gambling

The Bookworm Gamblers’ Digest

Books with lots of bookshelf

Take a chance and read. Become a better gambler with pro manuals, or unwind on the couch with some exciting novels.


• Compelling biographies
• Light gambling stories
• Recounts of true events

Reading is the perfect activity to put your mind at ease. These books are the best choice for gamblers, with varying genres. All you have to do, is decide whether you want to read a biography, a manual, or an intriguing fiction. So, here are the most popular books based on gambling.

Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions (Ben Mezrich)

Have you seen the movie 21? Well, if you have and you liked it, read this book. You won’t be able to put it down, I guarantee it. An M.I.T. group of geniuses making so much money in the casino, it becomes suspicious. Go for it!

Busting Vegas: A True Story of Monumental Excess, Sex, Love, Violence, and Beating the Odds (Ben Mezrich)

Not really a sequel to Burning Down the House, but cut from the same cloth: events take place before the first novel and also center around M.I.T students who aimed to conquer Vegas. Definitely worth a read.

Roll the Bones: The History of Gambling (David G. Schwartz)

From to roots of gambling to the present day, David G. Schwartz did extensive research to bring you this compelling history of betting, laying odds and putting our money on the line for fun.

Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion’s World Series of Poker (James McManus)

Harper’s sends McManus, the author to cover the 2000 World Series of Poker tournament. The reason why I love this book is that you can feel that it’s based on true events. It’s eerie and fascinating.

Double Down: Reflections on Gambling and Loss (Frederick Barthelme, Steve Barthelme)

A compelling nonfiction book about two brothers taking risks on Mississippi gambling boats and how they’ve won, lost and appeared in gambling news, charged with defying state gambling legislation.

Play Poker Like The Pros (Phil Hellmuth, Jr.)

If you want to learn to play poker from one of the best players, take this opportunity to learn tactics like The Jackal, The Elephant or The Lion. Sounds pretty darn cool, doesn’t it?

Dummy Up and Deal: Inside the Culture of Casino Dealing (H. Lee Barnes, John L. Smith)

I think this appraisal from Las Vegas Magazine pretty much sums it up: “This book is a must-read not only for anyone interested in the casino industry…but also for anyone interested in humanity.”

No House Limit (Steve Fischer)

If you want a short, light read with a 1958 atmosphere to it, this novel will cater to your needs. It’s a turbulent story of trying to take down a casino mogul on the Vegas Strip. Lay back and enjoy!

Super Casino: Inside the “New” Las Vegas (Pete Earley)

This book contains everything you ever wanted to know about Las Vegas. No, seriously. Important moguls, the Rat Pack era and how the city is nowadays, packed with family resorts.

Poker Nation: A High-Stakes, Low-Life Adventure into the Heart of a Gambling Country(Andy Bellin)

This is a book you can learn tons from. It’s not a manual, but it provides insight into the real players’ world, with gambling scenes varying from US poker rooms to WSOP tournaments. Read it and bask in the knowledge.

Telling Lies and Getting Paid: Gambling Stories (Michael Konik)

A sociology book based on behind the scenes events, it is an honest recount of gambling characters’ emotions and what goes on in dens. An engaging read, recommended to everyone who enjoys the game

The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time (Michael Craig)

Without this book, we would (probably) never know the specifics of “The Corporation,” and group of the best poker players who combine their earnings to play for even more millions. This novel is a true behind the scenes pass.

The Gambler (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

An authentic classic. Anyone who has heard of Dostoyevsky knows that this cannot be a bad read. Although dark, it is extremely hard to put down. It will leave you in a different mind-set, as Dostoyevsky so often does.

One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stuey ‘,The Kid’, Ungar, The World’s Greatest Poker Player (Nolan Dalla, Peter Alson)

Oh, the Mob. A poker winner. And the suspense and violence that ensues. This biography of “The Kid” is the best example of how the Mob helps you rise. He won many WSOP tournaments and later was found dead in a hotel room. Probably no foul play, right?

24/7: Living It Up and Doubling Down (Andrés Martinez)

Las Vegas, thirty days and ten casinos results in a witty novel that portrays a life in Vegas forgetting online casinos in the US and diving into the night. The author tells the stories of many colourful people he met on his journey.

Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas (David G. Schwartz)

Depicting the life of Joe Sarno, the founder of Caesars and Circus-Circus, David Schwartz lets us glimpse into how this man reformed the Las Vegas scene and modernized it… Las Vegas became what it is because of him.

The Odds: One Season, Three Gamblers And The Death Of Their Las Vegas (Chad Millman)

A funny tale of three gamblers: an ex-druggie with an Ivy League education, a guy who bets for a living after quitting school and a well-known Vegas bookie who is on the verge of giving up his professional life.

Thirteen Against The Bank (Norman Leigh)

The French Riviera and Roulette are a nice combo to spend some time gambling. But what if there are some potential candidates who are willing to beat the roulette? This book will absorb your attention.

Go ahead, pick a couple of books and head to the bookstore. Read stories about your favourite hobby and get smart with manuals, all while relaxing after a long day at work.

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