Try this essential guide to poker

Dec 11, 2006 11:45 PM

Sheree Bykofsky have written a solid, must-read (by house and players) guide titled The Rules of Poker: Essentials for Every Game (276 pages, hard bound, $13.95), which should help reduce stress and help settle arguments everywhere, from home poker games to the biggest cash games or tournaments. One great strength of the book is that actual situations are re-created by players and dealers. This may help explain how important a good dealer and solid, understanding card room management earn their keep and what pressures they face each day.

There are many major parts to the book: The House, General Rights and Procedures; The House: Game-Play Management; Player Conduct, Etiquette and Integrity; The Deck and Cards; Betting Structures. These are followed by Rules of the Games including major material on Hold ”˜em and Omaha plus Pineapple, Crazy Pineapple and Tahoe; Stud games; Split games; Razz; Five Stud; Mississippi Seven Card Stud; Draw and Lowball; California Lowball; Deuce to Seven Triple Draw; Ace to Five Triple Draw. There’s a major section on tournaments including rules, plus coverage of cash games; side pots, exposing cards with action pending, English-only rule, keeping chips visible, and penalties for infractions, re-buy tournaments. A final, small but fascinating section discusses rules the authors would like to see changed including short buy-ins, triggering kill pots, asking to see called hands and the always controversial "f-word rule."

This is a pocket-sized or palm-sized book (which makes it a good stocking stuffer) so it’s easy to keep in a jacket pocket. It contains a 12-page index. The authors wrote the book to offer players and management to see what’s fair, what’s best for a variety of situations and what "makes for honest and equitable procedures in managing and playing the game." There are Interpretation Notes scattered throughout the book””helpful in explaining and illuminating procedures””a sort of rationale to help clarify.

Consider this one of the most important and powerful books ever for anyone who loves the game as a player, dealer or overseer.

If this book helps you in one or more situations, it’s paid for itself. Easy reading, larger print, a good gift item for any level player.

The book and more is available at the Gambler’s Book Shop (Gambler’s Book Club) in Las Vegas. The store’s web site is or call toll free, 1-800-522-1777.