11 Dec

20 Gambling Books You Ought to Read

08:40 October 27, 2021 1 2035
Author: Viacheslav Yatsenko
10 (Votes : 2)

The world of gambling is not only full of different casino games and movies, but it also has a variety of exciting short stories and novels. Some of them are based on real stories, and others are part of fiction. But the only thing that unites all these narratives is excitement, excitement for new feelings, excitement for massive wins, and excitement for staying alive.

20 Gambling Books You Ought to Read

    In this article, the GamblerKey experts conducted a list of the TOP 20 gambling and casino books that are highly recommended for reading, especially if you are in love with this intriguing topic of gambling.

    A Man of All Markets by Edward O. Thorp

    Publication Date 24 January 2017
    Publisher Random House
    Print Lenght 416 pages
    Language English

    A Man of All Markets reveals an incredible story of one mathematician who is a father of one mathematically unassailable formula that helped many people to beat a dealer at the blackjack table. After this uproar, many land-based casinos changed their policy and rules and, consequently, put the author of this method in jeopardy. This dangerous moment forced Edward to step back a little bit.

    But the mathematician did not want to stop at that point, so he decided to shift to a more profitable area – Wall Street. He made an approach to apply this successive method to the financial market. In this book, Edward O. Thorp tells the readers his path from the beginning of the moment when this idea was sparkled and shared the triggers that had motivated him to do all these things.

    The book will explain different moments that the author had been experiencing during that period of time and where he came in at the very end. It will be a mega exciting story for those who want to learn more about a person who invented card counting and its implementation in real life.

    All Bets Are Off by Arnie Wexler

    Publication Date 20 January 2015
    Publisher Central Recovery Press
    Print Lenght 252 pages
    Language English

    All Bets Are Off, written by Arnie Wexler, is an autobiographical book in which Arnie talks about the dark world of gambling addiction from his inner perspective. Now, he is a well-known expert on this problematic issue, but he was on the opposite side before this point.

    Starting being passionate about gambling at an early age, Arnie preferred to flip cards, shoot marbles and play pinball machines. Later, he turned his obsession to the stock market’s plays until the market “successfully” crashed.

    In his narrative, the author leads his readers through all the stages he experienced: from chasing massive wins but with a negative outcome to genuine salvation. The essential plot of the book is how the hidden gambling addiction can influence your own life, the people surrounded you, and what consequences can come from it.

    Beat the Dealer by Edward O. Thorp

    Publication Date 12 April 1966
    Publisher Vintage
    Print Lenght 220 pages
    Language English

    We have already introduced a book about the father of card counting and the ground-breaking formula to beat a dealer at the blackjack table. And Beat the Dealer is exactly an ultimate guide on how to beat dealers. 

    In this guide, Edward explains the basics principles and rules of the game, provides his readers with winning strategies that can lead to huge success, shares the methods of overcoming special measures dedicated to counting, and many other useful tricks and tips.

    This book changed the world of blackjack forever. And if you want to learn how to beat the dealer legally, you obviously should add this guide to your reading library.

    Bets, Drugs, and Rock & Roll by Steve Budin

    Publication Date 1 October 2007
    Publisher Skyhorse Publishing
    Print Lenght 272 pages
    Language English

    The story of Bets, Drugs and Rock & Roll reveals the creator of the first online sports betting company Steve Budin. Precisely, the narrative tells how Budin made it possible to popularize a shady business and made from it – hundreds of millions of dollars.

    After his revolutionary approach, which took bookmaking into a virtual world, the business rocked up, and everyone, independently from the time and location, was able to make a bet. Personally, Steve was the winner, but something went wrong, and he came to the point where his bookmaking empire came to its crashing end.

    This book is based on the true story of the innovator and clearly shows the rise and fall of the sports betting company together with its founder.  

    Blood Aces by Doug J. Swanson

    Publication Date 28 July 2015
    Publisher Penguin Books
    Print Lenght 368 pages
    Language English

    Blood Aces: The Wild Ride of Benny Binion is a remarkable story of a mob boss who faced illegal issues in Dallas and, under these circumstances, headed to Las Vegas, where he turned everything upside-down and made a foundation of the capital city of world gambling.

    Being a Texas horse trader, Binion had some problems with local law. These problems initiated a sequence of actions that led the main hero to Vegas. In Vegas, the mob boss opened his casino and started to clean the area for his prosperous business.

    In this book, Dough J. Swanson uses previously classified documents and other additional material to show how Binion ran his business, made it incredibly profitable by killing the enemies, owning the cops, and shaped the modern Las Vega.

    Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich

    Publication Date 17 September 2002
    Publisher Free Press
    Print Lenght 272 pages
    Language English

    Maybe you did not know what this book is all about, but you definitely watched the movie - 21. Yes, this is the same tale about a group of people from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who mastered their skills to outplay casinos, playing blackjack.

    Six MIT students joined a small blackjack club, where their primary goal was to develop a strategy that would help in card counting. After many times spent, their initial aim was achieved, and they decided to use the scheme in practice. Having a trip to the gambling capital (Las Vegas), the student met success and won over three million dollars in blackjack. But catchy eyes of the owners suspected them, and the consequences came to the play.

    The Bringing Down the House book explains in detail the students’ meetings, experiments with different strategies, and shows a practical use of the successful method.  

    Burning Tables in Las Vegas by Ian Andersen

    Publication Date 1 December 2002
    Publisher Huntington Press
    Print Lenght 360 pages
    Language English

    Burning Tables in Las Vegas is a sequel to the previously published book by the name of Turning the Tables on Las Vegas. In the second part of the book, the author shares his successful personal program on how to play blackjack, poker and life and be a winner of the situation.

    In this book, Ian Andersen reveals not only well-known techniques and strategies that he used but also highlights the importance of the combination of psychology, mathematics, and well-being state to create an exceptional environment for a winning streak.

    The narrative will be helpful for everyone who likes playing such casino games as poker, blackjack and wants to become successful in their life. Bear in mind that the author is one of the most prominent and successful high-stakes players in blackjack. So, he knows what a piece of advice to give you.

    Dueling with Kings by Daniel Barbarisi

    Publication Date 7 March 2017
    Publisher Atria Books
    Print Lenght 368 pages
    Language English

    Dueling with Kings is one more story about an online betting corporation, but this time, it is all about Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). Daniele Barbarisi uncovers the truth about the corporation, its “shark” members and all behind-the-scene actions and events.

    Quitting his full-time job, Daniel decided to join an elite community of DFS players. His primary goal in joining this high-stake club is to discover the secret, which lies behind this successful phenomenon and make some money alongside.

    The storyline of the Dueling with Kings book will immerse you into a ferocious environment of high rollers with daily stakes of six figures and a highly intense atmosphere of competition, where the amateur player tries to beat them all and reveal the truth.

    Enemy Number One by Patrick Veitch

    Publication Date 19 April 2010
    Publisher Racing Post Books
    Print Lenght 288 pages
    Language English

    Enemy Number One: The Secrets of the UK’s Most Feared Professional Punter is an astounding inside story of a professional horse-racing bettor Patrick Veitch who invented his own method that helped him make millions of dollars.

    In this book, the author explains that before you are going to place a bet on a horse, you need to analyze and assess so many moments and factors that can influence the result. He shares that horse betting is a challenging and time-consuming job and reveals around 80 factors that every bettor should consider if they want to choose a winning horse.

    Moreover, all this information is based on his own experience with winnings and losses, chasings by a criminal and much more. His narrative combines both an exciting storytelling line and helpful tips and tricks. By the end of your reading, you will learn why did he become enemy number one.

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

    Publication Date 7 July 1971
    Publisher Random House
    Print Lenght 204 pages
    Language English

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is one of these books that will immerse you in the chronicle of drug-soaked and reckless time. The story revolves around two persons, a gonzo journalist Raoul Duke and an attorney Dr. Gonzo, who have a long and the strangest weekend trip to gambling capital ever undertaken.

    The purpose of their journey is simple – to write an article about the motorcycle race, but during the trip, something goes wrong. The main characters are taking all possible variations of drugs, make stupid and thoughtless things, and the chaos of uncertainty about what is real and what is not is going on around them. So, this narrative shows clearly how the gambling capital can influence and impact people and their actions.

    Besides the topic of gambling, Thompson touches on the theme of violence, especially in moments, when two main characters are involved into violent behaviour and witness how this behaviour impact surrounding environment. Additionally, the author shows the American Dream, hypocrisy, influence of psychoactive drugs and culture war.  The combination of gambling and all these additional topics makes the novel even more exciting.

    Fools Die by Mario Puzo

    Publication Date 9 October 1978
    Publisher G. P. Putnam’s Sons
    Print Lenght 544 pages
    Language English

    Fools Die is a powerful novel written by an Italian-American author Mario Puzo (an author of The Godfather). It encompasses a golden triangle of that-time America (1950th), the most corrupted places – Hollywood, New York and Las Vegas, where only the strongest personalities can survive, and all fools are going to die.

    The story begins in Hotel Xanadu, Las Vegas, where three close friends (John Merlyn, Cully Cross and Jordan Hamley) spend their time together and gamble. After Jordan won half a million dollars, he committed suicide. John went back to New York, and Cully became a vice-director at the hotel. Time goes on and does not have mercy on anybody, especially on the weak persons. All John’s close friends die, and he becomes the only survivor.

    Fortune’s Formula by William Poundstone

    Publication Date 19 September 2006
    Publisher Hill and Wang
    Print Lenght 386 pages
    Language English

    Fortune’s Formula is a story about two scientists who discovered a formula for getting rich. A mix of science (information theory) applied to the widespread problem of making money helped them invent a special algorithm focused on the principle of making as much money as possible within a frame of short time.

    Claude Shannon, a mathematician genius from MIT, and John Kelly, a talented physicist, applied this formula in one of the casinos in Las Vegas. As an end effect, they met success. The second step was to apply this fortunate formula to the stock market, where the chances of getting even more money were way better.

    The primary reference of the novel is to show that an intelligent and thoughtful investor can beat the market, and the author demonstrates that it is a possible task.

    Roll the Bones by David Schwartz

    Publication Date 7 January 2013
    Publisher Winchester Books
    Print Lenght 454 pages
    Language English

    Roll the Bones is a narrative that primarily focuses on the gambling world: what was the origin of the industry, how it has changed throughout time, and what is going on with it right now. To be more precise, the author covers the topic of casinos.

    It is always interesting to know what gambling was looked like at the very beginning: the first gamblers, the first games, the first competitions, and so on. Of course, the author took into account lottery, sports betting, card games, craps, and many other exciting gambling options.

    Ultimately, the Roll the Bones book explains how the human propensity to wagering has shaped the history of gambling from the point of origin to the time of the Information Age.

    Telling Lies and Getting Paid by Michael Konik

    Publication Date 1 December 2002
    Publisher Huntington Press
    Print Lenght 256 pages
    Language English

    Telling Lies and Getting Paid is a collection of different stories related to the gambling world. The book contains fourteen behind-the-scene narratives, and most of them were previously published by Konik in magazines. The author is not afraid to take a close and refreshed look again on the topics that he has already written about. And afterwards, the new thoughts are coming up.

    The book introduces us to Line Mover, a Chicago nun with a talent for predicting sports events (football matches). The lady with her incredible gift makes massive wins and continuous her winning streak with zero losses. This moment forces betting companies on changing the odds, and the High Roller goes wild to Las Vegas. The stories also cover her gambling adventures in casinos of Macao and her visits the poshes casino around the globe.

    This collection of gambling stories shows what is happening behind the high rollers’ gambling scene and contains many useful and valuable tips that may help not to get ripped off by offshore sports booking.

    The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova

    Publication Date 23 June 2020
    Publisher Penguin Press
    Print Lenght 368 pages
    Language English

    The Biggest Bluff is a psychological book focusing on an aspect of distinguishing the main difference between two things: what we can control in our lives and what is out of our management. Maria Konnikova, an author of the book, took up a high-stakes game of poker as a metaphor for our life to understand better how the decision-making process and luck affect our level of outcomes. The storyline goes along with a character that follows the way from a zero to a hero to make the novel exciting.

    This story is based on her personal experience with a poker game. During the narrative, she tells her way of success (from a newbie to a champion) and first big wins. But this way was designed not to be victorious and make money but to reveal her own human nature.

    The Biggest Bluff is a novel about a psychologist who applied her scientific knowledge to a poker table and got incredible success. Alongside, she discovered that a simple poker game was similar to a daily routine and gave many interesting insights into human nature.

    The Biggest Game in Town by Al Alvarez

    Publication Date 1 March 2002
    Publisher Chronicle Books
    Print Lenght 188 pages
    Language English

    The Biggest Game in Town is an insightful narrative dedicated to the World Series of Poker event in 1981. Rather, it is a chronicle that portrays the rulers of the high-stake-poker scene with their extraordinary strategies and crazy decisions.

    Las Vegas. 1981. One hot day. And an amateur poker player came into the town. For the next three weeks, he was a witness to how the sharks of the poker game put incredibly high stakes and made higher wins and lost everything on a regular basis.

    The Biggest Game in Town, written by Alfred Alvarez, fits perfectly for those who want to find out more about the universe of pro poker gamblers and the main event – the World Series of Poker. The book is filled with a detailed analysis of high-stakes poker in Vegas and the madness that surrounds it.

    The Dark Side of the Felt by Tyler Nals

    Publication Date 17 August 2014
    Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
    Print Lenght 346 pages
    Language English

    The Dark Side of the Felt is an amazing story written by Tyler Nals, who gives you good exposure to what a poker game is all about.

    The story revolves around the author himself, which gives a real picture of what is truly going on when you are dealing with this exciting and risky game. His narrative starts with one underground casino in Long Island and Charlotte. Tyler shares his experience of how he was trapped into this game, got into serious troubles, and the way he figured them out and managed to survive.

    If you are indeed interested in the dark side of this risky game and want to take a glimpse of it, you definitely should read this book. It is written in an easy-going and enjoyable form but with interesting and helpful insights from the author’s perspective.

    The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    Publication Date 1866 (in Russian) and 1867 (in English)
    Publisher Fyodor Stellovsky
    Print Lenght 191
    Language Russian

    The Gambler is a shot novel written by a famous Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky. The author himself had a passion for gambling, namely for compulsive betting on roulette. This passion turned into addiction and afterwards led him to bankrupt a few times. In this novel, he created a character that fully reflected his addiction to roulette. Interesting fact – the book was written with a purpose to cover the author’s debts.

    The novel Gambler is about a young tutor (Alexei Ivanovich), who fell in love with a general’s niece by the name of Polina. But she did not show anything to him in terms of feelings. During the narrative, the protagonist became addicted to roulette, and it turned for him to be a slave of both Polina and the roulette wheel.  

    This Dostoyevsky’s work is a great book for those who are particularly interested in the psychology of gambling problems. The prominent Russian writer shows in this novel what to do in this kind of situations.

    The Greatest Gambling Story Ever Told by Mark Paul

    Publication Date 6 January 2020
    Publisher Authority Publishing
    Print Lenght 182 pages
    Language English

    The Greatest Gambling Story Ever Told is an inspiring narrative about three gamblers who randomly placed a long-shot bet on a racehorse by the name of Winning Colors. And after this bet got successful, the gamblers faced a really tough time.

    It was precisely that period when the male-dominated world made its impact, and it was a rough time for a female horse to be noticed. Despite this situation, Miami Paul, Dino Mateo, and Big Bernie felt that this racehorse would dominate during this race and placed a bet. The Winning Colors finished first, and this moment was life-changing because the guys won a lot of money. But their adventures only began for the reason that they got another problem – how to claim the money prize and stay alive.

    The story uncovers the other side, the dangerous side of sports betting, specifically when you get a massive prize. The book will be interesting for readers who like horse betting and an extra atmosphere of dangerous adventures filled with pursuits, arrests, and killers.

    The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King by Michael Craig

    Publication Date 5 June 2006
    Publisher Grand Central Publishing
    Print Lenght 288 pages
    Language English

    The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King ushers its readers into a story of a self-made billionaire Andy Beal, who made a decision to become the most prominent poker and leave his print player in the history of gambling.

    In 2001, the successful businessman joined a tournament with an entry-level of 1 million dollars. At the very beginning, Andy played against his opponent, placing bets of $10,000 and $20,000, consequently. But the warm-up rounds came to their end, and the billionaire wanted to raise the stakes and make this tournament the most significant poker game in history.

    This story is all about outsized egos, greedy appetites, and extremely high ambitions. One man – twenty-million-dollar bankroll – the most exciting poker matches in the gambling history.


    10 (Votes: 2)


    • Daniel Johnson
      I've never read something so immersive and crazy as Fear and Loathing in Vegas. The writer surely knows a thing or two about the Sin City’s wild spirit.

    Of current interest