Like most Pittsburghers, I’ve been following the news about the recent opening of the Rivers Casino on the North Side. If the first day profits are any indication, many of you went on opening day too– $14 million was wagered on the first day, with a gross profit of $1.29 million! For a lot of people, gambling can be a fun night out, while others see it as a societal problem. Likewise, there are those that believe winning is purely a matter of luck, while others rely on more strategic thinking to try and beat the house. Whichever side of the fence you fall on, there’s probably a book (or a movie) out there for you, whether it helps you learn some winning strategies or helps you learn more about the effects of gambling on society. Here are a few:
- Luck: The Essential Guide, by Deborah Aaronson and Kevin Kwan: Learn about good luck charms, feng shui, the lore of lucky places (such as the Blarney Stone in Ireland), and also what harbingers of bad luck to avoid.
- Fieldguide to Luck: How to Use and Interpret Charms, Signs, and Superstitions, by Alys R. Yablon: This book discusses the history behind lucky symbols and superstitions, and also teaches how to identify signs of good or bad luck.
- Blackjack, Slots, Craps: Winning Strategies: Watch this DVD if you’d rather rely more on strategy than luck.
- Doyle Brunson’s Super System: A Course in Power Poker: The classic book on no-limit poker, this is the book to read for those looking to improve their poker game.
- Jackpot Nation: Rambling and Gambling Across Our Landscape of Luck, by Richard Hoffer: This lighthearted book examines the culture of recreational gambling in America.
- Crapped Out: How Gambling Ruins the Economy and Destroys Lives, edited by Jennifer Vogel: This collection of articles from sources such as Newsweek, The Nation, and U.S. News and World Report takes an in-depth look at the effect of gambling on communities and individuals.