The most recommended gambling books

Who picked these books? Meet our 35 experts.

35 authors created a book list connected to gambling, and here are their favorite gambling books.
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Book cover of Gambling Wizards: Conversations with the World's Greatest Gamblers

Arnold Snyder Author Of Radical Blackjack

From my list on those contemplating gambling as a profession.

Who am I?

I was a mailman when I became obsessed with card counting at blackjack. Not having enough money to play at a pro level, I decided to sell a mathematical formula I’d devised for evaluating games and systems. I offered it for sale through gambling newsletters at $100. I immediately had big sales because no one had ever seen a method for estimating card counters’ win rates. I got letters from college math professors asking me how I’d come up with the math. So, I started my own blackjack newsletter where I published my discoveries. I was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2002 and soon had big investors funding my play.

Arnold's book list on those contemplating gambling as a profession

Arnold Snyder Why did Arnold love this book?

In-depth interviews with eight of the most successful modern-day gambling pros. Billy Walters, the most successful sports bettor in Las Vegas history, had a 30-year winning streak and was so feared by the Vegas sports books, he had to hire “runners” to place his bets because the casinos refused his action. Tommy Hyland ran the biggest and longest-lasting blackjack team in history, winning millions from casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Alan Woods has won hundreds of millions using a computer system to beat the race tracks in Hong Kong. The interview format makes for truly compelling reading, as you get to learn these gamblers’ secrets in their own words.

By Richard W. Munchkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gambling Wizards as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Get into the minds of the greatest gamblers of all time. Read in-depth interviews with eight masters of the games. Learn how they think, how they play, and what made them successful.

The interview subjects include: Billy Walters (sports betting), Chip Reese (poker), Doyle Brunson (poker), Mike Svobodny (backgammon), Stan Tomchin (backgammon and sports betting), Cathy Hulbert (blackjack and poker), Alan Woods (blackjack and horse racing), and Tommy Hyland (blackjack).


Book cover of The Gambler

David Flusfeder Author Of Luck: A Personal Account of Fortune, Chance and Risk in Thirteen Investigations

From my list on luck: winning, losing, and seeing opportunity.

Who am I?

My father, when he consented to talk about all the moments in his life when the odds against his survival were so small as to make them statistically non-existent, would say, ‘I was lucky.’ Trying to understand what he meant got me started on this book. As well as being a novelist, I’m a poker player. Luck is a subject that every poker player has a relationship to; more importantly it’s a subject that every person has a relationship to. The combination of family history and intellectual curiosity and the gambler’s desire to win drove me on this quest.

David's book list on luck: winning, losing, and seeing opportunity

David Flusfeder Why did David love this book?

This novel is the best account of the gambling psychology I know. It is a first-person narrative, ruthless in its depiction of the lies that addicts know they’re telling themselves. The story of a resentful compulsive gambler, the poor but superior tutor to a Russian family at “Roulettenburg,” it was itself the subject of a bet. Dostoevsky signed away his next decade’s worth of publishing profits unless he could deliver a new novel within a year. With six weeks to go he hadn’t written a word. He delivered the completed novel several hours before the deadline was going to pass. 

By Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Gambler as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The Gambler" is a gripping narrative of the dangers of an addiction to gambling. As was common with Dostoyevsky's writing he draws upon his own life in a semi-autobiographical way in "The Gambler". Dostoyevksy himself suffered from a compulsion to gambling and those first-hand experiences bring a depth of realism to "The Gambler" and to his portrayal of the main character, Alexis Ivanovitch, a young man addicted to gambling. "The Gambler" is an insightful look at the compulsive nature of the gambling addict and the tragic consequences of such an addiction.


Book cover of Legend

Jason Pere Author Of Calling the Reaper: First Book of Purgatory

From my list on fantasy not afraid of a bittersweet ending.

Who am I?

I currently reside in my home state of Connecticut with my darling wife and a duo of sweet cuddly dogs. I am a renaissance man having dabbled in Acting for Film and Theater, Fencing and Mixed Martial Arts, Professional Dorkary, and a bevy of other passions before coming to land on writing. Having stepped into numerous fantasy worlds over the years I have had the chance to sample many different flavors of imagination and developed a refined taste for all things dark, mystical, and tragic. 

Jason's book list on fantasy not afraid of a bittersweet ending

Jason Pere Why did Jason love this book?

Legend and the rest of the Drenai saga were required reading for initiation into a fraternity that I joined many years ago. I can say these books were by far and away the most enjoyable required reading that I have ever been assigned. David Gemmell’s greatest strength is his ability to manage a vast cast of characters and keep the reader’s interest maintained in each and every one. He is an author who is lauded by his peers as one of the best to ever write in the epic fantasy genre and rightfully so.

By David Gemmell,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Legend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“David Gemmell tells a tale of very real adventure, the stuff of true epic fantasy.”—R. A. Salvatore

Druss, Captain of the Ax, is the stuff of legends. Tales of his battles are told throughout the land, and the stories expand with each telling. But Druss himself grows older, until finally, the warrior turns his back on glory and retreats to his mountain lair. There he awaits his old enemy: death. 

But far below, the barbarian Nadir hordes are on the march. All that stands between them and the Drenai people is a mighty six-walled fortress, Dros Delnoch—a great citadel that…


Book cover of Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover

Lorraine Heath Author Of The Return of the Duke

From my list on historical romances with adventurous women.

Who am I?

I am the bestselling author of more than 46 romance novels. I love history, enjoy research, and am always looking for little-known facts to make my stories more authentic. Some of those facts have revealed that women in the 19th century often took on occupations, hobbies, or causes that challenged them and sometimes placed them in danger. Although seldom acknowledged as such, women in the 19th century were a force to be reckoned with, although their contributions were often overlooked. But through reading personal accounts, letters of the time, biographies, and nonfiction accounts about various women’s roles, I have gained a greater appreciation for how daring women have been throughout history.

Lorraine's book list on historical romances with adventurous women

Lorraine Heath Why did Lorraine love this book?

Little is more adventurous than a woman who owns a gambling hell, who has forged a path to success, and dares Society to judge her. I love Sarah’s depth of characterization and how she infuses her characters with a background and motivations that make their actions, even the questionable ones, understandable and believable. I find she always takes an insurmountable conflict and uses it to drive the characters toward change. I so admire Sarah’s ability to carry me on a journey that always ends with a sigh of satisfaction, and often a few tears.

By Sarah MacLean,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Fabulous' Eloisa James
'Smart, sexy, and always romantic' Julia Quinn
'For a smart, witty and passionate historical romance, I recommend anything by Sarah MacLean' Lisa Kleypas

RITA Award winning author, Sarah MacLean, reveals the identity of The Fallen Angel's final scoundrel in the spectacular conclusion to her Rules of Scoundrels series . . .

By day, she is Lady Georgiana, sister to a duke, ruined before her first season in the worst kind of scandal. But the truth is far more shocking-in London's darkest corners, she is Chase, the mysterious, unknown founder of the city's most legendary gaming hell. For…


Book cover of Devil by the Tail

G.P. Gottlieb Author Of Charred: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery

From my list on fabulous historical mysteries set in American cities.

Who am I?

I read at least 100 books each year, mostly novels, and before I became a published author in 2019, used to send a list of my favorite 30 to hundreds of friends, friends of friends, and family. I began hosting New Books in Literature, a podcast channel on the New Books Network, in 2018, and have interviewed over 180 authors so far. It was tough to choose just 5 top books, but in looking over all those interviews, I remembered how much I loved reading these books, all set in the United States long before the 21st century.

G.P.'s book list on fabulous historical mysteries set in American cities

G.P. Gottlieb Why did G.P. love this book?

A smart, quick-witted civil war widow is forced to make her way in 1867 Chicago, but nobody listens to an unmarried young woman unless she has a tough, gun-toting ex-rebel soldier as a partner.

They have a case to solve, and she uses a professional name, Mrs. Paschal, so nobody connects her with the former in-laws who are trying to stop her from receiving her dead husband’s estate. Loved reading about 19th Century pre-fire Chicago, teeming with corrupt politicians, gambling parlors, and bawdy houses of ill-repute.

Also, someone is trying to murder Quinn Sinclair, aka Mrs. Paschal. Can’t wait to read more from Jeanne Matthews.

By Jeanne Matthews,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Devil by the Tail as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What's a 20-something Union war widow to do in 1867? Start up her own detective agency with a former Reb POW, of course!

Quinn Sinclair, who uses the name Mrs. Paschal professionally, and her wryly observant partner Garnick get two cases on the same day - one to help a man prove he didn't kill his wife, another to help a lawyer find reasonable doubt that his client killed her ex-lover's new bride. As the detectives dig deeper, they unearth facts that tie the cases together in disturbing ways.

This tantalizing tale of 19th Century Chicago comes complete with corrupt…


Book cover of Comp City: A Guide to Free Casino Vacations

Arnold Snyder Author Of Radical Blackjack

From my list on those contemplating gambling as a profession.

Who am I?

I was a mailman when I became obsessed with card counting at blackjack. Not having enough money to play at a pro level, I decided to sell a mathematical formula I’d devised for evaluating games and systems. I offered it for sale through gambling newsletters at $100. I immediately had big sales because no one had ever seen a method for estimating card counters’ win rates. I got letters from college math professors asking me how I’d come up with the math. So, I started my own blackjack newsletter where I published my discoveries. I was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2002 and soon had big investors funding my play.

Arnold's book list on those contemplating gambling as a profession

Arnold Snyder Why did Arnold love this book?

The author, a former casino executive, exposes the industry’s “comp system,” through which casinos give away more than a billion dollars in “complimentaries” every year, as an enticement to get people to gamble. Although the book appears to be aimed at amateur gamblers looking for casino freebies (room, food, booze, show tickets, etc.), the information in this book has been devoured by professional gamblers at the highest levels because it reveals the inner workings of how players are evaluated and rated, with tips on how to look like you’re betting more than you are, how to look like you’re losing when you’re winning, and basically how to look dumb when you’re smart. I personally made a lot of money from the information in this book.

By Max Rubin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Comp City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Win every time you gamble? Is that possible? It is if you play for comps.

Every year, U.S. casinos give away more than a billion dollars worth of amenities to customers in return for their gambling action. These giveaways, known as “comps” (short for complimentaries), range from parking and drinks to gourmet meals and airfare. Are you getting your share? From nickel slot players to $500 a hand blackjack high rollers, Comp City has shown tens of thousands of gamblers how to get free casino vacations.

Since the first publication of Comp City, author Max Rubin has been teaching gamblers…


Book cover of Oscar and Lucinda

David Wharton Author Of Finer Things

From my list on to immerse you in another time and another place.

Who am I?

As a novelist, I get a lot of praise for my immersive recreation of time and place – even though I have complete aphantasia. That’s a condition affecting about 0.8% of the population, and it means I can’t form visual mental images. Ask me to close my eyes and visualise an apple, and I will see… darkness. Nothing. I suppose it’s why I’ve always loved novelists who create a picture with words. But truly great descriptive writing is about so much more than just what you can ‘see.’ These writers give you the sounds, smells, tastes, and textures of their worlds too. And they’re all wonderful storytellers.

David's book list on to immerse you in another time and another place

David Wharton Why did David love this book?

This is another modern venture into Victoriana, with a love affair straight out of Thomas Hardy, ruined by mutual misunderstanding. Its characters are heartbreakingly real and utterly original, and it closes with one of the most memorable set-piece scenes I’ve ever read. I won’t spoil the surprise because it occurs about 400 pages into this long, seductive novel, but it’s a stunningly sensory and dramatic moment.

By Peter Carey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Oscar and Lucinda as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Peter Carey's novel of the undeclared love between clergyman Oscar Hopkins and the heiress Lucinda Leplastrier is both a moving and beautiful love story and a historical tour de force set in Victorian times. Made for each other, the two are gamblers - one obsessive, the other compulsive - incapable of winning at the game of love.

Oscar and Lucinda is now available as a Faber Modern Classics edition.


Book cover of Easy Game: Making Sense of No Limit Hold'Em

Alton Hardin Author Of Master Micro Stakes Poker: Learn to Master Online 6-Max No Limit Hold'em Micro Stakes Cash Games

From my list on poker for beginner and struggling poker players.

Who am I?

I’m the founder and lead instructor at MicroGrinder Poker School, arguably, the most prominent micro stakes poker school, and I’m fascinated by poker. I started playing poker as a hobby, and it soon became an obsession. I delved into poker theory, seeking to understand the game’s nuances. And as my game improved, I wanted to share my success with others. I’ve always been passionate about teaching, so I started MicroGrinder Poker School. Between my best-selling poker books and 35+ courses, I’ve helped over 80,000 poker players improve their poker game drastically.

Alton's book list on poker for beginner and struggling poker players

Alton Hardin Why did Alton love this book?

This book was groundbreaking when it was first released well over a decade ago and was a must-read for just about every poker player. In 2022, it’s considered a bit dated for tougher games, but for beginners and struggling poker players at the lower stakes, it is a must-read. Andrew Seidman covers a plethora of topics in an easy-to-understand manner. In fact, I regularly reference one of his coined poker terms, the Baluga Theorem, which I learned in this book to my poker students on a regular basis.

By Andrew Seidman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Easy Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Making Sense of No Limit Hold'Em 3rd Edition: Adaptations


Book cover of Blackjack Autumn: A True Tale of Life, Death, and Splitting Tens in Winnemucca

Mark Bollman Author Of Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers Behind the Neon

From my list on people who challenged Las Vegas.

Who am I?

I’ve been playing card games since childhood, and have had a parallel interest in the mathematics behind the games for nearly as long. While I didn’t visit Las Vegas in person until 2000, the stories of how that city was built around the gaming industry quickly came to fascinate me. Digging into the details of the people who have made that city what it is and have come to make their way in the desert has been a fascinating sidelight that has enhanced my recent work writing books on gambling mathematics.

Mark's book list on people who challenged Las Vegas

Mark Bollman Why did Mark love this book?

This book stands out from the rest on my list because it’s about a gambler, not a casino executive. 

Barry Meadow set out to play blackjack in every casino in Nevada one fall. Blackjack Autumn chronicles his travels and adventures across every corner of the state: the good, the bad, and the ugly. He tells the tales of a card counter experiencing wide variation in casino amenities and game protection strategies, interspersed with some provocative thoughts on life in general. 

This is more than a book about blackjack; it’s a series of personal adventures that I frequently reread to this day.

By Barry Meadow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blackjack Autumn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What is it like to take two months off from your life and travel alone throughout Nevada, playing blackjack in every casino in the state?

Barry Meadow did just that. Leaving behind his business, his fiancée, and his son, he set out with a suitcase, a tape recorder, and $8,000 on the trip of a lifetime. He had no idea what he would find. All he knew was that every day would be an adventure and every joint would be a risk.

Meadow ran into cowboys and Indians, suffered the Stardust curse, split tens in Winnemucca and learned more about…


Book cover of The Fountain Overflows

Ursula DeYoung Author Of Shorecliff

From my list on families from the mid-twentieth century.

Who am I?

I grew up in a small seaside town north of Boston. I have three siblings, and we always spent a few weeks every summer with our cousins in a rented house somewhere in New England—a new place each year. I became a bookworm at a young age, and I’ve always loved reading novels about big families that capture both the magic and the conflicts inevitable with many siblings and relatives. I was also an anglophile, and I tended to gravitate toward books written in earlier decades, particularly those of the mid 20th century. When I began writing my own novels, it seemed natural to set them in those fascinating earlier times.

Ursula's book list on families from the mid-twentieth century

Ursula DeYoung Why did Ursula love this book?

Toward the end of her career, Rebecca West wrote an unusually autobiographical novel, retelling her Edwardian childhood with the wisdom and sadness of hindsight. The Fountain Overflows, published in 1956, describes the struggles of an artistic family with a fiercely devoted mother and an impossibly wayward father. West brilliantly describes the hard work and ambitions of gifted children, but the book is mainly memorable for its strange, semi-magical atmosphere and the sense it gives readers of revisiting a lost world—for hanging over this book is the shadow of the First World War, a cataclysm that finally arrives in the sequel, This Dark Night.

By Rebecca West,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Fountain Overflows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The lives of the talented Aubrey children have long been clouded by their father's genius for instability, but his new job in the London suburbs promises, for a time at least, reprieve from scandal and the threat of ruin. Mrs. Aubrey, a former concert pianist, struggles to keep the family afloat, but then she is something of a high-strung eccentric herself, as is all too clear to her daughter Rose, through whose loving but sometimes cruel eyes events are seen. Still, living on the edge holds the promise of the unexpected, and the Aubreys, who encounter furious poltergeists, turn up…