Wizard
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Wizard
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April 19th, 2012 at 1:12:15 PM permalink
We just lost one of the most influential gambling writers. From the Las Vegas Review Journal: Edwin Silberstang, author and gambling expert, dies.

Silberstang was one of the most prolific gambling writers. I have his Winner's Guide to Casino Gambling on my self. Of all the authors who cover the all the major games, Silberstang was among the best, if not THE best. He was outstanding with the English language and was good at mixing in personal stories with the dry rules and odds of the games.

When I first created my Odds site I used Silberstang's book as a reference. His style of covering as many games as possible, with a mixture of math and autobiography, probably had a big impact on my own site and style, now that I pause and think about it.

There are a few things I take issue with Silberstang about. For one thing, using variants of the word "win" for titles in books of games you can't win at, without cheating, like Winning Casino Craps. He also did not include ties in his house figures sometimes, as in the case with baccarat. I find that to be an outdated way, going back to John Scarne, of defining it. His basic blackjack basic strategy also had some minor errors, on borderline plays. However, these are all extremely minor compared to the overall good he did for players. No two gambling writers are going to agree on absolutely everything, including matters of style.

The LVRJ article mentioned his son is Avery Cardoza. I didn't know that until now. It also says he lived in Henderson. At the Global Gaming Expo several years ago I met him and we had a friendly chat. Very nice guy. RIP.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
bushman
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April 19th, 2012 at 1:31:06 PM permalink
Sad to hear that. I know when I first started out in the playing of casino games, Craps was always interesting to me, but I was "scared" to play it. I picked up his Winning Casino Craps and studied and studied it. I read it so much, I broke the spine of the book. I used it as my play for a long time.

Quite interesting to know that Avery Cardoza was his son. I have a number of his books, too.

RIP.
Never count your winnings at hour 23 of a 24-hour drive.
EvenBob
EvenBob
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April 19th, 2012 at 2:21:03 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

For one thing, using variants of the word "win" for titles in books of games you can't win at, without cheating, like Winning Casino Craps. .



I read several of his books years ago. He has 'winning' in like half
his titles, and he never ever tells you how to win. Its very misleading.
He tells you how to play, and how to get comped, but he has no idea
how to win, if he did he'd be doing it. It says in blurbs that he's a
'professional gambler' but it never says at what. Whats his game?
He was a NY lawyer and came west, was he a poker player? Does
anybody know?
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
Nareed
Nareed
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April 19th, 2012 at 2:35:43 PM permalink
It's very sad when someone you admire dies.

Quote: Wizard

There are a few things I take issue with Silberstang about. For one thing, using variants of the word "win" for titles in books of games you can't win at, without cheating, like Winning Casino Craps.



Don't blame him too much for that. Including "win" in the title is the way to sell such books. If he gave sound advice in it, that's enough.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Wizard
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Wizard
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April 19th, 2012 at 2:37:09 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

I read several of his books years ago. He has 'winning' in like half his titles, and he never ever tells you how to win.



Considering the body isn't even cold yet, I thought your post was rather harsh. You can see from my own post I don't approve of some of his titles either, but I tried to put on my velvet glove in how I said it. Silberstang would probably say it was just a little puffery to sell the book, and everybody should know to have a little skepticism about such things.

No, I don't know what his game was, but he wrote books on sports and poker, so maybe one of those.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
EvenBob
EvenBob
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April 19th, 2012 at 2:49:33 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Considering the body isn't even cold yet, I thought your post was rather harsh.



Well, I bought his books with winning in the title
because I thought they would tell me how to win.
When they didn't, I was kinda pissed. I never
bought any others. So if I sounded harsh, its
because my experience wasn't the greatest. But
he did publish 45 books on gambling, how many
people have done that. Now its driving me crazy
on what he was a pro gambler at. Dang..
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
pacomartin
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April 19th, 2012 at 3:10:12 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Considering the body isn't even cold yet, I thought your post was rather harsh.



Just looking at the introduction to his book, I would agree that it is puffery. He says you "can" win, but the house will still have a small edge that is the payment for running a game. In another place when describing the "don't pass" he says the 12 is "barred" because otherwise the player would have an edge.

Considering the amount of outright deception in the world, I consider the use of the word "winning strategy" as long as you clearly state that the edge remains with the house, as relatively minor zealotry.
teddys
teddys
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April 19th, 2012 at 4:21:38 PM permalink
Be careful what you do or say about the dead
Because if you are rude, it reflects on them.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
MrV
MrV
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April 19th, 2012 at 5:23:15 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Well, I bought his books with winning in the title because I thought they would tell me how to win. When they didn't, I was kinda pissed.



Surely, you jest.
"What, me worry?"
98Clubs
98Clubs
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April 19th, 2012 at 6:51:04 PM permalink
I also owned a copy of WINNERS GUIDE TO CASINO GAMBLING, and found it to be an excellent read and well-informed. It was the second book I purchased, after Revere's PLAYING BLACKJACK AS A BUSINESS. Ed's craps section was truly enlightening to a novice as I once was. I felt prepared to play craps after a few kilo-rolls in practice with pennies as wagers.
I very much agree with the WIZ's write-up, and I would recomment WGCG as a great novice's book... worth every penny invested.

edit: the post above based on OP. After reading the "rest of the story"...
MHO I think Ed Silbestang's games were Poker and Craps, with some 21.
I'm not critical of the titles... its a good hook for a purchase, and the EV is explained.
After a good read, one realizes that most House Advantages remain just that, except for 21. /MHO
Some people need to reimagine their thinking.

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