Nowadays, there are hundreds of poker strategy books available, but most of them are likely not worth your time. On the other hand, some poker strategy books that were written decades ago still hold valuable information for modern poker players.
If you are looking through Amazon, thinking of buying a book, be sure to check out these ten poker strategy books first.
10. ‘Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players’ by Mason Malmuth
Mason Malmuth, the owner of Two Plus Two Publishing, has himself published numerous books on all sorts of poker and other gambling related topics. ‘Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players’ is one of his most recognized books which delves deep into the strategies of Limit Hold’em.
The book impacted Limit Hold’em tremendously when it was first published, fundamentally changing the course of its evolution. With the rise of No Limit Hold’em, Limit games have declined sharply, but for those who are still interested in studying the game, this book is definitely the one to read.
9. ‘Ace on the River’ by Barry Greenstein
What turned into ‘Ace on the river,’ was originally supposed to be part of Doyle Brunson’s ‘Super System 2.’ When Doyle asked Barry to contribute approximately 20 pages of material to his revised version of the ‘Super System,’ Barry came back with more than 100 pages. Doyle suggested publishing it as a separate book and Barry followed his advice.
‘Ace on the River’ mainly focuses on the big picture of being a poker player. It contains very little strategy, but is rather a look into what you might expect if you choose to become a poker pro. If you are not a poker pro and want to find out what this life is all about, this is the book to read.
8. ‘Sklansky On Poker’ by David Sklansky
David Sklansky is one of the most respected authorities on gambling, having written multiple books on its various aspects. First Published in 1994, ‘Sklansky On Poker’ may be considered dated when it comes to its Hold’em material, so other publications may be a better choice if you are looking to study Hold’em.
However, when it comes to the Razz section of the book, it is considered to be one of the best Razz strategy publications ever written. Razz may not be the most popular poker variation out there, but if you are looking to study it in more detail, this is a must read for you.
7. ‘Sit ‘n Go Strategy’ by Colin Moshman
Up until recently, sit & go’s did not have a book that would pop up in a poker player’s mind when you mentioned them, but that changed with the release of Colin Moshman’s ‘Sit n Go Strategy’. Being a successful sit & go player with tons of experience, Moshman did a great job of putting together a book that covers a lot of the fundamental sit & go strategies.
The only major drawback to the book is the lack of strategy discussions for multi–table sit & go’s. On the other hand, many of the other aspects of sit & go’s discussed in this book can also be applied to multi–table sit & go’s. In any case, if you are learning sit & go’s or feel that you might have hit a wall in terms of improving, this book can help you take the next step.
6. ‘Advanced Pot-Limit Omaha’ by Jeff Hwang
When Pot Limit Omaha began to rise in popularity, a number of PLO-specific books soon followed. Some were better than others, but one stood out above the rest – ‘Advanced Pot-Limit Omaha’ by Jeff Hwang.
Eventually this book turned into a three-volume set and it has everything you could possibly want to know about PLO with more than 1,000 pages of material between the volumes. All PLO related topics, from bankroll management to the importance of seat selection, are discussed, not to mention the huge amount of hand examples. In short, this book is for those who are really serious about studying PLO.
5. ‘Caro’s Book of Poker Tells’ by Mike Caro
A variety of poker books on all game types and various aspects of poker are available to readers, but when it comes to books about poker tells, Mike Caro’s ‘Book of Poker Tells’ stands in a category of its own.
Poker tells are perhaps the single most difficult part of poker and presenting this topic in any form of educational material takes a lot of work. Caro’s book is easily the best in this department. While it has been more than 20 years since it was first published, ‘Caro’s Book of Poker Tells’ is still one of the most influential poker books ever written.
4. ‘The Mental Game of Poker’ by Jared Tendler
One of the more recently published books that got widely accepted as a valuable poker publication is Jared Tandler’s ‘The Mental Game of Poker.’ This is by no means a strategy book. As the name implies, the book mainly focuses on the issues of tilt, motivation, confidence, etc.
‘The Mental Game of Poker’ is a great guide to mental challenges that the modern poker landscape presents and ways of dealing with them. It also features material on various aspects from a number of accomplished poker pros. In general, this book is a must–read for most of the modern day poker pros.
3. ‘Super System’ by Doyle Brunson
First published in the seventies, ‘Super System’ was a real sensation at the time. Many professionals were quite unhappy with the release, feeling that it gave away too much information to amateur players. By today’s standards, the book is definitely dated, however, it still holds valuable information for any player.
While the original ‘Super System’ includes material on a lot of games that are not played anymore, the revised ‘Super System 2’ includes chapters on games like Omaha Hi/Lo, Stud Hi/Lo and an updated Limit Hold’em chapter.
Valuable parts of the ‘Super System’ books are the contributions from various pros who were among the best at the time, including input from Chip Reese, Bobby Baldwin, David Sklansky and Mike Caro.
2. ‘Harrington on Hold ’em’ by Dan Harrington
Dan Harrington, one of the handful of poker players to make three WSOP Main Event final tables, joined forces with two-time World Backgammon Champion Bill Robertie to write one of the best-selling poker books ever written. The two volumes sold hundreds of thousands of copies and include more than 900 pages of high quality material between them.
Both volumes focus exclusively on No Limit Hold’em tournaments. While many poker books focus mostly on individual examples, ‘Harrington on Hold’em’ does a great job of explaining abstract strategy concepts which can be incorporated into tournament play.
1. ‘The Theory of Poker’ by David Sklansky
Perhaps one of the best poker book ever written, ‘The Theory of Poker’ goes deep into the theoretical concepts of the game. A sound theoretical understanding of poker is something that any serious player should have and this book is easily the most comprehensive guide to the fundamentals of most game variations.
The book also includes the fundamental analysis of many aspects of poker, like position, odds, slow-playing and much more. Some of the content may not be very useful to today’s players due to games like Stud and 5-Card Draw being all but dead, however, this book is still a treasure trove for those looking to improve their fundamental knowledge of poker.