This book introduces basic concepts of 6 different poker variations including; 7 card stud, 7 card stud Hi/Lo, Texas Hold ’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Crazy Pineapple Hi/Lo, and Low ball. Other chapters include topics such as strategies, bankroll considerations, private/home games and it also introduces the reader to the Casino/club atmosphere, hand rankings and provides a glossary of commonly used terms in poker.
I think this book would be good for the beginner who has never or barely been exposed to the game of poker, or to the individual who wishes to learn a new game. Personally, Texas Hold ’em is my favorite game and I have tried to study as much literature on the game as possible. I found this book to be of little service in improving my game. However, this book also sparked an interest into a game I had never heard about called Crazy Pineapple Hi/Lo. The way in which the author writes makes it easy for the reader to follow and understand the simple concepts provided in the book. He also provides different scenarios which elaborate how a player would play utilizing basic strategy.
I personally am upset with the title of this book. I do not believe this book will turn the reader into a “winning player” at the casino, but perhaps one who understands the fundamentals. The author has done a great job in providing the basics to many variations of poker. I feel that he has left out some things that should be discussed (but truly one cannot cover all the topics in 6 games in one book). However I also think Silberstang introduces the concepts of value betting, bluffing and making drawing hands pay, very well!
Overall I would give this book two dollar signs out of five …. $$ It’s easily affordable, and the concepts in this book pay for itself easily. For the beginner he/she can pick up a lot (but please understand there is a whole lot more to know!) For one who has more experience, this book may not provide a lot of strategies on how to play that you don’t know already, but it may introduce you to a new variation of Slot poker, otherwise it still would make for good reading on a plane, bus, or in any event where you may have to kill a little bit of time.
Obviously this book places most of its emphasis on THE, hence the title. Krieger did, however, include many other very important topics throughout the pages that made for quite a nice surprise while reading cover to cover.
The book starts out by outlining basic rules and situations of playing poker, more specifically Hold’em, in a casino. What to expect, difference from home game, and classifying your opponents. The second section of the book makes a smooth transition from general poker, to Hold’em, starting at the beginning for a person that has little or no knowledge of the game. With a few pages of the nuts and bolts of the game, Krieger moves onto the different stages of a Hold’em hand. Pre-flop, playing the blinds, playing the flop, the turn, the river, raising, and analyzing the table, each get ten+ dedicated pages.
I would have to say that the information on how to play each stage of the hand is worth the price of the book alone, especially when you read it, play a few sessions, and reread it. I have yet to read Sklanky’s HE book, but I really can’t imagine it offers anything more then what you can find here (although Krieger does list Sklanky’s book as a must read).
Krieger also covers how to play jackpot games, something I hadn’t read anything about until now. Of course some pages set aside for money management, computers and poker, record keeping info, and a few other ‘Easter eggs’ that one might not expect to find in a Hold’em book. All in all I would have to say this books belongs on the shelf of anyone looking to improve their poker game. It contains a few personal short stories that I found quite interesting, and the knowledge I gained is immeasurable. Finally, the chart for starting requirements in the back is great. Easy to look at and memorize because of it’s picture like layout.