Aside from the particulars of gambling, gambling in itself is an extremely interesting topic. Over the years, there have been some great literary works on the subject.
Many books are instructional, but gambling novels of literary fiction can be extremely compelling.
If you are looking for an entertaining read, then gambling fiction is for you.
Here are six of the best fictional books about gambling:
1- Dice Angel
Dice Angel is the debut novel from writer Brian Rouff. James Delaney Jr. is the main character who happens to be the owner of a Las Vegas bar that he inherited from his father.
Jimmy is a recovering gambling addict. His problem got so bad that it ended his marriage and when we meet Jimmy, he has been doing well and staying away from the casino life.
He receives an unexpected call from the police informing him that his bar has been burglarized. The crooks got away with $12,000 from the video poker machines at the bar, and the police seem to think it could have been Jimmy’s employees but Jimmy doesn’t seem to think so.
The IRS is leaning on Jimmy hard and he will not have the bar for long if he doesn’t recover the money he lost. So he needs to obtain some big bucks, and he needs it fast.
That’s when Jimmy happens to run into a certain homeless fellow that gives Jimmy the business card of a certain character called the “Dice Angel.”
This mysterious Dice Angel is supposed to be able to help him win at craps which, at first, seems like a crazy idea, but Jimmy is desperate at this point as he only has two weeks to come up with the money.
The novel’s characters are very dynamic for this kind of pulp fiction and the storyline keeps the reader continually guessing as to what might happen next.
If you are looking for a story of depth and intrigue in which you will both sympathize with the main characters and laugh at the same time, you should try obtaining a copy of Dice Angel.
2- Sex, Lies, And Video Poker
This book is the first from author Bob Dancer. You may feel like the name Bob Dancer is familiar.
He is considered to be one of the highest authorities on the subject of video poker. He is also a teacher and is featured at many Las Vegas casinos.
Not only is this piece of fiction educational in nature, but it is also an erotic novel. Chris George is the main character and happens to be an extremely good businessman.
In an attempt to woo the girl of his dreams, Chris learns how to play video poker.
The girl he is after has a great talent for gambling. However, she has a troubled past.
To make things even more interesting, Chris has to contend with a sister-in-law that is continually trying to lure him into bed.
Bob Dancer actually places himself within the narrative of this novel. This is an extremely exciting tale that you don’t want to miss out on.
3- God Doesn’t Shoot Craps
This book was written by author Richard Armstrong. Danny Pelligrino is the main character in this tale.
Danny is a straight-up con man who makes use of a direct mail scheme that gets him rich off of his unassuming customers.
When we initially find Mr. Pellegrino, he’s searching for a new angle to use in grifting schemes. That is where he meets the inventor, Virgil Kirk, who happens to be filthy rich.
Virgil has come up with a strategy for craps based on mathematics that is supposed to make anyone who uses it a big winner. Danny finds that Virgil’s formula actually works and is going to be very lucrative.
The success of this system doesn’t stay hidden for long and soon mobsters find out and they don’t want Danny to have any part in it.
This is an extremely exciting tale and you will want to see how Danny manages to get himself out of hot water.
Nicholas Pileggi is the author of this book that was made into the popular movie of the same name.
This piece of fiction really captures the essence of how the mob rose to power in Las Vegas.
There are two characters that are the focus of this tale, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro.
The book follows the day to day lives of these mobsters and how deceit and greed course through the veins of their every business endeavor.
Frank’s wife has an affair with Anthony, and that really turns up the heat as the plot thickens. Rosenthal somehow manages to survive a revenge plot and the character of Spilotro is made an offer he simply can’t refuse.
This book is a great fictional tale about the crime era in Sin City.
5- Megasino: The 13th Casino
This is a fictional tale about the corporatization of Las Vegas by author Frederick Schofield. This story revolves around two Las Vegas city moguls that are in a race to make the next mega casino.
These characters are actually based on real-life casino businessmen, President Donald Trump and Steve Wynn, and there is a lot of truth to this piece of fiction.
5- The House Always Wins by Brian Rouff
This story focuses on the main character Anna Christiansen.
Anna lives in a small-town reporter who interviews a bass player in a band that she happens to fall in love with. She then decides to pack up and move to Las Vegas.
At this point, the genre of the novel takes a turn. She gets married, pregnant, and moves into a haunted house. Haunting the house is a Las Vegas racketeer.
The main conflict happens when a greedy casino owner wants to buy the block that Anna’s house is on and turn it into a parking lot.
Anna decides to fight for her home that she has put so much work into and she needs a little help from the ghost that inhabits her house.
The book turns out to be quite an interesting, and light-hearted take on the genre of gambling fiction.
6- Loser Takes All
This short story, written by Graham Greene, is both interesting and funny. Bertram is an accountant and the main character in this story.
Bertram and his fiance Cary end up heading to Monte Carlo to meet Bertram’s boss on a yacht.
While waiting for the yacht, they are put up in the best hotel in the area. Perplexing the story’s main protagonist, his boss never shows up but the couple remain at the expensive hotel trying to make the most of what money they have left.
When the money starts to run out they are in serious trouble and action must be taken.
At this point in the story, Bertram tries to develop a system to win big at the roulette wheel. While developing his system, Bertram quickly gambles all of their money away, to the point where he has to start borrowing funds.
Finally, he finds the winning formula for his system and wins big, but it comes too late, as Cary has fallen for another gambler.
Then, Bertram meets the guy who owns the controlling shares of their company. The shareholder isn’t doing so well at the gaming tables and asks Bertram for a loan. Bertram agrees as long as he gets repaid and gets the controlling shares for his company.
This is an extraordinary story about a man going from rags to riches but losing the love of his life in the process.
The excitement of gambling is unparallelled and the chance of winning big at any moment can give any story an exciting plot line but gambling culture itself is an unforgiving mistress and the pitfalls it presents can be unapologetic.
Gambling becomes a problem for many in real life, and these fictional tales hold a lot of truth in them.
These stories are a great read for both the non-gambler and gambler alike.
Are there any other fictional tales about gambling that you think are among the best? If so, let me know in the comments.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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