The premier casino gaming consulting firm for two generations.
What is Gambatria?
It is a combination of Gambling and Gematria, which is a system whereby numerical values are assigned to letters and/or words. Gematria usually provides two meanings – the ‘revealed’ form which is the straight numerical equivalent of the word and the ‘mystical’ form generally associated with Kaballah (the mystical branch of Judaism that so engrossed Madonna!) This applies to gambling too. Parts of the math are quickly and easily revealed like the payback. Then there are the parts like the strategy and what to expect that take on a more ‘mystical’ flavor.
The company was founded by Lenny Frome, who revolutionized the casino by developing the first analyses and strategies for video poker. He also had a hand in developing many of the table games you see on the casino floor. Working hand in hand with inventors by refining the math and strategy, Lenny assisted in the creation of Three Card Poker, Let It Ride, Spanish 21 and Caribbean Stud Poker.
Since 1998 when Lenny passed away, the company has been run by his son, Elliot Frome. Elliot has made his own marks in the industry by helping to launch Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker, Mississippi Stud, House Money, Boston 7 Stud, Six Card Pai Gow and Imperial Pai Gow.
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A few months ago, I wrote a column that discussed the value (or lack there of?) of a Suited Hand. It started by discussing the relative value of a suited pocket hand in Texas Hold'em vs. an unsuited hand. It then touched on the topics of 3-Card Flush and 2-Card Royals in video poker. The former is quite unplayable and the latter is just barely playable due to the 800 for 1 payout of the Royal and the added value of the High Cards you would be holding. It also glanced over the 3-Card Straight Flush. The black sheep of video poker hands.
This week's column comes courtesy of a letter I received this past week. A Gaming Today reader ordered a copy of Winning Strategies for Video Poker to help him identify full-pay machines as he and his wife had no clue how to go about finding them. Winning Strategies is actually an excellent choice for this. It really isn't a beginner's book on video poker. For that, I would recommend Expert Video Poker for Las Vegas (or Atlantic City version if you are on the East Coast). These two books will explain everything there is to know about video poker. It will go through the process of explaining why we play the hands the way we do, what expected value is and help with finding some of the right machines. Winning Strategies on the other hand, simply lists out 60+ different paytables, let you know what the payback of those paytables are and provide you with the strategy table for each. If you don't know what a strategy table is or how do use one, you'd do better with one of the other books.