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Beating the Casinos at Their Own Game: A Strategic Approach to Winning at Craps, Roulette, Blackjack, Carribean Stud Poker, (Square One Gaming Guides) Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: Square One Gaming Guides
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Square One Publishers (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0757000053
  • ISBN-13: 978-0757000058
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 7.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,908,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you're inexperienced at these games, you can take an expert with you...[Beating the Casinos at Their Own Game] has all the basic playing information you need to improve your chances of winning." (Casino Detroit Magazine)

About the Author

Peter Svoboda is a professional engineer with degrees in mechanical and civil engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. A veteran gambler with over thirty-five years of experience in casinos all over North America, Peter has studied the odds and probabilities of the various games to determine effective strategies of play.


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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Renee Landers on April 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
I bought this book before heading to Vegas mainly because I wanted to brush up on the rules of blackjack. I was only going to have 4 hours there so i didn't want to waste any time getting ready to play. I found the second chapter and other sections that describe how things work in casinos (where to get your chips, what hand signals to give the dealer, etc) useful in keeping me from wasting time when i got there. The rest of it was worth reading to learn the rules of the games and to get me thinking about probabilities.
Unfortunately, the logic's not always there and sometimes the data are wrong.
Some examples:
In the roulette section, he recommends that if you are going to bet on a single number, you should pick one that hasn't shown up in the past 20 spins. This, after explaining how a lot of people keep gambling on the faulty premise that if something hasn't happened in a while, it's likely to happen, and after describing bias in roulette tables, which would make a number more likely to re-appear if it HAS appeared multiple times before.
In the blackjack section, I re-calculated the probabilities for each of the tables that he has in there, and while most of his numbers are right, some of them are off by as much as 5%. True, my numbers could be wrong, but since i wrote a computer program to do it (meaning that it did it consistently for each test), why would it be right for all but one value in the table? More likely, they are hand-copying or editing errors.
I wrote software (yes, i'm a geek) to play the game, implemented his suggestions one by one, and played 100,000 hands with each to see what kind of improvement each one made.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
Beating The Casinos At Their Own Game is a book you should consider if you'd like some help playing at the casinos. It's a well, written and nicely illustrated 278-page gambling guide with instructions for most of the games you'll find at any casino. The author, Peter Svoboda, knows his math because he has the credentials: a degree in both mechanical and civil engineering.
You'll find casino basics in chapters 1 and 2 including some history, odds of winning and losing, what the casinos do to get you there, the house advantage, advice on managing your money and when to quit. And if you have a gambling problem, Peter will direct you to the right place. Chapters 3 through 13 list rules of the ten most popular casino games, with playing strategies and some betting systems you can try. The illustrations will help you learn the games and the math listed will explain the odds and probabilities of winning.
Peter includes some known strategies for Craps, Roulette and Baccarat. So, if you're inexperienced at any of these games, you can take an expert with you to the casino. Peter also presents some of his own winning systems.
If you've never been to a casino, but think you might want to try some of the games offered, I'd recommend studying this book before you enter. It has all the basic playing information you'll need to improve your chances of winning...
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Steve on July 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the first review I have written on Amazon. I felt compelled to write this to keep unsuspecting people from purchasing this book. I do not know the author, I am not an author, and I have no interests in whether this book does well or not. I am simply giving my opinion.
Simply put, my problem with this book is that it is full of incorrect statements and poor advice which completely ignores probability theory. For example, on roulette, Mr. Svoboda actually says, "The house will always have a 5.26% edge, but you can increase your winning probabilities by playing it smart." What?!? When I read that, I knew he had a very weak grasp of probability theory. It is impossible to change the odds in roulette; they are fixed. You are always at a 5.26% disadvantage, no matter what your betting strategy is. Period. I suggest you run away from any book that asserts otherwise.
The surprising thing is that in several parts of the book, Mr. Svoboda agrees that the casino has an advantage over the player in the long run. However, to overcome this, he recommends that players play in the short run! I couldn't believe that an engineer, and someone who supposedly understands mathematics and probability, would actually write such completely incorrect information. True, in the short run you may win, but odds are that you will lose. The percentage disadvantage you face does not change.
Over and over, Mr. Svoboda asserts that his strategies increase your chances of winning. How can you increase your chances of winning if the odds against you are fixed? For example, after several pages of detailed and complex tables and charts, Mr. Svoboda admits that his craps betting strategy gives the house a 2% advantage.
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