Dancer's Double Double Bonus Book Cappelletti's Omaha Split . April 2004

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Dancer's Double Double Bonus Book Cappelletti's Omaha Split and Heller's Go for the Green (Turf Racing Made Easy)

Book reviews by Howard Schwartz (Manager of the Gambler's Book Shop in Las Vegas)

Dancer's Double Double Bonus Book Cappelletti's Omaha Split

Video poker expert Bob Dancer’s latest book is now on the shelves of Gambler’s Book Shop and selling as well as anything on the market. Another new arrival at the store is Mike Cappelletti’s How to Win at Omaha High-Low Poker, geared for those who love the action in one of America’s hottest new card games.

Dancer and Liam Daily’s A Winner’s Guide to Double Double Bonus Poker (114 pages, paperbound, 8x11 format, $16.50) is right on target for the most popular form of video poker today in Nevada. But be forewarned—you must be able to find a 10-6 machine for the book to effective. The experts to the fact that there are many 9-7 and 9-6 machines out there, but the book and its advice focuses on the 10-6 version for the most part. You won’t find an edge using the book with 9-7 or 9-6 models.

Always the perfectionist, Dancer, as he has done with his previous books, leaves no stone unturned when it comes to this game. One chapter reaches out to the beginner on game basics and then basic strategy with examples and practice sessions. On another level he moves to recreational strategy, then to basic strategy getting into areas like suited versus unsuited cards; insides and the problem with three-card straight flushes.

By Chapter Five, the more serious players can see how Dancer advises moves for 10-6 and 9-6 Double Double Bonus; then to advanced concepts of the same games including the impact of penalty cards; square, curved and curlicue brackets. Two final chapters compare 10-6 and 9-6 Double Double Bonus with 9-6 Jacks or Better and 10-7 Double Double Bonus; finally basic strategy for 9-5 Double Double Bonus.

The book covers the higher-paying versions of this game where flushes return 6 for 1 as well as the not-so-high-paying versions of this game where flushes return 5 for 1.

Since Dancer has personally changed the way the industry looks at video poker, including countermeasures by nervous casino management, this is a book you should buy now if you’re a serious player, to take advantage of that ever-elusive edge while it still exists.

Mike Cappelletti, a solid writer, an interesting individual and who has established himself over the years as a respected player, has a new book titled How to Win at Omaha High-Low Poker (229 pages, paperbound, 5x8 format, $19.95).

Many believe Omaha, and even the high-low version the game will overtake hold‘em as the most popular game of the 21st Century.  Indeed this is a big action game with much to think about. The goal of the game is similar to of survival of the fittest (or most prepared). And while it’s still poker, some players fear the game because they know little about its intricacies. (The gimmick or angle for this game is that you are dealt four cards, but in the final showdown, can use only two of them along with three of the five community cards. Think about being dealt four cards and being able to use only two of them!)

But fear not. Cappelletti has written a super resource for both beginners and somewhat experienced players.

In the work he presents 70 sections with 11 major chapters, covering How to Play Omaha High-Low; Basic Strategy and Concepts (including Hand Power Ratings and Frequency of Starting Hands); Before the Flop; After the Flop; The Last Two Rounds; Going High (including the author’s Point Count System for High and for Two-Card Combinations); his experiences with good and bad beats in Atlantic City; Biloxi; Tunica; Costa Rica; Foxwoods; London and Paris; a comparison between Hold ‘em and Omaha; a small section on No-Limit Omaha High-Low.

It’s a must-read for the player who already plays or wants to make the transition to the new game. Knowing what your opponents know helps make a confident player. Splurge a little and invest in this new work by a player who can write and a writers who plays— always a powerful combination when it comes to a new book

Heller's Go for the Green (Turf Racing Made Easy)

Bill Heller’s Go For The Green (Turf Racing Made Easy) (150 pages, paperbound, $14.95) is designed for knowledgeable, patient horseplayers who prefer to specialize—in this case pointing to the obvious, grass races.

Few studies have been conducted on turf racing, while many great books devote but a chapter or section to the subject. That’s why, with thoroughbred racing needing a good promotional boost to attract new players, I’m happy to see fresh material by a talented author reach the shelves of Gambler’s Book Shop again.

Heller, the prolific author (he’s written more than a dozen books (including Run, Baby Run, Turf Overlays, Exotic Overlays and Overlay, Overlay), says “The turf course is the final frontier of handicapping, the last place a well-schooled player can generate an can still locate and cash overlays on grass...”

His book tells you “how to attack the grass game” through past performance lines; looking for an improved performance; avoiding poor performing turf trainers and jockeys; watching young horses; noting first-time lasix use; and checking the dam of first-time turf performers.

There are key sections on dams which produce winners; the Tomlinson Ratings (developed by Art Kaufman, a former vice president of a Wall Street investment firm); handling first-time starters (and trainers who do well in that situation); which jockeys to watch for and their records since 1976 (the author focuses on Jerry Bailey whose win percentage on grass is outstanding); looking at the trainers and what they’ve done; trips; wet courses and how to evaluate a race; and finally, how the author hit a Perfect Six.

This is a reasonably priced book with fresh information, published in late 2003. Both the beginner with questions about turf racing, and the somewhat advanced player who hasn’t put all the pieces together yet, will benefit from Heller’s book. The work is packed with examples, advice on what to watch for and should be in any serious player’s library.

(The books mentioned here are available from Gambler's Book Shop, 630 South 11th Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101. Call l-800-522-1777 from 9 to 5 Monday through Saturday Pacific time to order, using only MasterCard, VISA or Discover card (no Amex accepted). You may order through the store web site at and view the store's 1,000 books, videos and computer software. You may also call or write and ask for the free 80-page catalog to be sent to you. The store, founded in 1964, is located about two miles from Downtown Las Vegas, and the same distance from where the Strip begins, a block west of Maryland Parkway, just off Charleston Boulevard.)