Reading books is one of the best ways to learn more about gambling. You can learn more about how to win. You can get new strategies. You can read about the history of the games you enjoy. The stories will entertain you, too.
Here's the problem:
How do you sort through the thousands of options to find the good books?
Here's a list of good and great gambling books:
Beat the Dealer was the first book with a working system for winning blackjack. It's still required reading for anyone who wants to count cards.
You can find better counting systems and more advanced information about card counting in newer books, but Beat the Dealer is the basis for all of them.
Bringing Down the House is the story of the MIT blackjack team. It's the book that the movie 21 was loosely based on.
The book's accuracy is questionable, at best. It's still a fascinating read if you have any interest in how card counting teams work.
The Theory of Blackjack is a standard text for advantage blackjack players. It's filled with information to help you understand the game at a deeper level.
Every serious player owns a copy.
Almost any blackjack book by Stanford Wong is worth reading if you hope to play the game with an advantage. Professional Blackjack will help you win more at the blackjack tables.
This is one of my favorite books on this list. In Gambling Wizards, Richard Munchkin investigates some of the most successful gamblers in the world. Through his collection of information and stories he weaves a story that's impossible to put down.
Gambling Wizards isn't a step by step instruction manual, but it offers a rare and entertaining glimpse at some of the world's most successful gamblers. Sometimes simply learning about how people think and work can be valuable – especially if you hope to have some of the success they've managed to have.
I almost didn't include The Theory of Poker on the list. It's not because it isn't a great book. In fact, it's easily one of the most important poker books on the market.
But if you aren't already an experienced poker player you shouldn't read it.
Most books can be read and be helpful to players of any experience level, but this one is terrible for new players. The information is too advanced. Sklansky does a poor job making it easy to understand.
Once you have some experience at the poker tables and have a solid foundation, The Theory of Poker can take you over the top. In fact, it's so good (once you reach a level where you can understand it), that if you don't read it, you're costing yourself money.
Probably the most famous poker strategy book on this list, Doyle Brunson's Super System changed the way poker was played when it was first published.
Much of the strategy information in the book is a little dated, but every poker player should still read it.
Though Caro's Book of Poker Tells has been around for a long time, it's still the go-to book on the market about tells at the poker table.
Tells are complicated. They can cost you more than they can make you if you're wrong too often.
But you still need to know as much about them as possible.
Even if it's just to avoid giving tells yourself, you need to understand them.
Caro's book is the best place to start.
No limit Texas holdem is the most popular form of poker in the world. But you can still find plenty of limit games in poker rooms and online.
If you want to learn how to be the best you can in limit games, you have to read Winning Low Limit Hold'em by Lee Jones.
In fact, it's even worth reading for players who are only interested in no limit.
Though dated, The Frugal Gambler by Jean Scott is still the number one text on getting and using comps, coupons, and anything else you can think of to reduce your expenses while gambling.
If you're at all interested in saving money while gambling you have to read Scott's book.
If yo're not a blackjack player, you might be getting tired of all the blackjack books on the list. But you can find so many good ones that I don't know what to leave out.
Blackjack for Blood is a great addition to any blackjack player's library.
It also falls in the category of books that may be able to help you win even if you don't read it after you buy it.
I once read a statement that some books can help you if you just put them somewhere where you read the title often. The author was saying that some book titles offer such good advice that you could benefit by just reading the title.
This is one of those books. If you seriously want to beat the game, you have to take it as seriously as possible. I can't imagine a more serious title than Blackjack for Blood.
Blackjack Attack is one of the most boring books on the list if you don't play blackjack at a high level. But if you play at a high level and/ or count cards you have to own a copy. It is filled with advanced computations and charts that serious blackjack players need access to.
If you had to pick a single book to learn about finding an edge against blackjack, then Blackbelt in Blackjack would have to be a consideration. Just like Wong, any blackjack book by Arnold Snyder is worth reading. Blackbelt in Blackjack is probably his best.
I also enjoy Snyder's writing style. You'll enjoy reading the book even if you're only a recreational blackjack player.
Trading Bases is a fascinating explanation of how the author started betting on baseball and follows his experience through an entire season.
You can't find many books on baseball betting. This one is more of a story than a how to book. It still has tons of valuable details.
One of the more recent poker books on the list, Professional No Limit Holdem by Ed Miller is an excellent book about playing poker to win.
It's listed as part one and supposedly things didn't go well between the author and the publishers so there wasn't a part two.
Many readers were disappointed by this because this book had so much to offer that they wanted more.
Though a bit on the dry side and not all about gambling, Fortune's Formula is a must read for anyone interested in the mathematical and statistical side of figuring out how to beat the market or developing gambling systems.
If your eyes glaze over when people start talking about math, you might as well skip this one.
The second book on this list by Stanford Wong, Sharp Sports Betting was one of the first good books offering ways to bet on sports profitably. Though much of the advice is dated now, you still need to read it if you bet on sports.
I loved Positively Fifth Street. It follows the author as he covers the World Series of Poker and makes a great read even if you're not a poker player.
The Video Poker Answer Book was one of the first in depth books about video poker and introduced thousands of players to the game.
Whether you read gambling books for entertainment or to learn more about how to win, this list offers some great options.
If you haven't read any of the books on this list, pick one up and get started today. If you read one a week you could be done with all of them in less than five months.