Best Poker Books

Poker Books

There are two types of poker book; the ones you read once and the ones that you read again and again throughout your poker career. I strongly believe that the books below are the latter.

Below is a list of what I believe to be best strategy books in each category from general strategy, no limit cash game strategy, tournament strategy and ebooks.

Texas Hold'em strategy books.

General strategy.

Theory of Poker - David Sklansky - (Intermediate)

The Theory of Poker is the best all-round poker book you are going to read. It does not address the game of Texas Hold'em specifically, but the true value of the book is that it teaches you how to think like a winning poker player.

Starting hand charts and quick-fix rules will only take you so far, as being able to make the best plays possible based on your analysis of a situation makes the difference between an average and great player. It's a must read for every serious poker player.

I would however recommend that you have a least a basic knowledge of the fundamental aspects of the game, as the strategy may well be very hard to digest for anyone very new to poker.

Pot Limit & No Limit Poker - Ciaffone and Reuben - (Beginner)

This is another great all-round strategy book that covers all of the most popular variants of poker. It is an enjoyable read and contains informative strategy for helping you develop a solid all-round game.

I would personally choose Theory of Poker over this if I could only choose one "general" strategy book to read, but that's not to say this doesn't have value. I'd would however choose this book over ToP if I was very new to the game due to the fact that it is easier to follow and understand.

Cash game strategy.

No Limit Hold'em: Theory and Practice - David Sklansky - (Advanced)

This book is definitely not an easy read for beginner players, so you should only pick up this book if you already have a sound knowledge of good Hold'em strategy.

No Limit Hold'em: Theory and Practice can be hard to follow at times, but it does contain a lot of very valuable information. The material is a little complicated, but it is well worth reading if you want to be able to absorb some of the most advanced strategy that you can get from a Hold'em strategy book.

Professional No-Limit Hold'em: Volume I - Ed Miller - (Intermediate)

Professional No-Limit Hold'em is an easier read than Theory and Practice, and does a very good job of covering the fundamental strategy for a profitable game. One of the most useful topics of the book is the REM process, which explains the importance of Range, Equity... Maximize - one of the most important concepts to learn about as an intermediate player.

A number of other unique topics are covered in later sections that have no been covered so well in other books. This is not an easy read for beginner players, and it may act as more of a re-cap for advanced players. I would recommend this book to players working on moving from a break-even to winning game.

It's a close call between Theory and Practice and this, but I prefer reading Professional No Limit Hold'em.

Tournament strategy (MTTs and SnGs).

Phil Gordon's Little Green Book - Phil Gordon - (Beginner)

This book is a like a collection of gems of information for the game of NL Texas Hold'em. Every time I read it, I pick up something new that I had never fully considered before. It is not the most advanced book out there, but it definitely has a lot to offer to the beginner players and a little something for intermediate players.

The book is split up into digestible segments and is very easy pick out useful information without being overloaded with too much strategy and thought processes at once. I will go ahead and say that this is my favorite Texas Hold'em strategy book to read.

I would recommend that all no limit Hold'em players read this book at some point, regardless of what level you might currently be playing at.

Harrington on Hold'em Vol. 1 - Dan Harrington - (Beginner/Intermediate)

The Harrington on Hold'em series is widely regarded as the Bible (Bibles?) for Texas Hold'em tournament strategy. If anyone ever asks for a recommendation on a good tournament strategy book, you can be sure that the question is quickly followed by the acronym HoH.

This first book covers the main bulk of strategic play of tournament poker. The book contains a lot of useful hand examples with each individual being explained very clearly and succinctly. HoH is comfortably one of (if not the) best series of books for tournament poker strategy.

Harrington on Hold'em Vol. 2 - Dan Harrington - (Beginner/Intermediate)

This is the second installment of the HoH series. This book is equally as good as the first and focuses on endgame strategy as opposed to early strategic play.

The majority of tournament players will buy both volume 1 + 2, as they go hand in hand. Think of them as one big book split up in to two. The third installment is more of a optional extra, although it does contain some great stuff.

The Poker Tournament Formula - Arnold Snyder - (Intermediate)

This book is the perfect compliment to the HoH series (above). I wouldn't recommend this book over the tournament books by Harrington, but I will say that it should be on the list of essential reading for anyone looking to play solid tournament poker.

The Poker Tournament Formula takes a slightly more aggressive approach to playing poker tournaments, which is why it works to your advantage to read both the HoH series and this. If you are looking to expand your tournament strategy after HoH 1, 2 and 3, look no further.

Kill Everyone - Lee Nelson - (Intermediate)

This is the sequel to the widely acclaimed Kill Phil book (not actually written by Phil Helmuth), which had outlined basic strategy for a good preflop game in Hold'em tournaments. This book takes it up a level, and contains more advanced information on how to play later streets. This book covers both MTT and SnG strategy.

Kill Everyone is quite like a Sklansky book in that it contains a lot of great strategy, but it is not an easy read. I wouldn't recommend this book to a novice, but I think that any intermediate player will find this very valuable indeed.

Sit 'n Go Strategy - Colin Moshman - (Beginner/Intermediate)

As you would expect, this book focuses on the Sit 'n Go tournament structure as opposed to the larger MTT games. I believe that this is the best NL SNG specific strategy book out there, with the book being packed with quality strategy and very informative hand examples.

This isn't a book for complete novices, as it does require that you have some basic knowledge of SnG games and how to play poker. However, I think that a beginner player should be able to digest the majority of information in this book.

Overall, you're not going to find a better strategy book for Sit 'n Go poker games.

For a big list of very useful and informative reviews on the majority of these books, check out the LV Revealed gambling book reviews. The user reviews on the Amazon site itself also do a very honest job of helping you find the better books.

If books are not really your thing, there is a handful of genuinely useful poker DVDs out there to buy.

Strategy ebooks.

There are a load of really bad Texas Hold'em strategy ebooks out there, so be careful. Anybody can write an "ebook", claim it is the best strategy in the world and then sell it to the unsuspecting visitor. When it comes to poker ebooks, you are far better off going on recommendations as opposed to how good the sales page sounds.

Below are the top ebook-only strategy books for the intermediate/advanced player. These are genuinely valuable ebooks with great strategic advice.

Ryan Fee's 6max NL Strategy Guide - Ryan Fee - (Intermediate/Advanced)

This is a widely acclaimed strategy guide for playing small stakes 6max NL Texas Hold'em. You are not going to find a more informative ebook with such great strategy anywhere else, and I highly recommend that every 6max player reads this book - it's a gem.

Here is a 2+2 thread discussing the ebook.

As I say, you should be very skeptical about any ebook with a big long sales page. Anyone can write a book and tell you it's the best strategy ever, but a lot of the time they do not deliver. If you ever have any concerns about the quality of an ebook or normal book, search for online reviews. The 2+2 forums usually give very critical and honest advice, so try searching those.

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