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Best of Frank Scoblete
The Casino Answer Man7 February 2001
To some, thrifty gambling might mean cutting the house edge to the bone, learning every nuance of blackjack, craps or a particular video poker game.
To others, it might mean getting the most out of slot clubs and comps, taking advantage of triple points days and direct mail offers to get the most benefit out of the least play.
To John G. Brokopp, who writes a weekly gambling column for the Daily Southtown and whose new book is titled Thrifty Gambling, it's a matter of getting the most fun for your money.
Thrifty Gambling, subtitled More Casino Fun for Less Risk, kicks off a new line of "Scoblete Get-the-Edge Guides" from Bonus Books in Chicago. Edited by best-selling gambling author Frank Scoblete, Brokopp comes through with a guide for players on a budget on how to enjoy a trip to the casino without betting the ranch.
Thrifty, he explains early in the book, doesn't necessarily mean cheap. The thrifty gambler wants value for money, and Brokopp says value doesn't necessarily come from the lowest house edge.
In a chapter called "Thrifty Craps Play," he explains that he'll sometimes bet on the hard ways even though he knows the house edge is high. Why? Because if he makes a $1 bet on hard 8, his expected average loss is 9 cents, but he might just win $9. He gets enough entertainment value for the risk of a buck that for him it's a thrifty play. Where else can he get that thrill for a dollar?
It's not a play I'd make, but you see where Brokopp is coming from: Small risk plus big entertainment equals thrift.
The emphasis is on money management, with tips on topics from managing your bankroll to managing your expectations. There are practical tips on keeping records and using slot clubs, and warnings about staying alert, whether for your own behavior that might make you more vulnerable to bigger losses ("Avoid overindulging in alcoholic beverages during your casino visit") or for scam artists ("Not only is 'inside info' (on how to beat the slots) not for sale, it doesn't even exist").
When I first heard the title, I was concerned that Thrifty Gambling would overlap Jean Scott's The Frugal Gambler. I needn't have worried. Where Scott's book targets those who want the most out of comps and slot clubs, Brokopp takes a more relaxed approach to comps, advising players not to pursue them as a primary goal. Take what the casinos will give you, but don't take on extra risk for the sake of comps. That wouldn't be thrifty.
Thrifty Gambling ($13.95, 139 pages, softcover) stands on its own as a practical guide that can help recreational gamblers on a budget get the most bang for their buck.
NEW FROM SCOBLETE: In addition to editing the Get-the-Edge Guides, Scoblete has been busy with his own projects, including his latest book, Forever Craps.
It's been 10 years since Scoblete introduced his friend, the Captain, and his five-count system of craps play in Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos. Now he's back after a decade in which the Captain and Scoblete have both stayed ahead of the game.
The math of the game says that shouldn't happen. No one should be able to beat craps consistently, unless Scoblete is right about his suspicion that some shooters can control the dice just enough to decrease the chances of rolling a 7. The trick is to have your money on the table when these golden shooters come along, while decreasing your risk when ordinary Joes have the dice.
Scoblete's method is the five-count, which has the player watching and waiting through the early rolls through each shooter. By not betting on every roll, the player conserves bankroll, hoping to stay in action until a hot roll comes along.
Do Scoblete's rhythmic rollers and golden shooters really exist? I don't know. But waiting to wager until the shooter makes it to a five-count certainly doesn't hurt the player.
At the very least, it extends play and reduces exposure to the house edge. Those are worthy goals in itself, and if a golden shooter comes along, you're in the chips.
Those who have read Scoblete's other books, including Break the One-Armed Bandits, Best Blackjack and Armada Strategies for Spanish 21, know he is one of the wittiest, most entertaining gaming writers around. Forever Craps, ($13.95, Bonus Books, 159 pages, softcover) is a must for any craps player.
Books mentioned in this review:Thrifty Gambling by John G. Brokopp
Forever Craps by Frank Scoblete
The Frugal Gambler by Jean Scott
Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos: How to Play Craps and Win! by Frank Scoblete
Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
Best Blackjack by Frank Scoblete
Armada Strategies for Spanish 21 by Frank Scoblete
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
Best of Frank Scoblete