The Gambler chords

by Kenny Rogers

  • The Gambler was written by Don Schlitzg - an American country music songwriter from Durham, North Carolina.
  • Released: Nov 15, 1978 from the album of the same name.
  • Keys: Eb Major with a key change to E Major
  • Music: 4/4 time at 94 bpm
  • Chords: Eb, Ab, Bb, Bb7 → E, A, B, B7
  • Beginners: If you haven't learned barre chords yet, you will find this difficult to play. An easier alternative is to play in B Major with a key change to C Major. Both keys can be played with open chords including B, F# and F#7.
  • An easy way to play F# is to play an open F chord starting on the 2nd fret instead of the first fret - xx4322. For F#7, simply take the first finger off the 1st string (2nd fret) exposing Top E... xx4320.
  • If you want to play with the video, place a capo on the 4th fret.

The Gambler by Kenny Rogers

Song Key is highlighted - Transpose to any other key
               Eb       Ab       Eb       Ab   
Intro: 4/4 ‖        |        |        |        ‖
                                             (On a)
   
        Eb                              Ab              Eb
1. On a warm sum-mer's ev-en-ing   On a train bound for no-where
                                                          Bb
   I met up with the gam-bler   We were both too tired to sleep
      Eb                               Ab               Eb
   So we took turns a staring   At the dark-ness at the win-dow
        Ab            Eb       Bb                Eb
   Till bore-dom over-took us    And he began to speak
 
           Eb                            Ab                 Eb
2. He said Son I've made a life   Out of read-ing peo-ple's fa-ces
                                                                   Bb
   And know-ing what their cards were   By the way they held their eyes
          Eb                                Ab                Eb
   And if you don't mind my say-in'   I can see you're out of a-ces
         Ab            Eb              Bb               Eb
   For a taste of your whis-key   I'll give you some ad-vice |  𝄎  | 
 
        Eb                              Ab                 Eb
3. So I han-ded him my bot-tle   And he drank down my last swal-low
                                                     B
   Then he bummed a ci-gar-ette   And asked me for a light
           Eb                                 Ab               Eb
   And the night got death-ly quiet   And his face lost all ex-pres-sion
                  Ab              Eb                   Bb               Eb
   Said if you're gon-na play the game boy   Ya got-ta learn to play it right
 
                   Eb                     Ab             Eb
Chorus: You got to know when to hold 'em    Know when to fold 'em
      Ab             Eb                            Bb
        Know when to walk a-way   And know when to run
                   Eb                              Ab              Eb
        You ne-ver count your mo-ney   When you're sit-ting at the ta-ble
                           Ab        Eb        Bb7                   Eb
        There'll be time e-nough for count-ing    When the deal-ings done | 𝄎 | 𝄎 | 𝄎 |
        
 (key change)
  E                                 A              E
3. Ev-'ry gam-bler knows   That the se-cret to sur-viv-ing
                                                          B7
   Is know-ing what to throw a-way   And know-ing what to keep
         E                           A               E
   Cause ev-'ry hand's a win-ner and ev-'ry hand's a lo-ser
           A                 E                B7          E
   And the best that you can hope for   Is to die in your sleep
 
       E                                  A                       E
4. And when he'd fi-nished speak-in'   He turned back to-ward the win-dow
                                                   B7
   Crushed out his ci-ga-rette   And fa-ded off to sleep
       E                                 A                 E
   And some-where in the dark-ness   The gam-bler he broke e-ven
       A             E                B7               E
   But in his fi-nal words I found an ace that I could keep
   
                   E                      A              E
Chorus: You got to know when to hold 'em    Know when to fold 'em
      A              E                             B
        Know when to walk a-way   And know when to run
                   E                               A               E
        You ne-ver count your mo-ney   When you're sit-ting at the ta-ble
                           A         E         B7                   E 
        There'll be time e-nough for count-ing   When the deal-ings done 
        
                   E                      A              E
Chorus: You got to know when to hold 'em    Know when to fold 'em
      A              E                             B
        Know when to walk a-way   And know when to run
                   E                               A               E
        You ne-ver count your mo-ney   When you're sit-ting at the ta-ble
                           A         E         B7                   E 
        There'll be time e-nough for count-ing   When the deal-ings done 
        
                   E                     A              E
Chorus: You got to know when to hold 'em   Know when to fold 'em
      A               E                            B
        Know when to walk a-way   And know when to run
                   E                               A               E
        You ne-ver count your mo-ney   When you're sit-ting at the ta-ble
                           A         E         B7                   E 
        There'll be time e-nough for count-ing   When the deal-ings done

🗝 Eb Major → E Major

Numbered Circles: Fingers used to play chords on frets & strings
White Numbered Circles: Optional Notes / player preference only
Barre Line: One finger holds down multiple strings    R: Root Note
Unmarked strings: Play open   X: Don't play string     B: Bass Note

Right Handed Charts:

Left Handed Charts:

Kenny Rogers

Album Cover

Born: Kenneth Ray Rogers on Aug 21, 1938 in Houston, Texas, USA.

Died: March 20, 2020 (aged 81) in Sandy Springs, Georgia, USA.

Profession: singer, songwriter, actor, record producer, and entrepreneur

Music Style: Country, pop, adult contemporary, soft rock, rock, jazz

Instruments: Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, harmonica, fiddle

Active Years: 1958 - present

🌍 kennyrogers.com

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