I’ve been writing about gambling-related subjects since 2003 for the Internet. Rather than use the Internet for my research, I’ve amassed a tremendous library of casino gambling books. Some of them were great, some were only good, and some were downright awful.
The purpose of this page is to provide you with a list of recommended casino gambling books. I’ll organize the books by category. Please don’t assume that because I’ve omitted a book that it was somehow inferior to the books on this page. I’ve read a lot of gambling books, but I haven’t read every gambling book.
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General Gambling Books
Mensa Guide to Casino Gambling: Winning Ways is the best book about casino gambling I’ve read. It was written by Andrew Brisman, who combines accuracy with entertaining writing. His perspectives on the realities of casino gambling have probably influenced the way I think of gambling more than any other writer’s. It’s out of print now, but you can still find used copies for next to nothing on Amazon or via other used book dealers.
Gambling 102: The Best Strategies for All Casino Games is a good book written by Michael Shackleford, who is also known as “the Wizard of Odds.” He runs an excellent gambling information site, but his book was shorter and less detailed than I expected. You can probably find the same information offered in his book on his actual website, and you can do so without paying for the book. )He supports his site, as most site owners do, by selling advertising.) On the other hand, some people enjoy having an actual book to look at, and for those who do, this is a very reasonably priced book full of accurate information. You can buy a copy of it new for less than $10.
How to Make $100,000 a Year Gambling for a Living is an excellent book from David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth. The book includes sections about the various gambling activities where you can actually get a mathematical edge, including blackjack, betting sports, betting on horse racing, video poker, and poker. The book also covers casino promotions and casino tournaments that can sometimes create profitable situations from games which are normally unbeatable mathematically.
Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the game of Twenty-One is the original book about how to beat blackjack via card counting strategies, and it’s still well worth reading. Some of the information in the book is outdated, but it provides a good background to the math behind the game and why counting cards provides a player with an edge over the casino.
Play Blackjack Like the Pros by Kevin Blackwood is also an excellent book about beating blackjack, and Blackwood is a talented, entertaining writer.
Any blackjack book written by Stanford Wong is also worth your time, but he’s written several. If I had to choose just one blackjack book by Stanford Wong to buy, it would be The Big Book of Blackjack.
Video Poker Books
You should buy and read every book about video poker written by Bob Dancer and by Jean Scott. Dancer’s A Winner’s Guide to Jacks or Better is the one video poker strategy book that I think is essential if you’re serious about video poker, but Jean Scott’s books about frugal gambling and frugal video poker are also excellent.
Slot Machine Books
There’s not much insight to be gained into slot machines that you can’t get from reading the Mensa Guide to Casino Gambling that I recommended earlier. But if you’re really interested in slot machines, Frank Legato’s book, How to Win a Million Dollars Playing Slot Machines (or Lose Trying) is worth your time and money. The Big Book of Slots is also worth reading, but neither of these books (or any other book) will teach you the “secret to winning at slot machines.” The fact is that there is NO secret to winning at slots.
Sports Betting Books
Most sports betting books are pretty bad, but Stanford Wong’s book Sharp Sports Betting is well worth reading. It’s dense, and it will take some effort to get the most value out of it, but it’s probably worth putting in the effort if you’re interested in learning how to make money as a sports bettor.
Casino Gambling Books to Avoid
I recommend avoiding anything from Frank Scoblete or John Patrick. Some of the information in Frank Scoblete’s books about gambling are accurate, but some of it is nonsense. John Patrick’s books are even worse. Not only are they badly written, but his recommended approach to gambling systems and money management techniques are a lot of hooey.