There are a lot of people in this world that like to play poker, but don’t really know the ropes. A lot of fun games go on at kitchen tables that don’t look much like what is played in card rooms, and these public games can be extremely intimidating to people thinking about playing in a casino for the first time. Clearly, there is the need for a simple book that bridges the gap, that introduces the basic concepts of poker to a wide audience.

Fundamentals of Poker is a short book that can be easily read by the average reader in less than an hour. It starts with an introduction and a brief history of the game, that for being only two pages long, is fairly thorough. Next, the authors discuss some general guidelines for poker play, including hand rankings, general advice, and common poker etiquette.

The next two sections describe the basics of play of Seven Card Stud and Texas Hold’em, respectively. As these two games are the most commonly played in casinos, they obviously deserve the most attention. While the strategies presented here are extremely simple, they’re about as good as you’re going to get in a maximum of 15 pages in this format.

The book then presents a section on other popular games, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Stud 8, Razz, and Lowball. Needless to say, the strategies listed for each game is even more basic. The book also contains a glossary and a recommended reading list extremely heavy on books published by Two Plus Two Publishing.

I have some quibbles about some of the phrasings of explanations and ป๊อกเด้ง ไฮโล strategies, but these are minor at best. However, I do think the book comes up short on explaining casino decorum. I don’t think ten more pages would have harmed the book any, and extra information on how the house makes its money, how to get on the lists for games, and some more information on how casino games are likely to be different from home games (pace, quality of opposition, etc.) would have been well worth the effort. True, given the variation of procedures in today’s card rooms this isn’t an easy task. Yet, there are enough similarities that such a section could be extremely useful for the novice.

Nonetheless, the book does a very good job of encapsulating the very basics of poker in its small form factor, and I would recommend that just about anyone read it before playing poker in a casino for the first time. However, it’s not quite as much information as I wanted before I made my rookie debut in a card room. There is no real reason for a person who has played poker in a casino before to read this book.

Capsule:

A good book on the basics of the most popular games of poker played in public card rooms today. This book is aimed at the novice poker player, one who has never played in a casino before. However, I found the information on casino procedures to be lacking a little. If you’ve played casino poker already, don’t bother with this book unless you think you’re missing something truly fundamental and you have nobody you feel you can ask.