betting books to read for uk gamblers

Best Books to Read Before You Bet

Betting Literature: Books To Read Before You Bet

All listed books for professional sports betting can be found, bought and downloaded on Amazon website. Free examples are available. Read books on your iPhone or Android phones and tablets. Enjoy!

The internet has taken an overwhelming lead as the most common medium through which we consume content, but books should very much still have their place on any serious bettor’s menu.

Those margins between profit and loss can often be so fine that it helps to have access to as wide a variety of opinions as possible, not all of whom are generous enough to post them for free online.

Professional gamblers, mathematicians and economists make for some of the most worthwhile teachers in the world of betting, each able to offer different takes on methods to engineer winning results.

We’ve flicked between the pages from some of the most captivating authors in the world of sports betting, picking out a selection of the best books meant to inform and aid your gambling practices.

The Life-Changing Magic of Numbers

Author: Bobby Seagull

Starting out strong on the mathematical emphasis around which many of life’s day-to-day algorithms are based, Bobby Seagull’s ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Numbers’ is the pinnacle in this field.

It’s ironic our list should start with a book that makes few (if any) direct references towards gambling, but it’s lessons are nonetheless relevant and extremely applicable to the field. The introduction explains:
“Bobby tells the story of his life through numbers and shows the incredible ways maths can make sense of the world around us. From magic shows to rap lyrics, from hobbies to outer space, from fitness to food – Bobby’s infectious enthusiasm for numbers will change how you think about almost everything.”

That pertains to probabilities in betting and the idea of how we calculate risk, what we stand to gain from any particular wager and, by extension, where to cut one’s losses.

Seagull has risen to television stardom and now tours with a live show promoting his genius, but The Life-Changing Magic of Numbers is a great entry point to learn how maths forms a foundation of betting.

Enemy Number One

Author: Patrick Veitch

There are few better ways to improve than by learning from the best, and in the world of British betting, few have enjoyed greater success than Patrick Veitch.

Self-styled as “the UK’s most feared professional punter,” Veitch’s story is the stuff of legend after he took more than £10 million from British bookmakers between 1999 and 2007.

Enemy Number One: The Secrets of the UK’s Most Feared Professional Punter’ chronicles his tale from its origins. It charts how Veitch dropped out of a mathematics degree at Cambridge University after he was already earning £10,000 a month selling horse-racing tips, all the way up to the biggest wins of his career and how he got there.

Veitch professes that there are as many as 80 different factors that effect any single horse race. While his book doesn’t give away the entirety of his method, learning even a fraction of his ways will transform the way its readers view betting.

As well as being an educational tool, ‘Enemy Number One’ is replete with personal stories—such as the time gangsters threatened to cut his legs off—that make it engaging as a piece of prose, too.

A Man for All Markets: Beating the Odds, from Las Vegas to Wall Street

Author: Edward O. Thorp

Widely considered to be the father of card-counting in blackjack, Edward O. Thorp has been generous enough to gift much of his wisdom via different methods over the decades.

Once a professor of mathematics and finance at some of the United States’ most prestigious universities, Thorp’s best-known work is ‘A Man for All Markets: Beating the Odds, from Las Vegas to Wall Street’.

It’s no surprise, then, that his methods apply to any number of fields in which risk is one of the main factors, whether that be card games, sports betting or the stock market:

Aside from the knowledge Thorp passes on in regards to chance—his take on probability theory is considered by many to be the standard in modern mathematics—it’s also his more personalised tidbits that strike as being so valuable. He wrote:

“I also believed then, as I do now after more than 50 years as a money manager, that the surest way to get rich is to play only those gambling games or make those investments where I have an edge. Since I knew of no-one who had ever found a way to beat the casinos, gambling in Vegas wasn’t on my list of priorities.”

That specific lesson relates to restraint and being able to wager on events where we know the field, data and potential variables, which is easily transferrable into the world of sports betting.

Betfair Trading Made Simple

Author: Caan Berry

Caan Berry’s affiliation with Betfair means his book, ‘Betfair Trading Made Simple’, is tailored to suit one exchange in particular—but its information can be retrofitted to suit any exchange model.

A beginner’s guide on how to identify the most profitable bets and build strategies around sports betting, Betfair Trading Made Simple may still educate even experienced gamblers on certain methods they’ve been missing.

Berry break down five key lessons you will learn with this book:

– What is required to make money betting

– The basics principles behind Betfair trading (step by step)

– Factors behind gaining an unfair advantage

– Simple start-up process (including tools)

  • How to strategically build a winning approach

Less being fed and more being taught how to catch the proverbial fish, this book has wisdom in its pages that could form part of one’s betting belief system for the rest of their life. 


Author: Simon Kuper & Stefan Szymanski

Equal parts encyclopaedia and biographical novel, Soccernomics is highly regarded among British football analysts as being close to their holy grail.

Authors Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski collaborated to extremely good effect on this, a work that looks back on past statistical trends and nuances of the sport in a way that helps the present-day reader. 

Whether it’s learning what Manchester City changed to become so effective from corners under Roberto Mancini, or why clubs from capital cities are largely inferior compared to their more rural counterparts, Soccernomics educates the reader in a way that makes one not want to put it down.

Its intro explains: 

“Why do England lose?”

“Why do Germany & Brazil Win?”

“How have Spain conquered the World?”

“Penalties – what are they good for?”

“What is the price on achieving success and the true cost of failure?”

Soccernomics won’t tell you why, how or what to bet on, and one could even argue that its findings sometimes amount to confirmation bias in the way they’re distributed.

However, there’s so much material that could influence one’s thinking when it comes to football betting, that the rare lapses are far outweighed by its educational nuggets.