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The Fundamentals of Poker Paperback – October, 1992
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I THINK THE BOOK DOES EXACTLY WHAT ITS TITLE SAYS: provides the reader with fundamentals of poker. It starts with a very short history of poker (2 pages), goes through some tips (general advice) and rules (poker etiquette) for playing, and basic concepts of, poker, continues with description of two specific poker games (Seven-card stud and Texas hold'em), and then briefly touches on 6 other forms of poker. It ends with the glossary (of basic terms) and recommended readings.
DESPITE the issues raised below and the fact that most of the information can be found online for free, and even in other books that you will need anyway, I FIND IT A VERY NICE BOOKLET to have in the library, WORTH THE (little) MONEY it sells for.
I've got with the few probabilities (odds) that are included in the book (hence one star off):
1) There is a MISTAKE in the very BASIC probability (odds) on page 46 (Texas hold'em). The probability the first two cards you get are two unsuited cards 10 or higher is 0.1131*, thus the odds against are 7.84-to-1, or after rounding 8-to-1 (and not 10-to-1);
* the denominator is clear (Combin(52;2) = 1 326), the numerator can be calculated as Combin(20;2) - 4*Combin(5;2) = 150 or 5*15 + 5*10 + 5*5 = 150 (I'll leave the verbal interpretation to you ;-))
2) The odds are NOT shown in a CONSISTENT way: once they are rounded to a whole integer, another time to one decimal place (this may not be a big deal for you);
3) There is a probability (odds) for an event that is defined VAGUELY: if you have a pair on the first two cards (Texas hold'em), what is the probability of flopping three of a kind?
a) does it have to be PRECISELY three of a kind (and no better, meaning four of a kind and full house are excluded)?
b) or flopping four of a kind and full house are included in the event (in which case the event should be called "flopping three of a kind OR BETTER" rather than "flopping three of a kind")?
It turnes out the odds given in the book are for b)
Note: It is ASSUMED that the "three of a kind" is formed from the kind/rank you start with (first two cards). Similarly, the "full house" consists of 3 cards of the kind/rank you start with and two cards of another kind/rank. As for the "four of a kind," you have no choice but form it from the kind/rank you start with.
All that being said, I bought it because it qualified me for free shipping. Shipping would have been about $5, the book was $6, so I essentially spent $1 on the book - it was worth the $1. It's worth the $6 if you want a basic primer to get you started - simple to read, easy to understand. But, if you plan on trying to develop your game, there are other books that will give you the primer as well as give a little more depth (not for $6, of course...).