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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 1999
This book is a ONE-OF-A-KIND in that it is written for either the layman or the expert. The cards that are shown are as if they were in your hand and each step is pointed out; when you look it over a second time it makes sense and if you follow the instructions, the odds will be heavily in your favor to WIN AT GIN. The author has a sense of humor and it shows in his writing. This makes his book informative AND fun. Better YET, he's an expert and wins over 75% of all the games he's ever played and most of his games are against experts. He CHALLENGES each of you (over the Internet) to play against him. There are many books "out there" that give instructions, but none in the detail as this book. Charley Killebrew is an expert because he is bright and because he loves the game of gin. Remember, regardless of the level you are as a gin rummy player, you'll LEARN from this book. Pete Billac, publisher.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2001
Whenever I buy a book that has print as big as a childrens book, I immediately get suspicious. Maybe the font size is for the older reader, or maybe he was trying to make it seem like you were actually buying a 100 page book. This books' actual useful content would fill 30 pages in a 12 point font. I guess I was looking for some more examples of those "hard hands" and how to play them, and a little more advanced content. That being said, this book is still useful, especially for the beginner to intermediate. However, if you have more than 200 semi-serious money games under your belt and havent lost too much of your wad, you wont get too much out of this. If I were you I would befriend your local expert and watch him play.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2004
I found this book to be frustrating, mostly because it becomes apparent that while the author enjoys the challenge of pulling one over on a live opponent, this book is really the author doing the same thing to the consumer. I agree with the other reviewer who was put off by the overly large type. I also note the consumer clip art on the cover. I should have known better.

The book is edited and published by the author's friend. I am sure Mr. Killebrew is an interesting person and a pleasure to be around. Why else would so many people enjoy playing him and getting beaten by him? But the impression I get is one of a sleazy braggart of a con-artist. A small publishing house is fine, but usually there is a reason a regular publishing company does not pick up one's manuscript: it just isn't quite good enough. Looking at the other items Swan Pub. and his editor Pete Billac has come out with, they almost all involve the same things about which we get spammed. Having read the Bicycle books on hearts and spades by Joseph Andrews, one sees how a book on a card game should be written.

I was also lured in by the positive reviews. I should have listened to the negatives this time. I should have noted that several of the glowing reviews are written by the author (ckill2015). I also note that the anonymous reviews were written soon after the book's publication, many of which were posted on the same day.

As to the quality, there just isn't much here, certainly not enough to justify a $9.95 price tag. Gin Rummy is not THAT complicated a game to warrant an extensive treatise, but Gin Rummy How to Play and Win, in fewer pages and with a much lower price, covers FAR more information on the game, variations and strategy. This book covers a lot of the author reminiscing about himself and his life and how wonderful a player he is.

To echo the problem with the chapter on "Percentages," it is true the book doesn't deal with it. It is also the second shortest chapter in the book at nearly a page and a half. However, on the back of the book the first item in the list of "Learn How To" features is "Play Percentages." That's just false advertising, also known as lying. My apologies for being too personal here, but since he brings it up in the "about the author" section, I expect better of a Marine.

There are good points to the book: his chapter on cheating is interesting; he does offer good advice on playing a live opponent, and after all the smack-talk similar to the play of bid-whist, he does offer excellent advice on courtesy.

Nor am I one for political correctness, but something about this line just rubs me the wrong way and is indicative of the whole book: "Against the very good players (the ones who play the game as I play it) you have to maintain discipline and never give in to hunches or impulses. I know this is useless information to give to female players because their intuition is so much more acute than mine is..."

At $9.95, this book is far too expensive for what one gets. The practical advice could fit nicely into a well-thought-out brochure. Please leave out the extensive writing on the "card gods" and use of telepathy and telekinesis. I would rather have learned from and lost to the author in person than been cheated by this book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2000
There is very little information in this book regarding how to win at gin rummy. For example, the chapter called "The Card Gods" encourages the player to mentally concentrate on the card they need so that their opponent will give it to them; how's that for mumbo-jumbo. Then there is the "Percentages" chapter where the first sentence reads "I'm not going to bore you with a bunch of numbers showing percentages"; the obvious question is why then did the author include a chapter on percentages? You are better off saving your money on this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2006
i would've given the book 5 stars if it had more pages with illustrations and quiz material.

yep, he seems to be full of himself. doesn't need to be. just get the material across and the book sales will come.

the illustrations were clear as well as the layout of the book too. he can thank his publishers for that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2006
I am a poker player, and I am used to read the very best books about gambling (mostly from twoplustwo publishing). This book striked me as being very unprofessional, compared to what I am used to.

The author brings out fallacious ideas like you have to "think about the card you want and it will make you more likely to get it". This won't help the author's credibility. A good publisher would have never let him publish such non-sense.

Also, the overall tone of the writing does not inspire confidence. I was not looking for a novel, but I like it when the author sounds professional.

I am not in good position to judge the rest of the book. But that's the scary part! I won't be able to tell the good from the bad!

I only recommend that book because I couldn't find many other books about Gin. I advise the reader too be cautious reading this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2005
This guy may be a good gin player, but he's really full of himself.

His advice is excessively basic.

Also, he admits that he cheats at cards for money.

Finally, reading this book will not make you a good gin player.
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on January 6, 2014
Self published with big print. Must be tongue-in-cheek, he could not really believe that concentrating on the card you want increases the chances of getting it. It was 14 years ago when he wrote it, maybe he had a high win/loss ratio then, on the current website, gamecolony.com, he is not high on the ladder.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 1999
I've know CKill2015@AOL.COM for more years than I'd like to think about. In short, this is an impressive book written by an extraordinary person. Buy the book, read it, study it, and learn from one of the masters. He's a super guy!
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on December 23, 2008
This book would only be helpful to someone who has never played before.There's very little talk of strategy, and alot of stuff that is either common sense after your first few dozen games, or irrelevant to strategy.No wonder most of the 5-star reviews here are from the author and the publisher.
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