Quick Guide to Winning Blackjack . December 2010 . Vol 11 . No. 12

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December 10, 2010, Detroit, Michigan--Completion of a $100 million bond sale that will finance the renovation of the old MGM Casino for new Detroit police and fire department headquarters.

November 3, 2010, Detroit, Michigan-- U.S. Customs seized $19,901 at the Detroit Windsor Tunnel from two men returning from Caesars Windsor Casino because they tried to avoid declaring the cash.

Quick Guide to Winning Blackjack by Avery Cardoza

Review By Howard Berenbon

Quick Guide to Winning Blackjack is an informative, easy to read guide for anyone playing the game of 21 for fun and profit. Blackjack is always my first game of choice when I visit a casino, either in Las Vegas, or here in Detroit. I always start by wandering the gaming floor looking for the lower priced tables because I'm not really there for the profits (though I do happily accept my winnings), but enjoy the sites, sounds, buffets and entertainment. It' always good to enter armed with some knowlege of the games you're playing, and Quick Guide to Winning Blackjack is a great start. It's 128-pages packed with lots to learn, with good advice from the basics to concepts, strategies and even money management (very important). Cardoza is an expert and you'll want follow in his stead, especially if you're a beginner. And you won't need to know card counting to win, money management and playing the cards correctly is more important.

Smart Slots, Cagey Craps—and Meditation?

By Dana Smith (for Howard Schwartz) - Gambler's Book Shop Las Vegas.

“Nothing bothers me as much as seeing people lose more than they can afford. I’ve told people, ‘Why don’t you just walk away and let it go for a while?’” John Woodrum, owner of the Klondike Sunset casino in Henderson, said in a recent Las Vegas Sun feature. Unusual yet good advice from a casino operator, echoed by a chapter titled “Quit While You’re Ahead and Other Impossibilities” in noted gaming author Frank Scoblete’s book, Slots Conquest (168 pgs, $16.95).

Starting with which types of slot machines offer the most attractive payouts (have the least percentages in favor of the house), Scoblete moves on to explain why betting one coin (unit) rather than max coins is a money-saving strategy on machines that offer no reward for playing the maximum. “Money Management at Slots” offers five spot-on tips for making your slot play more profitable and pleasurable before exploring certain “advantage slot machines” and how best to play them.

Scoblete also humorously debunks a multitude of slot myths, including my favorite (paraphrased): A cheesy looking dude hit the jackpot on the machine I had just left. If I’d stayed, I’d have hit it instead of that rat who sat down in my seat.” Scoblete’s answer: “Between you getting up and that rat sitting down, the RNG (random number generator) has gone through thousands of symbols. In short, the rat didn’t steal your cheese.” I enjoyed Slots Conquest as much for its solid advice as for its gambling humor and light touch with heavy topics.

Cutting Edge Craps (194 pgs, $16.95), subtitled “Advanced Strategies for Serious Players,” is Scoblete’s other book that hit the shelves along with Slots Conquest.  Co-written with the single-named Dominator, this is not a book for novices at dice. “It is designed for serious craps players and for those shooters who have developed a controlled throw and/or are looking to advance their games considerably,” states the author. Indeed he concentrates on ways to control your throw, not on the mechanics of how craps is played.

Chapter titles include “On-Axis Control,” The Hardway Set Anomaly,” Handling Degrees of Surface Bounciness,” and “The Patterns of Dice-Control Performance”—none of which are for casual players or happy-hour shooters—but all of which are intended to help shooters get the edge on the casino.

After explaining these techniques in detail, Scoblete rolls out some interesting advice on how to maximize your total craps experience, including practicing meditation and visualization, which can “help all aspects of your game and your life,” he says. “You can actually meditate with your eyes open as you go through your routine of setting the dice.” Further, you can enhance your meditation by visualizing your performance at the tables: “You will picture every aspect of your controlled throw in your mind, in real time.” Sounds a bit offbeat for a gambling book, right? But hey, if it helps as much as he says it does, might be worth a shot.

Perhaps even more cogent advice appears in “The Casino Isn’t Your Only Problem,” a chapter devoted to how you can keep safe in public, including always take valet parking, have the casino write a check when you win big, arrange your lowest denomination chips on the outside of your stack, plus 36 other safety tips.

Part of the allure of Scoblete and Dominator’s book is its inclusion of fast-paced, humorous yet enlightening stories about actual sessions, not the least of which are “Take Them for All They’re Worth” and “The Captain’s Greatest Roll.”

These books are available at Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas. You can order them at www.gamblersbookclub.com or phone the store at 1-800-522-1777 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific time. Opened in 1964, GBC is located at 5473 S. Eastern between Tropicana and Russell, just a short drive from the Strip. View the store's complete line of books, CDs, videos and software at the web site.