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The lyrics relate the point of view of a gambler, Sky Masterson, who hopes that he will win a bet, the outcome of which will decide whether or not he is able to save his relationship with the girl of his dreams.
Later, it became a signature song for Frank Sinatra, first released on the compilation Reprise Musical Repertory Theatre and rereleased on the album Sinatra '65: The Singer Today. It was released as a duet with Chrissie Hynde on Duets II (1994). The song was also recorded by Barbra Streisand for her album Back to Broadway, and appeared on The L Word's soundtrack in episode 4.06, where it was performed by Brian Setzer. Dee Snider performed it as a duet with Clay Aiken on Snider's 2012 album Dee Does Broadway.
On December 14, 2011, Cîroc began airing a "Luck Be a Lady" advertising campaign for Ultra Premium Vodka, directed by Anthony Mandler. The ads feature a group of elegantly dressed friends (Diddy and his fellow makers of Cîroc Ultra Premium, Frank Vincent, Eva Pigford, Michael K. Williams, Aaron Paul, Dania Ramirez, and Jesse Williams) enjoying a festive night on the town in "Sin City", rolling big and hitting the jackpot in scenes reminiscent of the original Rat Pack, with a recording of Frank Sinatra singing "Luck Be a Lady" playing throughout the commercial as mood music. Brand ambassador Sean "Diddy" Combs" has said, "The Rat Pack defined the art of celebrating in style. I cannot imagine a Spirit more suitable for commemorating life with family and friends than CÎROC; a brand that has become synonymous with celebratory occasions.” 
The song was parodied in the Simpsons episode "Mayored to the Mob" as "Luke be a Jedi". It also has been used in the OST from The Cooler, a movie which deals with Casino life (and also death) in Las Vegas. It also had one line sung by the Doctor, in the Doctor Who episode "Rose". The song features prominently in the film Mrs. Doubtfire when Robin Williams' character is given a makeover to "become" a woman. The electronica group Fila Brazillia also references the song in the title of their album Luck Be a Weirdo Tonight.
Season 4 Episode 6 of the television show The L Word featured the song and used it as the title of the episode.
The song has also been used in various TV commercials.
On The Halloween Horror Nights: 21 TV commercial.
On NCIS, episode called Ex File season 5 episode 3, Tony DiNozzo has this song on his iPod and is heard singing it.
The song is also featured in the MadTV skit: Ty and Gray at the casino.
The Frank Sinatra version of the song is featured in the TV show Family Guy in the episode Roads to Vegas, during a gambling scene.