This is a book I read 40 years ago. I remember the plot but haven't a clue as to the title.

A young man misses the takeoff of his trader families’s spaceship and is marooned on a planet. He has no real skills to find work and falls in with a gambler who shows him how to play a game that will provide him with enough credits to live on. After a botched robbery attempt where his benefactor is killed, he finds himself a very rich man and sets out to pursue a rumor of a FTL/Warp drive so he can be reunited with his family.

  • I read this not to long ago but the name completely alludes me, to my library – severa Oct 30 '13 at 10:55

That sounds a lot like Starman's Quest by Robert Silverberg (more detailed description here). The description in Wikipedia is not very helpful, but the story covers all elements of your plot recollection.

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The young spacer actually misses his flight on purpose after finding his twin brother who was departing the spaceship years earlier. Since he has no place in earth's society he has to make his way as an independent, which means gambling. Luckily, he meets Max, a high level independent and is trained by him. The rest of the story unfold pretty much exactly as mentioned in the question.

The full text can be found on Project Gutenberg: Link

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  • Thank you, this problem has been bugging me for years like a itch you couldn't scratch. Again many thanks – John Nov 5 '13 at 10:17

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