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Song

Lyrics by: Don Schlitz
# Debut Chart
1 Oct '78 Country
16 Nov '78 Hot 100

Lyrics

On a warm summer's evenin' On a train bound for nowhere I met up with the gambler We were both too tired to sleep So we took turns starin' Out the window at the darkness 'Til boredom overtook us And he began to speak He said, son, I've made a life Out of readin' people's faces And knowin' what the cards were By the way they held their eyes So if you don't mind my sayin' I can see you're out of aces For a taste of your whiskey I'll give you some advice


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So I handed him my bottle And he drank down my last swallow Then he bummed a cigarette And asked me for a light And the night got deathly quiet And his face lost all expression He said, if you're gonna play the game, boy You gotta learn to play it right [CHORUS] You've got to know when to hold 'em Know when to fold 'em Know when to walk away And 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 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 And when he finished speakin' He turned back toward the window Crushed out his cigarette And faded off to sleep And somewhere in the darkness The gambler, he broke even But in his final words I found an ace that I could keep [repeat CHORUS] You've got to know when to hold 'em (When to hold 'em) Know when to fold 'em (When to fold 'em) Know when to walk away And 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 [repeat CHORUS]

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