Lenny Frome passed away in 1998, but not before leaving behind an enduring legacy as a gambling writer. Frome was the author of several books and countless articles on video poker. He was one of the most well-respected experts on this game, as well as others. This is a review of one of his most popular books, Winning Strategies for Video Poker.
Winning Strategies for Video Poker is a simple book. It opens with a list of pay tables for various games, what the game pays by following the proper strategy, and the page in this book on which the proper strategy for the game in question can be found. This chart is very useful when one encounters a given pay table for the first time on a video poker machine. It would be nice if the list also included common names for games with that pay table, being able to easily identify which pay schedules are commonly called “Bonus Poker” would be handy, but because that would have taken up a lot of extra room, omitting this information is a stylistic choice I can live with. The common names for most pay schedules are listed with the strategy for that game, and that’s good enough. The book also contains an explanation of the terminology used and a glossary, both of which are useful.
The bulk of the book is devoted to describing the proper strategy for various video poker games. All the well-known games are listed here, Jacks or Better, Double Bonus, Deuces Wild, etc.. Strategies for full pay and short pay schedules are included. Strategies for more obscure games are also listed, such as All American Poker, Tens or Better, Double Joker Wild, and many others. Well over 50 strategies for different games are listed in this book.
Of course, some of these games aren’t very popular any more, and new Qiu Qiu Online games have shown up since the publication of the book whose strategies aren’t listed. A reader who primarily plays in Las Vegas won’t need a strategy table for 6-5 Jacks (I would hope!), and an Atlantic City visitor doesn’t have any use for full pay Deuces Wild information. I don’t see a lot of Tens or Better games around any more. However, the book was designed to be complete, and having pay tables that aren’t needed doesn’t hurt.
The biggest downside to this book is that it is largely replaced by Tom Ski’s Video Poker Strategy Master software, which will calculate a very strong strategy given a game’s pay table. However, the book is still useful, especially for those who prefer paper to silicon. Winning Strategies for Video Poker probably isn’t the first VP book the advantage player wants to buy, that’s almost certainly Dan Paymar’s Video Poker — Optimum Play, but it’s a good choice as the second book.
Lenny Frome’s Winning Strategies for Video Poker is little more than a listing of solid strategies for over 50 different video poker games. Some of these games aren’t very common any more, and every one of them won’t be found in every gambling jurisdiction, but there are enough strategies listed to make the book generally useful just about everywhere. I wouldn’t recommend it as a first book on video poker, but it is a useful book.