Best / Worst Craps or Gambling Books
A Roundtable Discussion
I have to agree that Patrick's books are
among the top for me. I especially like his Advanced Craps and his Money Management. I
have read every tome written by Scoblete and have to admit it was his books (and Yuri's)
that got me going in the game.
When I go to the book store now, I can't even buy a book as I have purchased every book
written on craps in the last twenty years. Patrick are the best, Scoblete is second. And a
guy named Ellison wrote a good one too.
Personally, I believe that DiceSetter.com site and the installments by Heavy and Mad Professor are
the best source of info ANYWHERE. Come on, Heavy, get that book out...I'll hawk 'em for
Roadrunner, your mentioning of the
Do's and Don'ts, reminded me of the Professor's
Playbook of Playing4keeps.com. The information contained here works for a nickel
bettor, or you high rollers. I especially like the way the pass line strategy
kicks-ass on a good shooter and all you have to do is follow his easy to
remember bet progression. My bias for the worst? Too many of the carps books
pack complicated ways of play, for that "what if", specific conditions.
don't make sense to me. It took me only a few winning sessions to believe in the
Do's and Don'ts. And yes, the don't pass and don't come betting plays are very
smart too. A complete package. (self published)
Best dice book I have run across is
"Dice Doctor" by Sam Grafstein. This book gives very good money management
techniques, strategy plays for do's and don't's and has a smattering of stories. I
use several techniques he purports in the book for my play.
Worst is something that just came out. "50 Years At The Craps Table" by
Malcolm Jay. This guys claim to fame is "Bet the pass line and take full odds
and if it is really going well make a couple of come bets with full odds". I
thought I saw several inaccurate statements but was positive about only one. Don't
waste the $12 on this one.
I started out with an old one
"The Winners Guide to Dice" by John Savage, copyright 1974. It was a good
primer for me back in the late 70's and I am rather attached to it even though it's very
I like both Frank Scoblete and John Patrick but I would have to go with "John
Patrick's Craps (So You Wanna Be a Gambler)." I learned a lot over the years
with that one.
The worst is probably "Winning Casino Craps" by Edwin Silberstang. don't
think I marked a page in the book and wondered why I bought it after the fact.
Your site, with all of the articles, playbooks and messages is probably the best
information ANYWHERE! There is a lot to sift through but it is valuable sifting!
Over the years I've found that you have to merge a gambling approach with your own
personality and budget. Some people have patience, some don't, and various
approaches need to be tailored to the individual. what works for you may not work
for me. It doesn't mean I can't learn from you and others, it's just that I have to
take all of the information and make it a part of ME. what you'll find is that a
person's greatest strength is also their greatest weakness.
Have to agree that for a starting/basic
information dice book John Patrick's "John Patrick's Craps (So You Wanna Be a
Gambler)" and "Advanced Craps" has a lot of good info.
The Blackjack people don't care much for him because of his casino management involvement.
I've got to go with John Patrick's two
books. I have learned so much from reading them and reread the advanced book a couple of
times a year. After reading Johns books I finally realized how to play the whole game of
craps. I haven't read any dice book that tells the story of the whole game like these do. If
you want to learn the game these are a must read.
I bought Sam Grafstein's book in September and did a quick scan of it before I went to
Vegas, but haven't gotten back to it yet. I did like what I read but didn't have time to
really get into it.
As to the subject of gambling books, I
agree with (most) of the earlier posts, with the codicil that while I admire John Patrick
for his life long commitment, (let alone his verified success), I do get tired of his
constant harping on bank roll management. A few references would be sufficient,
however, it seems to me that all of his books are like a sermon and to someone who
has been married four times, (all in Vegas about every six to seven years!), a sermon
doesnt hit home really well but the general content of his books is top
I also play a lot of poker, with Super System by Doyle Brunson being something
that can be read every six months and still learning from it.
Most all of David Sklanskys books are thought provoking, and, when not in
collaboration with Mason Malmuth, not so analytical that you feel that a PHD in
mathematics is a prerequisite.
The series by Tom McEvoy and T.J. Cloutier are about the best around for books by players
who have done it, and ARE doing it.
Just a few thoughts
Without question - the best book I've ever
read on the subject of craps is John Patrick's Advanced Craps book. Another guy who
has a decent book - another Atlantic City player, by the way - is J. Phillip Vogel.
His book is Craps - The Real Deal - and would be a good entry level book. His
views parallel Patrick's, but his writing style is a bit more polished. On the other
hand, for me - part of Patrick's charm is his personality.
I've enjoyed most of the Scoblete books through the years - some interesting insights
there. However, I think he often "sells out to the other side" with his
Someone mentioned the Feinberg books. I agree that they are poorly written.
Still, the content has some value.
An unfortunate side bar to publishing and the gaming industry - at present there
is only one New York publisher that will even take on a gambling book. Those
presses that will handle this type of material are usually "royalty paying"
presses - which means you don't get a dime for your book until it (1) earns out
- meaning all of the editing, production, printing and distribution costs are
recouped - and (2) shows a profit. At which point you might earn - oh, a buck
and a half a copy for a book with a $19.99 retail price.
Some don't even pay that. They pay the author in
"copies" of his own book - which he can then take and sell for $20 a copy - and
that's how he gets his money. That's why you see a lot of gaming authors hawking
their books directly through their web-sites rather than through bookstores, etc.
They're trying to get paid. Last of all come the self-published or vanity
books. This is the one where the author pays for all of the up front costs himself
and orders - say - a run of 500 books at a cost of $5.00 each or so. So he fronts
$2500 to get the books printed - and then sells them himself - again, thru web sites,
personal appearances, seminars, etc. A very tough way to go.
Now, MOST of the gambling books on the market fall into these last two categories.
And since most are written by guys whose strength is something other than English
101 - and they have little or no editorial support - these books generally look
unprofessional and amateurish.
Lyle Stuart published a book called
"Winning at Casino Gambling". The original by Carol Publishing is out of print,
but am I told that his own Barricade Books has re-released a heavily revised version. It
chronicles ten winning LV craps/baccarat trips that he made in '79 and '80.
It delves into being "in the
zone", as well as adjusting your attitudes after both wins and losses. It had a
significant impact on my early gaming activities.
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