Best Books On Poker
Before you started playing poker, you probably thought it was mostly luck, a bit of bluffing, and understanding your opponents’ body language. But there’s more depth to it than that. Becoming an excellent poker player requires more than just knowing the basics of the game. One effective way to achieve this is by delving into poker books.
Books offer a comprehensive learning experience about poker, covering everything from understanding hand analysis basics to navigating tournament play intricacies. Yet, given the many poker books and resources available, finding the right one to invest in can feel overwhelming.
The good news for you is that we’ve conducted thorough research and compiled a list of the best books on poker. These recommendations aim to elevate your poker abilities to the next level.
Playing the Player Authored By Ed Miller
The book revolves around understanding your adversaries’ weaknesses and leveraging their strengths, aiding you in adjusting and triumphing with diverse strategies.
Ed Miller illustrates how one can decode other players’ behaviours and implement top players’ tactics to dominate the opposition.
Here’s what you’ll grasp from this book:
- Persuading conservative players to ensure success
- Overcoming aggressive opponents
- Utilizing the aggression of loose players to your advantage
- Assessing opponents, identifying vulnerabilities, and launching attacks
This book boasts a 4.5 rating on Amazon and is a valuable recommendation for intermediate and advanced poker enthusiasts.
The Mental Game of Poker Authored by Jared Tendler
Jared Tendler’s book, “The Mental Game of Poker,” serves as a guide aimed at professional poker players, addressing emotional and mental challenges encountered during the game.
Within the book, Tendler covers topics such as managing variance, addressing tilt, regulating emotions, fostering a winning mindset, and offers personalized exercises to track performance and enhance mental strategies.
Harrington on Hold’em Authored By Daniel Harrington
Daniel Harrington’s “Harrington on Hold’em” stands as one of poker’s most sought-after reads. Penned by the accomplished poker player himself, this book unfolds the strategies that led him to triumph at the 1995 World Series of Poker main event.
Split into three parts:
- Volume I: Strategic Play delves into the basics, covering concepts like calculating pot odds, hand and player analysis, betting techniques, style adjustments, responses to re-raises, and dealing with tough losses. It’s your ticket to mastering early and mid-game rounds in a No-Limit Hold Em tournament, aiming for the final table.
- Volume II: The End Game arms you with advanced tactics for claiming more wins, navigating crucial moments, and boosting your earnings during challenging phases. This volume is your guide to outplaying the world’s top poker pros.
- Volume III: The Workbook includes exercises reinforcing strategies from the preceding chapters, enabling you to internalize and apply these lessons, ultimately refining your poker prowess.
Earning a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, this book is your key to navigating the poker table towards victory.
The Theory of Poker Authored By David Sklansky
David Sklansky’s “The Theory of Poker” serves as the go-to manual for grasping poker’s core principles. Esteemed by both beginners and seasoned players, it comprehensively covers positional advantage, exceptions, bluffing, psychology, game theory, implied odds, slow play, and more.
Despite its 24-year vintage, this book remains the cornerstone of modern poker theory, offering versatile insights applicable across various game types like Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, and Heads-up No-Limit Texas Hold’em.
Elements of Poker Authored By Tommy Angelo
Tommy Angelo’s “Elements of Poker” acts as a holistic guide to the poker domain, focusing less on strategy and more on the psychological aspects, an area where many amateurs falter.
Breaking down critical facets of the game, such as managing your bankroll, playing at your peak, emotional control, recognizing the right time to bow out, and more, Angelo’s engaging and thought-provoking narrative style makes these ideas applicable both on and off the table.
This book not only provides a solid poker foundation but also sparks numerous eye-opening moments throughout your journey.
“Kill Everyone” Authored by Lee Nelson
Lee Nelson’s “Kill Everyone” offers tactical insights into dominating No-Limit Hold Em, highlighting how aggressive play from loose players can revolutionize your strategy.
Nelson, the Austral-Asia grand champion from 2000 to 2005, dissects the early and late stages of play, end game tactics, and cash game dynamics. The book is rich with examples and exercises, facilitating the application of Nelson’s theories in real gameplay.
The second edition of “Kill Everyone” boasts an additional 50 pages, featuring commentary by Bertrand Grospellier and a dedicated chapter on short-stack cash games.
“Winning Poker Systems” Authored by Norman Zadeh
Initially penned for players frequenting public card rooms in 1973 California, “Winning Poker Systems” shed light on poker variations like draw poker, lowball, five-six and seven-card stud, and high-low draw—games legally prevalent in California at the time.
Zadeh, endorsed by esteemed authors like Dan Harrington and David Sklansky, delves into deceptive plays and the psychology behind poker. The book emphasizes critical elements such as position, hand selection, and mastering pot control.
Despite its age, “Winning Poker Systems” remains an invaluable resource catering to players across all skill levels.
“Essential Poker Math, Expanded Edition” Authored by Alton Hardin
“Essential Poker Math” equips players—novices to professionals—with fundamental No-Limit Hold’em mathematical principles. This comprehensive guide teaches how to apply mathematics effectively at the poker table, facilitating strategic gameplay.
Expanding on Hardin’s earlier work, “Essential Poker Strategy,” this edition offers a detailed analysis of pot equity, pot odds, expected value (EV), implied odds, and more. It covers pre-flop and post-flop concepts, including betting with the best hand, strategic bluffs, hero calls, steal attempts, set-mining, and three-bet bluffing.
“Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em” Authored by Jonathan Little
An exceptional resource for poker tournament enthusiasts seeking to deepen their understanding or complement existing knowledge, “Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em” by Jonathan Little is an accessible and informative guide.
The book is structured into three core sections:
- Poker Strategy: Covers satellite play, lower-buy in events, tell analysis, and advancing stakes.
- Technical Game: Explores topics like value betting, range analysis, game theory optimal play, and strategies for shorter stacks.
- The Mental Game: Focuses on the psychological facets of poker, elevating players’ mental fortitude at the table.
“Super/System 2: A Course in Power Poker” Authored by Doyle Brunson
Expanding on its initial release, “Super/System 2” incorporates fresh scenarios, insights from renowned authorities, and invaluable expertise. This two-volume compilation brings together top players, strategists, and title holders, amalgamating the finest poker tips, techniques, and specialized tactics. It includes the revered Classic System, hailed by experts as the most influential poker book globally. It’s an essential read, packed with cutting-edge approaches, ideas, tactics, and revenue methods vital for any serious poker player.
“Every Hand Revealed” Authored by Gus Hansen
In “Every Hand Revealed,” Gus Hansen, famously known as “The Madman,” offers a captivating journey through the realm of poker tournaments. From the initial hand to clinching the final table, expect insights on:
- Judging weak hands
- Raising out of position
- Adapting to prize structures
- Employing educated guesses, bluffs, and precise calculations
- Application of Gus’s rational strategies
Hansen’s narrative style ensures a page-turning experience while imparting valuable strategies to enhance gameplay.
“Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em” Authored by Jonathan Little
An invaluable resource for deepening poker tournament knowledge or augmenting existing skills, “Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em” is structured into three key sections:
- Poker Strategy: Covers satellite play, lower-buy in events, tell analysis, and stake advancement.
- Technical Game: Explores aspects like value betting, range analysis, game theory optimal play, and strategies for shorter stacks.
- The Mental Game: Focuses on the psychological aspects, bolstering mental resilience at the table.
“Little Green Book” Authored by Phil Gordon
When we talk about the best books on poker, we cannot forget to mention Phil Gordon’s book. Gordon is a formidable poker player globally recognized, shares his expertise on No-Limit Texas Hold’em in “Little Green Book.” Employing poker insights intertwined with psychology, philosophy, strategy, arithmetic, and more, Gordon assumes the role of both teacher and student. He dissects the game into instructive segments, motivating readers to practice and persevere for poker improvement.
“Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players” Authored by David Sklansky
This complex game necessitates juggling conflicting ideas to evolve into an expert. Sklansky’s book covers various concepts, including dealing with initial cards, semi-bluffing, handling additional cards, inducing bluffs, drawing strategy, managing unfavourable hands, strategic bets, psychological aspects, and more. With over 100 pages of fresh content, it advances understanding in “loose” and “brief” games, serving as a valuable resource for poker enthusiasts.
“Optimizing Ace King” Authored by James Sweeney
Focusing on the lucrative hand of Ace King (AK), Sweeney’s book aims to rectify common strategic flaws players encounter with AK. “Optimizing Ace King” doesn’t just offer specific moves but integrates AK into an overall strategy across various scenarios. It delves into concepts like 3-betting, 4-betting, continuation betting, the balance between Game Theory Optimal (GTO) and exploitative play, and interpreting GTO solution outcomes to enhance poker strategies.