The Gambler’s Guide to Reading

Whether you’re a gambling aficionado, or merely just interested in the gambling world and what makes it tick, then you’ll love this book guide we’ve put together for you here at CasinoTop. There have been so many great books on gambling written over the years as it’s always been a very topical subject, today more so than ever.

Worthwhile Reading

Even before online casinos popped up there were a plethora of books written about how to beat the odds and win a lot of money. There are also many entertaining stories at landbased casino hubs like Macau and Vegas. Some are definitely worth a read, however, you’ll come across some bogus authors with so-called winning strategies that are only designed to sell books and not much else.

The Ultimate Book Guide to Gambling

So what are the books worth reading? We’ve compiled our list of favourites to save you time and money on useless reading material. Here we invite our Canadian players to take a look at our suggestions of great books!

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

This is a good one to start with as it takes you on a journey back thousands of years to Venice and the Spas throughout Europe where gambling first started. In this fascinating read, the author goes on to explain how illegal casino gaming developed in Las Vegas, moving to Atlantic City and finally throughout the entire United States.

It also takes a look at the rise of Asian casinos and the take over of online gaming around the world today. The book is a serious chronicle of the history of gambling, however, it’s also full of fun and action and an easy book to read. It also helps that Schwartz is very knowledgeable about the gambling world and gives us a real insight into the origins of risk-taking.

Casino by Nicholas Pileggi

This is a true story about the billion-dollar gambling empire, that inspired the very successful Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas. Published in 1996, Casino chronicles the dangerous and secretive world of the Mafia throughout the 20th century.

The factual story is one of murder, revenge and love in a Las Vegas casino setting. It portrays the lives of two mafia casino owners, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Anthony Spilotro, whose multi-million dollar casino business starts going under. Set amidst the underworld of gambling, sex, betrayal and violence, Casino is not just a great read, but a fantastic movie as well.

The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Dostoyevsky was a Russian novelist born in 1821. His famous book, The Gambler, was a perfect theme for Dostoyevsky to write about as he was an avid gambler himself. This novel is set in a German casino spa village and focuses on the intricate lives of the gambling set.

There are some complex love triangles and interesting gambling situations surrounding a group of gamblers including Alexey and his lover Paulina and some charismatic people including a couple of French characters. This story paints a grim picture of the woes that can befall a gambling victim and reminds the reader why it’s important to keep a level head!

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

This iconic book, written by Ian Flemming, was published in 1953. It was Fleming’s first novel and was the first of many James Bond novels that inspired many generations. The setting of Casino Royale is the Royale-Les-Eaux casino where James Bond 007, a British spy, is trying to ruin Le Chiffre, a member of the Russian Secret Service and treasurer of a French Union. The battle takes place over a rather unfriendly game of Baccarat.

The relationships between Britain, the US and Russia are explored, in particular, the defections to the USSR of the British agents Guy Burgess and Donal Maclean. A cult movie and one that had an amazing impact culturally at its time. Action. Romance, adventure and some great fight scenes too, this is one definitely worth checking out.

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

This amazing story is based on the life of a young MIT graduate, Kevin Lewis, who is the main character of this true story. In 1993 Lewis, was recruited by two blackjack team members, Andre Martinez and Jason Fischer and invited to join their team in Vegas. Organized and financed by Micky Rosa, the team went on to become the most successful financially of any other on the Vegas strip.

The story centres around how the team counted cards and duped their way through casinos. The stormy interactions the players had with each other and the extreme measures the casinos went to, to eradicate the dodgy blackjack teams, eventually resulted in their demise. The lead character, Lewis was supposedly a man called Jeff Ma, but all the other characters in the book were fictional.

Gambling 102 by Michael Shackleford

This is predominantly a how-to book of gambling. Gambling 102 is the sequel to Gambling 101, which is a comprehensive explanation of playing gambling games. Gambling 102 is the next level which is not just how to play the games, but how to play them well and with little effort. The Author, Shackleford, affectionately known as the “Wizard of Odds” gives away all his mathematical secret formulas and tips for winning at baccarat, poker, craps and sic bo.

The really great thing about this book is that each of the 19 chapters deals with the assessment and strategies of each game in an easy to understand way. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced table game player, this book is sure to provide some great tips.

More Reading Material

Apart from our favouites books mentioned above, there are so many others worth delving into. You can also try The Biggest Game in Town by Al Alvarez, American Mensa Guide to Casino Gambling: Winning Ways by Andrew Brisman, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson and The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren.

If you have any suggestions of your own, feel free to share them with us and the other Canadian players on the CasinoTop site!

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