The Best Gambling Books Ever Written
The gambling world is awash with authors writing to offer advice and reveal some strategies to the reader. The titles included in our list of the 17 best gambling books of all times are a mix of true and fictional stories. This list hopes to help you be better prepared to face the casino the next time you are out there and become a much, much better player.
On this article:17. Scarne’s Complete Guide to Gambling16. Beating the Casinos at Their Own Game15. The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King14. Roll The Bones13. Lay The Favorite12. The Biggest Game in Town11. The Smart Money: How the World’s Best Bettors Beat the Bookies Out of Millions10. Video Poker for the Intelligent Beginner9. Gambling 102: The Best Strategies for All Casino Games8. Gamblers Fight Back: A Professional Gambler’s Journey of How to Survive and Thrive in the Casino7. The Frugal Gambler6. Burning The Tables in Las Vegas—Keys to Success in Blackjack and in Life5. Comped4. Blood Aces: The Wild Ride of Benny Binion, the Texas Gangster Who Created Vegas Poker3. Blackbelt in Blackjack: Playing Blackjack as a Martial Art2. Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One1. The Man with the $100,000 Breasts: And Other Gambling Stories
17. Scarne’s Complete Guide to Gambling
By John Scarne
John Scarne (pronounced Scarney) was considered a gambling hero to the time of his death. In his era, his prowess was unparalleled - and being the pro that he was, he wrote an excellent treatise on the subject of gambling.
The book has it all, including the history and the rules of all the most popular casino games, some gambling math, and even some tips to cheat.
It is a sort of an encyclopedia that an avid gambler would love to have. Also, the many anecdotal accounts of real and fictional events make it a good read.
16. Beating the Casinos at Their Own Game
By Peter Svoboda
The book’s appearance is the first thing that will attract you. The glossy pages and the ample and colorful illustrations are what reader first notice when they get the book.
Svoboda’s one is the kind of text that was openly written for amateurs, and as such it takes its sweet time to explain all the basics of each and every game. In other words, for inexperienced players who need things to be told to them slowly, this book comes handy and covers all the bases.
15. The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King
By Michael Craig
If you find high stakes poker thrilling, then this is the book to go for. The book is set in the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas and follows the unfolding of events around the highest stake poker game ever played.
The game, which spans some years, had several of the best poker players in Vegas, including American billionaire Andrew Beal. The characters’ intrigues and huge bankrolls promise to keep the reader turning page after page.
If you have ever wondered what went through the mind of a gambler who placed a minimum bet of $20K then in this book lies the explanation.
Read also: The 10 Most Amazing Casino Heists in History
14. Roll The Bones
By David G. Schwartz
The author of this book is the director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada. This just goes to give you a glimpse of the vast knowledge he has about the subject he chose to write about in his book.
Roll the Bones dwells on the origins of the gambling paraphernalia that have shaped how the game is played. The book also shares some stories of some of the most famous card masters of their time such as France’s writer Voltaire, who in the 18th century figured out the trick to winning a lottery and as a reward took home 9 million francs.
The ill fortune of Russia’s Dostoevsky who bankrupted himself at the in-house casino for the German resort Baden-Baden is also told in beautiful vignettes.
13. Lay The Favorite
By Beth Raymer
The aim of this book is to give the reader a rare and vivid depiction of the sports/gambling underworld. The memoir has moments that seem too good to be true as it takes us through the different scenarios that are marred by fraud.
All the characters that one would expect to find tied to sports wagering are found here. The author, who spent four years as a bookie, explains to us how things balance out when there is a professional who knows how to beat the house.
12. The Biggest Game in Town
By Al Alvarez
Renowned poet and literary critic Al Alvarez takes us on a first-class trip into the gambling world. Stories in this vivid depiction of the Las Vegas poker tables wind around the over ambitious players who will bet a whole suitcase of cash on a single roll of the dice, the bad losers who never learn, and those who just won’t accept that luck is not something they can get on their side.
11. The Smart Money: How the World’s Best Bettors Beat the Bookies Out of Millions
By Michael Konik
This is an immersing account into the sports betting operations in America. Given that Michael Konik is a journalist, it is expected that the book uses tasteful writing to delve into the author’s own story of making millions wagering on sports and beating the bookies.
Konik’s life takes a turn when he meets Rick Mathew, reputed as the best sports better in the world. The string of events that take place leads him to join The Brain Trust, a big money gambling group. This is an interesting take on high-stakes sports betting.
10. Video Poker for the Intelligent Beginner
By Bob Dancer
Bob Dancer has had numerous successes in real-life video poker. The video poker master has penned down the ultimate how-to-win book for all video poker enthusiasts to bury their heads in.
In the book, the techniques for finding games with the highest returns are taught. Along with these techniques, Dancer also teaches how to implement computer-perfect strategies that yield maximum profits. Get ready to as yourself “are we humans, or are we Dancers” the next time you’ll play at a video-poker machine after you read this book. (I know, it’s a horrible joke. I am sorry.)
9. Gambling 102: The Best Strategies for All Casino Games
By Mike Shackleford
The author (successfully) attempts to share strategies on all casino games within 19 chapters. The contents of the book are a result of a year of actual casino play combined with mathematical calculations and computer modeling.
Gambling is a game that some believe relies on chance while others believe relies on some math. If you are among those who believe in the power of calculations, to win a hand, then this is the book to go for.
8. Gamblers Fight Back: A Professional Gambler’s Journey of How to Survive and Thrive in the Casino
By Greg Elder
After reading about a professional gambler who gave it all up to play, Greg Elder decides to follow in his footsteps. In 12 months, a green Elder develops into a pro gambler and uses it to fend for his wife and daughter. This is the kind of book to open your eyes as the riveting tale of a professional gambler is told in masterful fashion.
7. The Frugal Gambler
By Jean Scott
Before the release of her book, Jean Scott was known to only a few gambling fanatics. After The Frugal Gambler went into publication, her name gained wide spread popularity among casino players. This “Gambling Grandma” has since enjoyed the spotlight more than most television personalities.
In her book, she reveals all the techniques that a low-rolling gambler can take advantage of to make the most of their betting stints. Scott boasts vast knowledge of the poker tables around the world, having enjoyed enormous success during her time.
6. Burning The Tables in Las Vegas—Keys to Success in Blackjack and in Life
By Ian Andersen
This is the long overdue sequel to Ian Andersen’s first book “Turning the Tables on Las Vegas.” Andersen seemed to have gone out of the radar after his first critically acclaimed gambling book.
In this second edition, he demonstrates how well he has perfected his strategy to win big in blackjack. His approach teaches the mathematics, the psychology, and the physical well-being that one needs to emerge as a winner.
By Bill Kearney
The story revolves around the main character Richie V. Ritchie enjoys a short-lived but luxurious life of being comped by the casinos of Atlantic City. This fascinating tale is the kind that allows you to live vicariously as you move with the main character through different phases of his life as a high-rolling gambler.
4. Blood Aces: The Wild Ride of Benny Binion, the Texas Gangster Who Created Vegas Poker
By Doug J. Swanson
Blood Aces follows the story of Benny Binion as he rises to prominence as the originator of the World Series Poker (WSOP). The cowboy, gangster and casino owner uses a combination of determination, vision and genius contrivance in all he does.
His preferred way of doing things involved motivating the big boys, running a good business, killing his enemies and owning the cops. Binion comes to dominate Vegas through skillful wit and cold-blooded business tactics. The story of a criminal who become a revered figure in gambling has never been told with such precision.
3. Blackbelt in Blackjack: Playing Blackjack as a Martial Art
By Arnold Synder
A masterpiece written by a legend in blackjack, this book seeks to educate players looking to win serious money at this game. All the tricks that one needs to know on how to become a professional blackjack player are hidden in the pages of this book.
In 21 chapters, all the tips on team play, pros-shuffle tracking, and multiple deck camouflage techniques as well as many other tricks are broken down in an easy to comprehend manner.
2. Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One
By Edward O. Thorp
In yet another guide book to becoming a pro blackjack player, Edward O. Thorp shares his expertise. What gives this book an edge is the fact that its author is a card counting pro with invaluable knowledge on the game.
In Beat the Dealer, Thorp turns the tables on the house with his systematic explanation of the point system that has countlessly been used by players to win. The charts in the book aid in understanding and memorizing the concepts unraveled.
1. The Man with the $100,000 Breasts: And Other Gambling Stories
By Michael Konik
There are people who will gamble on anything and others who will stake crazy amount just because gambling is in their blood.
All the outrageous escapades that sum up the typical casino life are told with expert attention to detail. Being the gambling expert he is, Michael Konik delivers the message in intriguing fashion.
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