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Top 10 Poker Books to Read to Become a Better Poker Player

December 24, 2018 4122 0
Top 10 Poker Books to Read to Become a Better Poker Player

Poker has evolved from being a gambling activity into a sport requiring intuitive skills and strategy. Some of the well-known professional pokers of today mastered their poker skills by playing against their peers, others enrol in courses and listen to podcasts. There are also those who turn to books or manuals to learn the ropes of the game.

Poker manuals or books are highly preferred by some since they can reread it and dissect it more carefully when it is time for them to apply the concepts. Remember, though, that each player has different needs and solutions depending on their playing style and preference. One should choose a book that matches their level of gaming. For example, a more complex poker book will require that the reader has a good understanding of the concepts being discussed. A newbie player may easily get confused, give up, and lose interest the moment they start reading it.

Recreational poker players may find it best to start with a more simple poker manual, apply it in a game, and see how they can progress from there. It is important that poker players have a basic understanding of the poker fundamentals.

The popularity of poker in Asia and around the world have resulted in hundreds of poker manuals claiming to provide the best strategy. There are a few of them, however, that made a great impact on how people understand and play poker.

The Runners-Up

Since there are really plenty of useful poker manuals, a mention of the runners-up is necessary.

Kill Phil by Blair Rodman & Lee Nelson

Published in 2005, this book is believed to have momentarily altered how No Limit Hold’em tournaments were played. The authors, Rodman and Nelson recommended that to neutralize the best poker players, one should apply a highly aggressive approach. To simplify, players should always go for a position where they can force the best players to decide on their chip stack. The book’s title was derived from the three of the best players of 2005, which were named Phil.

Elements of Poker by Tommy Angelo

Those looking to apply a non-conventional poker strategy ought to read this title from Tommy Angelo, a well-respected professional poker player and coach. This manuals details poker from different perspectives. One of the main concepts of the manual discusses reciprocality, wherein poker players are taught that they will become successful if they veer away from what is the norm. The moment that you use a non-conventional approach, you can catch your opponent off-guard and clinch that win.

Little Green Book by Phil Gordon

Any book from one of the poker greats is a worthy read. Phil Gordon was among the poker players to beat in the early 2000s. The book was released in 2009 when he was ultra-famous and served as the host of the TV show, Celebrity Poker. Gordon detailed many poker strategies, he himself, has employed.

The Mathematics of Poker by Bill Chen & Jerrod Ankenman

This 2006 book is one of the highly-advanced poker books that is reserved for poker professionals or those that have a high understanding of mathematics and its applications. Leisure poker players and not math-savvy individuals who will try to read its text would probably have a hard time grasping the concepts the authors were trying to explain here. Basically, the authors point out that poker is more than just a game – it is a science and an art.

Zen and the Art of Poker by Larry W. Phillips

Many poker players have proven over time how mental conditioning keep them in the zone when they are playing. A lot of the basic principles of Zen is applicable to poker. This book is a substantive self-help tool for poker players who find it hard to control their emotions when they are on the table. It helps on how you can become not only a better poker player and a better person as well.

Top 10 Poker Books To Read

Top 10: Every Hand by Gus Hansen

Published by Kensington in 2008, this is a good poker book that mainly focuses on No Limit Hold’em Tournaments. The author, Gus Hansen, is a pretty reliable source for poker strategies as he has three World Poker Tour Championship under his belt. He is an unorthodox player who will take you through his thinking process in every tournament stage helping you get through the first hand to the final table. The critically-acclaimed book is a must-have for any poker player looking to be successful in the live arena.

Top 9: The Body Language of Poker by Mike Caro

Also known as The Book of Tells, this book discusses the other strategy of winning poker – studying your opponent. Mike Caro, the author, is a well-known pioneer of poker strategy, writing about various poker strategies. In this book, Caro encourages players to look beyond the hand and focus on the body language of the opponent. This includes studying the posture, facial movements, and voice inflections among others. Some say that body language is not relevant today as it was in 1994 when the book was published but it is still a good read and worthy read particularly for newbie players who play at low stakes games.

Top 8: Poker Essays by Mason Malmuth

Reading Poker Essays will not earn anyone any style points since the book has an extremely simple concept. The book is just a collection of Mason Malmuth’s musings. Many of what’s written in the book are more of recommendations on how the game can be improved and the future of poker and predictions about poker’s future – most of which indeed happened in today’s poker industry.

Top 7: Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players by Mason Malmuth

Mason Malmuth is among the great minds of poker that it is a given that he would produce books that worthwhile to read. First published in 1988 and re-released in 1993, the book serves as a Limit Hold’em primer as most poker games during that time were limit. The book introduced various novel concepts including the “semi-bluff,” which many successful players employed.

Top 6: Winning Poker Systems by Norman Zadah

Despite being an old poker book published in 1973, Winning Poker Systems is still a top poker book to read. It has made significant contributions to poker theory. It is the first book to include charting of starting hands and discussing the importance of gaining position.

Top 5: Winning Low Limit Hold’em by Lee Jones

This book published in 1994 and written by Lee Jones is like a bible for most successful players. The book helped players to become well-versed in Limit Hold’em. It is easy to read and does not give false advice as it has excellent poker strategies that many poker players swear by. The book’s tone is conversational that many newbie players fee that they can really get useful advice.

The great thing about Jones’ book is his deep understanding of how an average poker player’s mind works.

Top 4: Hold’em Poker by David Sklansky

Before Hold’em poker became widely known, the only people who know the game’s concept were those living in the South or those that frequent poker rooms and casinos of Las Vegas. This book changed all that. The book introduced hundreds of thousands of poker players to Hold’em.

Top 3: Harrington on Hold’em by Dan Harrington

Dan Harrington is a professional poker player best known for winning the 1995 World Series of Poker. His book, now regarded as the best-selling poker book, introduced various concepts that made poker become much harder to conquer. Since Harrington co-authored this book with Bill Robertie, a game theorist and a master chess player, one can expect a strategy-packed read. The success of the book allowed for the release of two additional volumes of the book and an additional Harrington on Cash Games book.

Top 2: Super/System 2: A Course in Power Poker by Doyle Brunson

Doyle Brunson is a two-time world champion and was extremely popular when he released the book. Regarded by some as a treasury of poker strategies, the book also includes narrative chapters of Brunson’s poker success. This is also the first title to include significant contributions from some poker greats including Mike Caro, Joey Hawthorne, David Sklansky, David Reese, and Bobby Baldwin.

Top 1: The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky

This book is a masterpiece by David Sklansky. Only 276 pages with 25 chapters, The Theory of Poker is a dictionary of strategies including the basic fundamentals of poker strategy. It might not be an entertaining read to many but who would want to read an entertainment book when they seriously want to be better in poker? In this book, serious poker players will be introduced to highly-debated poker concepts. Majority of poker players have included this book in their stash. In fact, almost all of successful poker players attribute their strategic skills to this title.

Are you interested to read any of these poker books? Have you read any of them? Which is your favourite? Let me know in the comment below.

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