Greg Elder’s “Gamblers Fight Back” Book Review

Today is the official release date for Greg Elder’s newest book “Gamblers Fight Back: A Professional Gambler’s Journey of How to Survive and Thrive in the Casino”. Since I grabbed a pre-release copy about a month ago and already finished reading the book, I decided to write a review about it. In short, the book has a strong emphasis on professional gambling, but the book is filled with information that could be used by anyone to become a better gambler.

He starts his book describing why he started seeking for more excitement in his life and how he ended up in Las Vegas. I found this part quite inspirational, not many of us would consider a career in professional gambling while unemployed. That’s exactly what Greg did and he became successful.

After the intro he explains various techniques used by casinos to get you to spend more money at their venues than you would be comfortable with. Some of the things he reveals are not even known by most casino employees, let alone regular gamblers (I should know, I’ve been a dealer myself). I have always been wondering why the casinos are laid out the way they are, now I know why. This revelation would fall short if there weren’t any follow-up tips on how to not end up in one of the casino’s traps. The tips Greg gives can and should be employed by anyone, regular and professional gamblers alike.

Now’s the time to get to the core, Greg starts by describing all the characteristics of a winning gambler. Not having these, one should seriously rethink his career in professional gambling, or be tremendously talented like Stu Ungar, what a fascinating person he was.

Greg then goes on to explain different ways to make money as a professional gambler. Topics range from money management to how to interact with casino employees, as well as common pitfalls to avoid. As disciplined Greg is, he has fallen fallen for one himself.

He dedicates a big part of the rest of his book to video poker, blackjack and sports betting. All of these sections contain tips on how to turn the odds against the casino. The reason he picked these 3 forms of gambling is that these games have pretty good odds to begin with and with various techniques he explains in his book, it is not that hard to exceed the desired 100%+ payout (100% is the line between loosing and a winning gambler). Of course it is possible to reach that goal with other games as well, but the winning margin would be lower than with these 3 types of gambling activities. After all a professional gambler is in a casino in order to earn money, not to seek entertainment by trying out different types of games.

One of the notable things I found out by reading his book is that one does not have to be a math savvy to become a card counter in blackjack. All you need is dedication and a lot of practice. Similarly you need to learn and practice all the right moves in video poker. He doesn’t go much into details regarding the most optimal strategy of blackjack or video poker, but he does point to the right direction where anyone could learn these.

Finally he writes what he thinks the future will hold for professional gamblers and ends the book with the conclusion of his own experience as one.

In conclusion the book is perfect for those who consider a career as a professional gambler in the US, especially in Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Though most of the information in the book is universal and can be employed by almost anyone, you may still find some things not working out for you as described in the book should you lack discipline or if you are ‘working’ with non-American casinos.