The Best Gambling Books of All Time

Interested in sharpening your betting skills? Read on to find our list of the best books to read to hit the jackpot of your dreams.

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gambling table with chips and cards in play

No matter your experience on the casino floor, there’s a book out there about gambling that will tickle your fancy. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most captivating reads in the gambling universe. So, grab a cup of your favorite beverage, get comfy, and let’s dive into the pages that have shaped the world of gambling.

Beat the Dealer by Edward O. Thorp

Edward O. Thorp, known as the father of card counting, offers a revolutionary point system in Beat the Dealer. Published all the way back in 1962, this book is a must-have for anyone interested in blackjack. Apart from explaining the basic rules and offs, it also goes way deeper into the card-counting systems such as Hi-Lo count. Though the book accounts for responsible gambling measures, the card-counting systems it explains may get you thrown out of the casino, so be wary!

Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich

The full name of this book is Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, so you may guess which legendary gambling story it covers. The M.I.T. Blackjack team used their maths skills to win millions in the Las Vegas Casinos in the ’90s. Ben Mezrich researched the topic thoroughly, gaining access to internal documents and records of the team’s activities, and also interviewed them to bring the story to life. The book was published in 2003 and was such a success that it was adapted into a critically acclaimed movie called 21 in 2008.

Scarne’s New Complete Guide to Gambling by John Scarne

The legendary John Scarne, an expert on gambling, a magician, and a card shark, shares his profound knowledge of gambling in this comprehensive guide. Covering everything from the basic rules and strategies to the intricacies of various casino games, it’s a goldmine of information for both novices and seasoned players​​.

What’s also interesting is that this book doesn’t only cover table games, such as blackjack, poker, roulette, and baccarat, but it also dives into the world of slot games. It covers the history of slot machines, how they work, and even some strategies one may use while playing slot games. However, remember that there’s no guaranteed strategy to win slots (Scarne highlights this himself as well). Still, you may take a look at some of his tips to improve your chances of having a positive experience while playing all the latest slot games.

The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book by Lance Humble

This book is a comprehensive guide to mastering blackjack, written by a professional blackjack player, Lance Humble. Though the book covers the basic rules, so it would be appropriate for a beginner, it may be a better suit for those already familiar with the game as it emphasizes the mathematical approach to blackjack and some of the more advanced topics, such as casino penetration.


So, if you want to enhance your gambling style, become an expert blackjack player, or simply enjoy a heist-like story of the M.I.T. Six, there’s a book about gambling to choose from. After all, winter is a great time to relax with loads of good books, be it about gambling or any other topic you find interesting.