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With all due respect to Marten Jensen, he does not deliver the simplification and consolidation promised in the book. I bought the book for 2 reasons: (1) I'm a new Las Vegas resident who wants to enjoy the casino scene, but I want to play intelligently; and, (2) having graduated with a degree in Mathematics, I am curious how the odds and payouts work in these machines. I will focus my comments exclusively on Jacks or Better Video Poker content (my game of choice, and as far as I read, once I realized the shortcomings of the book. ) Mr. Jensen identifies play strategies based on the various payout amounts of machines, collapsing 12 possible payout schemes to 2 strategies (excluding the Not Recommended to play strategy.) After an hour of analysis, I concluded the two play strategies are identical -- the only differences that I found are that the same hand is given different descriptors between the two strategy charts (what is described as JQ, JK, QK and JA, QA, KA as 2 separate hands in one strategy is simply described as 2 High Cards in the other, each with the same play strategy), and that he omitted a possible hand in one of the strategies (he describes what to do with a 4 card Inside Straight with 3 or 4 high cards, but he neglects to offer advice for any other type of 4 card Inside Straight.) My conclusion -- if Mr. Jensen recommends a Jacks or Better machine at all, he really means to tell me to play them all the same. He further advises taking his book to the casino with you to match payout schemes on the machines to the charts in his book, rather than taking the time to reduce the various play/no-play strategies to a simple list of questions.Read more ›
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The previous reviewer was too kind. The strategy tables presented are not only over-simplified, but there are incorrectly ranked hands in the strategy tables as well. For example, he uses the same strategy table for Double Bonus, regardless of whether it is 10/7 full-pay or 9/6 short-pay. Marten's incorrect "BQE" chart recommends keeping a pair of J-A over a 4-card flush, even though the average expected value of a 4-card flush is 7.55, compared to only 7.28 by holding J-A. His strategy of J-A over a 4-card flush would only be correct in a 9/6 game, where the flush pays 6. Given the number of casinos in Las Vegas and Reno that offer the 10/7 version of Double Bonus, you follow Marten's advice at your own peril.
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