Megan Harlan
March 29, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

Thursday-night Poker: How to Understand, Enjoy -- and Win

Current Status
In Season
Peter Q. Steiner
Random House

We gave it an A-

Geared toward amateur, but regular, poker players, Peter O. Steiner’s sharp, good-humored manual Thursday-night Poker: How to Understand, Enjoy — and Win differs from the typical how-to-win-big-bucks-at-poker books, since he values, above all, the game’s fun factor. ”People play poker, they don’t engage in it, work at it or suffer through it..,” That said, money is the method of keeping score, and Steiner keenly dissects the game with a dollar sign in mind. Along with clearly explained rules, the author offers strategy and tactics tailored to the six most popular games, including five-card stud and seven-card Hi-Lo. He also stresses how to handle fellow players, from ”reading” their cards to dealing with cheaters. A longtime economics and law professor, Steiner goes a little heavy on calculating probability and pot odds for the average amateur, though he does so in digestible, layman’s terms. Throughout, his love for the game is infectious.

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