很久很久以前，有一个一无是处、只会赌博的人，大家为此只叫他赌棍汉塞尔。 他整天赌啊不停地赌，输掉了房子，输光了全部的财产。 就在债主们要没收他房子的前一天，上帝和圣彼得登门拜访，请求他让他们暂住一晚。 赌棍汉塞尔答应道："住一晚上绝对没问题，可是我没法给你们床或吃的东西。"上帝说他只要让他们住就行，他们自己会买食品，汉塞尔欣然同意。 这时圣彼得给他三块金币，请他去面包坊买些面包。 汉塞尔拿着钱走了，当路过其他赌友们正在赌博的房子时，那些赌友们虽然已经赢走了他的所有财产，还是热情地招呼他："汉塞尔快进来。""嗨，"他说道："我这儿有三块金币，你们还想玩吗？"一听到这个，他们当然不会放过他了。 于是他进去，又输光了那三块金币。 与此同时圣彼得和上帝左等右等不见他的踪影，只好决定出去找他。 这时汉塞尔回来了，他假装钱掉进了下水道，在里面搅啊搅的好像是在找，可是上帝已经知道他把钱给输光了。 圣彼得又给了他三个硬币，这次他可不敢再把钱输掉了，而是去买了面包。 我们的上帝又问他有没有酒，他说："啊哈，老爷，罐子全是空的！"可是上帝说他要到地下室，那里还有最好的酒。 他楞了好长的时间不敢相信，最后他说："那么还是我下去吧，但是我肯定那里没有酒了。"当他拧开盖子时，真怪啦，好酒竟然溢了出来！ 他把酒端给了他们，他俩在那里过了一夜。 第二天一早，上帝跟赌徒汉塞尔说他可以帮他三个忙。 上帝本希望他会请求上天堂，没想到赌徒汉塞尔竟然要一副无所不赢的扑克牌、无所不赢的骰子和能生长任何水果的神树，任何爬上这棵树的人，没有他的命令就下不来。 上帝赐给他所要求的一切后，就和圣彼得离去了。
赌棍汉塞尔迫不及待地又设局开始赌，不久便赢得了半个世界。 得知这个消息后，圣彼得向上帝报告："上帝呀，这种事可不能继续下去了，最后他会赢得整个世界，我们必须派死神去。"所以他们将死神派下凡去。 赌棍汉塞尔正在赌桌上赌得上瘾的时候，死神出现了，死神说："汉塞尔，出来一会儿。"赌棍汉塞尔哀求道："等一小会儿，我把这局赌完，你先上外边的那棵树上摘个小果子，我们好在路上吃。"死神闻言后就上了树，可是想下来的时候，他却下不来了，赌棍汉塞尔让死神在树上一呆就是七年，这七年中一个人都没死。
圣彼得又向上帝报告："上帝呀，这种事可不能继续下去了。世上的人们不再死亡，我们得亲自下凡啦。"然后他们自己下凡，上帝命令汉塞尔让死神从树上下来，汉塞儿马上对死神说："下来。"死神立即扑过去把他弄死了，然后他们一块离开去另一个世界，到了那儿之后，汉塞尔直接来到天堂的门口敲门。 "谁？""赌棍汉塞尔。""啊哈，我们不用和他打交道！走吧！"他又去炼狱的门口敲门。 "谁？""赌棍汉塞尔。""啊哈，没他我们这儿的痛苦就够多的了。我们可不想赌博。赶紧走吧。"然后他又到了地狱的门口，他们让他进去啦。 地狱里除了老魔王撒旦和弯腰驼背的小鬼们外（身子板儿直的都在人世间忙活着呐），没别人啦。 汉塞尔一屁股坐下来就开赌，撒旦除了那些身体扭曲的小鬼们外，一无所有，所以赌徒汉塞尔开始赢他的小鬼们，用他的牌做赌具他是从未失过手的。 然后他带着小鬼们离去，到了霍恩伏特，又抽出一根长竿，拿着长竿去捅天堂，天堂眼看就要被捅裂了，圣彼得赶忙又报告："上帝，这样可不行了，我们只好让他进来，否则他会把整个天堂掀翻啦。"于是他们让他进来。 赌徒汉塞尔一进来就开始赌博，搞得噪音不绝，一片混乱，自己都听不见自己的说话声。 无可奈何之中，圣彼得又向上帝奏道："这可不行呀，我们必须赶他下凡，否则他会在天堂里造反。"所以他们立刻去找他，把他扔了下去，他的灵魂摔成了碎片，附在了每一个赌徒的身上，至今阴魂不散。
Once upon a time there was a man who did nothing but gamble, and for that reason people never called him anything but Gambling Hansel, and as he never ceased to gamble, he played away his house and all that he had. Now the very day before his creditors were to take his house from him, came the Lord and St. Peter, and asked him to give them shelter for the night. Then Gambling Hansel said, "For my part, you may stay the night, but I cannot give you a bed or anything to eat." So the Lord said he was just to take them in, and they themselves would buy something to eat, to which Gambling Hansel made no objection. Thereupon St. Peter gave him three groschen, and said he was to go to the baker's and fetch some bread. So Gambling Hansel went, but when he reached the house where the other gambling vagabonds were gathered together, they, although they had won all that he had, greeted him clamorously, and said, "Hansel, do come in." - "Oh," said he, "do you want to win the three groschen too?" On this they would not let him go. So he went in, and played away the three groschen also. Meanwhile St. Peter and the Lord were waiting, and as he was so long in coming, they set out to meet him. When Gambling Hansel came, however, he pretended that the money had fallen into the gutter, and kept raking about in it all the while to find it, but our Lord already knew that he had lost it in play. St. Peter again gave him three groschen, and now he did not allow himself to be led away once more, but fetched them the loaf. Our Lord then inquired if he had no wine, and he said, "Alack, sir, the casks are all empty!" But the Lord said he was to go down into the cellar, for the best wine was still there. For a long time he would not believe this, but at length he said, "Well, I will go down, but I know that there is none there." When he turned the tap, however, lo and behold, the best of wine ran out! So he took it to them, and the two passed the night there. Early next day our Lord told Gambling Hansel that he might beg three favours. The Lord expected that he would ask to go to Heaven; but Gambling Hansel asked for a pack of cards with which he could win everything, for dice with which he would win everything, and for a tree whereon every kind of fruit would grow, and from which no one who had climbed up, could descend until he bade him do so. The Lord gave him all that he had asked, and departed with St. Peter.
And now Gambling Hansel at once set about gambling in real earnest, and before long he had gained half the world. Upon this St. Peter said to the Lord, "Lord, this thing must not go on, he will win, and thou lose, the whole world. We must send Death to him." When Death appeared, Gambling Hansel had just seated himself at the gaming-table, and Death said, "Hansel, come out a while." But Gambling Hansel said, "Just wait a little until the game is done, and in the meantime get up into that tree out there, and gather a little fruit that we may have something to munch on our way." Thereupon Death climbed up, but when he wanted to come down again, he could not, and Gambling Hansel left him up there for seven years, during which time no one died.
So St. Peter said to the Lord, "Lord, this thing must not go on. People no longer die; we must go ourselves." And they went themselves, and the Lord commanded Hansel to let Death come down. So Hansel went at once to Death and said to him, "Come down," and Death took him directly and put an end to him. They went away together and came to the next world, and then Gambling Hansel made straight for the door of Heaven, and knocked at it. "Who is there?" - "Gambling Hansel." - "Ah, we will have nothing to do with him! Begone!" So he went to the door of Purgatory, and knocked once more. "Who is there?" - "Gambling Hansel." - "Ah, there is quite enough weeping and wailing here without him. We do not want to gamble, just go away again." Then he went to the door of Hell, and there they let him in. There was, however, no one at home but old Lucifer and the crooked devils who had just been doing their evil work in the world. And no sooner was Hansel there than he sat down to gamble again. Lucifer, however, had nothing to lose, but his mis-shapen devils, and Gambling Hansel won them from him, as with his cards he could not fail to do. And now he was off again with his crooked devils, and they went to Hohenfuert and pulled up a hop-pole, and with it went to Heaven and began to thrust the pole against it, and Heaven began to crack. So again St. Peter said, "Lord, this thing cannot go on, we must let him in, or he will throw us down from Heaven." And they let him in. But Gambling Hansel instantly began to play again, and there was such a noise and confusion that there was no hearing what they themselves were saying. Therefore St. Peter once more said, "Lord, this cannot go on, we must throw him down, or he will make all Heaven rebellious." So they went to him at once, and threw him down, and his soul broke into fragments, and went into the gambling vagabonds who are living this very day.