Gambling is a very popular subject and there are a plethora of movies and documentaries on it. People do seem to forget, however, that some books are actually based on real-life events and even though they are fiction, their backstories tell a specific tale. Here are some interesting books which you can read, about gambling and casinos, which also have great backstories.
The Gambler – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
It is almost expected that a book called the gambler would have ties to the gambling world. In reality, Dostoyevsky had roulette debts as he loved to gamble and hoped that the writing of this book would make him enough money to pay those debts back.
The story in the novel is about a character looking to inherit his grandmother’s wealth and possessions. Not soon after, he and the rest of the characters find out that grandma lost almost everything in a casino. This reflects Dostoyevsky’s passion for gambling and serves as a fair warning to everyone, even though the book is almost a century and a half old.
Beat the Dealer – Edward E. Thorp
The original card counting manual is an alternative name for this book. Back in 1966, Edward Thorp wrote a book on how the house doesn’t need to always win and how you can beat it, in blackjack. This book is considered the first one, the original book that introduces people to card counting. Edward himself is a professor of mathematics and worked at various universities such as MIT and New Mexico State University and the University of California, Irvine.
He was also the first person to wear a computer in a casino, which prompted the state of Nevada to ban all such devices, on May 30, 1985.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
This is a very popular book and captures some of the experiences that the author had during his two trips to Las Vegas. The novel tells us a story about an over the top city and the many adventures that the characters had during their visit. There are plenty of drugs involved and the book itself should serve as quite the warning for anyone who wants to indulge themselves in the joys and pitfalls of Las Vegas.
Gambling 102 – Michael Shackleford
Another mathematician and master of probability. Michael Shackleford is widely known as the Wizard of Odds and for a good reason. He has provided users with invaluable information on how to play casino games since 1995. He also wrote this novel which was published in 2005 and is one of the most efficient, all around guides to play casino games. The author assumes that the readers are familiar with the rules of several games, like blackjack and roulette, among others. Therefore, advice based on mathematically accurate strategies is given to the readers.
These books should keep you interested if you are looking to read about gambling or learn something new. All of them have interesting backstories which makes them even more enticing.