Written and first recorded by Don Schlitz (C&W #65 1978).
Hit version by Kenny Rogers (US #16/C&W #1 1979 |UK #81 1985 |UK #22 2007).
From the wiki: “‘The Gambler’ was written by Don Schlitz who had recorded it in 1978, and charted at #65 on the country charts with it. Kenny Rogers released his version in November 1978 as the title track from his album The Gambler and would win him the Grammy award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 1980. It was one of five consecutive songs by Rogers to hit #1 on the Billboard country music charts.”