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8 Best Books About Gambling

Gambling has been a popular pastime for centuries, with people all over the world drawn to the thrill of risking it all in the hopes of hitting it big. But as any seasoned gambler knows, success is not about luck; it’s also related to strategy, discipline, and a deep understanding of the games. That’s where these eight best books about gambling come in. Written by some of the most respected voices in the world of gaming literature, these books about casinos offer invaluable insights into the psychology of risk-taking, successful strategies, and the history and culture of gaming itself. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a curious beginner, these casino books are essential reading for anyone interested in the gambling industry.

A Man for All Markets

  1. Amazon rating: 4.5/5
  2. Goodreads rating: 4.24/5
  3. 📅 Year of Publication: 2017
  4. ✍️ Author: Edward O. Thorp

“A Man for All Markets: From Las Vegas to Wall Street, How I Beat the Dealer and the Market” by Edward O. Thorp is regarded as the finest gambling book of all time.

Thorp contends that an individual’s financial success is not determined by luck. He uses several instances from history to back up his claims. He made around $800 million via various forms of gaming in casinos and trading in the stock market.

According to Thorpthe key is education. He claims to have spent years learning mathematical constants and patterns. Amassing non-specialized information also aided him in making sound long-term decisions. This way, he learned card counting and used his studies to predict market swings.

Those who aspire to better their gaming in casinos will find in “A Man of All Markets” great tips and encouragement.

Why read this book?

Why read this book?
“A Man for All Markets” offers valuable insights in the mind of one of the most successful investors of our time. Thorp’s investment strategies are rooted in mathematics and logic. This book offers practical advice on how to navigate the markets with a focus on risk management. It also offers an interesting look into the true story of a man who achieved great success through hard work, determination, and a bit of luck.

Bringing Down the House

  1. ⭐Amazon rating: 4.5/5
  2. ⭐Goodreads rating: 3.91/5
  3. 📅 Year of Publication: 2002
  4. ✍️ Author: Ben Mezrich
  5. 🎬 Basis for the movie “21” starring Kevin Spacey and Jim Sturgess

This is the real story of a professor and his students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). They resolved to make millions in Las Vegas by developing a card-counting system and using it to beat the casino at its own game.

Using their ingenious “spotting” approach, the M.I.T. Blackjack Team was able to win over $10 million by determining in advance when the decks would be “ready” for card counting. Since includes both empirical research and entertaining tales, this is one of our favorite gambling books.

Author Ben Mezrich has stuck close to the actual narrative without adding anything to save for the odd witty aside. It will give you all the details you need to know about how a group of mathematical outcasts defeated the house and hurt for years.

Why read this book?
Bringing Down the House offers readers an inside look at professional casino card counting and the winning strategy and techniques that gamblers use to beat the odds at blackjack. It provides valuable insights into the psychology of risk-taking and casino strategies to use in order to gain an edge over the house. It’s a great read for those in the games, particularly anyone interested in blackjack.

Beat the Dealer – Edward O. Thorp

  1. ⭐Amazon rating: 4.5/5
  2. ⭐Goodreads rating: 4.17/5
  3. 📅 Year of Publication: 1966
  4. ✍️ Author: Edward O. Thorp
  5. 📚 Considered a classic in the field of gambling literature

“Beat the Dealer,” authored by mathematics professor Edward Thorp, serves as a practical guide to the art of card counting. Even for those with an exceptional memory, this book, dating back to 1962, remains as relevant today as it was upon its initial publication. It dwells in the realm where science meets fortune within the domain; although pit managers may disapprove, it doesn’t breach any regulations. Despite being nearly six decades old, it continues to offer valuable insights for 21st-century blackjack players.

Why read this book?
Beat the Dealer is a classic book that introduced the concept of card counting. The gambling book provides a detailed explanation of the technique and offers readers practical advice on how to implement it successfully. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in blackjack and provides valuable insights within the game and how to win at it.

Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling – David Schwartz

Roll the Bones-The History of Gambling
  1. ⭐Amazon rating: 4.4/5
  2. ⭐Goodreads rating: 3.87/5
  3. 📅 Year of Publication: 2006
  4. ✍️ Author: David Schwartz
  5. 🏆 Winner of the 2006 Editor’s Choice Trippies Award

David Schwartz’s exhaustive history of gambling spans from ancient men rolling knucklebones to contemporary Las Vegas. Casting lots is mentioned in the Bible, as is betting in ancient Rome and Greece, the development of playing cards in medieval China, the establishment of the first casino in Venice, and expansion of casino games throughout the British Empire. This is an excellent option if you’re curious about the history of roulette and want to learn more.

Why read this book?
Roll the Bones is a comprehensive history of gaming that provides readers with a deep understanding of the evolution of this ubiquitous pastime. The gambling book offers insights into the psychology of risk-taking and role that gaming has played in shaping human civilization. It is the perfect read for those interested in the history of games and the psychology of risk-taking.

Fortune’s Formula

Fortune’s Formula
  1. ⭐Amazon rating: 4.5/5
  2. ⭐Goodreads rating: 4.19/5
  3. 📅 Year of Publication: 2006
  4. ✍️ Author: William Poundstone

The author, William Poundstone, explores the influence of Claude Shannon, a pioneer in the area of information theory, on the worlds of banking and investing in this fascinating gambling book first published in 2006. The protagonists and antagonists place their faith in the stock market after winning at blackjack and roulette in Las Vegas. One of the finest casino books ever written on gaming, Fortune’s Formula is a must-read for every sports bettor or gambler.

Why read this book?
Fortune’s Formula is a casino book on mathematics and the development of the Kelly criterion, a formula that enables investors to optimize their returns while minimizing risk. It provides valuable insights into the world of stock market investing, sports betting, etc. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in the mathematics of risk management and the strategies that successful investors use to maximize their profits.

Molly’s Game

Molly’s Game
  1. ⭐Amazon rating: 4.4/5
  2. ⭐Goodreads rating: 3.82/5
  3. 📅 Year of Publication: 2014
  4. ✍️ Author: Molly Bloom
  5. 🎬 Inspired the eponymous 2017 film starring Jessica Chastain

This memoir is written by the film’s namesake, Molly Bloom, and covers her life story. Bloom describes her time managing one of the criminal world’s most lucrative games.

She triumphed against the Russian mafia, gangsters, and other unscrupulous types despite coming within direct conflict with them. Molly’s narrative is remarkable because this book reveals how she ran a successful company without resorting to illegal means (such as physical force, threats, or gossip) to recover debts or maintain customer interest.

While Molly used a gentler approach—what some would call a “soft touch”—there was nothing dainty or demure about her actions. Instead of chewing in their turf and engaging in a fight with the criminals there, she used her better judgment and left.

Why read this book?
Molly’s Game is a memoir that offers readers an inside look at the world of high-stakes poker. The book provides valuable insights into the psychology of the professional poker player. It covers the peculiarities of risk-taking and the strategies to use in order to win big. This book is a great read for anyone interested in professional poker and provides practical advice for poker players on how to navigate this complex and highly competitive landscape.

The Biggest Bluff

The Biggest Bluff
  1. ⭐Amazon rating: 4.5/5
  2. ⭐Goodreads rating: 4.08/5
  3. 📅 Year of Publication: 2020
  4. ✍️ Author: Maria Konnikova
  5. 🏆 Fun fact: the author won a $300k tournament while working on the book.

A look into the mind of gamblers, and more especially poker players, “The Greatest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win” Maria Konnikova, author and psychologist, gives a fascinating look at how the field may be used to explain and even predict human behavior in casinos.

Konnikova didn’t only describe what it’s like to play the game she concentrated on; she also demonstrated that it’s possible to get a more nuanced comprehension of the game. She now has more than $311,000 in winnings, and that sum rises every month as she continues to play at live poker tables and beat her rivals. She is also actively engaged in the fields of psychology, research, and writing.

We highly suggest “The Greatest Bluff” to anybody interested in reading about a woman’s rise from a beginner to one of the game’s most feared female players.

Why read this book?
The Biggest Bluff is a memoir that offers readers an inside look into professional poker and strategies to use in order to win big in casinos. It provides valuable insights into the psychology of risk-taking and the importance of emotional control. This book provides practical advice on how to succeed in this highly competitive and challenging field.


In conclusion, gaming is a fascinating and complex one, full of risks, rewards, and unexpected twists and turns. The eight books we have recommended in this article offer a unique and insightful glimpse into these casinos, providing valuable lessons for anyone looking to improve their skills, refine their strategies, or simply learn more about the psychology of risk-taking in online casinos. From memoirs of high-stakes poker to detailed guides on the mathematics of blackjack, these books cover a wide range of topics, each with its own unique perspective and style.


What are the best books based on true stories set in the casino industry?
Several books based on true stories set in the casino industry are highly recommended for readers interested in this genre. Some of the most popular ones include “Bringing Down the House” by Ben Mezrich, “Lay the Favorite” by Beth Raymer, “Molly’s Game” by Molly Bloom, and “The Biggest Bluff” by Maria Konnikova.
Who are the most popular gambling writers?
Several writers are highly regarded in the world of gaming literature. Some of the most popular ones include Edward O. Thorp, William Poundstone, David Sklansky, and Mason Malmuth.
What is the number 1 rule of gambling in books?
The number-one rule is to always practice responsible gambling. The best books emphasize the importance of discipline, patience, and a clear understanding of the risks involved in gaming. They also emphasize the need to develop a sound strategy and stick to it rather than relying on luck alone.
Julia Abrams
Chief Editor at casinosfest.com
About the author
I’m Julia Abrams, the Senior Editor at CasinosFest.com, specialising in gambling and casino evaluations. With a decade of experience, my in-depth knowledge and diverse approach to assessment have become my trademarks in the industry.