written by Don Schlitz Aug 1976,he was 23 years old
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On a warm summers evenin, on a train bound for nowhere
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I met up with a gambler, we were both too tired to sleep
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So we took turns a starin, out the window at the darkness
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the boredom overtook us,   and he began to speak

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He said Son Ive made a life, out of readin peoples faces
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and knowin what their cards were by the way they held their eyes
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So if you dont mind my sayin, I can see youre out of aces
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For a taste of your whiskey,  Ill give-you some advice

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So I handed him my bottle, and he drank down my last swallow
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  Then he bummed a cigarette, and asked me for a light
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And the night got deathly quiet, and his face lost all expression
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Said If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta  learn to play it right

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You got to know when to hold 'em,   know when to fold 'em
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  know when to walk away, know when to run
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You never count your money, when you're sittin at the table
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There'll'be time enough for countin  when the dealin's done

[up one full note]

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Every gambler knows, that the secret to survivin'
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  knowin' what to throw away and knowing what to keep
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'Cause every hand's a winner, and every hand's a loser
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and the best that you can hope for is to   die in your sleep

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And when he finished speakin, he turned back towards the window
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  crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep.
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And somewhere in the darkness, the gambler he broke even
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But in his final words I found an  ace that I could keep
 
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You got to know when to hold 'em,   know when to fold 'em
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  know when to walk away, know when to run
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You never count your money, when you're sittin at the table
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There'll'be time enough for countin  when the dealin's done