10 Most Asked Questions at the Gambler's Book Shop . August 2002

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10 Most Asked Questions at the Gambler's Book Shop

By Howard Schwartz

The questions still come into Gambler's Book Shop. I don't mind the questions, but the fact that they need the answer now, or the world might end, bothers me a bit. So perhaps we can answer a few-ahead of time and remove a smidgen of stress from the "I gotta know" peopleā€¦.

1. Where can I find information about using an alias or using false identification if I'm playing blackjack and the casino detains me? (Check Blackjack and the Law by I. Nelson Rose and Robert Loeb. They cover the subject well in their book, a 244-page paperbound ($24.95), and include a massive section on the legal history involving card counters, electronic devices, being "backroomed" by casinos and related areas. The book was published in 1998.)

2. I won some big money (and lost big money too) this year. What book will tell me what I have to deal with in regard to taxes and the IRS when it comes time to pay by April? (The Tax Guide for Gamblers by Roger Roche and Yolanda Smulik-Roche, a $29.95, 102-page paperbound is keyed to the big winner, professional gambler who has questions. It includes sample forms you'll have to fill out and changes in tax laws in recent years.)

3. I need help on money management. Is there any book that covers the subject well in regard to pari-mutuel betting? (Jim Selvidge's 144-page paperbound ($19.95) titled Money Management is one of the best. He talks about the "comfort zone" and the need for discipline along with attaining the right balance of winning success.).

4. The game three-card monte fascinates me. I know it's a con game to some degree, but how do the people who operate it, attract customers and win money? (There's a fine section, about 17 pages of it in Darwin Ortiz's Gambling Scams, originally published in 1984. The 262-page paperbound sells for $11.95 and outlines how cheaters operate in virtually every game.)

5. When I gamble in Las Vegas, I love to play video poker and the slots in particular. I'm not sure, but I think if I play enough, I should be entitled to some "comps" or "freebies." Is there a book that tells me how to get these free things or how to ask for them? (Jean Scott, in her book The Frugal Gambler, outlines her own experiences and how she earned the nickname, the Queen of Comps. The 240-page paperbound sells for $12.95 and was published in 1998.

6. While rummaging around in my aunt's attic, I found some old gambling magazines, a movie poster and some old playing cards. Is there a book that will tell me what they're worth if I try to sell them-or where to sell them? (The book Gambling Collectibles by Leonard Schneir is the perfect resource. Published in 1993, the 158-page paperbound is filled with color pictures of all the items you mentioned, contains places you might try to sell your finds and tells you the approximate price range of many items.)

7. Although I'm not a gambler, I like to read about people who are-the more successful players, the ones with systems, angles, ideas on how to win. Any suggestions? (Try The Man With the Million Dollar Breasts by Michael Konik. This 234-page paperbound has a collection of virtually every type of gambler-poker players, sports bettors, casino players-even the story of Brian Zembic, who on a $100,000 "dare" had breast implants-and who still has them today. The book is illustrated and was originally published in 1999.)

8. Recently I've become involved in sports betting. Some of my friends say I should learn more about "hedging," "middling" and "teasers." Is there a book you can recommend which explains all that and would make me a more intelligent player? (Don Peszynski's new book titled Win More-Lose Less, a $24.95 paperbound (120 pages), published earlier this year, has one of the best sections we've ever seen on those three areas you mentioned. The author is a financial analyst and wrote the book for those who love to bet pro football. The book even includes a discussion on buying half-points and future book betting.)

9. Recently I met an old-timer who was telling me stories about how people used to cheat at craps and said it can still be done today-but in private games or where they're not watching as closely as they should. Is there some book that explains all this and how cheats operate? (Burton Williams--not his real name--wrote a classic titled Dice, Squares, Tops and Shapes in 1982. The 104-page paperbound ($7.95) explains not only crooked dice and loaded dice, but the use of magnetic dice, how dice are switched in a game, how they are controlled and how dice hustlers operate. It even reveals how chip hustlers and thieves operate right at the tables.)

10. When I play poker, I get the feeling sometimes the players know when I get a good hand or when I bluff? I'm not a good liar I guess and I don't bluff often. Someone mentioned the fact I might have a "tell" and everyone knows what I've got for some reason. Is there a book on the subject I can read to help improve my play? (In November, Mike Caro's book, Body Language of Pokerwill finally be reprinted. Caro has been revising it for quite some time and it's one of the most eagerly awaited books of the year. It will sell for $24.95 in paperbound and explains how different eye, facial, body movements often "give away" whether a player is bluffing or has caught a good hand. Until the book is available, the next best thing is Caro's two-volume set of videos called Caro's Pro Poker Tells, which sell for $59.95. It's excellent and shows in slow motion and replay, how players react when they have very good hands and don't want to make eye contact with opponents or are bluffing. Good poker players have known about "tells" for more than 100 years. Only the sharpest have learned to utilize and benefit from their keen observations, until recent years.)

(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 www.gamblersbook.com 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.)