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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Baseball Insight Annual; Big Book of Blackjack New at GBC

22 February 2006


Two important books -- one for the baseball bettor who wants a log of lines and totals from every regular season game in 2005 and another offering advice and history of blackjack, have arrived at Gambler's Book Shop.

The 2006 Baseball Insight Annual (200 pages, spiralbound, $32.95) by Phil Erwin will clearly help the novice or seasoned pro get a feel for which pitchers may perform against the opposition in 2006. But it's more than a study of pitchers. Erwin shows you team records -- how they did against extreme groundball and extreme powerball pitchers, how often they went over totals of six to over 13 for the past three years and what the ballpark factor was during that period of time. It continues with how all teams did for last season, then the last three as road underdogs.

Those who seek out systems, patterns, some angle which might indicate the start of a winning or losing streak or against a certain time of the season will be able to find the results, the line, the total and who the starting pitchers were for both teams on what date the game was played, on what type of surface, whether it was played in the day or at night; how many innings the starter for the home team went, how many earned runs he allowed and the amount of bullpen support he got in earned or unearned runs.

Beginning on page 170, the section on starting pitchers shows how all pitchers who started five or more times in 2005 did (in alphabetical order), along with his percentage of quality starts (at least six innings and three or earned runs allowed). You can spot how each hurler did home, away, during the day or night, on grass vs. turf and what the earned run average was for the pitcher in each of the previously mentioned categories.

Erwin's book provides a sharp way to prepare for the upcoming season and it might well help isolate a few extra winners based on past performance patterns.

Arnold Snyder, whose Blackbelt in Blackjack remains a solid, respected seller on that game, has written The Big Book of Blackjack (379 pages, paperbound, $17.95).With 30 chunky chapters, indexed and illustrated, this work covers a wide area, which should appeal to players, management, historians, beginners, potential counters, team players and lawyers.

One of the most fascinating sections, rarely covered in any previous book in depth, is the history of the game and how it evolved, including profiles of some of the great players, some of them pioneers. Those interested in how the concept of team play originated will find plenty in the sections that covers the background of the super names like Ed Thorp, Lawrence Revere, Stanford Wong, Ken Uston, and with what happened in Atlantic City; the barring of counters; the Griffin group.

Six chapters focus on playing and winning, from basic strategy to aces, trouble cards, how to count cards, the Red Seven Count, the variety of rules a player may face. The book includes chapters on Over-Under 13; Royal Match; Super Sevens; Lucky Ladies; Spanish 21; Super Fun 21; Double Exposure; Blackjack Switch; beating California games.

Stories and advice about casino surveillance talk about being barred versus being "backed off."

The book also includes a section on cheating in single deck or multiple deck games; short shoes; shuffle tracking.

This is both an encyclopedia of the game and a how-to guide to attacking it, and truly a worthy addition to any beginning or serious player's library.
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com