Most Popular Video Poker Strategy Books

Monday, 04th September 2017

Not all video poker books are created equal. In fact, many of the books on the subject that you’ll find for sale include flat-out wrong information. The following recommendations are for books with accurate information. They’re also clearly-written and easily-understood.

Frugal Video Poker

Frugal Video Poker, by Jean Scott and Victor Nacht, is one of the best books on video poker. It includes information about stretching your bankroll so that you can have more fun in various casino destinations, but it also features tips for playing with profitability as your goal. One of the major themes emphasized in Frugal Video Poker is the importance of practice, which is a lesson that most people need repeated multiple times before it sinks in.

Fundamentals of Video Poker

Fundamentals of Video Poker was written by Mason Malmuth and Lynne Loomis. Malmuth owns one of the premier gambling publishing companies in the world, Two Plus Two, and he’s well known as an authority on the subject of gambling and how gambling related math work. This book serves as an excellent introduction to video poker, and includes the basic how to play info as well as examinations of and strategy tips for Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, Deuces Wild, Joker Wild, and Double Bonus Poker. The sections about money management, hot and cold machines, and casino comps are also excellent.

Million Dollar Video Poker

Million Dollar Video Poker is a memoir by Bob Dancer, relating the story of how he started with a bankroll of $6000 and parlayed it into $1 million in winnings at video poker. This is not a how-to book, but it includes quite a bit of real-life lessons which are probably more easily learned via anecdote than from explanation anyway. Bob Dancer is considered by many to be the foremost video poker expert in the publishing industry.

The Video Poker Answer Book

The Video Poker Answer Book was written by John Grochowski, a prolific and entertaining gambling columnist. The entire book is written in question and answer format, and it’s excellent for beginners. He analyzes almost every video poker game and variation out there. His use of stories to illustrate the points he wants to get across is excellent.

Video Poker for the Intelligent Beginner

Video Poker for the Intelligent Beginner is another volume from the aforementioned Bob Dancer. In this book, he provides a step-by-step plan for becoming a successful video poker player. He focuses on first things first, like how to identify the best pay tables. Without that information, your memorization of strategy is next to useless. He also includes information about learning expert strategies. He rounds out this data with advice on slot clubs, casino promotions, and progressive jackpots.

Video Poker Optimum Play: The Strategies and Tactics of Advanced Play

Video Poker Optimum Play: The Strategies and Tactics of Advanced Play by Dan Paymar is one of the classics in the field of video poker. He focuses largely on the math behind the game. If you ever wondered why video poker is beatable and wanted to see the actual math behind the proof, then this is the book for you. His strategy explanations are easier to relate to than many of the chart-based strategies out there, too.

A Winner’s Guide to Full Pay Deuces Wild

A Winner’s Guide to Full Pay Deuces Wild by Bob Dancer and Liam W. Daily is probably the most complete guide to Deuces Wild that you’ll ever read. The book follows a logical structure, first explaining the data that someone needs to know before jumping into the actual strategies. In all of Dancer and Daily’s books on video poker strategy, multiple strategies are included. These begin with the strategies that are easiest to memorize and then move in to the more advanced strategies.

A Winner’s Guide to Jacks or Better

A Winner’s Guide to Full Pay Deuces Wild by Bob Dancer and Liam W. Daily is an indispensable book in any well-read video poker player’s library. It’s the first volume in their series of strategy guides, and since Jacks or Better is one of the easiest games to learn and play in the casino, it should probably be the first detailed strategy guide the beginner should buy. Most of the notes above about A Winner’s Guide to Full Pay Deuces Wild also apply to A Winner’s Guide to Jacks or Better.

A Winner’s Guide to NSU Deuces Wild

A Winner’s Guide to NSU Deuces Wild by Bob Dancer and Liam W. Daily is also worth your money, especially if you enjoy Deuces Wild. This is recommended reading even if you’ve already studied A Winner’s Guide to Full Pay Deuces Wild, because there are significant differences in strategies and approaches to the game.

Winning Strategies for Video Poker

Winning Strategies for Video Poker by Lenny Frome is another essential book about video poker, but it’s a little more dated than some of the other books on this list. It was published in 1997. At the time, the 60+ different strategy charts covered most of the games available in Vegas, but now there are new games which aren’t covered here. None of that makes this book less enjoyable, though—many professional video poker players got their start by using this book.

You can find lots of other books on the subject, but these are the best of the lot. If you’re looking for more ideas on what to read, keep in mind that the authors of these books have also written additional books on the subject. Bob Dancer, in particular, is prolific, and he sells a large variety of comprehensive strategy guides for specific games and variations. Jean Scott’s The Frugal Gambler is also a great book, even if it’s not specifically about video poker.


Popular Blackjack Books – Well Worth the Read

Monday, 21st August 2017

Over the years, 100’s of books have been written on blackjack – ranging from beginners guides through to complex strategy for experienced card counters. There are two reasons you might want to enjoy these books. Firstly, for entertainment – many of the characters involved in the gambling scenes were larger than life, and their books filled with colorful stories involving their escapades. Second, selecting from this list of popular blackjack books will be an education in itself. These books can turn you from novice into card counting expert who is ready to beat the house edge in any blackjack game.

This list of the most popular blackjack books are ordered by level of experience of the reader. If you are new to blackjack strategy, I recommend you start with the books at the top of the list. These will give you a solid grounding to appreciate the more detailed information in the more advanced books.


#1 – Basic Blackjack by Stanford Wong.

This book is a solid foundation in blackjack strategy aimed squarely at the non-counter. It includes information on rule variations and how they affect your strategy. Stanford Wong wrote several more books which built of Basic Blackjack, adding information on card counting and deep layers of analysis and math. For newer players looking for a grounding on which their blackjack careers can be built – this book fits the bill perfectly.


#2 – Beat the Dealer by Edward Thorpe

This book introduced the concept of card counting way back in 1966. The system used is known as the 10-count and is really only suitable for the single-deck games which were common at that time. This blackjack book remains popular both for historical interest (Thorpe really did change the gambling landscape!) and a solid introduction to the theory behind card counting. You will also find some information on hiding the fact that you are card counting from the casino security teams.


#3 – Playing Blackjack as a Business – Lawrence Revere

Another historically interesting book, by the late and great Lawrence Revere. There are two reasons this book has maintained its popularity over the years. The first is the solid explanations of basic blackjack strategy and how to adapt your decisions when the rules change. Second it introduces two card-counting systems which were ground breaking at the time (1970’s). The Revere Plus-Minus System and Revere Point Count System both influenced many of the more complex strategies used by today’s blackjack professionals.


#4 – The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book – By Lance Humble

This book includes rules commonly used in Atlantic City and in International casinos as well as those commonly found in Vegas. This modestly titled publication also includes information on the Hi Opt 1 card counting system. By the time you get to this far down the list of popular blackjack books you will have already learned about some of the key variations in card counting strategies used by the people who beat the game for millions.


#5 – Million Dollar Blackjack – By Ken Uston

Ken Uston was one of blackjack’s legends. He left a high flying career in finance to play professionally and was soon taking casinos around the world for millions. Uston also invented some very advanced card counting variations, some of which like the Uston Advanced Point Count, still share his name. There were several books written by this author. While this is the most technical and educational one, some of the others are full of colorful and entertaining stories from this great player’s past.


#6 – Turning the Tables on Vegas – By Ian Andersen

One of the big issues faced by blackjack experts is that the casinos are actively trying to spot card counting and ban the counters from their games. After you have read the books above and gained the knowledge of how to beat the math of the game, you should check out ‘Turning the Tables on Vegas’ next. This is a very detailed account of some strategies for avoiding your card counting getting noticed.


#7 – Theory of Blackjack – By Peter Griffin

By now you should be ready for some advanced reading and a real deep-dive into the math behind the games. This book is aimed at advanced players and assumes that you already have experience in card counting (you’ll find it dry and confusing if you do not yet have this). Out of all the popular books on blackjack, none do deeper into the mathematical roots of the game.


#8 – Bringing Down The House – By Ben Mezrich

After reading all those math based books you will already be ready to hit the casinos. Why not relax with a hugely popular blackjack book which is more for entertainment than for business first. Bringing Down The House is the story of the infamous MIT Blackjack Team who took casinos for millions from the 1970’s through to the 1990’s. You’ll sometimes wonder if there are embellishments to make the stories better, but wow – what a great tale.