A combination of new Las Vegas residents and new poker players creates a need for books that both inform and entertain. Filling those needs are two new titles, Poker Cheating (The 101 Most Asked Questions) byHoward Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," is the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he has held since 1979. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry. Howard's website is www.gamblersbook.com George Joseph (317 pages, paperbound, $24.95) and Weird Las Vegas and Nevada by Joe Oesterle and Tim Cridland (253 pages, hardbound, $19.95).
Joseph, a Las Vegas resident with a long history in casino surveillance, doesn’t that assume new players know all the terms and potential twists and turns when it comes to hold‘em or poker overall. That’s what makes this book special: He does more than just “define” a term, a move or situation; he presents examples and illustrations to clarify.
Some of the most frequently asked questions (and sometimes difficult ones to explain quickly or accurately) in Joseph’s book are: How much does the house rake? What is a kill game? What is a bad beat jackpot? What is a string bet? What does pot committed mean?
About midway through the book Joseph turns his attention to cheating moves, alerting players what to watch for. He explains what a strip out shuffle is and how an overhand shuffle looks, what false dealing is and why a dealer would deal the second card. Just what is a location run up and what does it mean to hop or shift a deck? He follows this with the best protection against false cuts and identifying when a cold deck might happen in play.
Included in the book is material on identifying hand muckers and how cards can be marked during play; what a stripper deck is and identifying double teaming or team play. Two final questions relate to the honesty level in Internet poker and how cheats try to operate there.
The book is excellent for players, dealers, surveillance training, to alert novices to potential pitfalls and to help answer a cluster of questions a friend or relative may have as they gain interest in poker.
Anyone planning to establish residents in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Nevada and those curious about some of the off-the-wall history facts; plus ghosts, bizarre architecture; unusual places to visit; UFO’s will have a field day with this nicely-priced guidebook to the Silver State should get a copy of Weird Las Vegas and Nevada. Beautifully illustrated, easy-indexed and covering everything from Busy Siegel to Elvis, Area 51, Liberace, thrill rides, strange museums, roadside oddities and more, it’s a “gee-whiz” book with class and character. It approaches this unique state like no other travel guide.
A nice coffee-table formatted book for reference, a gift or to keep the kids interested at all times.
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