Ah, casinos. Glamorous venues with crystal chandeliers, where everyone is looking their best, and everyone is seconds away from landing a life-altering win that will make tomorrow very different from all the days before it. What is there not to love about that? Well, the possibility of destitute is a top worry. However, thanks to a slew of books on gambling theory and gambling psychology, you can equip yourself with all the knowledge necessary to stay out of the red, have fun, and even walk away as a winner.

While playing games of chance is often viewed as a pastime that can take you on an emotional rollercoaster, never enter a gaming establishment with zero comprehension of how most of the games there work. Lady luck always has the final say, but with a little know-how, you can lower the house’s advantage, thereby increasing your chances of coming out with more than you had when you walked inside.

Scarne’s New Complete Guide to Gambling

Who is this Scarne person, and why is his book so important that it is the first one listed? Born in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1903, John Scarne was a legendary American magician and renowned card manipulator. During his illustrious career, Scarne wrote over twenty-eight books, but this one is his masterpiece. It is an impressive 856-page work that is the most comprehensive exploration of this subject.  Scarne knew the world of gambling from the inside out, and one year after his death, the New Complete Guide to Gambling came out, summarizing all his tips regarding games of chance and skill.

You can test the strategies on real money casino websites and see for yourself if they work without even leaving home.

American Casino Guide 2020

If you have had as much as a fleeting interest in casino gambling, you have likely seen this book somewhere. Perhaps an internet ad introduced you to it. Its author, Steve Bourie, claims that it is the best-selling book in the US on casino gambling and travel, first published in 1992. It provides details on more than 700 gaming establishments in 41 US states, including buffet prices, games offered, hotel rates, and more. Every year a new edition comes out, and if you flip to its back pages, you can find coupon codes that you can use at appropriate venues. Steve Bourie has a website and a YouTube channel that utilize the same name. So, if you do not opt to purchase this title, you can get much of the same information online.

Beating the Casinos at their own Game

A contentious pick. While you are likely to come across this one on most top ten lists concerning Las Vegas gambling books, it is one written for amateurs and provides advice that most veterans do not agree with at all. Peter Svoboda, the author, has a degree in mechanical engineering and claims to be a seasoned gambler, with only this publication to his resume. It does offer some unique strategies that should help you make calculated bets and avoid sucker ones. As a rules book, this is a decent pickup. It has colorful charts and tables and features some detailed explanations of the rules of multiple popular games.

Gamblers Fight Back

Greg Elder has published nine books about the casino industry and has made several TV appearances as a gambling expert. He writes for Answers.com, and his 2013 release Gamblers Fight Back is what he is best known for, the cause of his minor popularity. It is a relatively short work divided into several sections whose content ranges from comments regarding locales to Elder’s beliefs on different betting patterns. Some reviewers have proclaimed that this book contains dangerous advice. He suggests that players use a smartphone when playing at a casino, which is illegal in most North American jurisdictions. US operators can refuse a payout acquired with the help of a mechanical device.

Gambling 102

If you are confused why the title here is not – Gambling 101? Well, it is because it will not teach you rules but introduce you to advanced strategies. Its author, Michael Shackleford, bears the nickname The Wizard of Odds and is a well-regarded figure in the gaming industry. A Las Vegas mathematician and actuary. He has put his immense education to use by analyzing the most popular casino games. Some of his best findings are inside the nineteen chapters of this publication, and they give you an assessment of the odds you face and a list of accompanying strategies that will help you lower the house edge. It is a concise accumulation of data stemming from years of mathematical analysis, computer modeling, and on-floor experience.

Beat the Dealer

A golden oldie. Released fifty-five years ago, Beat the Dealer is a classic. Written by Edward O.Thorp, a mathematician and hedge fund manager, thought of as the father of card-counting, this 220-page gem is an invaluable resource to anyone interested in blackjack. It is a fascinating read that provides tips on how to overcome counter card-counting measures, how to spot cheating, and lists several blackjack systems that range from simple to advance in complexity. Thorp divides the content into twelve chapters and provides references and charts that illustrate crucial concepts.

Blackbelt in Blackjack

Much like Doyle Brunson’s poker book, Super System, this is also an underground masterwork. For the uninformed, Arnold Snyder, this work’s author, is a professional gambler and an inductee in the Blackjack Hall of Fame. He has written several gambling guide books, a few novels. From 1981 to 2006, Snyder served as editor of the Blackjack Forum, a quarterly journal that targeted professional players. However, in recent years, he has focused on debunking conspiracy theories on the internet. Blackbelt in Blackjack is a sixteen-year-old book in which Snyder reveals deck camouflage techniques, tips used in team play, and more.

Mike’s Guide to Better Slot Play

Most laypeople are not aware that slot machines are responsible for over 70% of casino revenues. Even today, where players have access to live dealer tables over the internet, online slots still dominate. So, are there any tips to playing a game where all you do is press a button, and an algorithm randomly decides your symbol combination? Well, things are a bit more complicated than that, and if you want an introduction to the world of slots, Mike’s Guide to Better Slot Play is a decent start. It features multiple techniques, many of which come with illustrated explanations. If you are worried that this 2011 publication may be outdated, have no fear. There is a 2020 edition that has 20% new content.

How to Play Roulette

If you have ever fancied a spin of the wheel, but all those sections on the roulette table scared you, this is the page-turner for you. Its writer, David Sanders, offers a super-straightforward roulette guide. His book is the ultimate resource for wheel enthusiasts who not only want to grasp roulette but want to learn about complex betting systems such as the Martingale and the Labouchere. This book helps readers understand the probabilities at work behind each wager and how you should spread yours out. It also goes into bonuses and offers tip lists.

Video Poker for the Intelligent Beginner

Most newbies avoid video poker and do not even attempt to understand it. It is a console game based on five-card poker and plays a lot like a slot machine. Bob Dancer is a video poker guru and a columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the foremost expert about these machines. His Video Poker for the Intelligent Beginner is a stunning guide, and it provides a how-to-win blueprint that can fast-track you to wins on these beatable machines, which you can also play online. Because this title came out in 2009, it does not have specifics for newer variants like Ultimate X Wheel and Barnyard Poker, but it is still the best in covering all the basics. Some readers have complained that it is too cumbersome, but there is a lot of gaming wisdom within its 256 pages.


Yes, we live in a time where people would rather watch a YouTube video than read a detailed guide. Sadly, experts in most fields do not have YouTube channels that churn out quality content, the kind that you can find on Amazon or your local bookstore. Some of the entries on our list contain decades of knowledge accumulated by experienced players and scientists. That is right, bona fide Ph.D. mathematicians who have a love for gambling and have slaved to figure out ways to beat the system. Thus, if you have a fascination with games of chance, it is in your best interest to read some of these titles. If you do not, you risk losing more money than you would if you had arrived at a gaming venue armed with expertise.

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