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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Ultimate Guide to Tells Nicely Done; New Book on Greyhounds Offers Fresh Start

3 May 2006


Mike Caro is the undisputed pioneer in explaining poker tells -- what they are and how they can be profitable in keeping a poker face and reading opponents. Now comes the Ultimate Guide to Poker Tells subtitled Devastate Opponents by Reading Body Language, Table Talk, Chip Moves and Much More and written by Randy Burgess with Carl Baldassarre (197 pages, paperbound, $16.95).

For greyhound bettors, it's been years since a new title has been available to them. Bill McBride has a nice little 57-pager, paperbound, titled Multiply Your Winnings at the Greyhound Track How to Structure Your Wagers for More Profit.

The poker book on tells does cover limit and no-limit poker among its 10 chapters (illustrated). In it, the authors make a valid point about Caro's original book of tells -- it was written before hold'em became the hottest game, when draw poker or stud was popular, which means much has changed. Plus, another generation or two of players have honed their camouflage skills behind sunglasses, hoods, funny eyeglasses and stone-cold stares to counter reads by opponents so players have to develop new skills.

This is a solid, easy read, cutting away to logic quickly and offering excellent examples of situations you're likely to encounter, while reviewing what some of the best players in the business have said about the value of tells.

The authors get specific in detailing what to look for among Asian players, women, the elderly, those with jewelry or tattoos, plus what cues are exhibited by bad players. The book should help improve your own game, whether a beginner or hard core pro and to smooth out your own table etiquette while disguising your mode of play.

Greyhound handicapping is a joy to some, an exercise in boredom to others, especially if compared to poker. Too much time between races perhaps. But there this an art and science to picking the winner of a greyhound race, in a sport with a majestic history, which finds itself fading in popularity because of increased competition from other forms of gambling.

For the diehard greyhound handicapper, always looking for new ideas, a new book on the subject is a rarity nowadays. Author McBride, a veteran handicapper (35 years) and writer, emphasizes the importance of keeping records and why it underlines the need for preparation before investing; offers a super Internet web site which provides access to data from tracks nationally; and underlines why he believes the best chance for a profit at most tracks is the exacta or trifecta.

Some of his advice is basic, but yet many skip over the fact that certain times of the year, "casual" or unsophisticated players visit the track, making wild, unpredictable bets which create surprising payoffs.

He offers ideas for every type of bet including the exotics; tells you why systems like progressives fail and how to wager on the "crowd's handicapping" (if a mix of talented handicappers in the crowd is reasonably high).

A final section discusses bankroll requirements -- just how much money you need or might consider bringing to the track to bet exotics and how to be selective.

Overall, for the price, it's a shortcut to betting the greyhounds. The book assumes the buyer knows the basics and takes it from there, with its primary focus on when to bet and how much or which type of exotic.
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