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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Learn the 'language' of gambling through special books, dictionaries

17 September 2009

It's a given! Anyone entering the gaming industry must learn the special language dealers, supervisors and of course players use almost daily. It's a necessity! Any new player who wants to know the ins and outs of the gambling lexicon should learn the special language of dealers, supervisors and other players. Getting familiar with these words is not a difficult task. Here are four books to help the novice comprehend the terms used in horse racing, casinos, poker rooms and one just for craps dealers to make the game more exciting for players.

The first title is a new one: Off to a Flying Start (Horsing Around the Language) by Bill Tivenan and Cassandra Cook (81 pages,paperbound, $12.95). The book has value to newcomers who question how the terms "Here's mud in your eye" or "Get your goat" came to be -- the historical derivation, so to speak. Cartoon-like illustrations help emphasize each slang term's significance (there are five-dozen of them). This book won't make you a better handicapper; however, newcomers to the track or other betting outlets will feel more comfortable once they understand what "horses for courses" or "in a lather" means.

One of the better books for the new casino employee is Casino Gamble Talk by Victor Royer (234 pages, paperbound, $12.95). Published six years ago, it is intelligently arranged by category. For example, new casino games like Let It Ride, Progressive Caribbean Stud and pai gow poker have their own sections. Traditional table games including baccarat and keno are listed, with sections also included on slot machines and video poker.

As the game of poker grows so does the number of players and dealers, who must communicate. Brant Janeway's Drawing Dead to a Gutshot: How to Talk Poker (127 pages, paperbound, $12.95) should prove helpful because it not only contains definitions and explanations, but samples of specific hands and situations it refers to.

Chris Fagans and David Guzman have produced A Guide to Craps Lingo: From Snake Eyes to Muleteeth (73 pages, paperbound, $9.95). This 1999 work is designed to "entertain and enlighten craps fans by recording the quick witted calls of the stick dealers which have been passed down from seasoned dealers to rookies." Some examples: Nicknames for an Eight: Block Fours, Two Windows. Classic calls include "Eight again, you win again," and "Eight hit the Big Red," and "Point of eight, eight came easy bet it hard." Plus "Ate'er from Decatur" and "Eight came easy, soft and sleazy." Overall it's a nice resource for dealers to enliven any craps game or to come up a twist to make the players smile and keep 'em rolling.
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