Books about Poker Chips and crap odds

Sep 9, 2008 6:59 PM

Book Reviews by Howard Schwartz | Have an old collectible chip and wondering about when the place that issued it opened or closed and where it was located as far back as the 1930s?

Need a craps book to steer you to smarter bets or one which explains the various bets including odds and wrong bets?

The late, great Harvey Fuller, who is revered as one of the most respected and authoritative chip collectors of our time, compiled a book which has just been reprinted after being unavailable for years. Index of Nevada Gaming Establishments: 1931-1981 (56 pages, 8x11 plastic spiralbound, $30), lists gaming establishments by name in alphabetical order, then by city, with lists of what games were available at the time (including some obsolete ones like faro, barbouti, hazzard, Klondike and chuck-a-luck).

Its a fine historical resource, for collectors and those who may have heard from friends or relatives about long gone, colorful houses of action.

Michael Kochan has written an interesting, although somewhat fundamental book titled Secrets of Professional Sports Betting: 88 Powerful Winning Concepts for Making Money at Football, Basketball, Baseball, Hockey and More (252 pages, 5x8 paperbound, $19.95).

Published in late summer 2008, the book discusses the pointspread, money line, totals wagers, money management, maintaining discipline, keeping records, making quality bets, parlays, halftime bets, middling and the coaching factor. There are 17 pages on betting pro football including the importance of the starting quarterback, the impact of injuries and road teams.

Four pages are devoted to baseball, 20 to pro basketball, two for college hoops betting and one each for hockey and tennis.

No-Nonsense Craps: The Consummate Guide to Winning at the Crap Table by Richard Orlyn (100 pages, 5x8 paper bound, $12.95) is an excellent choice for those who needs an update or refresher course on the smartest bets compared to the best ones, their odds, the House edge and table etiquette.

In 16 detailed chapters, the author rationalizes which bets are even worth considering, and explains why while providing illustrations and definitions.

With hockey around the corner, the Sporting News Hockey magazine (144 pages, $7.99) gives both player and fantasy leaguer a big informational boost. Home vs. away games, rosters, including birth dates, height, weight, who they played for last season and goaltender stats are listed.

The stores website is You may order using MasterCard, VISA or Discover (no CODs please) or by phoning 1-800-522-1777 any day except Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. Orders are usually shipped the next working day. The store, now in its 44th year, is located at 630 S. 11th St., Las Vegas, NV 89101.