Review of The Frugal Gambler

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Probably the most famous casino “low roller” is Jean Scott, dubbed the Queen of Ku Pon by the Las Vegas Advisor. Ms. Scott even demonstrated her skill (and won a car) for CBS’s 48 Hours TV show. If there is anyone who knows how to get more for less in the Las Vegas system, I can’t imagine who it might be.

I was wondering what she’d write about, seeing as how the “getting something for nothing in Las Vegas” literary genre was already pretty well covered. What new tricks would the Queen tell us about? What new information will bring me up to date? What does she know that I don’t?

The book is very realistic about what it takes to get ahead. It’s also very accommodating to various readers’ preferences and styles. If one doesn’t want to play exclusively positive expectation video poker, she tells the reader how to get as far as possible playing the slots, or craps, or whatever the reader might want to do. Scott is very up front that this is still gambling, and one can still lose more than what one might expect. At the same time there is some serious good advice about how to read slot clubs, how to ask casino employees for what one wants, and what to read for the best advice on how to play a winning game of video poker.

Despite this good advice, and it is sound and well delivered, there isn’t as much new information here as the reader might have hoped. A lot of this information is already present in Anthony Curtis’ Bargain City and Jeffrey Compton’s The Las Vegas Advisor Guide to Slot Clubs. If one has already read these books, I’m not sure there’s enough new here to be worth the time and energy. Again, nothing here is bad and there is new information, just not enough for me to overwhelmingly recommend reading this book.

New topics Scott does cover include how (and why) to get bumped from an airline flight, tips to longer term (more than a week) stays in Las Vegas, and taking advantage of Slot Gacor casino promotions. If any of this information is of particular interest, that would be enough to push me to truly recommend this book. Otherwise, it’s good only if the other two books mentioned above aren’t already familiar. It’s also worthwhile to note that very little of the book is specific to the here and now. As long as casinos continue to provide full pay video poker machines and slot clubs, the information in this book will retain its value.

This is a good book about how to get the most from Las Vegas by receiving comps. The advice in this book is sound and it communicates its ideas well, but it doesn’t add a whole lot new on the topic. There are good ideas here, and if one doesn’t already understand how to use the comp system to offset the costs of a Las Vegas vacation, The Frugal Gambler is a very good value. Otherwise, the book provides significant new information only on a few select topics.


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