The Basics Of Winning Poker, by Avery Cardoza
When this book considers itself a work on the basics of winning poker, the writer really does mean the basics. It is hard to imagine a book on poker strategy being both more broad than this in terms of the varieties of poker that it discusses or more bare-bones when it comes to the sort of winning strategies it encourages. Clearly written for beginners, anyone who has more than novice level understanding of the game of poker in any of its varieties will be looking for more than this book provides, but for those who are rank amateurs this book is certainly a sign that someone wants to get better and not be a fish who is simply outclassed by everyone else at the table. And that desire for “professional improvement” as a poker player is something that by and large ought to be encouraged for anyone you are not playing poker with personally. While the book was basic, I learned some things from the book, namely about varieties of poker that I have never played personally nor seen played in person or on television, and any book that I can learn from, even one as basic as this, is doing at least something right.
This short quarto volume of just a bit more than 50 pages begins with a short introduction and then discusses various types of poker games based on their format and betting structures and whether they are high, low, or high-low in terms of what hands pay off. After that the author discusses some basics of poker in terms of position at the table, chips and money, starting bets, the player’s options, betting etiquette, and so on. The author then moves into discussing draw, seven card stud, Texas Hold ‘Em (the poker variety I am most familiar with playing and watching personally), and Omaha. These very basic guides, which do not give any information on tells but provide advice on which hands are worth betting in based on one’s position and one’s knowledge of whether the other betters in a given hand are tight or loose, are probably sufficient for novices but more experienced players will want more in-depth discussion. The author then closes with some short chapters on tournament poker, online poker, seven rules for winning poker, and some comments on money/chip management before including a short glossary for the reader.