Most folks always connect poker with high-stakes casinos or some smoky hidden rooms. Same way, hip-hop is usually all about the beats, lyrical poetry, and a captivating performance style.

You will be surprised to learn that your favorite rap stars also love their rounds of poker like the next person. Of course, they play high-stakes games.

These musical icons display a competitive spirit and strategic mindset that extends far beyond the studio. Away from the spotlight, they engage in high-stakes tournaments and casual card games.

Let’s explore the secret poker faces of these famous rappers, their offstage pursuits, and the calculated risks they take.

50 Cent: The Entrepreneur’s Gamble

50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, has encountered extreme success and failure throughout his life. After going bankrupt, the rap icon and actor has successfully created a wealth estimated at $40 million. He is also a television producer and businessman boasting iconic hits and business acumen.

50 Cent isn’t just an occasional player. He’s a true poker lover who has sought lessons from professional poker players to hone his skills.

Like other rap stars, he also wagers on online casino games and sometimes participates in various poker tournaments with fellow stars. He can always be spotted in Las Vegas.

Some people think his lower net worth might be because of the insane wagers he’s known for. He once wagered $1.6 million on Floyd Mayweather to beat Manny Pacquiao in 2015.

Jay-Z: The Billionaire’s High-Stakes Game

Few people can compete with the legendary status of Shawn Carter, also known as Jay-Z. Having amassed a significant fortune of $2.5 billion, the music mogul has cemented his status as the leading figure in the hip-hop scene.

Away from the public eye, the rapper known for platinum albums like “Hard Knock Life” loves to play poker and blackjack games. And Shawn Carter only favors playing at high-stakes tables.

In 2015, Shawn Carter was rumored to have lost a six-figure wager on a boxing match involving Oscar De La Hoya. However, these losses are only a small part of the vast success of hip-hop royalty.

Nelly: The Charismatic Charity Champ

Nelly, the beloved rapper known for his infectious charisma and attitude, shares his peers’ love for poker. The St. Louis native mostly participates in charity tournaments or celebrity-style events. A true showman, Nelly loves flaunting his cash and confirming his status as a rapper with money to play with. His most loved game is Texas Hold’em.

He played in the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event and is a regular at various WSOP events. Some say he once lost $800,000 during a trip to Las Vegas. Talk about high-stakes gambling!

Young Thug

Jeffrey Lamar Williams is one of the most influential rappers of this generation. His passion for gambling is equally noteworthy, too. Young Thug says dice and poker are his other top passions after rapping. The Atlanta native usually takes part in high-stakes games with professional players. His antics and attitude have earned him the nickname “Slime” in gambling circles.

Ludacris: The Entertaining Poker Pro

Ludacris gained fame for his top-charting songs and film work, but his poker abilities should not be underestimated. Christopher Bridges, with a net worth of over $40 million, maintains a lively and engaging atmosphere at the tables.

He always cracks jokes and exchanges playful remarks with other players when gaming. Even with the pressure and tough rivals, Ludacris stays calm and cheerful.


Drake, Canada’s music sensation, is not only a successful rapper but much more. He enjoys playing poker just as much as any other poker enthusiast.

Drake’s love for gambling comprises private poker games, craps, and even sports betting. His rise in the music industry and $250 million net worth allows him to indulge in high-stakes games and opulent lifestyles.

Drake allegedly lost $200,000 in just one intense gambling session at a hotel in Atlantic City in 2019. Multiple sources have claimed that he was also gambling extravagantly during a poker game on New Year’s Eve in the Bahamas with Lil Baby and Meek Mill in 2021.

Snoop Dogg

The rap icon is about the thrill, with a love for dice games and poker. He usually plays in friendly yet high-stakes sessions with friends and fellow entertainers. Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. traces his roots to Long Beach, where street craps were a common pastime.

Nas: The Wordsmith

Nas is the iconic wordsmith behind the seminal album “Illmatic.” His prowess can also be seen at the casino tables. While not flashy, his love for blackjack and poker shows a different side of his personality.

Besides his lyrical genius and poetic storytelling, he has joined forces with Resorts World New York to invest in a brand new casino in Queens. The aim is to reflect the same look and feel as Las Vegas casinos and bring investments and tourism from outside to New York.

Rappers Love Their Poker

From successful music tracks to intense poker games, these iconic rappers have shown that their skills go beyond just making music.

Their love for poker reveals a hidden side to the public, driven by competition, friendly rivalry, or the appeal of high-roller lifestyles.

Their high-stakes indulgences show their love for the thrill of the game, like that of the next poker player. Here, bravado meets strategy, and fortunes can be won or lost in a single hand.

The same qualities that have propelled them to hip-hop stardom also serve them at the tables. Each ante is a calculated risk, and every poker hand is like throwing down a defiant challenge to Lady Luck herself.