March 2, 2021

Books to improve your gaming skills

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For most of history, humans have played games as a way to have fun, blow off steam, and spend time with friends. Over the centuries, the types of games have changed somewhat, with some of the oldest surviving games being those that involve cards. 

In the 21st century, by far the most popular games are played on computers, smartphones, and consoles, though millions still enjoy playing board games like Chess, Scrabble, and Monopoly and card games like blackjack and baccarat. 

No matter what your favorite game is, you’ll want to excel at it. After all, it’s fun to play, but it’s also fun to beat your friends. There are plenty of ways to learn different strategies and techniques to improve your skills, with many guides and walkthrough videos published online. 

Sometimes though, the best sources for this are in good old-fashioned books. They provide a medium for authors to go into much more detail than you’d find in a blog post or YouTube video and are much more considered than almost anything you’ll find online. Here are some of the best books for improving your gaming skills. 

How To Be A Better Gamer: 20 Tips To Improve Your Gaming Performance

Video gaming has never been as competitive as it is right now. The growth of esports through games like Dota 2 has helped to showcase what true gaming skill is, whereas 10+ years ago, you’d have only been able to compare yourself to friends.

With the job of “esports athlete” becoming a dream for millions of gamers around the world, it’s no surprise that books have been written for people that want to turn dreams into reality. 

Of course, no single book is going to make all the difference, but James Niles’ How To Be A Better Gamer: 20 Tips To Improve Your Gaming Performance is certainly a step in the right direction. 

It’s currently available on Amazon for free for anyone who has a KindleUnlimited subscription and spans just 24 pages. This makes it a great starting place for anyone looking to play better as you have absolutely nothing to lose from reading it. 

Within Niles’ 20 tips, he covers topics like taking advantage of gameplay settings, improving hand-eye coordination and precision, and getting into “the zone”. Each element can help to give you a tiny edge over your competitors, and when combined together can really take your gaming to the next level.

The Theory of Blackjack: The Compleat Card Counter’s Guide to the Casino Game of 21

Blackjack is a game based entirely on probabilities. It requires players to make a hand as close to 21 as possible without going over that target. There are many strategies and theories relating to blackjack and how to play it optimally, with card counting being the most famous. This technique was brought into the mainstream by the 2008 Hollywood movie 21 which told the story of the MIT Blackjack Team. 

Many authors and academics have studied and discussed the different ways to reduce the house edge while playing blackjack by creating systems that prescribe whether to hit or stand in different situations.  

One of these authors is Peter A. Griffin, whose 1999 book The Theory of Blackjack: The Compleat Card Counter’s Guide to the Casino Game of 21 covers many of the modern card counting systems, analyzes their accuracy, and suggests which ones work best with different numbers of decks in the shoe. 

There’s no fool-proof way to guarantee your success at blackjack or any other casino game, but for those that enjoy having a flutter, Griffin’s book is a math-heavy analysis of this casino favorite. 

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The Monopoly Book

Monopoly is a game that’s caused quite a few arguments among players over its near-100-year history. It seems very simple on the surface: you want to buy as many of the properties as possible to collect as much money from your competitors as you can. 

Yet, this may not be the best way to play Monopoly. Maxine Brady’s The Monopoly Book looks at how to maximize your chance of success with a number of different tactics and strategies. 

It also discusses the history of the game, which, while not strictly useful for improving your skills, is quite interesting.

Like with Griffin’s blackjack book, Brady discusses the statistics that can help you to decide on whether to buy a property in the same set. She’s included rate tables that show the value and return of each square.

It’s a quick and easy read that will help you on your journey to being a true Monopoly monopolist.


NOTE: Gambling is illegal in the Cayman Islands.

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