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Gambling 102: The Best Strategies for All Casino Games Paperback – June 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 161 pages
  • Publisher: Huntington Press (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0929712072
  • ISBN-13: 978-0929712079
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

While working as an actuary for the Social Security Administration in the late '90s, Michael Shackleford compiled a list of the popular baby names to avoid choosing a trendy name for his own child. The baby names popularity lists took on a life of their own and since then have been published in dozens of newspapers, books, and magazines.

At about the same time Shackleford created the baby name list, he also introduced his popular gambling Web site, Wizardofodds.com. This, too, took on a life of its own. In 2000 Shackleford left his government job to devote full time to the Web site and a consulting business for the gambling industry.

Today he keeps busy with his web site analyzing new casino games for game inventors, designing slot machines, teaching a casino math class at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, and serving as a consultant to land-based and Internet casinos around the world.

Customer Reviews

I would recommend this book to anyone who visits a casino regularly.
iamadam
The author is able to put this decisions into easy to understand numbers and charts.
Chris Falco
He lays out which bets are best and which have the lowest house hold.
Ralph

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Michael Bluejay on August 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
First a disclaimer: I work for the Wizard and I edited this book for him. That said, one reason I work for him in the first place is because I respect that he knows what he's talking about. He's the worldwide authority on gambling math, and his website WizardOfOdds.com is the definitive resource on proper gambling strategy.

Gambling 102 assumes the reader already knows how to play the games, which is why it's not called Gambling 101. In Gambling 102 the Wizard shares his strategies for a whole host of casino games, as well as for NFL sports betting, where some of the most interesting content is. There's also some info on slot machines you haven't read anywhere else, as well as rankings for hands in Texas Holdem poker.

Perhaps the best thing about this book is that it's written by an expert. There are so many gambling books out there written by hacks who are just guessing. Not this one, this is the real deal.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Beretverde on November 13, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book simply cuts to the chase with pertinent information on the various games of chance offered at the casinos. Yes, games of chance, that is what casino gambling is, and Shackleford points it out brilliantly. When my nieces and nephews turn 21, this book will be mandatory reading prior to their ever entering a casino! This book is also helpful for the advanced gambler. The insights and various charts aid to confirm/assist one in their playing the games of chance!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Carnth on December 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Most of the gambling books out there try to sell you on the idea of "beating the house," "making money at the casino," or tell you "You can beat the odds."

This books doesn't do any of that (thank goodness!). In fact, this book doesn't even tell you how to play any of the games. It assumes you already know the basics, but want to take a deeper look at how the different games operates (hence the "Gambling 102" title).

Michael "The Wizard of Odds" Shackleford's "Gambling 102" dives right in with top-notch, in-depth mathematical analysis of each of the most popular table games played in casino. You get the straight facts on how much you can expect to loose (or win) when playing the different games, and making different bets. By taking a statistical look at all the various games and different bets in each game, Gambling 102 provides a wealth of figures that show exactly how big the "house edge" is. For instance, did you know the best bet in the casino is the "Odds" bet on the craps table? The worst bet is on the Big 6 money wheel.

Each game is has it own chapter and is broken do into individual bets. The blackjack section also includes a chart that tells you when to hit, stand, split and double down; so you will always make the best choice when at the table. Tips like these will help maximize your money while at the casino.

I enjoyed reading about the "house edge" on my favorite casino games, and will definitely adjust how I play the next time I go to a casino.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chris Falco on February 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While no legal gambling system, short of chasing comps or counting cards will make you a profit, knowing how to minimize the house's edge will keep more of your money in your pocket and out of theirs. This book goes into great detail about the long term distribution of numbers in every game, then also explains to the reader how they should approach it according to how they play.
For example: while playing craps: betting the dont pass is slightly better then playing the pass line, 1.41% house edge va 1.36% but even the author states "i normally advise cutting down the house edge as much as possible..... [but] the difference is so small and I think it's fun to bet with the other players than against them".
This real world approach is what is lacking in some of the other "casino math" books. Yes we know what the correct play is but in a weekend trip to Vegas is 0.05% worth not having as much fun? The author is able to put this decisions into easy to understand numbers and charts.
Many times offering suggestions and alternatives to common "sucker" bets that most players just find too easy and appetizing and can't help but make.
Do yourself a favor and give the author $15 by buying this book and read it before your next trip to the casino, take his advice and most likely for ab average bettor you'll be saving more than $15 in house edge you'll not be giving up.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Dauwe on April 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
So many people go into the casino unarmed with the ammunition to be successful. The casinos are big and beautiful because they make money - the games are always in favor of the house. However by playing correctly and having a little "luck", one can have a night of entertainment AND come out ahead in the short term.

This book will give the math behind the games. Don't worry, it is not like reading a dull mathematics text - the games are presented to those who know something about the game but wish to see the best way to win (ie optimum strategy). Charts and tables do provide quick information and the games are explained in detail. This book will answer your questions on many of the games you will see at the casinos.

The author of this book is also known as the Wizard of Odds, having a website with more information about gaming than anyone can imagine. Here is the only flaw I have with the book - the games appear to be more in favor of the house than they really are. Most everyone thinks the house edge is what the casinos are mathematically expected to win on a given hand. In many games, this is the true house advantage. However the Wizard speaks about another measure on his website, namely the element of risk. This value is based on the total amount played on any given hand as opposed to the original bet, thus it is a better indicator of how he game actually plays out. The book does not mention this value, only stating the house edge.

Now to the punch line. My wife and I very much enjoy playing at the casinos. We are not "gamblers" - we just enjoy the entertainment value of gaming. My wife plays slots and, as I hope EVERYONE is aware, slots are the money maker of a casino. Play them for entertainment value ONLY, don't expect to walk away a winner on a regular basis.
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