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The Undeniable Truth About Video Poker
by Rob Singer
Book Picture
The author has been playing and losing at video poker for more than a decade and that it wasn't until he realized that expert play and expert strategy didn't apply to him. Nor, he believes, does it apply to most people who play video poker. His contention is that since there is no true definition of long-term as far as profitability is concerned, the player must focus on a short term, and adjust not only his playing strategy but his bankroll and expectation. Here he explains how he pulled himself out of the category of "loser" and elevated himself to such a winning status that he now profits virtually every time he sets out to play.

The Undeniable Truth About Video Poker Uses Flawed Strategy

While it still requires a significant amount of effort, video poker probably has the easiest learning curve of any form of advantage gambling. Nonetheless, winning at video poker can be a difficult,Nick ChristensonNick Christenson is widely regarded as one of the best gambling book reviewers publishing today. He is a contributor for Poker Player magazine, and has published in Full-Tilt and Gambling Times. He is also the editor of the very funny 'Casino Death Watch,' which chronicles the comings and goings of casinos in Las Vegas. He is an avid poker and blackjack player.  Nick's website is  frustrating road, requiring great discipline and incredible patience. Is there a way to win at this game that's still fun? Can we play it in a way that isn't a wild roller coaster of a ride? Rob Singer believes so. He discusses his views on video poker in The Undeniable Truth About Video Poker.

Singer begins his book with two chapters that provide some background and motivation behind video poker and his approach in general. Truth be told, I didn't find much of substance here, and Singer doesn't seem to feel constrained to stick with his themes or get where he's going with any sort of dispatch. I found the book to be rambling, at times bordering on incoherent. Moreover, the statements Singer makes in one part of the book often contradict those makes elsewhere, either wholly or in part, and there seems to be no effort made to reconcile those paradoxical statements.

In the subsequent two chapters Singer outlines his basic strategy. What he's saying here is unorthodox, and while it contains a grain of truth, I don't believe his strategies stand up to strict scrutiny. As just one example, he indicates that because during a video poker session of reasonable length it's unlikely that playing a full pay schedule versus short pay will make the difference between having a winning session or not, pay tables don't matter. In any given hour of play, he's correct that a full pay vs. short pay table is unlikely to swing the result of that session from positive to negative or vice versa, but he's completely wrong when he says that as a consequence pay tables doesn't matter. Singer also believes that it's okay to deviate from optimum vp strategy for a given game for the same reasons.

There's another aspect of video poker that seems to disturb Singer as well, and that's the fact that if one plays for a fixed amount of time, say a small number of hours, a majority of these sessions seem to end up being losers. In the strategy he advocates, he'll set a target for winning a certain amount of money and try to win that on a low denomination machine. If he gets to that target at any time during his session, he's done, leaving a winner for that session. If he digs himself a hole, he moves up to the next higher denomination of machine and tries again, if necessary moving up to $25 or even $100 machines.

His system has been compared to a Martingale gambling system, a charge he believes is unfair. While Singer's system may not be a true Martingale, which involves doubling up after losses on even money bets, it's certainly its spiritual cousin. While I can believe that his median result using these methods may be a winning session, I do not believe that this is a way to long-term profits any more than I believe that a Martingale is a profitable strategy for roulette.

Singer concludes the book with chapters about taxes, gambling addiction, and provides some concluding thoughts. The tax chapter contains nothing of value except very basic notions and the good advice to contact a tax professional who understands gambling. I'm not certain about what to make of the gambling addiction chapter, except that some of it sounds like it might be drawn from personal experience. The concluding remarks are more of what we've come to expect from the author by now, including a final chapter that reiterates two main points, both of which I would have to say I disagree with.

When reading books that provide what I consider to be bad gambling advice I often ask myself, "Does the author really believe this stuff, or is this just some sort of con?" With Rob Singer, I will at least give him credit for being absolutely sincere, but I still believe that his advice his much more harmful than useful. Without a doubt Singer is a true believer. He places his faith in patterns he has observed and what he has concluded from his experiences, I put my faith in the Central Limit Theorem knowing that human observations are often biased. I don't expect to be able to convince him that he's wrong, and it would be a waste of everyone's time for anyone to try to convince me that I'm wrong. If you find Singer's strategies to be useful, good for you, but please don't try to talk to me about it, because we simply have nothing to discuss.

The title of Singer's book is The Undeniable Truth About Video Poker. In no way do I believe this book measures up to this title. I deny much, if not most, of what Singer has to say about video poker, and I can't recommend this book to anyone.

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