The popularity of gambling has given rise to several insightful slot machine books. Whether you’re looking to learn the basics or an experienced gambler seeking to refine your skills, there is a perfect slots book for you.
In this guide, we’ve compiled a list of the best books on slots authored by experts in the field. This list of slot machine books covers everything from understanding the game’s mechanics to advanced strategies for winning online.
So, if you’re ready to take your game to the next level, grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and let’s explore the exciting world of slots books together!
Best Slots Books to Read
Best Books on Slot Machines for Slots enthusiasts.
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Best Books on Slots Machines
Many technical guides, slots strategy systems, explainers, manuals, and other guides have been published throughout the years. The list below features several top-selling slot machine books and brief biographies highlighting the author’s qualifications.
Handbook of Slot Machine Reel Strips
In 1980, Mead wrote Slot Machines on Parade with Robert N. Geddes, followed by the Handbook of Slot Machine Reel Strips in 1983.
The latter title spanned nearly 300 pages, with most of those dedicated to computer-generated charts listing the reel symbols, possible winning combinations, and symbol-by-symbol payout percentages for dozens of contemporary titles.
One of the first authors to attempt “cracking the code” behind slot machine gameplay, Mead created a comprehensive analytical review of the games common to his era, enabling players to accurately determine the payout percentages for each machine they might encounter.
Although the findings presented within the Handbook of Slot Machine Reel Strips are long past their prime, the book is a rare collector’s item and a prized possession for slot machine historians and enthusiasts.
Daniel Mead (1983)
As a longtime collector and dealer of antique slot machines, Daniel Mead eventually launched Mead Publishing Company in Las Vegas.
Specializing in content for industry insiders, Mead published buyer’s guides intended to assist casino managers in their purchasing decisions, collector’s editions describing antique slot machines and other memorabilia, and even maintenance manuals for the care and upkeep of various models.
Winning at Slot Machines
One of the first instructional manuals written expressly for slot players, Winning at Slot Machines by Jim Regan provided a perfect introduction to the industry as it existed during the mid-1980s. Regan previously worked as an industrial engineer and management analyst before taking a position as slots manager for the MGM Grand in Reno, Nevada, in 1979.
Regan’s book offers mostly outdated information regarding modern slot gaming, but overall Winning at Slot Machines provides a fascinating glimpse into how things were.
A slim volume with less than 100 pages, Winning at Slot Machines includes eight chapters intended to educate novice slot players on the basics while sharpening the awareness of experienced players.
Along with the technical information gleaned from years as a slots manager for a major casino, Regan also includes useful knowledge on “taboo” subjects, like methods used to cheat slots, ways to protect winnings from the IRS, the legality of slots in various jurisdictions, and even proper conduct and etiquette.
Overall, Winning at Slot Machines shouldn’t be the first book you pick up as a novice slot player in 2016, but for regulars interested in a look back at their favorite game’s roots, the book is a suitable collector’s item.
Jim Regan (1985)
Jim Regan has had a successful career as an author, with a particular focus on writing about gambling and slot machines. He has published several books, including “Winning at Slot Machines,” which has become a go-to resource for players looking to improve their strategies and increase their chances of winning.
Regan’s writing style is clear and concise. His talent for breaking down complex concepts into easy-to-understand language makes his books accessible to readers of all levels of expertise.
Break the One-Armed Bandits
Formerly an entertainer and touring theater actor, Frank Scoblete discovered the world of casino gambling in 1985 while conducting research in Atlantic City, New Jersey for an upcoming play titled “The Only Game in Town.”
With Break the One-Armed Bandits, Scoblete turned his attention to what he termed “the most popular form of gambling in casinos across America today.” Writing in a casual, conversational tone, Scoblete leads the reader through slot machine history, paying particular attention to the shift in focus which occurred between the 1950s and the time of publication.
By explaining the psychological motivations common to slot players, and the targeted marketing used by casinos to attract those players, Scoblete offers a revealing look inside the secretive culture of casino management.
Much of the book is presented in a personal interview style, with Scoblete engaging casino staff, slot machine designers, and other experts directly in conversation.
In Chapter 6, for example, titled “The BIG Industry Secret: Where the “LOOSE” Machines Are Located in a Casino!” Scoblete speaks with an anonymous slot manager code-named “Mr. Handle.” During the interview, Mr. Handle offers insider information on machine placement strategies, such as the connection between slots surrounding the table game pits and “tight” machines and the myth of casinos reprogramming machines to be tighter on the weekends.
Nuggets of information like these make Beating the One Armed Bandits an essential read for slot players of all stripes. Even though the technical information appears dated by now, the in-depth interviews and personal anecdotes from industry insiders are priceless from a historical standpoint, lifting the veil on slot machine operating from the casino’s perspective.
Frank Scoblete (1994)
Frank Scoblete is a prolific author with a successful career in the gambling industry. Over the years, he has published numerous books and articles on casino games, particularly slot machines.
His expertise and gambling industry knowledge have given him a reputation as one of the most respected and influential writers.
Secrets of Winning Slots
In 1981, Avery Cardoza was banned from casinos throughout Nevada and the American Southwest because of his bad reputation. He joined the mythical “blacklist” reserved for criminals, cheats, and of course, sharp card counters capable of beating blackjack.
That year he decided to share his knowledge with the world, launching Cardoza Publishing and releasing titles such as Winning Casino Blackjack for the Non-Counter, and Casino Craps for the Winner.
Cardoza authored at least ten major titles between 1981 and 1998, but Secrets of Winning Slots was the first to cover slot machines.
This slot game book comes in at under 200 pages, and much of the first half is devoted solely to educating players on the basics of the game. This includes a historical review of slot technology, the elements of machine design, and actual gameplay instruction.
From there, Cardoza breaks down the various types of machines players can expect to find, from multiple pay line models, progressives, “Big Berthas,” and multi-game titles.
Cardoza provides a handy primer on the concept of “slot clubs,” or promotional programs used by casinos to reward regulars and entice new players. Next, readers are given a list of “20 Winning Strategies at Slots,” which covers how to choose casinos with the best machines, determine the correct coin denomination for your personal bankroll, “escaping” from cold machines, and seek out those which are paying out, and how to give yourself the best chance at scoring progressive jackpots.
Written in time to cover most of the video slot, multiple pay line, and bonus game features still in use today, Cardoza’s Secrets of Winning Slots should be considered essential reading for players looking to brush up on their overall knowledge of classic games.
Avery Cardoza (1998)
In the mid-1970s, an underage gambler named Avery Cardoza began haunting Las Vegas casinos as a professional blackjack player, counting cards and pressing his advantage to beat the house at their own game.
After being blacklisted by several casinos throughout the United States, Carroza decides to publish his experience as a gambler.
Nowadays, Avery Cardoza is a well-known author in the gambling and casino world. With a career that spans several decades, he has authored numerous books on subjects ranging from blackjack to poker and everything in between. His books have become essential resources for players looking to improve their skills and increase their chances of winning big.
The Slot Machine Answer Book
The Slot Machine Answer Book was originally published in 1999, but the industry’s continual evolution prompted the author to release an updated version in 2005. As Grochowski explains in the update’s Introduction:
“Slot play had remained more or less the same (since Fey’s three-reel design). Drop your coins in the slot, pull the handle or push the button, and watch the reels spin to see if you win. It’s a far different world today. Slots have bonus rounds and second events. There are extras built into the top boxes while the reels spin below … What happened was a revolution.”
The overall design of The Slot Machine Answer Book is like a novel, as Grochowski constructs the chapters around a series of question-and-answer sessions.
Readers face multiple-choice tests, lists of industry terms and corresponding definitions, true or false reviews, and other interactive instructions. Each of the ten chapters is termed a “reel spin,” so readers will find items like “Reel Spin No. 1: Definitions,” which challenges you to consider a list of 20 slot-related words to see if you know what they mean.
While the original 1999 version is probably outdated, as the author readily admits, the 2005 version of Grochowski’s The Slot Machine Answer Book is a fun way to introduce yourself to slot basics, brush up on advanced concepts, or test your overall knowledge.
John Grochowski (1999)
As the first columnist to regularly cover casino gambling for a major newspaper, John Grochowski now has his work for the Chicago Sun-Times syndicated nationally.
Grochowski has built a brand out of dispensing casino knowledge, appearing on the radio with a regular “Casino Answer Man” talk show in Chicago, contributing segments to gambling documentaries broadcast by the Travel Channel, and writing articles for magazines and journals like Strictly Slots, Midwest Gaming & Travel, and Slot Manager.
Robbing the One Armed Bandits: Finding and Exploiting Advantageous Slot Machines
Lund used this technique, also known as “vulturing,” to perfection before Robbing the One-Armed Bandits: Finding and Exploiting Advantageous Slot Machines was published in 1999. As he writes in the book, he was consistently taking home profits of $500 on a daily basis by frequenting specific banking slots at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
Unfortunately for Lund, his prowess at a supposed game of chance, one which casino executives expected to maintain a strong house edge over the long run, put him squarely in the crosshairs. In fact, Lund was barred from the Bellagio in 1999 under suspicion of being an advantage player, a term previously unthinkable when it came to slot machines.
Today, casinos have all but abandoned the banking machines of Lund’s heyday, as the practice of vulturing became all too common.
These days, players in local casinos around the country claim to have seen old banking slot titles on the floor. But for the most part, “Robbing the One-Armed Bandits” has been relegated to the realm of historical curiosity in 2016. However, slot fans interested in the game’s roots may find Lund’s exploits interesting or educational.
Charles Lund (1999)
Charles W. Lund has always shown great interest in mathematics and a excellent talent for strategy. He was the strategic mind to decode how to win at banking slot machines, also known as “piggy banking.”
The author of “Robbing the One-Armed Bandits” had been testing the theory on how to win at slot machines for several years before coming out with his renowned book.
Today, the books written by Lund are curiosities that gambling enthusiasts seek to read.
How to Win Millions Playing Slot Machines… or Lose Trying
The foreword to How to Win Millions Playing Slot Machines… or Lose Trying was written by Frank Scoblete of Break the One-Armed Bandits fame, lending Legato’s work additional credibility.
Unfortunately, whereas Scoblete sought the assistance of industry experts to help facilitate genuine instruction in a casual, conversational style, Legato resorts to his own anecdotal experience combined with a long litany of tired one-liners and hacky jokes.
Among the chapter titles included in the book, Chapter 3’s “Are There Gnomes Inside?”, Chapter 9’s “Is That Popeye or Mammy Yokem?,” and “Who Was That Jerk? Oh, It Was Me” are most indicative of Legato’s prose.
The second chapter is titled “I Know a Good Idea When I Steal It” and covers the invention and development of Fey’s early three-reel slot design. This section is actually quite interesting, delving deep into the industry’s infancy and including several historical nuggets.
Sadly, this well-researched, informative section lasts only six pages before Legato begins in earnest with his stand-up comedy routine.
Frank Legato (2000)
In 1984, when he launched and edited Casino Gaming magazine, journalist Frank Legato dedicated his professional life to studying the casino industry.
Over the years, Legato has edited or contributed to several industry publications, including Public Gaming, IGWB, Casino Journal, Casino Player, Strictly Slots, and Atlantic City Insider. Today, he serves as the editor of both Casino Connection and Global Gaming Business.
Today, Legato is a well-known publisher at Global Gaming Business, and his book “How to Win Millions Playing Slot Machines… or Lose Trying” is one of the most recognized books in the gambling industry.
The Smarter Bet Guide to Slots and Video Poker
In The Smarter Bet Guide to Slots and Video Poker, Nestor explores ways to increase your odds and reduce the house edge, such as taking advantage of player comps and managing your bankroll correctly. He doesn’t resort to blatant pandering by promising readers a foolproof way of winning.
With chapter titles like “The Economics of Gambling” (Chapter 2), “Comps: Squeezing the System” (Chapter 6), and “Safety, Taxes, and More” (Chapter 9), Nestor succeeds in dispelling the myth of “beatable” slots and instead instructs his readers on how to minimize their losses, avoid long cold streaks, identify machines with the lowest house edge, and efficiently deploy their bankroll.
Nestor has a unique, simple, and direct style of guiding and teaching you how to increase your chances of winning at slots and poker, which is why this book is perfect for all players, new and experienced.
The book itself is slim at just 126 pages in total, but this is because Nestor avoids the fluff and flowery language employed by casino gambling authors intent on selling their “system” to gullible readers.
Basil Nestor (2004)
Basil Nestor is a contributing editor and columnist for Casino Player magazine and a consultant for gaming-oriented media like Merv Griffin’s game show Simple Arithmetic. Nestor also contributes articles and content to the ReadyBetGo brand and other online outlets.
Nestor’s works focus on helping his audience improve their gaming skills and increase their chances of winning. We find Craps, Blackjack, and Poker bet guides among his most famous books.
Powerful Profits from Video Slots
“Powerful Profits from Video Slots” is as popular as controversial.
According to gambling-loving readers, Royer’s findings have been reported to be unscientific at best and frankly nonsensical at worst.
Royer remains consistently inconsistent throughout the book, from advising players to always play the maximum coin denomination to listing suspect data on payout percentages and return-to-player (RTP) rates.
As an example of Royer’s faulty reasoning when it comes to playing slots, consider the following passage from the book, in which he throws out random, unverified statistics before determining that random number generators (RNGs) are a hoax:
“First, 90% of all players of casino games play slots. Second, of those 86% have absolutely no clue on which are the better slots and which aren’t, and why. Third, in Chapter 10 of the book I explain what the RNG is, and the fact that it really isn’t anything that really exists, and what it really is and how it works, and why this is important.”
Victor H. Royer (2005)
As a self-styled casino gaming expert, Victor H. Royer goes by the name “Vegas Vic,” He has lived and worked in Las Vegas for the last 30 years.
With 38 published books on the casino industry to his credit, Royer is undoubtedly a prolific author. On his personal website, he bills himself as someone with a lot of expertise.
Today, Royer is well-known as a respected gaming industry consultant, analyst, and teacher.”
Reel History: A Photographic History of Slot Machines
In Reel History: A Photographic History of Slot Machines, David Mead created a veritable slot machine knowledge encyclopedia.
Presented in stark black and white, the book consists of 456 pages, nearly all containing nothing more than a simple portrait of an antique slot machine and manufacturer and dating information.
The book features photographs taken by David Mead and his father, Daniel, representing two lifetimes’ worth of industry experience. Readers will find entries on some of the very first slot machines ever constructed, including the “Big Six” (1904) and the “Ben Hur” (1908) by the Calle Brothers Company.
With a simple yet strikingly elegant design, Reel History: A Photographic History of Slot Machines takes readers on a visual tour through the history of slot machines.
David Mead (2005)
David Mead is the son of the late Daniel Mead, the man behind Mead Publishing Company in Las Vegas.
Having taken up his father’s mantle, David Mead runs the family’s publishing house today, continuing to release a wide variety of eclectic casino gambling titles.
Not Just Another Slot Machine Strategy System
In “Not Just Another Slot Machine Strategy System,” which is more of a pamphlet than a book at just 28 print pages, Elder advises players to avoid the “how to win systems” propagated by other slots writers.
Instead of proposing a convoluted method to increase your winnings, Elder recognizes that jackpot payouts will always happen randomly, so he focuses on a simple system designed to mitigate your losses over the long run.
In effect, Elder is describing his version of basic money management, relying heavily on walking away when the machines simply aren’t hitting.
Of course, it can be challenging for some gamblers. Still, by sticking strictly to Elder’s advice and remaining cognizant of the need to walk away occasionally, players can easily reduce the instance of bankroll depleting big losses.
Greg Elder (2012)
After leaving an unsatisfying life in the professional world behind, Greg Elder pursued his passion and began a new career as an advantage gambling specialist.
Following years spent as a successful professional blackjack and casino games player, Elder began compiling his accumulated knowledge into various writings before discovering another passion.
Today, Elder is an author covering the casino gambling scene, with nine titles on various games and subjects to his credit.
Slots in Literature
Over time, slot machines have been used symbolically by fiction writers to represent a number of themes, including risk, loss, overcoming the odds, and fortuitous windfalls. In both of the famous examples below, slot machines symbolize futility and the uphill climb most people must face daily.
Grapes of Wrath
In the 1939 John Steinbeck book, the Joad family passes through a roadside diner with a slot machine that appeals to truckers passing through.
The owner is carefully attuned to the machine’s cycles. Whenever the machine has taken in enough coins and is poised to pay out, he deposits a few coins, pulls a winner, and deposits the funds back into the register.
A Man of the World
In a 1957 short story from Ernest Hemingway, we hear the tale of Blindy, a blinded wretch who frequents saloons while listening to the whirring of slot machines in action.
Scarred and sightless, foul smelling and sardonic, Blindy silently moves from machine to machine, waiting for winners to emerge and dole out quarters as handouts.
Improve Your Odds with The Best Slots Books!
Now that you have the most comprehensive list of the best slots books, it’s time to determine which book is right for you. Our selection of books varies from strategy, anecdotal stories, tips, and factual information for you to choose from.
Whether you are interested in gambling culture or want to apply this knowledge to your gambling experience, these slots books will give you valuable information in an easy-to-read format.
Happy reading, and good luck spinning those reels!
If you like our comprehensive guide on best slots books, check our list of books on craps!