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

Updated on May 29, 2018
Jodah profile image

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.

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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.

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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.


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Questions & Answers

    © 2018 John Hansen

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      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        2 months ago from Central Florida

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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 profile image

        Li-Jen Hew 

        2 months ago

        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. :)

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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 profile image

        Genna East 

        2 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        2 months ago from Greece, Almyros

        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!

        Sean

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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 profile image

        Larry Rankin 

        2 months ago from Oklahoma

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Rasma. I appreciate that.

      • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

        Gypsy Rose Lee 

        2 months ago from Riga, Latvia

        Really nice write and great message.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

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

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        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 profile image

        mckbirdbks 

        2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

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

        Great poetry and message.

      • RJ Schwartz profile image

        Ralph Schwartz 

        2 months ago from Idaho Falls, Idaho

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

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        2 months ago from Washington State, USA

        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 profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        2 months ago from Shelton

        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...:)

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        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.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 months ago from Olympia, WA

        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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