Let’s be honest.
Poker can be quite frustrating to play.
It’s easy to learn, but it takes a sh*tload of time to master.
The biggest hurdle you face when playing poker is that you not only have to deal with strategy when it comes to the cards you are dealt with but you also have to deal with the human aspect.
You face real human opponents who are also smart and have their own methods and judgment when it comes to playing the game with bluffs and counter-bluffs, tells and other means to confuse you.
There is always some help available for all the poker novices and even if you are not a novice there are some really great poker books out there which everyone who loves to play poker should read, if not to play the game better then at least to increase their knowledge span.
For most books you have the option to read them as an old-school paperback, download as a PDF, load it up on your Kindle or listen to them as an audiobook.
The ranking is based on our own algorithm taking into considering factors such as our rating, others’ rating, price, amount of content and popularity.
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#1 – Small Stakes Poker Tournaments
One of the most productive poker writers is back with another top seller.
Therefore Jonathan Little has written this handy book giving you the advice, knowledge, and skill to beating the small stakes poker tournaments.
Jonathan Little is an experienced professional player who in this book shares his valuable experience with the reader.
“Strategies For Beating Small Stakes Poker Tournaments” is really useful for someone who wants help with winning small stake poker tournaments, like Sit N Go’s.
Jonathan gives great advice on how to analyze your opponent and to recognize their habits and use them against them.
The strategies are explained in a simple and easy to understand language. He breaks down what to look for into categories and shares specific strategies for each category.
While this is a short book, it is packed with information that will help you up your game.
One note of caution, the book uses poker terminology throughout it, so if you are a complete newbie you might want to consider learning the basics before jumping into this book.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning how to win more poker tournament games.Get the book here
#2 – Excelling At No-Limit Hold’em
Learning the in-depth strategies that will give you a much deeper understanding of poker
Then, I strongly encourage you to read this book.
The variety of advice that some of the poker greats shared has allowed me to improve my game and play with a lot more confidence.
In fact, I have come to rely on this book as a trusted resource finding myself consistently referring back to it as a refresher.
In this book, you will find a variety of advice from many famous and experienced poker players such as:
Jonathan Little, who has won over $6 million in prizes playing poker and is a poker coach.
Phil Hellmuth, who has won over $16 million playing poker.
Olivier Busquet, who has over $6 million in winnings.
The authors have done a wonderful job explaining the information in a way that I found easy to understand, including important details that every no-limit hold’em player should know.
I found reading this book quite enjoyable and was able to apply the strategies that I learned easily. This book is a must for poker players that are truly serious about improving their approach to the game.
The information is easy to read and clearly detailed and explained by the various authors of the book. Having so many authors is a real advantage given you a wealth of knowledge from these professional players.Get the book here
#3 – Essential Poker Math
This piece will teach you fundamental poker math and how to use it to increase your winnings. It will cover probabilities and odds, expected value, pot equity, ratios, calls and more.
Hardin will provide you with many examples, such as exercise and scenarios, to learn, study, and practice. It even gives you some even reference charts and cheat sheets.
With the examples, charts, and tools provided by the book, learning poker math is less intimidating and easier to grasp.
Beginners will gain new and much-needed information, including poker terminology. Advanced players will gain a new skill that will give them an advantage in future poker games and increase their winnings.
Thus, it is a book that can be enjoyed by poker players of all levels.Get the book here
#4 – Poker
This book is written by famous poker author Ian Dunross.
In the book Ian covers a total of 12 topics including, poker hand ratings, observing and reading your opponent, common terms, player personalities, bluffing and more.
After reading it I had a much different view of the game. The book explained each topic step-by-step and showed me how to put the strategies into practice during my own play.
For more advanced players going over the different types of hands and the hierarchy of suits may seem extremely basic, but if you are new to the game it is highly beneficial.
The book explains each topic step-by-step and shows the reader how to put the topic into practice. It discusses different types of hands and the hierarchy of suits.
The book presents poker as a game of intellect rather than luck, which it is. The reader shouldn’t expect this book to give them the magic solution to winning all future games.
As stated in the book, patience and practice are needed. I would recommend this book to beginner and intermediate level players, as more advanced players may have prior knowledge of most, if not all of the concepts in the book.Get the book here
#5 – Harrington on Hold ’em Vol. 2: Endgame
This book is written by Dan Harrington, 1995 World Series of Poker Champion and author of many poker books.
In this second volume of this series, Dan covers the later phases in the poker tournaments when bigger pots are at stake.
The best thing about this book is that Harrington provides the reader with a lot of hand analysis, explaining play and strategy step-by-step.
The book gives many illustrations that will help explain bluffing, steals, pre-flop, bets and more. You will also learn why and why you shouldn’t make certain plays.
Like his other books, Harrington’s writing style in this book is like a manual. Although it may not be the most entertaining, it is informative.
Harrington’s books are in general all around great for any player seeking to improve their game. Beginners will especially benefit from the step-by-step approach of the book.Get the book here
#6 – The Course
Ed Miller immediately dispels the delusion that The Course will instantly solve all your problems and make you a better player winning lots of money.
Instead, Ed draws out the path and expectations you should have during your journey to become a better poker player. The book is full of strategies that focus on your mindset and your play.
It explains how you can’t control what other players do, and you shouldn’t worry about their actions either. Doing so is a distraction, and the book shows you how to overcome this and improve your playing.
I recommend this book for mid-level to advanced players as you will need some playing experience and knowledge of some strategies to fully utilize the book.Get the book here
#7 – Real Grinders
In this book Ashton Cartwright has put together perspectives from 28 different poker players on professional poker playing, the lifestyle, and strategy.
The best thing about this book is how many perspectives you receive. You get varying views and experiences on a variety of topics, so you get a clear vision of what is going on in this fast-paced world.
The format of the book is Q&A, so you’re not jumping around from topic to topic or player to player in a messy fashion. The only downfall of this format is that some player gives answers that are short and uninformative.
However, the answers that have length and depth give great insight and advice and makes the book a worthwhile buy and read.
I recommend this book to players of all levels and lifestyles. Even if you don’t want to become a full-time poker player or live the lifestyle, it’s worth learning more about the industry you are a part of.Get the book here
#8 – Harrington On Hold’em Vol. 1: Strategic Play
This book by Harrington, which is the first in a series of three, can be utilized by players of all levels.
It’s a fun read and it kind of reads like a manual. It has clarity and lessons are presented in a way for readers to easily understand.
One thing I liked about the book the most was the illustrated examples. When talking about bluffs, pot odds, steals, betting, etc., an illustrated example of a round or hand played is being presented to the reader so they can visually see what Harrington is teaching them.
Although the world of Texas Hold ‘em has changed a lot since the publishing of this book, readers can still gain valuable information and strategies to help improve their play.Get the book here
#9 – Small Stakes Poker Cash Games
Jonathan Little has come through once again, providing the necessary information you need to win small stakes poker games.
One thing that gravitated me towards this book is the subject since you don’t often see books geared towards small stakes poker games.
The book covers everything from bet sizing to interpreting a player’s hand based on the bet and other poker strategies.
This book will help you realize the similarities in you and your opponent’s strategy and will show you how to remedy that.
I recommend this book for people who have experience playing low stakes, as I don’t feel that this book is a beginner’s guide.
It is more of a guide to help players get to that next level of poker playing and winning bigger prizes as a result.Get the book here
#10 – Every Hand Revealed
Every Hand Revealed is written by Gus Hansen, and it is a guide for getting into the mind and strategy of Gus Hansen himself.
Like Gus Hansen, the book shows you how to take calculated risks and know when to be more aggressive in strategy when it comes to bluffing, guessing, calling out large bets and more.
The book is a combination of voice recorder notes that Hansen recorded himself during tournament play.
He explains many hands he has played during tournaments and explains the math of his strategy and thought process. One thing I truly liked about the book is that Hansen’s mistakes are included as well.
After reading this book, you start to understand that Hansen is not this crazy poker player, but a calculated player who knows when to go for it.
I recommend this book to intermediate and advanced poker players who are looking for different strategies and ways to be more aggressive in their playing.Get the book here
#11 – Life’s a Gamble
Poker star and legend Mike Sexton has memorialized his forty-year career sharing the highs and lows that have made him the successful man he is today.
Reading his story is fun and easy, offering an inside view of the man behind the screen both in the poker and golf world.
You will be entertained by captivating stories, both old and new that shows you what being a poker professional is really like.
And if you have a Mike Sexton fan or just a good old poker fan in your life this book will make a great gift for them!
Read true stories about his experiences in Vegas, so engaging that you will not want to stop reading until you have reached the end.
Not only has Mike Sexton held nothing back, sharing the true good, bad, and ugly of the real poker world, including his missteps on the road to success.Get the book here
#12 – Decide to Play Great Poker
Annie Duke explores what it really takes to be a great poker player in this book. You will learn the ins and outs of poker in a fun and easily understandable way.
The book provides the first step in becoming a better, more confident No-Limit Texas Hold Em player.
Easily understand the intricate details that encompass the game and how to identify, study, and make the right call that will keep you in the game and build up that all-important stack of chips.
This book will help you learn and more importantly understand the rules so you can be a real contender at the table.
Just because you have the rules memorized does not mean you understand how to win.
Learn how to make the right decisions that will ensure you have the proper tools to play the game confidently and competently with this one of a kind poker strategy guide.Get the book here
#13 – The Habits of Winning Poker Players
I came across this one from Ashton Cartwright and figured I would give it a try.
The information was presented in a way that anyone who is new to the game can easily understand, especially the glossary.
Learning the jargon that is used seemed a perfectly natural place to start my education and I will refer to it every now and then when necessary.
After I became a little more comfortable with the terminology I continued on to the seven habits necessary to win the game.
I must say that I was quite surprised, I was expecting the “winning habits” to include topics such as always fold when you are dealt this type of hand etc., but instead I found tips on aggression, and position which I now know is valuable information when you are learning the game.Get the book here
#14 – The Myth of Poker Talent
Alex Fitzgerald shares his years of acquired knowledge and experience, a renowned poker trainer who has trained over one-thousand students, and knows what it takes to become a poker player.
This book has debunked the myth that talent is necessary to become a successful poker player.
Learn how to pinpoint the various situations that you will experience during the course of a game, with his easy to read and understand approach to becoming a proficient poker player.
After reading this book you will have a better understanding of his one of a kind “model of poker”, know how to identify and use the poker tools available to improve your game, and why what you think about the game is most likely wrong.
If you are interested in becoming a better poker player or just enjoy reading about the game, this book is worth your time.Get the book here
#15 – The Mental Game Of Poker
Changing my approach to the game did not seem like it would be too difficult. That was before I read this piece from Jared Tendler.
This is, in my opinion, the best book yet to me help me find my strengths, weaknesses, how to be aware of them and how to change them for the better
But once I started I realized just how challenging it was to be to constantly on the look-out for my habitual mistakes that always lead to me being one of the first players knocked out of the game.
However, I found the more I stayed with it the easier it became and I can honestly say that I have definitely gotten rid of one of my habits! I am currently using the same technique to break my second worst habit.
I recommend this book to anyone who is serious about improving their game and is willing to put in the time necessary to make the information work for you.Get the book here
#16 – Check-Raising the Devil
I have never been a big fan of Mike “The Mouth” Matusow and never would have bought this book if my best friend had not recommended it.
I was surprised to learn about how turbulent his personal life was. As he spoke candidly about his mental health issues I could not help but look at him in a much different light.
This book has shed a glaring light on the humanity of the professionals that we watch on TV and has changed how I view the game.
I would watch them and think how nice it must be to have the kind of money that they did, now I wonder what they had to go through to make it.
In my opinion, his inspirational story should be read by everyone, not just those who are interested in poker there is so much to learn from his experience and success.
Thank You, Mike!Get the book here
#17 – Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book
Well, for Phil Gordon fans everywhere that question is no longer a hypothetical one.
Get full access to Phil Gordon’s personal notes, an accumulation of everything he has learned during the course of an amazing career as a great poker player and teacher.
His dedication to the study of poker has made this book possible. Find out his tips and tricks of the trade, how to develop your own personal playing style.
This book offers a wonderful learning opportunity from one of the greatest players of all time! He explains what it takes to be successful, how to handle unexpected situations during a game, how to create a strategy, and so much more.
This information is great for new and intermediate players, you will find his writing clear, and to the point, his style is easy to understand.Get the book here
#18 – Reading Poker Tells
This is the first book I have read about “tells” and how to identify them.
It is very interesting, after all the art of reading body language has been around for years, applying its dynamics to playing poker makes perfect sense.
I must admit that I was a little skeptical but then I figured why not try it. This information does work. I couldn’t believe how much I learned about the tells my opponents have been displaying all along.
Just by sitting back and paying more attention to the various movements that were happening all around the table I was able to apply my new knowledge and decide on my plays accordingly.
In addition to my opponents tells I also learned about my own, I won’t share what it was but I can say that once I realized what it was I was able to break myself of that habit.
Thank you for a great book, Zachary Elwood.Get the book here
#19 – Essential Poker Math, Expanded Edition
So I decided to educate myself after searching through what had seemed like a million books I finally found this gem.
Hardin’s simple to understand explanation of mathematics came through big time with this expanded edition. I caught on faster than I ever expected and have been able to improve my level of play winning more games.
I enjoy playing poker more than I ever had before. Being able to play according to the odds as opposed to just the hand I have been dealt has made the game more of a mental challenge than just a game of luck.
If you want to be recognized as a formidable opponent, you can’t go wrong learning the math behind the game from this book.Get the book here
#20 – Winning Low-Limit Hold’em
So, if you are interested in entering the Texas Hold’em ranks, then you must first understand how to win at Low-Limit Hold’em. Lee Jones has written this book with this fact in mind.
My hold’em skills are in no way comparable to the professional’s, but after reading this book (twice) I was able to apply what I had learned and improved the length of time that I could stay in the game.
Thus, the book is a very good read for those who don’t know anything about the game but are interested in learning. It has been updated recently so it offers the most up-to-date information about the game today, including online, no-limit, or single-table playing.
After you read this you will understand that poker is not a game of luck, as many thinks, but it’s a game of technique and thought that will separate the men/women from the boys/girls
If you think the game confusing this books will have you understanding it immediately, starting with the very basics that should know.Get the book here
#21 – Doyle Brunson’s Super System
As someone who has been a loyal fan of the great Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson for years, reading this book was extremely enjoyable.
Learning about his bold approach to the game as well as his thoughts behind them were eye-opening and pretty amazing to me.
I don’t necessarily see myself ever playing according to his advice or strategy; I am just not that brave, nonetheless, it was still fascinating to learn about his journey climbing up the ranks to become one of the most famous poker players in the world today.
His stories while immensely entertaining also shared a unique first-hand look into poker’s history that shed light on what it was/is really like to be a professional player.
Recommended if you are interested in poker’s history or if you are looking to become a more daring and aggressive player, reading this book is a definite must for you.Get the book here
#22 – Poker’s 1%
Ed Miller has written this book for the most serious students of poker.
Reinforcing the fact that poker is more than just playing the cards you’re dealt it’s about using your mind and paying attention to what your opponents are doing that puts you in a much better position at the table.
If you were asked the question: What is the difference between the elite professional poker players and the rest of the world?
What would your answer be?
They don’t view the game like the rest us, they see it differently and because of that, they have become extremely successful.
So how do they do it?
The answer can be found in this informative book. Becoming one of the top-ranked 1% in the poker world is not easy, but in order to have any chances of getting there, then this must-read will help you understand the differences from the elite to the run of the mill player who shows no signs of improving their skills.
So, if you want to become an elite player start reading away and learn.Get the book here
#23 – Doyle Brunson’s Super System 2
The “Godfather of Poker” has once again shared everything he knows, loves and hates about the poker world.
Whether you call him the “Texas Dolly” or “Godfather of Poker” everyone can learn from his extensive experience and thoughtful insight into the game that he helped revolutionize.
No one’s take on the game is as unique as Doyle’s and his years of experience open up a world of how he managed to become one of the best well-known poker players on the circuit.
He has openly shared his knowledge with the world and has written various books on the topic of poker and how to be successful at it.
Although among one of the oldest players, his knowledge can be invaluable to those who have experience only with playing poker online.
His views are based on the time when you actually needed to sit at a table to play a game.Get the book here
#24 – Power Hold’em Strategy
Professional poker player, Daniel Negreanu has thoughtfully put together an extensive array of important information for poker lover’s around the world.
If you have ever wished that you had the knowledge of the professionals, here is your chance to find out the secrets of the best of the best, learn their tips on how to become successful in poker, and apply their theories in your own game-play to improve your skills.
This fun, informative book will have your poker buddies amazed at your skill advancement in virtually no time at all.
This in-depth book covers all areas of the game such as; limit, no-limit, pot-limit for those cash games as well as tournaments.
It covers every aspect of the game with advice from those that know it the best. If you are truly serious about learning poker or getting better at it, this is a book that you must read!Get the book here
#25 – Playing The Player
I read this on the advice of a friend, Miller’s approach to poker is clear and easy to understand although the lessons do require work.
This was not an issue for a serious student of poker like myself, I am always willing to try anything that will improve my stats.
I started considering how I could implement changes in my game that would help me exploit my opponent’s weaknesses which I now know is an extremely important aspect of playing the game successfully.
I readjusted my strategy, and have been fine tuning it here and there ever since.
My level of play is not where I want it to be yet, but I am playing better and expect that I will continue to improve.
Although it is not the most well-written book I have ever read it still helped me improve my game and my time was very well spent.Get the book here
#26 – The Theory Of Poker
David Sklansky has done it again with this amazing book.
Gain valuable information about the theories and secrets behind your favorite poker games; five-card draw, seven-card stud, hold’em, lowball draw, and finally razz.
Learn the basics of poker from the ground up, beginning with its theories. Understanding their implications, and then finally how it can affect your play either positively or negatively.
Figure out the art of deception, raising, slow-playing, how to know what position you are in, psychological play, and heads-up play. These are all necessary skills that professional players have had to develop in order to be successful.
Not only will you learn the basics you will also learn how to become a better player sharpening and refining your skills every time you sit at a table or turn on your computer to play.
For those who are just entering the world of poker, this is the perfect starting point to get your feet a little wet.Get the book here
#27 – Poker Notes
You know that you could be successful if you could just figure out where you are going wrong then you understand how frustrating this situation can be.
Tyler Nals will teach you to stop learning from “trial and error” and start learning and following the cold hard facts of the game of poker.
This book will give you the information you need to start being successful without all of the misinformation or opinions of people who play poker but are in no way at all near the status of a successful, professional player.
Clear all of that unnecessary information out of your brain and focus on the points of this book, you will see improvement in skills and start winning some of those big money games.Get the book here
#28 – Small Stakes Hold ’em
This book is authored by three prominent poker experts (Ed Miller, David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth) who promises that you can win big with expert play.
The techniques for small stakes games were very informative.
But for myself, the most valuable pieces of information from this book were the explanations on how to handle starting hands, how to know their strengths and weaknesses and how to play them to my advantage.
The techniques explained are solid, very easy to understand and really do work. Especially his advice on chasing the cards, an area of my play that I have recently adjusted. I am skeptical about the reality of the examples used, they seem a little too outlandish for my taste, but it takes nothing away from the validity of the points they are making.
I plan to go back to this book regularly just to keep my memory sharp. Highly recommended for anyone who regularly plays small stakes hold’em, or just enjoys reading about it, in my experience, the theories worked, they certainly helped my game.Get the book here
#29 – Kill Everyone
This is definitely one book (Lee Nelson) that should be on the shelf for every serious poker player.
Full of information that will make you a serious opponent at the table. The most valuable lesson for myself was dealing with players that are extremely aggressive.
I have never reacted well to what I would think of as “bullies” at the table, this book has helped me figure out a great way to deal with them and still stay in the game. If you are looking to become more aggressive in your game, this will also give you the information necessary to get you where you want to be.
For tournament players that want information on when to become aggressive, how to widen your hand range, or when you should back off a little.
Great book with lots of information that will help you improve your skills, and definitely give you more confidence.Get the book here
#30 – The Mental Game Of Poker 2
This book by Jared Tendler, one of the leading mental poker game experts in the industry, is one of the most realistic poker strategy books on the market. It doesn’t advertise quick improvements or solutions.
It gives you realistic strategies with realistic results. In this book, the author presents the reader with the strategy, how to apply the strategy, and the steps needed to implement it successfully.
The author lets you know right away and throughout the book the hours and work needed to successfully utilize and reap from the strategies in the book.
I recommend this book to poker players in the intermediate to advanced levels. You will definitely need prior playing experience and some knowledge of strategy to fully grasp the lessons presented in the book.Get the book here
#31 – Sit ‘N Go Strategy
This book by Collin Moshman was inspired by the beginning of his career, where he started out in small stakes online betting and used his mathematical background to turn his hobby into a professional career.
This book is not the most entertaining, but it is one of the most informative and useful ones on the market.
Moshman shows you the power of aggressive playing and how to use it properly and other poker strategies you can use throughout the game.
The strategies in the book are clearly laid out and are easy for the reader to understand and follow.
What I like most about this book is that the author gives you strategies that you can use from the early stages of the game to the later stages. I recommend this book to beginner and intermediate players.
More advanced players may not find this book so helpful, as they may already know the strategies presented in the book.Get the book here
#32 – Bluffs
This book is written by Johnathan Little who is a professional poker player with over many years of experience and the owner of PokerCoaching.com.
Little covers everything from position, flopping, turn and river bets, stack sizing and more. He offers advice and strategy for mid-strength and good starting hands.
He doesn’t cater to the illusion that a bad hand could be a winning one with some good bluffing.
The formatting of the book is well structured, and his strategy presentation is very analytical. You will get a very detailed read on the thought processes when playing certain hands or positions. I recommend this book for players of all levels.
This book will teach you how to be aggressive and play smart. It’s realistic, well thought out, and the author’s format and writing style make the strategies very easy to understand and follow.Get the book here
#33 – Caro’s Book of Poker Tells
This book is written by Mike Caro who is a professional poker player, theorist, and author.
Caro shows you how to read and interpret your opponent’s body language and actions.
He will show how to tell what a player has in his hands and when he is bluffing based on eye contact, sighs, shrugs, glancing at chips, shuffling hands, and other mannerisms.
To accompany the lessons, the author provides around 170 illustrated photos so the reader may see the mannerisms in action and get a better understanding of the lessons presented.
The author will also show you how to differentiate players who are showing actual signs of bluffing and players who just want to lead you on.
The book is easy to read and follow, and the photos provide great help in understanding the concepts.
This book will help players improve their bluffing strategy and get to the ranks of more advanced players.Get the book here
#34 – Harrington on Hold ’em Vol. 3: The Workbook
This book is written by professional player Dan Harrington, who was the 1995 World Series of Poker Champion and has over 35 years of experience.
If you have read his other books, you know that Harrington’s books provide useful strategies and are well thought out. In this book, you get less theory and more practice.
You will go through a series of hand analysis, with the object of learning as you do.
You will study hands by acting as a professional player playing against Harrington, and you will study how and why each player makes the plays and choices that they do at every step of the game.
You study strategies such as bluffing, scare cards, lose games, endgame play and more.
I would recommend this book to players of all levels and people who learn better by doing rather than watching.Get the book here