers with the glitz and glamor that can be associated with the game of poker, as well as the riches that so few have been able to achieve. It also helps to summarize what Las Vegas can be all about, and with the track name in mind, it would be impossible not to include a poker scene in all truth.

Lady Gaga – “Poker Face”

With the name of the game in the track title, Lady Gaga’s track “Poker Face” was always going to have the casino classic feature in some form. While her lyrics could be argued to be talking from a romantic standpoint as she looks to “bluff” her partner and shows how her “Poker Face” can be used as a winning tactic, it is something that many players and enthusiasts look to incorporate within their own game styles.

There are scenes in the music video that show the artist playing a version of Texas Hold’em around a table with others at a gathering. While the video is perhaps far from the mechanics of the game itself, it does allude to the complexity and strategy involved in any game of cards, which can be mirrored in personal relationships as well.

Kenny Rogers – “The Gambler”

Another musician who has used poker within their lyrics as well as within the music video is Kenny Rodgers. His 1978 hit “The Gambler” appears to have been heavily influenced by the casino game, with the video showing a number of aspects of the game as he sits around a table by himself.

The video shows how calculated risks are taken, while it also highlights the importance of knowing when to back out, as well as playing the odds, while the lyrics make it evident that the song is about poker. The chorus of the track states, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run,” thus making it obvious he is singing about the game.


Although we have only selected three artists, each of them are huge names within the music industry, and it is clear that poker can be used as a way of adding a dimension to the tracks that they record. As there are a number of different aspects of the casino card game that can be experienced in real life, it would seem a natural fit. And for those who like the game of basketball and place bets on it to their favorite music, there is an opportunity to use bitcoin basketball betting.


Xsnoize Author
Mark Millar is the founder of XS Noize and looks after the daily running of the website as well as conducting interviews for the XS Noize Podcast. Mark's favourite album is Achtung Baby by U2.

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