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7 Must-Read Poker Books of All Time

Shane C

May 6, 2023

A shelf of books with one open book

One of the best ways for a person to get expertise on a subject is by reading. When you read extensively on a particular topic, you gain a deeper understanding of its various aspects, perspectives, and nuances. This can help you develop a more comprehensive understanding of the subject.

Reading also allows you to explore a wide range of viewpoints and perspectives on a given topic. This can help you develop a well-rounded understanding of the subject by reading the various opinions of the most renowned authors in a specific field.

Following this line of thought and applying it to poker, books can make you an expert in the game by providing you with detailed information about various aspects of the game, including strategy, odds, psychology, and player behaviour.

There are numerous books written by experienced and successful poker players that offer insights into the game, and provide practical advice on how to improve your skills to start winning poker tournaments one hand at a time. Here are the top 7 must-read poker books that will make you fall in love with the game:

"The Theory of Poker" by David Sklansky

The Theory of Poker by David SklanskyA book on poker strategy that has become a must-read for serious poker players. The book provides a comprehensive overview of the fundamental principles of poker strategy and covers a wide range of topics, including hand selection, bluffing, position, pot odds, implied odds, and more.

One of the key insights of the book is the concept of "the fundamental theorem of poker," which states that in poker, you want to make decisions that maximize your expected value. This means that you want to make decisions that are based on the best available information and which have the highest probability of leading to a positive outcome.

The author also discusses the importance of positioning in poker, explaining how being in a late position gives you an advantage because you get to act last and see what your opponents do before making a decision. He also provides advice on how to read your opponent's behaviour and use that information to make better decisions.

Another important topic covered in the book is the concept of pot odds, which refers to the ratio of the size of the pot to the size of the bet you need to make. Sklansky explains how to calculate pot odds and how to use them to make decisions about whether to call or fold.

His clear and concise writing style makes the book easy to understand, and the insights and strategies he provides are practical and effective.

> Buy on Amazon

"Harrington on Hold'em" by Dan Harrington

An intuitive guide to Texas Hold'em tournament poker by a professional poker player and World Series of Poker champion. The book is divided into three volumes, each focusing on different aspects of the game.

Volume 1: Strategic Play

Harrington on Hold'em Vol.1The first volume focuses on strategic play and covers topics such as hand selection, position, and aggression. Harrington emphasizes the importance of playing tight and aggressive, and explains how to adjust your strategy based on the stage of the tournament.

> Buy on Amazon

Volume 2: The Endgame

Harrington on Hold’em Vol.2The second volume focuses on the endgame, which is the stage of the tournament where the blinds are high and the stacks are shallow. Harrington covers topics such as bubble play, short-handed play, and heads-up play. He also provides advice on how to play different types of hands in the endgame, such as pocket pairs and suited connectors.

> Buy on Amazon

Volume 3: The Workbook

Harrington on Hold’em Vol.3The third volume is a workbook that includes 50 hands for readers to analyze and solve. Each hand is presented with the situation, the player's action, and the correct solution, along with an explanation of why that solution is correct.

> Buy on Amazon
Throughout the three volumes, Harrington uses real-world examples and hand analyses to illustrate his points. He also includes quizzes and exercises to help readers reinforce their understanding of the game.

Overall, "Harrington on Hold'em" is a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their tournament poker skills, from beginners to experienced players. The book provides a clear overview of the game and offers practical advice for players at all skill levels.

"Super System" by Doyle Brunson

Super System by Doyle BrunsonA classic poker strategy book written by a legendary professional poker player who has won multiple World Series of Poker bracelets. Originally published in 1978, the book was groundbreaking in its time and is still considered a must-read for serious poker players.

The book is divided into several sections, each written by a different poker expert. Brunson himself writes the section on no-limit hold'em, which was relatively unknown at the time but has since become one of the most popular poker games.

Other sections of the book cover topics such as limit hold'em, seven-card stud, lowball, and high-low split. The authors include some of the top poker players of the time, such as Mike Caro, David Sklansky, and Chip Reese.

The book includes detailed explanations of various poker strategies, including starting hand selection, position, bluffing, and reading opponents. The authors also share their personal experiences and insights into the game, providing readers with a glimpse into the minds of some of the world's top poker players.

While some of the specific strategies and tactics in the book may be outdated, the overall principles and concepts remain relevant to modern poker. "Super/System" is an essential read for anyone serious about improving their poker game, whether they are a beginner or a seasoned professional.

> Buy from Amazon

"Every Hand Revealed" by Gus Hansen

Every Hand Revealed by Gus HansenA memoir-style poker book that follows Hansen's journey through the 2007 Aussie Millions poker tournament, where he went on to win the top prize of $1.2 million.

Throughout the book, Hansen provides readers with an in-depth analysis of every hand he played during the tournament, sharing his thought process and strategy behind each decision he made. He also discusses his opponents' playing styles and tendencies, and how he was able to exploit them.

One of the key themes of the book is the importance of adapting your strategy to the specific situation and opponents at the table. Hansen frequently changes his approach based on the players he is up against and the cards he is dealt, and he encourages readers to do the same.

In addition to the hand analysis, Hansen also shares personal anecdotes and insights into the life of a professional poker player. He discusses the ups and downs of tournament poker, the mental and emotional challenges of the game, and the importance of maintaining a balanced lifestyle outside of poker.

Hansen's ability to break down his thought process and decision-making in real-time provides valuable insights into the mind of a successful poker player, and his personal stories add an entertaining and relatable element to the book.

> Buy on Amazon

"Essential Poker Math" by Alton Hardin

 Essential Poker Math by Alton HardinAn extensive guide to the mathematical principles behind poker strategy. The book is aimed at both beginner and intermediate players who want to improve their understanding of the mathematics of poker.

The book begins by covering the importance of understanding probability in poker. Hardin explains the concept of expected value and how to calculate it in different situations, as well as how to calculate pot odds and implied odds.

The second part of the book focuses on the mathematics of post-flop play, including understanding hand ranges, pot equity, and expected value in different betting scenarios. Hardin provides clear explanations and practical examples to help readers understand these concepts and apply them to their own game.

The third part of the book covers a range of topics related to poker strategy, including game theory, player profiling, and bankroll management. Hardin provides practical advice and real-life examples to help readers apply these concepts to their own game.

Hardin's clear explanations and practical examples make the concepts easy to understand and apply, and the exercises provide a valuable opportunity for readers to practice their skills. This book is a must-add to any poker library.

> Buy on Amazon

“Elements of Poker” by Tommy Angelo

Elements of Poker by Tommy AngeloA journey through the mental and emotional aspects of poker. The book is divided into four parts: Tilt, Discipline, Stress, and Fear. Each section covers a different aspect of the mental and emotional game of poker, providing practical advice and exercises to help readers improve their skills.

The Tilt section covers the various forms of tilt, including steam, frustration, and revenge, and provides practical advice for recognizing and avoiding tilt triggers. The Discipline section covers the importance of self-control and provides practical exercises for developing discipline and avoiding impulsive decisions.

The Stress section covers the various sources of stress in poker, including pressure from opponents, financial concerns, and personal problems. Angelo provides practical advice for managing stress and maintaining a positive attitude while playing poker.

Finally, the Fear section covers the various fears that can impact a player's game, including fear of losing, fear of making mistakes, and fear of being judged by others. Angelo provides practical advice for overcoming these fears and developing a more confident and proactive mindset.

> Buy on Amazon

“Kill Everyone” by Lee Nelson

Kill Everyone by Lee NelsonA holistic view of the advanced strategies for tournament and sit-n-go play. The book covers a wide range of topics, including hand selection, position play, and aggressive play. Nelson provides clear and detailed explanations of advanced concepts such as floating, 3-betting, and blind stealing, as well as practical advice for applying these strategies in real-life game situations.

The book also covers the importance of player profiling and provides practical advice for identifying different player types and adjusting your strategy accordingly. Nelson emphasizes the importance of adapting your strategy to changing game conditions, including adjusting your aggression level and varying your bet sizing.

Throughout the book, Nelson provides numerous examples and hand analyses to illustrate the concepts and strategies he discusses. He also includes a range of practical exercises and quizzes to help readers practice their skills and reinforce their understanding of the material.

Nelson's clear and detailed explanations, practical examples, and hands-on exercises make the book easy to read and apply, and the advanced strategies covered in the book offer a precious opportunity for readers to take their game to the next level.

> Buy on Amazon

Conclusion

By reading these amazing 7 books, you’ll surely have the necessary information to develop your poker skills to play the player at the table. The benefits are immense, such as learning the fundamentals, improving decision-making, enhancing your strategy, and increasing your confidence.

Don’t wait any longer, get your favourite books from the links present on each book title, and start your poker reading journey to perfect your tournament play!