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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Browsing through the Bookstore

17 December 2003

It's time to start thinking about the casino fan on your holiday gift list. A book is always a great idea, especially one that not only entertains but also informs. With that in mind, I'd like to pass along a couple of recommendations of new releases from two of the country's most respected publishers of gambling related titles.

The first is More Frugal Gambling (Huntington Press Publishing, Las Vegas, Nevada), written by Jean Scott and her daughter Angela Sparks. Scott, widely known in casino gambling circles as the "Queen of Comps", has come up with a worthy 406-page sequel to The Frugal Gambler, which ranks as one of the best selling gambling books of all time.

As was the case with her first book, More Frugal Gambling outlines strategies for getting the most value out of your casino visits. For her second go around, she expands on the concepts detailed in her first book and introduces readers to some new frugal gambling techniques.

Scott's books are entertaining reading for all people who enjoy the casino scene, but her methods for squeezing every nickel of value from the money she bets are not for everybody. She makes a business out of frugal gambling, something a lot of people don't have the time or the inclination to do.

Scott and her husband have the good fortune of living in Las Vegas, where there are a multitude of casinos to target along with a multitude of direct mail offers, promotions, and complimentary meals and rooms from which to choose.

They also have the luxury of being able to gamble whenever they want for as long as they want. This excerpt from her new book will give you an idea not only of how much time the couple invests in frugal gambling, but also how much they must bet:

"We local Las Vegas gamblers call bounce-back mailings our 'welfare-checks'. The first of every month I spend a good chunk of time scheduling my bounce-back cash excursions, since they always have a specified pickup time, ranging from one day only to a usual period of three to four days and occasionally all month. The best and most regular bounce-back checks come from the locals casinos, and you can get many of them only if you have a local address. In a good month, Brad and I receive upwards of $1,500 in bounce-back cash."

Anybody who gambles knows that $1,500 in cash-back vouchers in a month represents a whole lot of time in front of the machines. More Frugal Gambling is nevertheless an entertaining and often times lighthearted look at the casino world through the eyes of a woman who loves to gamble and derive satisfaction from milking the casino marketing machines.

The second book is The Lottery Book: The Truth Behind the Numbers (Bonus Books, Santa Monica, California). This book is written by someone who knows the ins and outs of the "numbers rackets" known as state lotteries. Don Catlin holds a Ph.D. in mathematics and has worked as a consultant doing analysis of new casino games for various slot machine manufacturers around the globe.

Prof. Catlin cannot tell you how to win the lottery, but he will make anyone who plays the Daily Game, Pick Four, Little Lotto, Lotto, the mega-millions multi-state games and even an occasional "scratch-off" much better informed regarding just what they're up against when they plunk down some hard earned cash.

The Lottery Book is the first practical treatise on a subject which has for so long been confined to a "dream book" mentality. Prof. Catlin is a proven "numbers scientist" who'll guide you through a course on the nature of the games, the math behind them, and how to play them.

You'll have a ready reference guide to the various state lotteries around the country and how to figure the odds against you, as well as the cerebral ammunition necessary to arm you with the knowledge to determine when a jackpot reaches what the author calls a "positive expectation" bet.

There's also some very entertaining reading about people who have won huge lottery jackpots and went on to use the money to live life to the fullest, as well as winners whose lottery riches became the gateway to nightmares.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp