Reading Maze For Book Reviews

Reading for the Young & Old

A Social, Economic and Cultural History of Bingo

The author of this book led the first study in the UK of the relationship between gambling and debt, as well as an in-depth investigation into whether online social networking changes the attitudes of young people to gambling itself. Consequently Ms Downs is extremely well-qualified to write this well-researched and thoughtful book.

It is a fascinating and revealing read, exploring the relationship between women, bingo and gambling and would appeal to anyone who has an enthusiasm for 20th Century history, sociology or women’s studies.  It is an academic analysis of what is often thought of as a trivial leisure pursuit, but the text is well-researched, clearly written and very accessible for any reader with an interest in the topic.

The book looks at the beginnings of bingo and goes on to investigate the links between its heyday in the 1960s and how it lured many women into gambling. It also investigates the nature of bingo as a ‘game of chance’ and the psychological reasoning behind players’ enjoyment. The book examines the impact of bingo on British culture, the links between bingo and crime, and the widespread use of bingo-related language that has entered our vocabulary.

This is a well-researched and impressively readable book on this sometimes mocked hobby, and is an excellent analysis of the little-explored topic of women and their relationship with gambling.

The Mathematics of Poker, Bill Chen

The poker craze is an ever growing phenomenon with television programmes, high profile celebrity players, online gambling sites and big screen films all focused on it. This widespread interest has led to a surge of people wanting to perfect their poker skills and this book examines a key aspect of doing just that — understanding the maths of the game.

Over the years, there have been a number of techniques employed by players to improve their success at the game but recently, computer science and applied mathematics have been the preferred way to affect a game’s outcome.  Many of these techniques are available online but can be difficult to find, and this book covers all the theory in one exhaustive guide.

Some of the concepts outlined in this book may appear a little complex at first glance, but it is worth persevering if you have an interest in game theory and probability.  It is more of a text book than a reference book, but readers will find the end results very rewarding, learning skills that are not only useful in poker but transferable to other subjects and activities.  The scientific foundation is in evidence throughout the book, with models and methods set out in a ‘classroom’ style, and case studies explaining how to play different types of hand. The book also explores bluffing techniques and how to prevent other players from exploiting you.

This is a great guide for the dedicated poker player who really wants to improve their skills and chances of winning.

Spread Betting the Forex Markets: An expert guide to spread betting the foreign exchange markets

The financial trend of spread betting and foreign exchange trading is a hot topic for the financially astute.  Although both have been around for several years, the development in online financial technology has led to a number of people choosing this as a viable option for making some serious money.  This book guides readers through what can be a very complex subject in a clear and easy to understand way.

The book begins by talking about the basics of spread betting, as well as detailing the reasons why trading in a large range of markets has become so popular. The book then moves on to explain all there is to know about the forex markets, including information on what makes currency prices move throughout the day, as well as how you can trade forex using spread betting.

The book provides some effective yet simple strategies for trading, which can be used to start out in spread betting at a level of risk that is acceptable to you. Potential pitfalls and what to look out for when considering whether to move money are also thoroughly explored.

If you have ever considered entering into the world of forex spread betting, then you will find this book extremely helpful.  As one financial professional, Jeremy Prescott of SIGnet said in his review: “This is a clearly written short introduction to trading FX by a technical analyst who cut his teeth in foreign exchange trading.”

Casino Gambling For Dummies

There is a great deal of satisfaction to be had in mastering casino games.  It is even more satisfying to have some great tips up your sleeve should you ever find yourself in Las Vegas.  This book is not only invaluable for the amateur casino-goer, but it is a really useful reference guide too.  The chapters are laid out very clearly in the familiar friendly and simple ‘… For Dummies’ reading style.

It is an extensive hands-on guide to help those who enjoy casino gambling to avoid big losses and even better, win big money.  There are insider secrets and great hints and tips to advise you on winning at the most popular casino games, such as poker, blackjack, roulette, craps and even the slot machines.  It lists game rules, game pitfalls, and includes a useful guide to the correct jargon.

Some of the most important things it teaches are how to understand the odds, how to manage your money once you have (hopefully) won it, and how to avoid getting caught up in gimmicks.  Keeping up with the times, there is a good section on how to gamble in online casinos and which types of sites to avoid.

Essentially, unless you already know all there is to know about casino gambling, reading this book will give you some great knowledge and valuable tips when playing in casinos.  At 384 pages, it is a very complete guide but there is no need to read it all in one go – the thorough index ensures readers can easily find the specific information they need.