top best poker books

24 minutes

Posted by:

There are so many different poker books and other resources, that sometimes it is even hard to find a good read. Therefore, I prepared a list of the best books on poker, which cover different formats and parts of the game such as math, specific strategies, psychology, poker software and even lifestyle advice from poker players.

While some of older poker books can be a bit outdated today, they still have a lot to offer and can give you some good time. If you want fresher content, make sure to check strategy articles on my site, and I am sure you will find plenty of useful content.

TOP 10 POKER BOOKS YOU MUST READ

10

10. Playing The Player – by Ed Miller

10

It is often said that poker is a game of people played with cards. While most players understand the meaning of this saying, how does it influence the way you play? Leave it to Ed Miller to explain it all in his poker book called Playing The Player, taking things to the next level.

Learn how to adjust to different playing styles and tendencies and how to make money off of these tendencies on the spot. Master the art of quickly spotting your opponents’ weaknesses and pound on them.

9

9. Harrington on Hold'em – Dan Harrington

9

Harrington on Hold’em is a series of poker books, but its Volume 1: Strategic Play, which was published in 2004, is one of those mandatory books for every poker player.

In it, Harrington teaches you how to think about starting hands, your position at the table, your opponents, and more. While it may not be aimed at total beginners, Harrington on Hold’em should be on your to-read list as soon as you make some headway in terms of game fundamentals.

8

8. Elements of Poker – by Тommy Angelo

8

One of the timeless poker classics, Tommy Angelo’s Elements of Poker, strives to take your understanding of the game beyond concepts such as pot odds, position, and EV.

It paints a broader picture of poker as a game that you need to learn to enjoy and love, embracing everything that comes with it. This book will help you not only with handling any tilt issues you may have but teach you how to approach the game the right way from all the different angles.

7

7. Essential Poker Math, Expanded Edition – by Alton Hardin

7

Math is essential to poker, and if you strive to be a winning player, you need to learn the fundamentals of the game.

It is exactly what Alton Hardin’s book will do for you, offering a simple and straightforward guide that will teach you everything you need to know. After reading Essential Poker Math, you’ll understand and will be able to apply Texas Holdem strategy concepts such as hand reading, pot odds, implied odds, the expected value (EV), how to calculate your outs on the go, and much more.

6

6. Doyle Brunson's Super System – by Doyle Brunson

6

While many believe it to be outdated, Doyle Brunson’s Super System still holds the title of the Poker Bible. Written by the Godfather of Poker himself, it introduces many concepts that were completely new and unique at the time the book was released.

Even if the level of competition has increased significantly in today’s modern poker world, Super System is still a valuable read.

5

5. The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky

5

Arguably one of the best books ever written on poker, The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky, covers different variations of the game, not just Hold’em.

It discusses many general concepts that are crucial to all forms of poker, such as bluffing, psychology, odds, the importance of your position, and much more. For many players, this poker book was a turning point in their careers.

4

4. Kill Everyone – by Lee Nelson

4

Although it was released back in 2007, Lee Nelson’s poker book Kill Everyone is a must-read for all tournament players, but it is a good read for every poker player in general.

The book explains the importance of well-timed aggression and how it can completely transform your game. Learning concepts presented in Kill Everyone can help you see poker with an entirely new set of eyes.

3

3. The Mental Game of Poker – by Jared Tendler

3

Poker is a fairly unique game in that you can make great decisions and still end up losing a hand, busting a tournament, or even spend months without making a profit. Dealing with all the ups and downs that come with the territory is exactly what The Mental Game of Poker is all about.

Written by one of the leading mental game coaches out there, this book will give you invaluable tips and instructions on how to handle tilt and downswings and how to achieve a good balance between poker and the rest of your life.

2

2. Ace on the River – Barry Greenstein

2

Barry Greenstein is one of the most iconic poker players who’s been a regular on the tournament circuit and in the highest stakes cash games for decades. His book, Ace on the River: An Advanced Poker Guide, represents an excellent read for everyone, from complete newbies to seasoned pros.

In this poker book, Greenstein doesn’t just talk about strategic ideas but also paints a much broader picture of the life of a professional player.

1

1. Applications of No-Limit Hold em – by Matthew Janda

1

Mathew Janda's Applications of No-Limit Hold'em represents an excellent resource for everyone looking to improve their Texas Hold'em fundamentals.

The book introduces and explains theoretical concepts such as ranges, bet sizing, and much more. After reading Janda's poker book, you'll be able to understand and implement these and other important strategic ideas into your game.

TOP 10 BEST POKER TOURNAMENT BOOKS

10

10. Sit ‘n Go Strategy – by Collin Moshman

10

Published by TwoPlusTwo poker in 2007, Collin Moshman’s Sit ‘n Go Strategy remains one of the best poker books you can get to learn how to beat sit and go tournaments across all stakes.

It will teach you many important concepts and ideas required for success in sit and goes, going through different stages of play, necessary adjustments, and much more. If you’re looking to get into the world of SnG’s, you can’t go wrong with this one.

9

9. Moorman’s Book of Poker – Chris Moorman

10

Written by one of the most successful online tournament players, Moorman’s Book of Poker is an excellent resource for all the players looking to get involved with higher stakes tournaments.

Through the detailed analysis of 80 tournament hands, Moorman explains the adjustments required to get to that next level in an engaging and easy-to-follow way.

8

8. Tournament Poker for Advanced Players: Expanded Edition by David Sklansky

8

Sklansky's Tournament Poker for Advanced Players is a book for those who already know a thing or two about poker but are looking to improve their tournament play specifically.

In the book, Sklansky explains the biggest differences between cash games and tournaments and presents strategies you’ll need to adopt for a successful transition.

7

7. The Raiser’s Edge – by Bertrand Grospellier

7

Published in 2011 and written by one of the game’s legends, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, The Raiser’s Edge is a book about modern tournament play.

It will teach you many advanced strategies, such as how to successfully play the LAG style, how to float your opponents and put them in difficult spots, when to squeeze, and much, much more. If you want to play higher buy-in tournaments, The Raiser’s Edge will provide you with a host of invaluable information.

6

6. Every Hand Revealed – by Gus Hansen

6

Gus Hansen may not be as popular as he once was, but at one point, he took the world of tournament poker by storm with his uniquely aggressive style.

In his poker book named Every Hand Revealed, Hansen describes his way to the 2007 Aussie Millions win, revealing all the important poker hands that led to this success and explaining his thought process behind each and every single one of them.

5

5. Small Stakes Poker Tournaments – by Jonathan Little

5

To master your poker skills and build that bankroll, you have to start somewhere – and small stakes tournaments present an excellent opportunity.

In his book, Little talks about very specific strategies and adjustments you’ll need to dominate poker tournaments at lower stakes and build your way up to the big stage. Without knowing how to make these adjustments, you will not be able to move up in the stakes, so this is a good read if you are just starting playing tournaments.

4

4. Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time – by Eric Lynch

4

Tournament play is all about playing every single hand the best you can. Every new hand is a new opportunity, and you need to adjust to changing situations and scenarios all the time.

Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time explains this idea in detail. It covers early stages, as well as bubble play and ICM poker considerations showing you how to play your best strategy from the moment cards are in the air to the very last hand in the heads-up. Written by consistent winners in the game, this poker book will surely teach you a thing or two.

3

3. Harrington on Hold'em – Dan Harrington

3

Although it was already recommended as a mandatory read for pretty much everyone, Harrington on Hold’em is particularly important for tournament players.

The book will give you the ability to see the tournament play in a whole new light through a series of examples and detailed analysis of various difficult spots. You will see how to adjust for anything that comes your way, from early stages to end-game approach and detailed hand analyzes.

2

2. Kill Everyone – by Lee Nelson

2

Nelson’s Kill Everyone is a must-read for all tournament players because it will give you all-around knowledge about the game. This poker book will teach you how to up your aggression in tournaments and sit & goes and how to dominate your opponents from start to finish.

You will learn how to play on the bubble, effective end-game strategies, short-stack play, heads-up approach, and much more.

1

1. Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker – by Jonathan Little

1

Jonathan Little’s Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker: Volume 1 is a book that will teach you the most important thing about tournaments – how to play to win.

Although it may be a bit hard to follow for absolute beginners, this book holds a vast amount of valuable information on how to play on constantly changing stack depths, how to properly adjust your ranges, when to up the aggression, and more.

TOP 10 BEST POKER BOOKS FOR CASH GAMES

10

10. Small Stakes Hold’em – by Ed Miller and David Sklansky

10

Learn advanced strategies to crush small stakes Texas Holdem hands in your games. The authors highlight that the aggressive style is still the way to go even in low-stakes games, and how to apply it correctly.

Written by great players in their own right, Small Stakes Hold’em helps you understand basic math and teaches how to beat less experienced opponents and take advantage of their frequent mistakes.

9

9. Harrington on Cash Games – by Dan Harrington

9

Another poker read from a leading author, Harrington on Cash Games teaches you about Hold’em cash games and gives plenty of tips on how to play deep stacks and adjust to your opponents.

By reading this book, you can learn how to tailor your starting hand selection properly, how to handle deep stack play, what to do in situations where you’re faced with multiple opponents in a pot, and much, much more.

8

8. Phil Gordon's Little Green Book – by Phil Gordon

8

Published in 2005, Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book is somewhat of a poker classic. He played with the best players in the world, and now shares what he learned on the way.

While some will argue that concepts and ideas presented in Gordon’s book are somewhat outdated, it will help you develop your poker mind and create your own style of play, and that never goes out of style.

7

7. Optimizing Ace-King

7

It could look a bit strange at the beginning to have a poker book that only covers one specific area, but there is a reason why it made into the list.

One thing to notice is that Ace-King is one of the most commonly misplayed hands, and since you are often going to play big pots with this holding, making mistakes can cost you a lot of money.

While you have s short stack, it is straightforward to play, but the deeper you get, the more complicated it becomes. If you want to learn how to play when you miss the flop, how to get maximum value when you hit one, and how to approach various situations, this is an excellent read for you.

With plenty of examples and even homework, this is a poker book that you should have in your bookshelf.

6

6. Hole Card Confessions – by Owen Gaines

6

In poker, information is power. Being able to read your opponents and figure out their hands is key to improving your win rates at cash game tables.In his

Hole Card Confessions, Owen Gaines will teach you how to do just that. He shares how to read different opponents and make accurate assumptions about their ranges based on the information you always have at hand, allowing you to fast-track your poker career.

5

5. Poker Math That Matters – by Owen Gaines

5

Another excellent book to learn poker math, Gaines’ Poker Math That Matters takes a unique approach that will teach you all you need to know about EV, pot odds, outs, and much more in no time.

You’ll find more than 100 poker quiz questions inside the book designed to help you master these skills faster. An easy to read approach helps even complete beginners to learn essential math and make better decisions at the tables.

4

4. Essential Poker Math, Expanded Edition – by Alton Hardin

4

A newly updated book, Hardin’s Essential Poker Math, is a mandatory read for all aspiring cash players. Learn numbers behind the game, make fewer mistakes when playing, and take advantage of the errors of your opponents.

You will learn about odds, equity, EV, combinations, and other numbers, which will help you make math-based decisions and win more money.

3

3. Strategies for Beating Small Stakes Poker Cash Games – by Jonathan Little

3

In this book, Jonathan Little talks about basic strategies you need to master to win in cash games but also focuses on specific ones that you’ll want to utilize against lower stakes players.

Instead of trying advanced strategies or applying the GTO approach where it is not needed, learn how to take advantage of your opponent's mistakes and crush small stakes Hold’em. Games will be much easier after reading this book.

2

2. Excelling At No-Limit Hold’em – by Jonathan Little

2

Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em is an extensive guide for No-Limit Hold’em that covers everything you need to beat the games.

From fundamental strategies to more advanced concepts of ranges and adjusting your play to build the right approach to the game. This poker book will give you all the tools you need to become a winning player.

1

1. Applications of No-Limit Hold em – by Matthew Janda

1

Janda’s book has found its place on two lists – and for a good reason. The fundamental mathematical concepts of the game explained in the book are invaluable to all players and are essential for cash games.

With stacks being much deeper on average, you’ll need to know your numbers, and Applications of No-Limit Hold’em will teach you all you need to know about them.

TOP 10 BEST BOOKS ON POKER FOR BEGINNERS

10

10. Playing The Player – by Ed Miller

10

Learn how to take advantage of other players at the table and use their mistakes and tells against them. Playing The Player takes your game to the next level and talks about things that go beyond the simple math.

It will help you understand how to build effective strategies against different players and how to adjust your play to make more money. Quite a decent result, isn't it?

9

9. Optimizing Ace-King

9

While this is a bit different from other poker books that try to cover all aspects of the game, it is not necessarily a bad thing. Split Suit‘s book „Optimizing Ace King“ does as the name suggests – helps you get maximum value with the most misplayed hand.

With a detailed explanation of equities, math, and strategy, it will give you a solid understanding of how to play Ace-King when you miss the flop, what to do when you hit one to get more value, and how to proceed on further streets.

With plenty of examples and even homework, this is a poker book that you should have in your virtual bookshelf.

8

8. The Mental Game of Poker – by Jared Tendler

8

Winning in poker is not just about the cards you get and how you play them. Handling pressure, dealing with the tilt, and going through downswings are all parts of the game. In his poker book, Jared Tendler teaches you the skills required to do all this and more.

When I read the book for the first time, I was really surprised by the actionable tips the author shared, and it undoubtedly helped me to improve the mental side of the game.

7

7. The Myth of Poker Talent – by Alexander Fitzgerald

7

Are the best players in the game just talented individuals who were born that way? Not according to Fitzgerald, whose book The Myth of Poker Talent will teach you how success is mostly related to how hard you work on improving your game.

Talent helps, but it’s not crucial to you becoming a winning player, and only your dedication to the game is a deciding factor. The author teaches how to overcome this false belief and learn what actually matters.

6

6. Essential Poker Math, Expanded Edition – by Alton Hardin

6

Once again, this poker book teaches you everything you need to know about the math behind Hold’em. These are the concepts you need to know if you want to achieve poker success, and Hardin explains them in an approachable and easy-to-follow way.

He chooses to break down actual hand examples so that you could see how the math works in practice and learn it in a more engaging way.

5

5. Kill Everyone – by Lee Nelson

5

As already described, Kill Everyone is a book that teaches you how to amp your aggression at the tables. Once you get your fundamentals right, Nelson’s book will help you add a bit of extra edge to your game and help you significantly improve your results.

The new edition features extended Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier comments and even chapter on short stack games, which will surely help you adjust to changing environment in your games.

4

4. Reading Poker Tells – by Zachary Elwood

4

Intended for those who enjoy the live poker setting, Reading Poker Tells teaches you how to recognize and interpret many common behaviors at the tables to make better decisions and more profit.

With the knowledge from this book, you’ll be able to read other players and achieve a significant advantage over them, and you’ll also learn how to confuse them by giving away false poker tells, which can add quite a few bucks to your pocket.

3

3. Winning Low-Limit Hold'em by Lee Jones

5

If you’re new to the world of poker, Winning Low-Limit Hold’em is the book for you. It teaches you all the fundamentals of the game and helps you understand why there is much more to poker than just luck.

With great comments and recommendations from the pros, this book should hit your poker shelf and quite you at the beginning!

2

2. Doyle Brunson's Super System – by Doyle Brunson

2

While it may be outdated by today’s standards and don't include advanced analyzes or GTO strategies, Super System is a mandatory read for every poker beginner.

While strategies inside may not help you win at the higher level, they’ll help you start your journey and understand the fundamentals of Texas Hold’em, which is the most important part if you are just starting out.

1

1. The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky

1

As described in the first list, Sklansky’s Theory of Poker is a book you’ll want to read. It teaches you things about the game that goes beyond just picking hands and figuring out your bet sizes. This book talks about the theory behind poker and teaches you how to think about it on a whole different level.

You will learn how to counter various situations, understand changing dynamics, and make decisions that yield you money in the long run. The poker classic that is worth reading.

TOP 10 BEST NON-HOLD’EM POKER BOOKS

10

10. According to Doyle – by Doyle Brunson

10

According to Doyle was published in 1987, and it never got the acclaim of his other two books. It is worth mentioning that this is not a strategy book and should not be treated like one.

However, this is an interesting read that covers various poker anecdotes and situations from his rich and colorful career. It may not teach you much about poker strategy, but there is still a lot of value you can get from reading it.

9

9. Secrets of Short-handed Pot-Limit Omaha – by Rolf Slotboom

9

Another book on PLO, this one addresses shorthanded play specifically. Since most online games are played in this format, with six or fewer players, the book adds a lot of strategic value.

It teaches you about hand selection, raise sizing, how to represent big hands, and much more. You will learn how to avoid common mistakes in short-handed games and make better decisions every time you sit down at the table.

8

8. High-Low-Split Poker – by Ray Zee

8

High-Low-Split Poker was published back in 1992, so it is one of the oldest books on this poker book list. Still, even today, it is a very valuable resource for Seven Card Stud and Omaha 8 games. If these are your target games, this book will help you take your game to the next level.

Of course, you can take an advanced mixed games course and dig even deeper, but this book will give you everything you need to build strong fundamentals.

7

7. What Every BODY is Saying – by Joe Navarro

7

Written by Joe Navarro, a former FBI agent, this is another great book covering poker tells. No matter what format you decide to play, tells will be an important part of the game if you’re playing live, so this is definitely a good read.

Joe covers people's instincts, the side of behavior players are very unlikely to control and give actionable tips on how to take advantage of this information.

6

6. How Good is Your Pot-Limit Omaha? – by Stewart Reuben

6

Another good book on PLO, this one is more of a workbook with hand examples and situations that require you to think and provide answers.

If you’re serious about your Pot Limit Omaha game, this book will help you develop a feeling for what types of hands you should and shouldn’t get involved with.

5

5. Mastering Pot-limit Omaha: The Modern Aggressive Approach – by Herbert Okolowitz

5

It is one of the best books around for modern PLO games. With Pot Limit Omaha gaining more and more popularity, many players are looking to make a transition.

Mastering Pot-limit Omaha will give you all the tools you need to make the move and start winning almost right off the bat.

4

4. Treat Your Poker Like a Business – by Dusty Schmidt

4

There is more to poker than just sitting down to play. In his poker book, Dusty Schmidt provides valuable tips and insights on how to treat your poker like a proper business, and share valuable tips that might not be obvious at the beginning.

You will learn everything from the bankroll management to planning your time and doing other things away from the table to improve your chances of success. If you want to take poker seriously, you also want to read this book.

3

3. Verbal Poker Tells – Zachary Elwood

3

Verbal Poker Tells are an excellent read for all players who spend a lot of time in the live setting. Players often reveal a lot of information when they talk in the middle of the hand, and understanding how to interpret it can have a huge difference for your results.

This poker book will help you understand what different verbal tells means, and with plenty of examples on your side, you will be making better decisions in no-time.

2

2. Seven Card Stud for Advanced Players – by David Sklansky & Mason Malmuth

2

Although written in 1989, this book is still an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn Seven Card Stud. The strategic information for this format is rather scarce, so reading Seven Card Stud for Advanced Players will give you a significant advantage over the competition.

You will learn how to play on different boards, how to take advantage of your opponents and choose the best strategies depending on the street. All-in-all, this is a great guide that will teach you beyond the basics.

1

1. Super System 2 – by Doyle Brunson et al.

1

The first Super System focused on Hold’em. Super System 2 is a poker book with many chapters written by high-profile pros like Daniel Negreanu, Bobby Baldwin, Jonny Chan, etc.

Each of them gives their insights into various poker formats such as Seven Card Stud, Deuce to Seven Triple Draw, Omaha 8 or Better, and more.

OTHER POKER READS (NON-BOOKS)

Poker books are an amazing source to have some good time and learn a thing or two, but if you want the most up to date information and learn how to play poker, you can also check online resources.

While it is not always easy to find what to read in the well of online information, I created a short quiz that will direct you on the most efficient learning path for your exact situation.

If you are just starting, you can grab my free poker cheat sheets and instantly hit the tables with new knowledge so that you could win even more or dig into one of many strategy articles on this site!

Read more

View all
Handle big poker swings
Types of poker
Poker random number generator
Private online poker tables

Copyright © My Poker Coaching.