With the explosion of casino gambling in North America­operating in 32 states­gambling entertainment is becoming a cannibal enterprise of Wal-Martian proportions. What better way to preface this book than by letting a casino soothsayer, with his set of talking points, tell you the way it really is.
"The slot machine entertainment business targets everybody. Money's money. What's the difference if it's a social security check, a welfare check, a stock dividend check?" "When we put 50 machines in, I always consider them 50 more mousetraps. You have to do something to catch a mouse." "It's our duty to extract as much money from the customers as we can and send them home with a smile on their face." ­ Bob Stupak, Casino Owner

After reflecting on Stupak's words, do you really think you stand a chance against the Lords of Chance? If you are one of the uneducated 95% making your "contribution" to the neon arcade, you'll end up one way-a casino fatality. But if everyone who gambled followed the guidelines in this book, every casino would be forced to close its doors. Better yet, follow this one golden nugget of advice; Only make casino bets that have a house advantage of two percent or less, Las Vegas, Atlantic City and every saw dust joint in between would be boarded up in six months. This is why casino operators don't want you to read this book. They would much prefer uneducated players making dumb wagers, bets that have a house edge higher than the interest you pay on your Visa card.

Can I prove beyond a reasonable doubt that casino operators much prefer the Tootsie-Pop crowd, known as "a sucker's born every minute" club? Yep! Go into a casino and try counting cards at blackjack. Casino operators will immediately stop your play dead in its tracks. They simply don't want you to use any of your God-given gray matter, not even for the simplest advantage against the house. Absurd as it sounds, that's the truth of it.

It is finally time for you to let somebody else pay the light bills. It's time for you to learn to beat the odds. If you are going to gamble, you should be as well informed as possible. Deal Me In will give you all information necessary to enable you to make the best bets and play the best strategies. Instead of playing against the odds, you'll play like a winner. Only by learning the insider tricks can you come out dollars ahead. You will learn from hundreds of mistakes that my readers have made, from gamblers who desperately needed help. I'll show you, question by question, the most important gambling principles you need to know. You will be armed with tips that will immediately strengthen your gambling prowess. And that, my friends, is what my columns have always been about-educating the player and playing to win. So with great pleasure I invite you to join in the conversation.

One final note. Over the past few years I have received numerous letters from readers who do not gamble at all. One editor of a newspaper who carries Deal Me In told me that half of his correspondence from readership have never set foot in a casino. They enjoy the column for the insider information-for my sins I spent my 18-year penance working in these grind joints-and because all gambling questions, whether technical, societal, philosophical or what's my favorite buffet in Las Vegas, are open to discussion in my Q&A forum.

So occasionally I will answer questions on the lottery, sweepstakes, bingo, kitchen table poker, even carnival games of chance. As long as it's your hard-earned money at risk, no question, on any form of gambling, is trivial to me.

Mark Pilarski