Synopsis: Casino Confidential provides you with the information that casinos don’t want you to know.
Review: Casino Confidential, written by a licensed pit boss who chose not to be named, allows you to view the gambling world from the side of the casinos. Casino Confidential starts by describing a few of the tricks that casinos employ in an effort to keep your bankroll. Guides on all of the main casino games are then included to not only inform you of what to avoid, but also to show you how to reduce the house edge. The main strength of this book lies in the fact that, unlike other books in its genre, it doesn’t waste time discussing strategies and theories but instead lists useful methods of playing.
Author: Nicholas Pileggi
Synopsis: The ultimate story of mob life in Las Vegas.
Review: Few have managed to capture the spirit of Las Vegas better than Nicholas Pileggi in Casino. Film fans may be more familiar with Martin Scorcese’s adaptation of the book, but it’s Pileggi’s novel which really captures how Las Vegas was formed by mobsters, hustlers and other dangerous characters. Perhaps what makes the author’s account of Las Vegas mob rule so shocking is the fact that there’s minimal, if any, narrative embellishment. Casino focuses on the relationship between Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro and depicts the danger lurking behind the glamour of Las Vegas gambling hotspots. Spilotro’s book highlights the levels of deceit and violence involved in the day-to-day lives of some of Vegas’ shadier casino bosses, as well as the personal problems, such as Rosenthal wife’s affair with with Spilotro, went onto to shape the business decisions made by mobsters. Ultimately, Casino goes on to turn its attention to the downfall of Sin City’s shadier characters. While Rosenthal survived an assassination attempt (an event which went onto become a vocal point of Scorcese’s film), Spilotro wasn’t so lucky. Part of the pleasure of reading Casino is that, while some of the events and figures included in the book may seem extraordinary, they’re all strongly rooted in fact. If you’re interested in Las Vegas’ era of crime, then Pileggi’s Casino is a must.
Author: Michael Konik
Synopsis: Michael Konik describes real life stories of various gambling escapades from around the world.
Review: Telling Lies and Getting Paid makes a very pleasant change from the usual casino game guides and strategy books. Michael Konik’s book adopts a slightly more light hearted approach than other gambling books, while still managing to stay factually correct throughout. The tales included by Konik vary in style and tone, yet all revolve around gambling of some form. This makes the book ideal for anyone who is even just vaguely interested in gambling, as the content is entertaining regardless of your liking for betting. The stories included vary from Konik’s own tribulations while taking part in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) to a gambling nun and the world’s most successful backgammon hustler. The tales of Konik’s attempts at the WSOP are an especially entertaining section of the book, as they offer a rare glimpse into the life of a professional poker player. This alone makes the book well worth reading but tales of how a nun predicted the result of the Super Bowl five years in a row and many more make Telling Lies and Getting Paid a great addition to any bookshelf. Another skill shown by Konik is how he manages to intersperse his own poker tales with other gambling stories from further afield. The effect of this is that Telling Lies and Getting Paid reads very easily and means that you are constantly entertained from cover to cover.
Author: Norman Leigh
Synopsis: A real life account of comedy, revenge and roulette.
Review: Often considered as a precursor to Ben Mezrich’s Bringing Down the House, Norman Leigh’s tale of long-term betting and high stakes pressure has enchanted readers since it was first published in 1976. Thirteen Against the Bank depicts Leigh’s efforts to find a successful roulette strategy after the author and his father became laughing-stocks at a casino in Nice, France. Following the creation of his own gambling team, Leigh returns in order to reap revenge (and profit) on the casino which embarrassed him and his father. While the gambling system proposed in Thirteen Against the Bank has been criticised in recent years, Thirteen Against the Bank is still an entertaining read.
Author: H. Lee Barnes
Synopsis: From training to deal to famous players, Dummy up and Deal provides a real insight to life behind the tables.
Review: H. Lee Barnes takes you through life as a casino dealer in some of Las Vegas’ biggest casinos. You are provided with an insight in to a side of Vegas that only a select few people see. Through this insight it becomes extremely obvious that being a Las Vegas casino dealer lacks glamour and is often extremely stressful. By writing Dummy up and Deal, Barnes has managed to create a book that will not only appeal to those who are intrigued by life in America’s playground, but will also interest anyone who has ever wondered about the inner workings of casinos.
Author: Barney Vinson
Synopsis: Barney Vinson provides answers to all of your casino questions.
Review: In the introduction to his guide to Las Vegas, Barney Vinson boldly proposes that he’ll answer “every casino question you could possibly think of”. Seasoned readers may roll their eyes at such a statement, but as a veteran of the Las Vegas casino scene, throughout Ask Barney, Vinson illustrates the sheer breadth and scale of his gambling knowledge. Whether you’re interested in what makes a casino dealer tick, or perhaps how card counting works, Vinson’s guide explores all of the key aspects of gambling in Las Vegas. Given the nature of the book, Vinson’s guide isn’t as in-depth as books specific to blackjack, roulette or even casino security, but it offers a superb introduction for new players.
Author: Walter Thomason
Synopsis: Walter Thomason and company provide easy to follow tips that could reduce the house advantage.
Review: The most impressive aspect of Thomason’s book is the fact that it lists over 100 individual tips for reducing the house edge. Not only does 109 Ways to Beat the Casino do this, but it manages to do so while not repeating any of the points made. What’s more, the tips provided can actually be used by normal players, meaning that you don’t have to have a huge bankroll in order to make them work. The tips are organised into sections which makes them easy to find and are kept short and concise, making 109 Ways to Beat the Casino extremely easy to read or to flick through.
Author: Justin Corde Hayes
Synopsis: Justin Cord Hayes’ book includes enough tips and advice to turn a gambling novice into a pro.
Review: In writing 101 Things You Didn’t Know About Casino Gambling, Justin Cord Hayes has created one of the most comprehensive all-round guides to casinos around. It is especially useful for those with little casino knowledge and experience, as it guides you through almost every aspect of gambling possible. Starting with basic gambling and strategies, Cord Hayes discusses the most popular casino games and gambling cities, and provides the reader with countless pearls of wisdom concerning the world of casino gambling. The format of the book allows each point to be explained without rambling, as the ‘things you didn’t know’ are numbered and written in easy to understand prose.
Author: Michael Connelly
Synopsis: Michael Connelly wows readers with his tale of a crime gone awry in Las Vegas.
Review: Crime fiction fans will no doubt be aware of Michael Connelly’s expansive repertoire: The author’s Harry Bosch series have proven a constant hit with readers and Connelly’s 1998 novel, Blood Work, was made into a film starring screen legend Clint Eastwood. However, it’s Connelly’s ninth novel, Void Moon, which we feel best captures the highs and dangerous lows of Las Vegas. The novel tells the story of Cassie Black, an ex-convict and “high-roller” thief, who decides to carry out one final job in order to be reunited with her young daughter, who’s currently living with an adopted family in LA. The only problem for Cassie is that while carrying out her final criminal escapade, she inadvertently becomes embroiled in the dangerous world of gangsters and hit men. Featuring a fast-paced narrative, as well as highly developed characters and an emotionally-charged ending, Connelly’s Void Moon successfully channels the darker side of Las Vegas that has fascinated readers for years. The novel is a perfect introduction to Michael Connelly’s work, as well as Las Vegas crime fiction in general.
Author: Pete Earley
Synopsis: Pete Earley provides a nuanced account of life in Las Vegas.
Review: Pete Earley’s Super Casino: Inside the New Las Vegas could almost be described as two books rolled into one. First of all, there’s the history of Las Vegas, which covers the time when Sin City was just a dirt track, through to the days of the mob, all the way up to the emergence of billion dollar hotels and corporate sponsors. This side of Las Vegas, with its accounts of the antics of celebrities such as Elvis, Sinatra and the Rat Pack, is in itself is an engaging and entertaining enough story to be able to fill an entire book. However, there’s another side to the book where, in a journalistic style, Earley investigates the day to day life of Las Vegas. Visitors, casino employees, high rollers and even working girls are interviewed to provide their accounts of life in Vegas. Super Casino is perfect for anyone that has ever been intrigued by Las Vegas, or even for those who would just like to know a little more about this larger than life city.
Author: James McManus
Synopsis: James McManus goes all-in at the World Series of Poker.
Review: Positively Fifth Street tells the story of how the book’s author, James McManus, was assigned, by Harper’s Magazine, a seemingly innocuous story on the World Series of Poker, held in Las Vegas. Like all good Las Vegas tales, McManus gets swept up in the glory and emotion of the WSoP, as well as his alter-ego, “Bad Jim”; a poker player insistent on making irrational, emotionally driven wagers. In some respects similar to Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Positively Fifth Street deserves recognition as a tale which shows how Las Vegas affects the very best of us.
Author: Bryant Simon
Synopsis: A balanced look at Atlantic City’s troubled history.
Review: When it comes to the history of once supposedly glorious cities, there’s a tendency to become nostalgic and mythologise. Most histories of Las Vegas or Atlantic City tend to focus on the lure and charm of gangster figures and by-gone eras, with little consideration of the criminal and social problems associated with these so-called legends. However, in the introduction to Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America, Bryant Simon makes clear that he’s not in the business of sugar-coating historical facts. Instead of presenting a “those were the days” account of Atlantic City, Simon focuses his attention on how the city’s urban space has evolved. Split into three sections, dealing with how Atlantic City’s geography and space has adjusted, corresponding to political and economic and social changes, Simon’s book is both academic and engaging. There’s much to be learnt about Atlantic City from reading Boardwalk of Dreams, but there’s even more to be discovered about America as a whole, including reactions to segregation and public space, as well as the country-wide emergence of Wall Street owned casinos. In the introduction, Simon makes clear his decision to provide a nostalgia free, objective account, focusing on “the making of the nation’s urban spaces”. However, there’s still a deeply personal aspect to this title, which makes Boardwalk of Dreams a truly entertaining and enjoyable read.
Author: Jean Scott
Synopsis: Often described as the best ‘low roller’ gambling book around.
Review: When The Frugal Gambler was first published in 1998, the book’s author, Jean Scott, was brought into the limelight as the “Gambling Grandma”. Since then, Scott has developed a large following and is well-known for being able to live the life of a high roller, while only betting small amounts and living inexpensively. The Frugal Gambler tells you how Scott manages to get comped free hotels rooms, free food, drinks and even airline flights, while not betting much. There are very few books like Scott’s, and interesting tips, such as the fact that casinos cater more to slot players than table players, are scattered throughout the book.
Author: James Swain
Synopsis: The first instalment in a series of Las Vegas crime books featuring Tony Valentine.
Review: Grift Sense, James Swain’s first novel featuring Tony Valentine, a retired cop-come-hustle-expert, has proved a hit with both crime fiction and casino fans since it was first published in 2001. Spending his retirement in sunny Florida, Valentine, a former cop from Atlantic City, is lured to Las Vegas by the management at the fictional Acropolis Resort & Casino, who hope Valentine can catch out Frank Fontaine, an attention hungry potential hustler. Swain’s masterful prose guides the reader through a series of absorbing plot turns and twists, leaving them hungry for more at the end of this first Tony Valentine novel. Fortunately, Swain has now published a further six Valentine novels.
Author: Colin Cameron
Synopsis: You Bet: The Betfair Story tells of how two British innovators revolutionised online gambling.
Review: Colin Cameron is incredibly thorough in his re-telling of how Betfair came to be the multi-national corporation that it is today. The story follows Andrew Black and Ed Wray from the conception of their idea to create a sports trading website in 2000, to the modern day multi-billion dollar company. However, this isn’t simply an account of how the company got to where it is today: Also included You Bet: The Betfair Story, are discussions and thoughts concerning the impact that Betfair has had on the gambling industry, which includes forcing bookmakers to change their ways and follow the new market leaders. The book is arranged in a slightly odd manner and while it’s still easy to read, previous knowledge about the company will certainly aid readers approaching You Bet: The Betfair Story, for the first time. The extensive amount of research that’s been conducted in order to make Cameron so well-informed is obvious and the book creates an accurate picture of how the company has developed. Perhaps the most surprising feature of this book is how gripping it is, as it manages to entertain while dealing with a subject that wouldn’t normally excite many people. This book is ideal for anyone who has ever dealt with Betfair or those simply intrigued by the success of company.
Author: Jeffrey Compton
Synopsis: A complete guide to complimentary clubs at casinos.
Review: Since it was first published in 1995, Jeffrey Compton’s The Las Vegas Advisor Guide to Slot Clubs has received both praise and criticism. Given the fast moving nature of the casino industry, some information in The Las Vegas Advisor Guide to Slot Clubs has become outdated, but it’s still a revolutionary guide to complimentary points systems in Las Vegas casinos. Compton explains the importance of joining a complimentary club (especially for slots and video poker players) and how you can use the promotions on offer to maximise your time at the casino. For experts, some of the topics discussed aren’t particularly groundbreaking, but for players who are new to the world of casinos, Compton’s guide offers a superb introduction to complimentary points systems. Given the recent emergence of online casinos, it also contains some valuable lessons for online players.
Author: Steve Rosenbloom
Synopsis: Poker pros reminisce about some of their best times at the poker table.
Review: Chances are, if you’re a casual casino player, poker books can appear both alienating and confusing. Often filled with jargonish terminology, after just a few pages players feel overwhelmed and are left wondering why they ever considered playing poker. Fortunately, Steve Rosenbloom’s experience as a columnist for the Chicago Tribune has meant that the The Best Hand I Ever Played is a hit for both poker pros and novices. Featuring entertaining tales from poker legends such as Doyle Brunson and Dewey Tomko, Rosenbloom’s book is perfect for experts wondering how the mind’s of their poker peers work, as well as those who are just looking for a good gambling related read.
Author: Harold Robbins
Synopsis: Sin City is Harold Robbins at his best, as he explores the dark underbelly of Vegas.
Review: Sin City follows the life of Las Vegas waitress Betty Riordan, who sleeps with an aged Howard Hughes and consequently gives birth to a boy who Hughes wants nothing to do with. The protagonist then switches to the boy, named Zack, who returns to Las Vegas and becomes involved in casino security. From here on, Zack’s life becomes more and more complicated as he deals with being fired, rape allegations and becoming a father. Written by a ghost-writer working from Robbins’ notes, Sin City explores the glamour, cheating, fame and drama that all occur within America’s playground.
Author: David A. Goldberg
Synopsis: A tell-all account of the stranger side of slot machine gambling.
Review: Perfect for readers with a wry sense of humour, David Goldberg’s risqué account of life as a slot machine attendant is a must read for anyone looking to catch a glimpse of the woes of casino employees. Featuring strange customer requests, obnoxious attendants and a range of bizarre incidents, Goldberg’s Stupidity and Slot Machines in Las Vegas delivers a satire-tinged view of life on the casino floor. As Goldberg makes clear early on in the book, Stupidity and Slot Machines in Las Vegas isn’t for players looking to improve their gameplay, but nonetheless, it’s a must for tourists who want to read about the “other” side of the casino city.
Author: Frederick Schofield
Synopsis: Characters based on a number of famous faces help Schofield create a fictional tale with more than a hint of reality.
Review: Megasino: The 13th Casino visits a darker side of the corporate world of casinos, as two gambling moguls go head-to-head in a battle over the building of a new mega-casino. Schofield makes no effort to hide Steve Wynn and Donald Trump as the real personalities of the main characters and works much factual information into this novel. Based on real plans that Steve Wynn had in the pipeline, the book follows the battle between him and Trump, who’s determined to not allow the mega-casino to be built. Megasino: The 13th Casino is an absorbing thriller that can be read by anyone regardless of their interest in gambling.
Author: Roy Cooke & John Bond
Synopsis: Well respected poker guide, praised by the likes of Doyle Brunson.
Review: In recent years, poker has undergone somewhat of a revival, becoming the game of choice for both online and offline card players. There’s never been a better time to learn to play poker and Roy Cooke and John Bond’s guide, How to Play Like a Poker Pro offers the perfect introduction for those wanting to get to grips with the game. Unlike other guides, How to Play Like a Poker Pro offers an in-depth exploration of all the nuances of the game. Containing all of the duo’s CardPlayer Magazine columns form 2000-2006, the book covers some of the more up to date aspects of poker, as well as offering classic advice. Plus, with praise from the likes of Doyle Brunson and Michael Grinder Mizrachi, you can rest assured you’re in safe hands with Cooke and Bond.
Author: Nelson Johnson
Synopsis: Nelson Johnson presents this stranger than fiction tale of the history of Atlantic City.
Review: A lot is known and often written about the history of Las Vegas, but what about America’s other gambling haven? Well Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City tells the fantastic story of how Atlantic City has gone through times of wealth, corruption, lawlessness and emerged at the other side as a legitimate casino resort. Most of the 20th century saw Atlantic City being controlled by a number of greedy local politicians and mobsters, including Enoch “Nucky” Johnson and “Commodore” Kuehnle. Johnson’s book has been so well-received in the US that it’s the inspiration for a HBO television series, created by The Sopranos producer Terence Winter. Everything that you could ever expect to find in any book is included in Boardwalk Empire with tales of corruption, politics, do-gooders, sex, scandal, the mob, entertainment, criminality and much more to keep you entertained. From quiet seaside resort to a gambling mecca, Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City combines the elements of a mob story and political scandal, with a comprehensive and no holds barred history of the East Coast gambling haven.
Author: Christina Binkley
Synopsis: A gripping account of how Steve Wynn, Kirk Kervorkian and Gary Loveman have redefined Las Vegas.
Review: While most accounts of Las Vegas tend to focus on the city’s seedy relationship with organised crime, Christina Binkley’s Winner Takes All discusses how three industry moguls have re-shaped Sin City in recent years. Binkley deftly analyses the likes of Steve Wynn, the CEO of Wynn Resorts Limited and Gary Loveman, the current president of Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. The book offers an explorative account of how these moguls, along with Kirk Kervorkian, have reshaped and effectively re-launched Las Vegas as an adult playground. Binkley’s experience as a Las Vegas correspondent for the Wall Street Journal means that Winner Takes All offers an unparalleled account of the “new” Sin City.
Author: P Moss
Synopsis: A look at the less glamorous side of Las Vegas.
Review: Through 17 short stories, P Moss takes a look at some of the seedier aspects of Las Vegas, from a variety of perspectives. Tales of aged showgirls, degenerate gamblers, criminals and even killers make Blue Vegas a gripping read. As owner of the Double Down Saloon (which was recently awarded the prize of ‘Las Vegas’ best Dive Bar’) P Moss uses his own considerable experience to illustrate the murkier areas of Las Vegas. Although some of the stories included in Blue Vegas are more entertaining than others, the brisk nature of each tale means that there’s little room for boredom and ultimately, if you don’t like one story you can always move onto the next. However, the chance that you’ll dislike any of the stories in P Moss’ short story collection is very low, as they all offer an insight into different areas of Sin City. After living in Las Vegas for several years, P Moss has experienced many different walks of life, which puts him in an excellent position to pass on some of his knowledge of Sin City. For anyone wishing to find out more about life in Vegas or just looking for an entertaining read, this is the book for you.
Author: Jack Sheehan
Synopsis: An in-depth analysis of the “players” behind some of Las Vegas most iconic casino resorts.
Review: Edited by Jack Sheehan, The Players: The Men who Made Las Vegas examines some of Las Vegas’ most iconic winners and losers. Drawing together a range of essays from notable Sin City experts, including John L. Smith and Bill Moody, Sheehan’s book sheds light on some of Las Vegas’ most notorious figures, including mobsters such as Benjamin “Bugsy Siegel” and modern day Vegas “players” such as Steve Wynn. The Players: The Men who Made Las Vegas presents an easy to follow timeline of Nevada’s status as the last gambling outpost in prohibition era America, the dangerous mob influence in Sin City and finally, to Las Vegas’ current status as Disneyland for adults.
Author: Mike Orkin
Synopsis: Mike Orkin discusses probability and the role that chance plays in our lives.
Review: What Are The Odds? Chance In Everyday Life provides an intriguing look at how probability governs our lives, without us even realising. An interesting fact presented by Orkin to emphasise this point is that if you drive ten miles to buy a Powerball Lottery ticket, you’re sixteen times more likely to die in a car crash than you are to win the jackpot. What Are The Odds? is full of many more facts like this that serve to interest as well as intrigue. Orkin’s book brings to light the role of luck and is bound to be enjoyed by anyone interested in luck and reality, as well as gamblers.
Author: John Hartley
Synopsis: A pocket-sized guide to the world of casino gambling.
Review: In The Little Black Book of Casino Games, author John Hartley takes a unique approach to understanding gambling. Mixing quotes from the likes of Mark Twain with simple how to play guides, Hartley’s style is both irreverent and informative, making The Little Black Book of Casino Games a real page turner. Casino games, such as baccarat, blackjack, roulette, slots and even lesser known games such as red dog and three card poker are included – and while Hartley’s guide isn’t heavily focused on strategy, the book is a useful introduction for players who are completely new to casino gambling. In particular, the author’s house advantage summary is a must for players who want to quickly understand which games potentially offer the best returns.
Author: Peter Alson
Synopsis: Confessions of an Ivy League Bookie tells of how one Harvard graduate made his way into the world of bookmaking.
Review: In Confessions of an Ivy League Bookie, Peter Alson tells his own story of how he ended up working as a New York bookie, while trying to sort his life out. Alson provides an effective, albeit brief, glimpse of life as an illegal New York bookmaker and shows how bookmaking and Ivy League pupils are not as much of an unusual combination as they may at first seem. Alson’s experiences are added to by turmoil in his private life, which is caused mainly by an on-off long-distance relationship. The diary style prose of Confessions of an Ivy League Bookie allows the book to flow, making it a thoroughly enjoyable read for anyone, regardless of their betting interest.
Author: Paul Blumenau Lyons
Synopsis: Albert Einstein and Mark Twain are just some of the contributors to this collection of gambling quotes.
Review: Paul Blumenau Lyons has collected and assembled over 100 quotes from all sorts of people talking about all things gambling. From passages from the film The Colour of Money to one-liners said by Sigmund Freud, all manner of quotes regarding all aspects of gambling are included in this entertaining book. However, The Quotable Gambler is more than just a collection of quotes; it’s also a cover to cover read that can be enjoyed by all levels of gamblers. Lyons has managed to include quotes that not only provoke thought but are also amusing at times, with a fair amount of sarcasm in-between, to make The Quotable Gambler a very enjoyable read.
Author: John Ashton
Synopsis: History of Gambling in England takes an interesting look at how gambling has evolved.
Review: John Ashton’s account of gambling in England dates back to Ancient Egypt, the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries right up to, what was then, modern gambling. However, this book isn’t just an account of how gambling has developed, as issues such as the ethics of gambling as well as its impact on society are also discussed. Another area of note that’s particularly interesting is the chapter concerning gambling in other parts of the world and how various forms of gambling have spread around the world. While it can be a bit intense at times, Ashton’s History of Gambling in England is an incredibly informative read that’s bound to teach you something that you didn’t previously know.
Author: Pat Holland
Synopsis: Red Joker Rules offers an innovative and refreshing look at both gambling and investing.
Review: Pat Holland’s fourth title broke the mould when it came to looking at the similar worlds of investing and gambling. Red Joker Rules presents a balanced view of the challenges gamblers face and how such situations can apply to investments. Taking the fast-paced lifestyle of expert gamblers, who face bankroll breaking decisions on a daily basis, Holland’s book isolates and analyses such situations and presents an informative study of how investors and casino players can learn from one another. Even the narrative style challenges reader preconceptions: Rather than simply presenting the rules investors should learn, Red Joker Rules takes the form of a conversation between the “common man” and the almost-mystical Red Joker.
Author: Warren Nelson & Ken Adams
Synopsis: The true story of Warren Nelson, one of gambling’s most influential characters.
Review: Always Bet on the Butcher follows Warren Nelson from unemployed teenager to casino game innovator. During the beginning of the Great Depression, Nelson fell into illegal gambling circles where he became an oracle of gambling knowledge. A change in the legal environment created an incredible opportunity for Warren and many others like him, as Nevada legalised casinos and Warren took this opportunity with both hands. After having developed popular keno games elsewhere, Warren became a significant character in Las Vegas due to his game variations. Always Bet on the Butcher tells the great tale of how Nelson went about becoming one of the gambling industry’s most important figures.
Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky
Synopsis: Fyodor Dostoevsky’s classic novella.
Review: The inspiration for countless operatic and screen adaptations, Dostoevsky’s The Gambler remains one of the author’s most important works. The Gambler depicts the downward spiral of Alexei Ivanovich, a tutor to a wealthy family, who becomes obsessed with gambling. The novel also echoes Dostoevsky’s addiction to roulette – the Russian author worked on a strict deadline to complete the novella, in an effort to pay off his gambling debts. The novel offers the perfect introduction to Dostoevsky’s work and will no doubt be of interest for readers looking to explore the history of gambling, as well as its effect on the creative mind.
Author: Dr Robert R. Perkinson
Synopsis: Dr Robert Perkinson provides treatment ideas for problem gamblers.
Review: The Gambling Addiction Patient Workbook is one of many books designed to help those who believe that they’re problem gamblers. While there may be a lot of competition, this book stands out as one of the best of its kind. A major reason for this is that not only does it help problem gamblers overcome their addiction, but it also helps them understand why they feel the need to gamble. Most importantly of all, The Gambling Addiction Patient Workbook provides patients with the all of the tools that they need to avoid relapses. Recommended by doctors everywhere, Perkinson’s book aims to help counsellors treat problem gambling.
Author: William Poundstone
Synopsis: William Poundstone discusses the origins and subsequent influence of the ‘Kelly criterion’.
Review: Skilled bettors will no doubt have heard of the Kelly criterion, or system before. In 1956, John L. Kelly Jr. discussed his strategy in a magazine, which is based on the idea of adjusting your betting amounts in line with your own edge over the casino, as well as the odds on offer for the wager. Since Kelly first published his system, gamblers and investors alike have both praised and criticised his work. However, up until William Poundstone’s Fortune's Formula... little was known about how the strategy has affected people from all walks of life – from gamblers to economists. If you’d like to learn about how various industries utilise the Kelly system, then Fortune’s Formula is an ideal read.