cover image The Gambler's Guide to the World

The Gambler's Guide to the World

Jesse May, Author Broadway Books $17.5 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7679-0552-7

""Flexibility is a key ingredient in the makeup of a gambler. One card, one word, or one bet can change an entire night, and small decisions can affect an entire vacation... my general rule of thumb is adapt on the fly and don't ignore your first instincts,"" declares May in this hybrid casino guide and travel narrative. A passionate and intrepid gambler who writes for publications like Poker Digest and High Stakes, and is also the author of the novel Shut Up and Deal, May has trotted the globe from Amsterdam and Aruba to Helsinki and Vegas, gambling all the way. Each chapter opens with a ""Lay of the Land,"" an overview of a city or country, followed by recommendations on flights, currency, hotels (phone numbers and e-mail addresses are provided), climate, restaurants, local Internet access, entertainment, nightlife, beaches and golf courses. His reviews of individual casinos cover games offered, variations in rules, dealer-tipping policies, decor and design, languages spoken, and food and drink, with stories of his own wins and losses shuffled in. In addition, May summarizes familiar and unfamiliar casino games (baccarat, craps, rommy--a variation of blackjack played in Costa Rica) and offers sidebars on such offbeat attractions as Wurlitzer organ concerts, a metal horse-racing game and cockfighting. (Dec. 5)