New guides to 'killer' roulette, live poker

Dec 16, 2008 5:03 PM

As casino players continue to shift from slot machines to live games, two new books could hold the secret to winning, if not a better understanding of the games.

Rolf Slotboom’s Secrets of Professional Poker 1: Winning Strategies for Limit Hold’em, No Limit Hold’em and Omaha ($24.95, paperbound, 253 pages) and Carl Sampson’s Killer Roulette ($19.95, paperbound, 202 pages) are two of the newest and best books on each game at Gambler’s Book Shop this week.

One of the most respected players on the circuit, Slotboom cashed in seven events in the 2007 World Series of Poker, which gives a ton of credence to his coverage of professional poker. He starts with a Limit Hold’em section (100 pages) where he focuses on defending the blinds, playing A-K, playing bottom pair, what to look for in starting hands and playing against maniacs. A second section (47 pages) examines the differences between playing Limit versus No Limit Hold’em, including pre-flop play, differences and adjustments, aggression and deception, playing on the later streets, stack size and strategy. The final section on pot-limit Omaha presents the best starting hands, choosing the best seat against a maniac, starting hand selection, bluffing and many sample hands he’s analyzed with rationale behind the decisions.

Since he’s titled this Secrets of Professional Poker 1, we can assume there’s more to come in future books. He’s an excellent writer and player and as Daniel Negreanu says "Rolf always offers a fresh perspective on the game."

Carl "The Dean" Sampson is a former croupier who worked in the industry 10 years. His Killer Roulette will certainly "feed the fires" about whether the game can be beaten through detection of biased wheels and how cheats operate.

Sampson claims he trained a roulette team two years ago and it won more than $100,000 in a six-month period while never being detected. Mixed into the book are accounts of events which happened to players from 2000 to 2006.

Sampson is not a modest guy. He asks "…how many croupiers have the knowledge of roulette and the drive to find out information that’s only for the ears of gaming managers like I’ve done? Not one in a hundred of croupiers have my knowledge of the game."

He may be biased about his knowledge of the biased wheel, but the book is fascinating in the little snippets of information he offers about the difference in wheel manufacture and design, chip stealers, past posters and denomination switches among them.

There’s an interesting analysis of systems like The Martingale, The Labouchere and a colorful, somewhat detailed look at the operation of Czech player Valadimir Granec, who the author and authorities estimate won anywhere from $10 to $50 million dollars at the game. How he did it is guessed at, but some details are provided by Sampson.

Overall, this is a good addition to your gaming library if you’re interested in the game of roulette and all the attempts throughout history to beat the game.

These books are available from Gambler’s Book Shop in Las Vegas. The web site is or call toll free at 1-800-522-1777.