Barbara Stanwyck plays a woman whose addiction to gambling all but ruins her life. Stanwyck's husband Robert Preston tries to stand by her side, but even he is driven away by her gambling mania. Stanwyck lies, cheats and steals in order to raise capital for her addiction, descending from comparative wealth to grinding poverty in the process. Eventually she is reduced to gambling for penny-ante stakes in back alleys, before she is rescued by her still-faithful spouse. The Lady Gambles includes an appearance by young Tony Curtis, in the bit role of a helpful bellhop.