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You've Got to Be in It to Win It - Poems About Gambling

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.

You've Got to be in It to Win It

You've got to be in it

If you want to win it.

That's how they spin it

To get you to enter it.

They think people dense

But some have more sense,

So please don't get tense.

If you win it's just cents.

Gambling's a habit,

Easy money, go grab it.

That's "get rich quick" bullshit,

So don't be a rabbit.

The Gambling Bug

A gambler's life is edgy,

The excitement never dies.

Play to win the hand you're dealt

And read opponents' eyes.

Don't fall for boasts and sneaky bluffs,

The truth is in the cards.

Keep a stony poker face,

You'll be ahead by yards.

Some will try to cheat you

And play an extra ace,

So always try to stay alert

But play the game with grace.

Many gamblers ruin their lives

Or go deep into debt.

The gambling bug's addictive,

You just have to place that bet.

© 2018 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 14, 2018:

You are very wise Shauna. We used to have a stash of 5c coins that we used if we had friends over to play cards. each person would buy $2 or $3 worth and use that to bet with. It was still gambling but you could never lose more than $5 maximum. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 14, 2018:

I never have been a gambler, John. I don't even play the lottery. However, I love a game of cards or backgammon. I just won't play for money.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 07, 2018:

Yes, Li-Jen I am gambling free, except for once a year with our horse race The Melbourne Cup. That is my only indulgence now. You are right you can still play games just for the urge to compete without money being involved. Glad you loved the poem's rhythm. Take care.

Li-Jen Hew on June 07, 2018:

Hey Jodah. Yesss....you did it! You're gambling-free I hope. You can always play without money though. Haha. Your poem is appropriate for other habits as well. I like that the bouncy rhythm of your poem matches the betting scenario. Thanks for the share. :)

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 06, 2018:

Hi Genna, once gambling gets hold of you it is hard to break free. Fortunately, I was able to but it took a long time. Thanks for reading and the kind comment.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on June 06, 2018:

I'm grateful that I was never hooked on gambling, but how brave of you, John, to break that habit and addiction. To me, it is too scary, and I keep thinking of that old adage, "The House always wins." Excellent poetry that tells the story so very well.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 06, 2018:

Thank you for the generous comment, Sean. Yes, It is an easy trap to fall into. Please feel free to use these poems.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on June 06, 2018:

A very bright way to make a right statement, my brother John! I enjoy it!

Gambling is like drugs, and unfortunately, I can see some of my young students to be already trapped in the soccer betting! I try to explain them the trap, but...

I'll use your poems now.

Thank you, and God bless you!


John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 31, 2018:

Flourish, that is probably one of the best forms of gambling for the wise investor.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 31, 2018:

The only gambling I do is the stock market. I love investing.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 30, 2018:

Larry, you are fortunate. That is exactly how people get hooked, they have one big win or a run of luck and they mistakenly think that will happen regularly. It doesn't.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on May 30, 2018:

I've never understood gambling, but I'm very unlucky, so I've never had a run of luck where I had that false allusion that you could win.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 30, 2018:

Thank you, Rasma. I appreciate that.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on May 30, 2018:

Really nice write and great message.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 29, 2018:

So have I Mike. It has to be rigged. Now, it's only once a year on the Melbourne Cup. I play the slot machines about twice a year two but my limit of investment is always $10. I won $80 last time I played so I think I am probably about even there.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 29, 2018:

Thanks Ralph, as a self-confessed ex-gambling addict I can confirm that it is. Though horse racing was my only weakness, nothing else excited me.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 29, 2018:

Hey Linda, good for you. Yes Lottery is just that "a tax on stupidity." The odds are certainly against winning that. Very few gamblers are ever ahead of the game, and it ruins lives and families.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 29, 2018:

Hey Frank...yes the first one is how I see it :) thanks for that.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 29, 2018:

Thanks Eric. I have never been to a casino (well only to watch events like boxing..never to gamble). I try to avoid the knife-pulling. Glad you enjoyed this.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 29, 2018:

Bill, horse racing is my weakness too. I used to scrape together my last few cents to put on that "sure thing." Now, the only race I bet on is the Melbourne Cup once a year and then my limit is $20.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on May 29, 2018:

Hello John - I have watched a few horses run away with my money. haha

Great poetry and message.

Ralph Schwartz from Idaho Falls, Idaho on May 29, 2018:

Nice piece - I’m not a gambler myself but I can see how it can be addicting

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on May 29, 2018:

John, I just CAN'T allow myself to gamble, not even a lottery ticket. I work too hard for my money. I've heard the State lottery called "a tax on stupidity."

Some of the saddest things I have ever seen are the vacant souls sitting at the slot machines in Las Vegas, hoping that with just "one more" they will win the jackpot, and they probably can least afford to be there.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on May 29, 2018:

In it to win it.. love the first poem so much more because it's just so freakin' true... you have that certain way about how to deliver info.. via poetry.. Jodah...:)

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 29, 2018:

I used to gamble. Not in casino, ever. Boy we had half a months pay on the table. And losers pulled a knife on me more than once..Love this piece. I figure I gambled more in investments and life.

John this is just too good.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 29, 2018:

Horse-racing...that's my weakness regarding gambling...so I stay away from the track because I'm just not very good at it. lol

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