I’ve been reading up on poker quite a lot in the past few months and thought I’d share a list of the books that resonated with me as a player who’s studying poker seriously.
Here’s a list of my top 5 poker books for all new poker players.
1. The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky
In publishing, the term “classic” is ordinarily reserved for texts that have influenced generations of readers, and, strictly speaking, this is entirely true of David Sklansky’s seminal effort.
Despite being published a mere 24 years ago, The Theory of Poker could easily be regarded as being outdated, given how quickly the game and meta-game has evolved in recent years. However, nothing could be further from the truth since the book focuses on introducing and demystifying the fundamental logical and mathematical concepts that drive a winning poker player’s decisions.
It is rightfully regarded as setting the benchmark for poker debate and is pretty much as essential as reading can get.
2. The Course: Serious Hold ‘Em Strategy For Smart Players by Ed Miller
The Course by Ed Miller is a practical and useful, step-by-step guide to winning consistently at Texas No-Limit Holdem. It focuses on the most important poker concepts that determine who wins and who doesn’t. Unlike other books on poker, this one is very practical.
Many of the concepts are not simple, yet Ed Miller presents them in an easy to understandable way. There is virtually no math though the needed math concepts are woven into the material seamlessly.
3. Caro’s Book of Tells: The Body Language and Psychology of Poker by Mike Caro
Mika Caro’s book, as you may have guessed from the title, deals entirely with the art of interpreting your opponents’ physical behavior. The ability to pick up clues about a player’s cards based on a combination of shrugs, sighs, shaky hands, eye contact, and many more is invaluable, and here Caro gives us 320 pages of information on this obscure topic.
Despite its length, the book only covers 20 basic tells but includes a significant amount of information on how each one can be interpreted based on certain conditions. It also defines how each of these tells can be exploited for maximum reward.Critically, the book also deals with how to spot and respond to opponents who are deliberately exhibiting fake tells.
4. The Mental Game of Poker by Jared Tendler, Barry Carter
Texas No-Limit Holdem is one of the few games in the world where you can play perfectly and lose again and again. Jared Tendler’s approach helps players to be at their best, no matter how poorly they are running.In this book, you find simple, step-by-step instructions and proven techniques to fix problems such as handling variance, tilt, confidence, emotional control, fear, and motivation permanently.
Every Hand Revealed by Gus Hansen (2008)
This entry from the mainstream publishing house Kensington might surprise a few people, but it’s a stupendously good poker book geared mostly for no-limit hold’em tournament play. Authored by Gus Hansen at the height of his success as a three-time World Poker Tour champion, one of poker’s most unorthodox players takes you through his thought processes during every stage of a tournament, from the first hand to (what’s hopefully) the final table.
This page-turning book is straight and to the point. Critically acclaimed and groundbreaking, yet still largely underappreciated, Every Hand Revealed merits a spot on this list.
I've been playing poker for a while and I find it extremely important to go back to the books every now and then, to explore strategies for different aspects of the game. I recommend you try each strategy and allot a certain amount to play using these strategies to really learn. I found them useful. It builds a certain kind of discipline as well.
Let me know what you think,