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Online Casino Poker for Dummies

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Dear Mark,

I find playing poker fascinating, but I'm just getting started. I saw a book called Poker for Dummies (that's me). Would you recommend it? Cal M.

Hey, Cal, my wife states that being a Guy and a Dummy is redundant and should not be used in the same sentence. Anyhow, in an earlier column I mentioned Lou Kreiger's Hold OEm Excellence as my personal favorite for fostering poker skills. I see that Kreiger co-wrote Poker for Dummies with Richard Harroch. Having already thumbed through it, plus being a fan of his witticism and knowledge, I will give it a thumb's up.

Dear Mark,

My wife and I love to go to casinos and we are planning to take a cross-country auto trip this Spring. We know there are many riverboat and Indian casinos throughout the country and we were wondering if there is any kind of publication that could help us locate these casinos as we travel through the various states? Clueless in Brooklyn

Dear Clueless, The best resource I've found for this information is the American Casino Guide by Steve Bourie. Each year since 1992 Bourie has written this comprehensive 400-page book that gives information on on more than 600 casinos in 33 states. The book includes a map of all states showing where each casino is located, plus a detailed listing that includes: hours of operation, toll-free numbers, website addresses, room rates, buffet prices, games offered, availability of senior discounts and any special features of the property. The book also includes stories on the best strategies for playing all casino games (including slots and video poker), plus a coupon section with more than 100 offers for: 2-for-1 buffets and shows, free cash and matchplay money, funbooks, room discounts, etc. The 2002 edition of American Casino Guide sells for $14.95 at bookstores, AAA offices, and

Dear Mark,

I was recently at a garage sale where the host had a slot machine for sale that sort of looked like a cigarette machine. Was he really selling a slot machine? Dave M.

On January 2, 1951, President Truman signed the Johnson Act effectively ending the open operation of slot machines in America except Nevada. Companies like J.H. Keeney, already a pinball and arcade machine maker, tried beating the Johnson Act by fashioning the Keeney Mountain Climber upright that resembles today's cigarette vending machine. Visually it did get around the laws governing mechanical 3-reel slots, and yes, Dave, it is a true one-armed bandit.

Dear Mark,

Next month I have a business trip planned for New Haven, CT. I have some free time available and will do some gambling at Foxwoods. Do they offer the same games that normally exist where I play When I ask anyone, even in the gaming industry, to name the most successful casino in America, they always respond with the Mirage, Caesar's or something "The Donald" owns in Atlantic City.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. It's the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe's gambling joint, Foxwoods, at Ledyard, Connecticut. And although the tribe had to cut a multi-million dollar deal with the state to allow slot machines in exchange for slot revenue, it is the most profitable casino in the country, if not the world. So what you will find at Foxwoods is anything and everything that you would find in Reno, David, minus sports betting. Games offered at Foxwoods are: blackjack, roulette, craps, big-six wheel, bingo, poker, baccarat, mini-baccarat, simulcast pari-mutuel betting, Caribbean stud poker, pai gow poker, red dog, pull tabs and chuck-a-luck.

Gambling thought of the week:
"As for sports betting, think of it like playing craps. It seems intimidating but the basic bets are pretty easy to follow. And it can be as much fun as Jenna Bush at a Mexican restaurant."

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