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7 Best Books on Gambling and Casinos

Discover the best books that will take you into the fascinating world of gambling.

Your gambling outcome relies on luck – at least that’s what many will tell you. While luck certainly plays a part in determining the outcome of your games, there are many other aspects that can help shape your odds too.

The trick to increasing your chance of success in any endeavour is to increase your knowledge and skills in the area. Becoming a good player in casino games is no different. There are many guides, biographies and even fiction in the world that can teach you the right strategies to becoming better at your games that merely being at the top-rated online casino won’t do for you.

Here are some of the best books on the fascinating world of gambling and casinos that will teach, inspire and, at the very least, entertain you.


Scarne’s New Complete Guide to Gambling by John Scarne

Scarne's New Complete Guide to Gambling

We can’t begin to talk about influential gambling books without mentioning the legendary magician and card manipulator John Scarne, who has left a legacy as one of the greatest gambling experts in the world.

This guide covers the history, rules, odds and house edge of the most popular casino games. There’s even some math involved to teach you how to increase your odds.

Peppered with anecdotes of varied personalities and scenarios throughout the book, it makes for an informative and entertaining read in equal parts.

While not all tips and tricks found here are applicable to your online casino exploits, this is a great read for building a strong understanding of the ins and outs of casino games.

Gambling 102: The Best Strategies for All Casino Games by Michael Shackleford

Gambling 102: The Best Strategies for All Casino Games

Shackleford is the man behind The Wizard of Odds – a popular online guide to gambling and online casinos. In Gambling 102, he not only explains how to play a variety of casino games but shares strategies to help you assess your odds and steer them in your favour.

Thanks to his background in actuarial science, Shackleford’s advice and tips are founded on number-based strategies, making this book a must-read for players who want to rely less on blind luck and learn to use mathematical calculations to their advantage when placing wagers.

Many of the lessons and strategies can actually be found on his website, but if you appreciate having the collection of the most valuable information condensed into a book, you won’t want to skip this purchase.

Roll The Bones: The History of Gambling (Casino Edition) by David G. Schwartz

Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling

For all history buffs out there, this one is for you. Schwartz takes readers on a journey to discover the origins and evolution of gambling through the ages. The book also features a few famous gamblers with their fortunate and no-so-fortunate adventures.

The nice thing about this book is that it does not only focus on the gambling scene in the United States and Europe but touches on Asia as well – specifically the casinos of Singapore and Macau.

As Schwartz is the director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, he does not slack in providing factual information to support the entire book. That said, do not expect to find a dull academic exposition when you pick this book up, as it is history told in a most engaging manner.

Lay The Favourite by Beth Raymer

Lay The Favorite by Beth Raymer

In an industry that is mostly viewed as a male-dominated world, it is refreshing to see it from a female perspective, especially one who has known sports betting since childhood through her dad’s affinity for dog races.

This memoir invites readers into the world of sports betting through Raymer’s firsthand experiences as a bookie in Las Vegas and, eventually, a manager of an unregulated offshore booking office in the Caribbean.

Fans of sports betting and a hilarious read will enjoy Raymer’s story of how she navigates the sports betting industry and the colourful characters that often accompany it, and how she keeps her sanity intact in a world full of vices and temptations.

Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions by Ben Mezrich

Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions

This book recounts the MIT Blackjack Team’s remarkable journey of beating the system through a unique card-counting system and ultimately walking away with three million dollars from Vegas casinos, all while balancing the responsibilities that come with being college students.

Based on a true story set in the 1990s, Bringing Down the House delves into the thrilling and suspenseful reality of high-stake blackjack, and the dangerous repercussions of being too good at your game.

If you want to find out how a group of MIT geniuses became the targets of major casinos – and maybe use some of their tricks in your next blackjack session – read this one.

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

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

How does it feel to place single bets each valuing over thousands of dollars?

This book gives readers a glimpse into the highest-stake poker match in the world that spanned a few years. The Professor is mathematical poker mind Howard Lederer, the Banker is, well, banker Andrew Beal, and the Suicide King is the famous and reckless poker player Ted Forrest.

While most of us will be content with putting modest wagers on our favourite games at online casinos for the rest of our lives, it is always fascinating to find out what goes on in the mind of high-stake gamblers.

Telling Lies and Getting Paid: More Gambling Stories by Michael Konik

Telling Lies and Getting Paid: More Gambling Stories by Michael Konik

After the success of his first short story collection The Man with the $100,000 Breasts: And Other Gambling Stories, Konik treats readers to more outrageous characters and amusing encounters in this sequel.

From a Chicago nun who consistently outdoes the bookies with her professional football picks to a glimpse into the business of offshore online casinos to the adventure of a backgammon hustler around the world, the diversity of the characters in these stories is sure to make you better appreciate the intriguing world of gambling and casinos.

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