Last Updated: December 29, 2012
Fictional Gambling Book Reviews
Here are my personal reviews of a whole host of gambling books. I hope they motivate you to learn more about how to prepare yourself to face the casinos. If you do wish to buy any of these books just click the link and you’ll go straight to the Amazon order page.
Books I recommend are indicated with a star. I am including links even to the books I don’t like, just to be consistent and fair, not to encourage you to buy them.
Fictional Books about Gambling
Becoming Bobby by Michael Konik
Becoming Bobby is the story of a middle-aged man, bored with his job and wife. So one day he leaves both behind, assumes the identity his charismatic and successful alter-ago Bobby, and heads to an unspecified gambling city in the Desert. His new life is anything but boring. More important than the plot, Michael Konik has a way with words that makes every page a thrill to read and the book hard to put down. Not many authors are outstanding writers in both fiction and non-fiction, but with this, his first fiction book, Konik proves he can write well about anything. Just to be warned, this book has strong language and adult themes. You may also listen to my interview of Michael Konik about the book.
God Doesn’t Shoot Craps by Richard Armstrong
Normally it takes me months to finish a novel but I this page turner only took me three days. The story begins as a con man puts out a mass mailing for a worthless betting system based on Parrando’s Paradox, which I address myself in the December 13, 2005 Ask the Wizard column. To prepare for the inevitable questions by disgruntled buyers he gives it a test run in Atlantic City, and it appears to actually work! From there he cancels the mailing and attempts to milk it for all it is worth. I found the book a very enjoyable read and mathematically honest.
The Counter by Kevin Blackwood
The story follows the character of Raven as he falls from his Baptist faith and deep into the life as a professional gambler. He starts out as a card counter but once he wears out is welcome in Las Vegas he takes up with some dubious characters in other more dangerous and illegal gambling schemes. The author is a former card counter and his depiction of the technical elements of counting and other advantageous strategies is honest and accurate, based on my own limited experience and knowledge. The book was a good page turner but I didn’t care for the ending.
Dice Angel by Brian Rouff
This 222 page novel follows the story of Jimmy, a cynical Las Vegas bar owner, and his efforts to save his bar. After a robbery and embezzlement by his accountant Jimmy must come up with a lot of money on short notice or lose the bar to the IRS. As a last resort he turns to the “dice angel” who promises to turn his luck around at craps. The way the story is told is the best part. Every scene is rich in humor as Jimmy encounters everything ridiculous about Las Vegas at every turn. I found myself laughing from beginning to end.
Sex, Lies, and Video Poker by Bob Dancer
This book is told from the point of view of Chris, who follows in the footsteps of his new girlfriend as a professional video poker player. If you are new to video poker you’ll learn a lot along the way too. Meanwhile a sex scene from time to time keeps things interesting. Nothing too graphic, the wording is somewhat veiled, like a trashy romance novel. This isn’t Hemmingway but rather an enjoyable easy read.
More Sex, Lies, and Video Poker by Bob Dancer
Between this sequel and the original I thought the original was a little better. In this book Chris is living in Las Vegas where new characters enter his life. The video poker scenes revolve mostly around the Palms.