The 10 Most Helpful Poker Books (And Which to Avoid)

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The 10 Most Helpful Poker Books (And Which to Avoid)

Learning a new skill is a lovely feeling. It broadens the mind and enlivens it to new possibilities, allowing you to form new neurological connections and see existing knowledge in a new light. Teaching yourself is an important part of this process, but unless you’re a prodigy in you’re chosen field, being self-taught will only take you so far. Sometimes, the only way to improve past a certain level is to benefit from the experience and wisdom of others. Poker is one such field.


Thankfully, there are plenty of poker books out there on the market, some extremely helpful, others not quite so-much, which will help you to take your game to the next level. Let’s take a look at some of the best…


Beginner Guides


  1. Small Stakes Hold’em, by Ed Miller, David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth (2004)


This book is an excellent starting point for beginner poker players who play for small stakes. The writing itself is no great shakes, but Small Stakes Hold’em will certainly teach you the foundations of a nice tight game.


  1. Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book, by Phil Gordon


The Little Green Book teaches you plenty of strategy and the thinking processes you should be going through, while every so often diverting from the theory with some entertaining stories from the poker circuit.


  1. Theory of Poker, by David Sklansky


The Theory of Poker takes a wider view of the game, explaining the theory and concepts behind almost all of the game’s variations. The insight into raising, bluffing, slow-play, heads-up play and poker psychology makes this an excellent resource for beginners and intermediate players.


Advanced Strategy Books


  1. Sit ‘n Go Strategy, by Colin Moshman


This book forms a comprehensive guide to playing medium buy-in, one table tournaments. Many of the topics are too advanced for beginners without tournament experience, but more advanced, higher stakes players should read it to improve their game.


  1. Harrington on Hold’em, by Dan Harrington


The best selling poker book of all time, written by 1995 world poker champion Dan Harrington. Quite simply, this is the most comprehensive poker strategy book ever written.


  1. Super/System: A Course in Power Poker, by Doyle Brunson


Written in 1978, this 600-page poker master class was decades before its time, but still delivers plenty of great tips for intermediate and advanced players. 


Open-Face Chinese Poker (OFCP) Books


  1. How to Make Money Playing Open-Face Chinese Poker, by Pokrneo


The jury is still out on this offering from Pokrneo. While the content of the book is actually very good, there are a number of exercises dotted throughout the book that require a trip to the author’s website for the solution. The problem with that is firstly, it’s not very convenient, and secondly, the author’s website rarely works. Perhaps this is one that’s best to avoid.


  1. Poker Player Magazine


Open-Face Chinese Poker is still a relatively new poker variant, so you might be better off turning to the latest magazines for your fix of all the latest OFCP news and strategy. OFCP is the next big thing in poker, so at least you’ll find plenty of content.


Poker Player Autobiographies


  1. The Godfather of Poker, by Doyle Brunson


This epic by Doyle Brunson comprehensively documents his life playing poker. Some of his anecdotes and stories are so far-fetched they can only be true!


  1. For Richer, for Poorer: A Love Affair with Poker, by Victoria Coren


This offering from our very own Victoria Coren showcases her expertise as a writer and depicts her life on and off the poker felt with a generous helping of wit and flair.

This article was written by Michael who works with and has a keen interest in all kinds of poker.