Gambler, the

A famous country and western song, “The Gambler” written by Don Schlitz – the best known recording is a 1978 version by Kenny Rogers, although it was also recorded by Johnny Cash and Bob Bare. Its legal relevance comes from the tendency of litigators, particularly those from North America, to cite the chorus of the song on the subject of deciding when [to try to] settle law suits or go to trial. The core of the song is a narration of advice given by an elderly gambler to the singer:

“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
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”


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