Top 12 Books on Gambling and Casinos

Top 12 Books on Gambling and Casinos

Simply put, gambling is placing your money or something valuable on a game or event with an unpredictable outcome. When you gamble, there are three elements to it – something you’ve placed as a bet, the risk of losing it, and the prize you get if you win. This is what makes it extremely exciting. Gambling has been around since the Paleolithic ages. However, a more reliable record is of six-sided dice, which was used in Mesopotamia around 3000 BC.

Today, many people gamble online instead of visiting gambling houses or casinos. If you’re a beginner, there are websites about online casinos you can explore, learn more about gambling online, and even play a vast selection of slot games online on them for free. Given below is the list of top books, which can give you some insights into the world of gambling and casinos:

Casino Royale 

With the mention of this classic novel by Ian Fleming, Daniel Craig would immediately come to your mind. This was the first novel written by the British author. It narrates the story of the British secret agent called James Bond. He gambles to make a secret member of the Soviet state intelligence bankrupt at the casino in Royale-les-Eaux.

The book received many positive reviews from the critics at the time. After its release in the United Kingdom on the 13th of April 1953, the first edition was sold out in less than a month. It was adapted for the big screen for the first time in 1967 and later in 2006.

The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King  

The subtitle of this book reads ‘Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time’. Released in 2005, it was written by Michael Craig. The book details a series of high-stakes poker games that billionaire Andrew Beal played with top professional poker players of Las Vegas. The title of this book describes some of the professional poker players involved in the series of games.

With regards to the title, the professor is Howard Lederer, a professional poker player with a mathematical mind. The banker is Andrew Beal and the ‘Suicide King’ is a reckless player called Ted Forrest. Andrew Beal vowed in March 2004 that he’d quit poker and never play it again. However, he returned to high-stakes poker in the year 2006.


This non-fiction book describes the time between the 1970s and early 1980s, when some of the Las Vegas casinos were controlled by the mafia. It was written by the crime reporter, Nicholas Pileggi, and was released in 1995. The book is focused on Frank ‘Lefty’ Rosenthal and his friend and Mafia member, Anthony Spilotro. While Rosenthal supervised the operations of casinos, Spilotro masterminded jewelry raids and provided protection and security.

A film of the same name was released a month after the book was released. Martin Scorsese, the director of the film, tried to persuade Pileggi to release the book after the film. However, the book released before the film. In the movie, the name of Rosenthal was Ace Rothstein and the name of Spilotro was Nicky Santoro. 

Bringing Down the House 

Though this book comes under the category of non-fiction, it contains many fictional elements according to the American daily, The Boston Globe. You’ll find the subtitle of this book ‘The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions’ quite intriguing. The movies 21 and The Last Casino are based on this book.

It tells the story of the MIT Blackjack Team and its main character, Kevin Lewis, who is an MIT graduate. He was invited in 1993 to join the team, which was financed by a character called Micky Rosa. Members of the team eventually went separate ways owing to card counting deterrent efforts at the casinos and some conflicts in personality.

The Gambler 

Published in 1866, this novel written by Fyodor Dostoevsky narrates the story of a young tutor employed by a Russian general who was formerly wealthy. Dostoevsky was addicted to roulette and this inspired him, in a way, to write this book. He wrote this book under a strict deadline to pay off the debts that were accumulated as a result of his gambling. 

His stenographer, Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina, helped him to finished his book. A year after the publication of this book, she became his second wife. His first wife, Maria Dmitriyevna Isaeva, had died in 1864. The Gambler later became an inspiration for many films and television series.

The Biggest Game in Town

In this cult classic, you’re taken through the dark and compelling world of high-stakes Vegas poker. This is a world where winning and losing is equally exciting and the book brilliantly captures the peculiar habits and psyches of professional poker players. You’ll surely be amazed and excited as you read about the World Series Poker event, which has some of the most eccentric poker players as its participants.

This book was released in 1983 and detailed the 1981 World Series of Poker. Written by Al Alvarez, it was the first book of its kind at the time of its publication. The book also began the genre of poker literature and is credited with bringing Texas Hold’em to a wider audience for the first time.

The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book

If you wish to learn the strategies and complicated details of blackjack, you’ll find this book extremely useful. You’ll have plenty of gambling tricks in it as well as the actions that are essential to put yourself at an advantage in the game. The book also has comprehensive explanations on cheating and betting processes, which will benefit both beginners and advanced players.

Originally published in 1980, this book was written by Lance Humble. His first encounter with the game of blackjack happened while teaching at Gambling York University. After making a small profit during his first game in Las Vegas, he went on to become a blackjack legend.

Roll the Bones

Written by David G. Schwartz, this book takes you on the journey of gambling right from its origins to the present day. It also looks at the development of casino gaming by discussing the beginning of casinos in Venice and their evolution to the modern-day gambling hubs of Las Vegas. The book also talks about the development of casinos in the Asian continent and the emergence of online gambling.

It was originally published in October 2006 and is full of intriguing anecdotes. You’ll also find a detailed explanation of what leads people to put their money at stake and the impact of gambling on society.

Gambling 102

Released in May 2005, this book has been written by Michael Shackleford who is known as ‘Wizard of Odds’ and ‘Wizard of Vegas’. He takes you to the next level of gambling, where you put in least number of efforts and play in the best way possible. You are given some proven strategies that can be used for all the casino games. 

The 19 chapters of this book get you right to the heart of casino games. You will learn to assess your odds and then to lower them to a great extent. This book is the result of deep mathematical analysis, computer modeling, and playing actual casino games.

Beat the Dealer

This book has been written by Edward O. Thorp, a mathematics professor, blackjack researcher, hedge fund manager, and author. He is sometimes referred to as the father of card counting. It is known as the book that made Las Vegas change its rules. 

Published in 1962, the book shares a revolutionary system that has been used successfully by many of the amateur and professional card players. With this book you’ll be introduced to the winning strategy for the game of 21 with the use of simple charts. It is considered as a bible for players of the game. 

The Greatest Gambling Story Ever Told 

You’ll find this inspiring personal narrative quite fascinating, as it tells the tale of a female horse that made her mark in the male-dominated horseracing arena. She was named ‘Winning Colors’ and her historic win served as an inspiration for the crowds of men and women who witnessed her race. 

The subtitle of this book by Mark Paul reads ‘A True Tale of Three Gamblers, The Kentucky Derby, and the Mexican Cartel’. The three gamblers in the book are Dino Mateo, Miami Paul, and Big Bernie. All of them believed that Winning Colors would emerge as an unlikely female winner in the 1988 Kentucky Derby and placed their bet with members of a suspected Mexican drug cartel.

The Smart Money – Michael Konik 

An amazing insight into the lucrative world of high-stakes sports betting, this book by Michael Konik is based on his personal experiences with the most successful sports gambling ring in the world. Konik is a journalist and an expert player of poker and blackjack. He had the opportunity to interview Rick ‘Big Daddy’ Matthews, believed to be the smartest sports better in the world.

Matthews created an expert group of gamblers called ‘The Brain Trust’ that had the expertise of beating the Vegas lines. Konik couldn’t resist the urge to make a little money when Matthews offered him the chance to be a part of the betting operation during the football season. He reveals in the book how he got rich along with them and the pros and cons of a lifestyle built around gambling.

Now that you’ve got the list of the greatest books on gambling and casinos, we’re sure you’d like to try your luck in the most exciting games. There some online casinos out there, where you can get started with blackjack, video poker and roulette casinos anytime, anywhere. 

Of course, you wouldn’t want to get adventurous if you’re a beginner and when there’s real money involved. The best way to get started is to visit a reliable website that has detailed information on some of the best online casinos. You’d want to learn responsible gambling as well. So, visit to find the most trusted online casinos that have been reviewed and rated by experts. You can also play the latest slot games on this website for free!