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Dancer's in step with new video poker book

Feb 10, 2009 5:04 PM
Book Reviews by Howard Schwartz |

His name is well-known in video poker circles, and Bob Dancer, who has created software, books and strategy cards, has begun the new year with a solid, fresh book on the games. Titled Video Poker for the Intelligent Beginner (237 pages, paper bound, $24.95), the book does not cover advanced strategy for any one game, but Dancer says if you follow his advice in his newest work you’ll have an easier time with his Winner’s Guide series that offer that extra material.

Few books have been written on video poker in recent years, possibly because of the ever-changing variations and paybacks that appear on casino floors, so this title is quite timely. It focuses on important steps to winning such as how to choose the right machine and the correct way to evaluate slot clubs and promotions. Packed with helpful color charts and requiring some expertise in mathematics, the book breaks down into three categories: No Wild Cards; Deuces Wild variations and Joker Wild variations.

In those three segments we find almost three dozen games under scrutiny starting with Jacks or Better and Bonus Poker and moving on to Double Bonus, Triple Bonus Poker Plus, Double Double Bonus, Royal Aces Bonus, Double Deuces, Loose Deuces, Deuces Bonus and numerous Joker Wild variations.

Two of the more interesting chapters examine play-of-the-hand errors and playing progressive machines. One vital chapter discusses bankroll and money management while another zeroes in on how to scout the machines, how teams operate and what to expect if your desire is to enter video poker tournaments.

Mathematicians will enjoy Dancer’s section on volatility, variance and standard deviation along with how strategies are determined.

The book is nicely indexed for categories and topics should you wish to find topics like binomial theorem, cashback, all variations of Deuces Wild, meter speed or point multipliers for example. The writing and editing of this book is some of the best you’ll ever see, with a great balance of charts, tables and sample hands to help clarify a point or principle.

Any item reviewed here is available from Gambler’s Book Shop (Gambler’s Book Club). The store’s web site is You may order online or by phoning the store any day except Sunday at 1-800-522-1777.