The Greatest Novels and Stories which Feature Gambling

Photo: Keenan Constance via Unsplash

There is that famous saying that “Life imitates art”; however, the exact opposite can be said. In fact, some of the greatest stories that have been around for ages are inspired by people who have lived wondrous lives, be it that the protagonist is the actual writer or that a great muse inspired the artist. One grandiose part of society is played by gambling. It has been a thing for centuries, as part of great civilizations such as the Great Chinese Empire or Native American tribes. This continued through the Renaissance to contemporary times. It is natural for these games of chance to appear in pieces of media, starting with books.

In 2020, it is safe to say that we moved into the streaming age. One could think that traditional sources of entertainment, like literature or TV, are slowly becoming obsolete. That is not really true when it comes to good books. Great ideas that came out in the form of writing are now adapted to fit TV and Internet services. The latest example comes from the deal that American author Anne Rice has just signed with AMC, to make a series adaption out of her “The Vampire Chronicles” book saga.

Gambling has exceeded all these boundaries. For great, classic bestseller reads, which include chance games, you can find a few picks below. For an enjoyable time, gambling online using only secure sites with great incentives, consult these offers.

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Who has not heard of James Bond? This is the first book of the famous spy-adventure British series, which started in 1953. Most of the action happens at a baccarat table, between the dashing genius Mr. Bond and the brilliant villain Le Chiffre. The stakes are high both on the green table and off it. Bond has a special designated mission from the MI6 head agent M and Le Chiffre has a significant debt to repay to a SMERSH organization. This novel will definitely open up the taste for the whole 14-book saga.

Photo: Blende12 via Pixabay

The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Sometimes readers need to be reminded about the rough parts of gambling. A first-hand connoisseur of wagering, Dostoevsky transferred his experience into a novel, right after he published his most renowned work, Crime and Punishment, ironically to pay up gambling debt. This 1866 short piece discusses a chain of events in which almost all pivotal characters get enchanted by the game of roulette and the highs and lows that brings. Fortune does not only rule the numbers but also love ties and family affairs. The characters eventually succumb to the pressure of a luxurious life.

William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe

The master of the American gothic, Poe, did not hesitate to write about the grim and the uncanny. In this short story, a noble hero has his life ruined by what seems to be his nemesis. The fright only increases when readers realize the unbelievable resemblance between the protagonist and his opposing character. We included it in this list. The crucial plot scenes happen at a table where players engage in the 19th century French Écarté. This piece is one of the first in Western literature to explore the motif of the double.

The Queen of Spades by Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin

A few months in the autumn of 1833, the legendary romantic poet Pushkin was unable to leave Boldino because of a local quarantine. That is said to have been the most productive time of his literary career. In those times, he explored the collision between gambling and the supernatural in his well-known short story. The protagonist hears a tip used by a countess to retrieve her lost fortune at the Faro table, a banking style game, related to poker. His obsession to uncover this secret untimely to his demise. You will want to read this one with the lights on!

Cards on the Table by Agatha Christie

Are you curious to see what Hercule Poirot does at a game of bridge with 4 possible murder suspects? This is part of the Poirot series, one of the most popular out of Christie’s pen. It was first published in the UK in 1936, and it follows the Belgian detective and his search to find the culprit that murdered someone at a soiree. The murder takes place in one of the rooms that host a bridge game. Following the incredible psychological insight, the detective plays mind games and eventually solves the mystery. Can you beat him to it?

Fools Die by Mario Puzo

You cannot expect any less than a captivating book from the author who also wrote The Godfather series. This is a story that happens on both coasts of the United States, from Las Vegas all the way to The Big Apple. High stakes and life stories mingle into a story full of drama, suspense and mob connections. It turns out that a short-lived connection between gamblers in Vegas may be the key to the survival of the characters later on. Puzo created this plot after his own experience in 50s Las Vegas and once claimed that it is his favourite work.

Reading can be a source of inspiration as well as indirect life lessons. If you are in the habit of gambling, having a read out of this list can change your perspective for the better and make you wiser at the end of the day. Broaden your horizons and make smarter gaming decisions all at once!

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