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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Playing the slots? Books can ease stress, make it more fun

11 February 2010

Listen! If there were some way that books on slots could make anyone a sure winner, nobody would ever write one! True, but think of it this way -- understanding the concepts of payback, money management, comprehending what random number generators are (among other things) can make playing machines more fun and make your bankroll last longer. Sometimes we can learn from others -- their mistakes, their good luck, their ability to take the money and run at the right time. Here are some helpful titles for the novice or to buy for a friend who has many questions you can't answer:

Slot Smarts (Winning Strategies at the Slot Machine) by Claude Halcombe (157 pages, paperbound, $12). Published in 1996, it's still a fine "common-sense" book explaining how to get comfortable, which machines are worth considering and why, how to make your bankroll last longer, understanding payback and pay tables, and why winning consistently is so difficult.

Break the One-Armed Bandits by Frank Scoblete (178 pages, paperbound, $12.95). Published in 1996, it examines the history of the slot machines, the mechanics (how they work), some ideas on tournament play, a theory on where the tightest machines are and why they're placed there, how to avoid ripoff artists in the casino and some funny superstitions slot players carry around with them.

I Did It! (My Life After Megabucks) by John Tippin (150 pages, paperbound, $16.95). Published in 2001, this biography and tell-all story is about a man who hit an $11 million megabucks jackpot in 1996 at the Las Vegas Hilton, and how his life changed because of it. The author, who lives in Hawaii, advises potential players about how much money to bring when gambling, offers advice on playing progressive machines, tips on playing video poker, strange superstitions people have about playing slot machines.

Slot Machine Mania by Dwight and Louise Crevelt (243 pages, paperbound, $7.99). This 1988 book is what you'd call and "oldie but goody" because it was done 22 years ago but the package is quite unique. Written by a man who designed the machines and his mother who played them, it's a balance of how it works, common misconceptions explained, how cheaters operate, money management, an explanation of jackpots and percentages. Pocket-sized and well-priced, it's a perfect, simple package of advice.



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