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Welcome Aboard!9 June 1999
Casino gambling is fun. It's my hobby. There's a good chance it's your hobby too. Even most advantage players, such as blackjack card counters who play with an edge over the casinos, are hobbyists to be sure. Certainly very few people can actually make a living at casino gambling, even if they gamble with an edge. It is also certainly true that very few people can make a living at stamp collecting, or coin collecting, or tennis, or golf, or pool, or any other hobby that individuals pursue for fun and, maybe, some profit.
The casinos would prefer that no one have an edge over them. You can't blame them. That's like offering a product that costs more to produce than it does to sell. No businessman would want to sell a candy bar for one dollar that cost him $1.10. He wouldn't be in business very long.
So, of course, casinos try to structure their games so that they have the edge on almost every bet. Fair enough. But when you analyze casino games, you are immediately struck by two facts: 1.) there are better bets and better ways to make these bets, and 2.) there are worse bets. Even in games where the casino can't be beaten by any legal means, say, Let It Ride, there are better strategies to employ and worse strategies to employ. Employ the better ones and you have a better shot at winning; employ the worst ones and you have a better shot at losing.
But there is more to the world of the casino hobbyist than just the games. There is the whole experience of going to a casino; hearing the casino sounds, the shouts of the winners, the groans and grumbles of the losers, the jingle, jangle music of the slots; smelling that casino pheromone - a mixture of adrenaline, smoke, and alcohol; seeing all the lights and people and action. The casino hobbyist loves the whole experience of casinos and, like a true hobbyist, he or she wants to read about everything to do with his or her passion.
That's where we come in. The folks at RGT Online and I have made an agreement to bring you the very best online casino gaming magazine in the world. This site will cover everything of interest to the casino gaming hobbyist. As I write this welcome, my editor, John Robison, and I have lined up some 25 of the very best writers in the business today...and we intend to add more in the future. They will be writing about everything: all the games, all the machines, the best bets, the best strategies, the best deals, the best anecdotes, the best inside information they can uncover. They'll give their opinions and commentary. Not everyone will agree with everyone else. I like that; there's no orthodoxy here. You'll get a real diversity of opinion on these pages. I'll be contributing my two cents every so often as well.
We'll also be offering our "outrageous discount" specials (look under "Today's Special") on books, tapes and other products. You won't find discounts this deep on gambling products anywhere. In addition, The New Chance and Circumstance's "hottest sellers" list will be posted four times a year and you'll be able to purchase the top selling books directly through us. I will also be offering my opinions on the best books and tapes to buy that don't appear on the hottest sellers list.
And now let me do the introductions of who's who in the RGT Online Gaming pages as presented by Frank Scoblete:
John Robison is the editor of the site. John is probably the world's greatest slot machine authority and his online column will be called "Machinations." He is the author of Inside Atlantic City Slot Clubs (Compton-Dancer Consulting) and the upcoming book, The Truth About Slots (Huntington Press). John is the man who broke the true payout percentages and odds of Megabucks (see the summer 1999 issue of The New Chance and Circumstance magazine). John also writes a video poker column for Midwest Gaming and Travel magazine.
Internet gaming website aficionados will know the next name. The Bootlegger will be writing a column titled "Speakeasy." Bootlegger has earned quite a reputation in cyberspace as an authority on the games and the people who play them. He is also a columnist for The New Chance and Circumstance magazine. I think you'll find his comments enlightening.
Daily Southtown syndicated gaming columnist John Brokopp will be writing his "Odds and Evens" column three times a week. John has 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent.
Math whiz Don Catlin will give us a web version of his "Easy As Pi!" column that appears in The New Chance and Circumstance magazine. Don is a Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. In his business Technigame, Don has been doing mathematical analyses for gaming developers, much of this work in collaboration with the late Lenny Frome. If you want to explore the math behind the games, this is the man for you. And remember this, the players are in the gambling business, the casinos are in the math business! Don will explain why.
Video Poker is the fastest growing segment of the casino games market and we have two of the very best video poker experts writing for RGT online Gaming, Bob Dancer and Skip Hughes.
Bob Dancer, the premier video poker authority in the world, will be writing his "Video Poker for Winners" column. In addition to writing for The New Chance and Circumstance magazine, Bob writes for many of the top magazines in the business, including Casino Player, Strictly Slots and The Las Vegas Advisor. Bob has written the definitive strategies for many of the most popular video-poker games in the casinos.
>Skip Hughes needs no introduction, especially to those of you who tour the Internet gaming sites. Skip's site (vid-poker.com) attracts thousands of interested video poker enthusiasts every month. Skip has his own newsletter, Video Poker Player, and he writes for many of the top magazines in the business including Strictly Slots and The New Chance and Circumstance. His column is called "Video Poker Perspective."
If you have been reading RGT Online already, then you no doubt know Larry Edell, who will continue to do his "The Crapshooter" columns. Larry is the author of Tina Trapp's Guide to Craps and How to Make Your Living Playing Craps. He also is the editor of The Crapshooter newsletter, a quarterly devoted to craps aficionados.
Although Las Vegas is amply represented on the web, Atlantic City devotees are not quite as lucky. But smile, be happy, because we will be bringing you current information on your favorite casinos by the sea. These will be brought to you by Mike Epifanio, the managing editor of Atlantic City Magazine. Mike's column will be called "A.C. by the Sea."
We are happy to announce that Mr. Midwest gaming himself, John Grochowski, will be writing a twice-weekly column titled "The Answer Man." This is an apt title as he is the author of two best-selling books The Casino Answer Book (Bonus Books) and, the recently released, The Slot Machine Answer Book (Bonus Books). John writes a twice-weekly column for The Chicago Sun Times, in addition to writing for many of casino gaming's best magazines including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Casino Executive, Chance: The Best of Gaming, and The New Chance and Circumstance.
Need to smile? Need to lighten up a little after fighting those darn machines? Then you'll love Larry Mak's column "Slotpourri," a collection of anecdotes and jokes about those infernal one-armed bandits. Larry is the author of Secrets of Modern Slot Playing.
Now, let me introduce you to three gaming writers whose faces you will never see. Why? Because they are advantage players first, writers second, and wouldn't the casinos love to know what they look like! Remember what I said about most people not making a living at this wonderful gambling hobby of ours? Well, these three fellows are just the opposite. Writing is their hobby and gambling is their main thing. The first is John May, author of the brilliant, though incorrectly titled, Baccarat for the Clueless (Carol Publishing). John will be writing an online version of his "Advantage Play" column that appears in The New Chance and Circumstance magazine.
Fred Renzey is a professional poker and blackjack player. He is the author of The Blackjack Bluebook: The Right Stuff for the Serious Player (Chicago Spectrum Press) and the editor of a monthly blackjack newsletter The Blackjack Mentor. He also writes a regular poker column for Midwest Gaming and Travel magazine. His column is aptly titled "The Gaming Mentor."
Finally, we have a man of mystery, who goes by the moniker Sharpshooter. And what does Sharpshooter do? Why, he changes the odds at craps by controlling the dice! Although Sharpshooter won't be contributing regularly, his articles will appear from time to time under the heading "On the Come Out." And, from time to time I will be discussing ideas of his in the context of my own articles.
My beautiful wife, AP (Alene Paone), will also be on board with her column "Just Ask A.P." And my good friend, Catherine Poe, will have her say about travel across this great and gambling nation of ours. Her column, "On the Go with Poe!", will appear quarterly and it is especially meant for casino players whose spouses or significant others want some non-casino venues to enjoy. Her column will focus on vacation spots that can give you the best of both worlds - locations where casinos can be found but where the be-all and end-all of the locale is not gambling.
A relative newcomer to casino writing but as astute a casino gambler as you'll ever find, Christopher Pawlicki, will be contributing his insights and analyses in his column "All the Angles." Christopher is another player who looks to get an edge, often at games that seem impregnable to such attempts.
Our next individual needs no introduction, as he's been one of the premier gaming writers for the past quarter century or so. In fact, Henry Tamburin will be continuing his column, "Winning Ways," on RGT Online Gaming. Henry is the author of six best-selling books and several best-selling videos on casino games. He also writes for just about every major magazine in the gaming field including Casino Player, Chance: The Best of Gaming, Jackpot, The New Chance and Circumstance and Midwest Gaming and Travel.
In gambling as in religion, you have the orthodox and the outrageous (which is anyone who doesn't go along with the orthodox). That's our next fellow, best-selling author of Blackjack for the Clueless (Carol Publishing), The Experts' Guide to Casino Games (Carol Publishing) and 21st Century Blackjack: A New Strategy for a New Millennium (Bonus Books, fall 1999), Walter Thomason is the maverick of casino gaming. He'll write an online version of his "Wally's Words of Wisdom" column that appears in The New Chance and Circumstance magazine.
One of the all-time greatest authors in the gaming genre is Barney Vinson. His Las Vegas Behind the Tables (Gollehon Publishing), Las Vegas Behind the Tables Part II, Chip-Wrecked in Las Vegas (Mead Publishing) and Casino Secrets (Huntington Press) have set new standards for enjoyment for tens of thousands of gaming readers, myself included. Barney will be joining us with "Barney Vinson's World" and what a world it is!
One of the most popular gaming newspapers in the country is Jackpot!, which comes in two editions, one in Gulfport/Biloxi and one in Tunica. Executive editor Lori Beth Susman will be writing "On the Gulf," a regular column that will give us the skinny on what is happening in that boomtown of a market on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
And finally - for today anyway - I'm proud to announce that the Queen of Comps, Jean Scott, author of the best-selling The Frugal Gambler, and her daughter, Angela Sparks (the newly dubbed Frugal Princess) will be contributing a regular column titled "Notes from the Frugal Underground."
Yes, there will be other writers and other features coming on board, but I have not yet finalized the arrangements. But you will be able to come to this site almost every day (yes, almost EVERY day) and get new information about the games you love to play and the casinos you love to play them in.
If, like me, you enjoy reading about your favorite pastime almost as much as you enjoy doing it, then come to the pages of RGT Online Gaming regularly and enjoy.
Hold the presses!
Just as I was about to have this article posted, I received word from three heavyweight gaming authorities that they would also be joining us here at RGT Online Gaming. They are I. Nelson Rose, the world's leading authority on gaming and the law; Dr. Marvin Karlins, psychologist and best-selling author of The Book Casino Managers Fear the Most and Psyching Out Las Vegas (as well as other nongaming titles); and Arnold Snyder, editor of Blackjack Forum and author of Blackbelt in Blackjack and Blackjack Wisdom, among others. Arnold is also known as "the Bishop" of the First Church of Blackjack. Amen, and, one last time to all our contributors and readers -- welcome aboard!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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