Over the last two decades, David Sklansky has been one of the most prolific as well as one of the most engaging gambling writers. During this time, little in the gambling world has escaped his attention. Nowhere is this more evident than in Getting the Best of It. In this book Sklansky covers an exceptionally broad range of gambling topics including, but by no means limited to, poker, blackjack, horse racing, and even keno.
Sklansky’s first section covers mathematics. Most of these topics are pretty elementary, but if the reader doesn’t understand them, they’ll have a hard time making any money gambling. As Sklansky point out, even the math adverse would be well advised to expend the energy to understand the essays in this section. Two of the essays are likely to be of interest even to someone who already understands basic probability theory. One of these essays covers Bayes’ Theorem, the other is titled “An Interesting Dice Proposition”.
In the next section, Sklansky covers what most folks would consider his forte, the game of poker. In my opinion, this set of 12 essays represents some of the best brief ideas ever written about the game. I don’t agree with absolutely every detail Sklansky writes about here, but every essay contains at least one, and usually more than one, engaging thought. In my opinion, these essays are excellent in promoting “thinking practice” among readers. If one uses these essays as examples of how a player can think about situations they encounter, I would all but guarantee that this would bring about significant improvement in one’s play.
Section three covers blackjack. Again, I mostly agree with everything Sklansky has to say. At this point, most, but not all, of these topics have been discussed in other sources in the gambling literature, but that doesn’t mean that this information isn’t worthwhile. Of the six sections in this book, the one on blackjack is probably weakest, but I still found it worthwhile. Section four covers other casino games, including the only significant analysis of “crapless craps” I can recall seeing …