Due to the poker boom in the ’70s, it became a mainstream attraction for the people. Naturally, such a wide audience means there is a huge array of great guides on poker texas hold’em. There are too many books that talk about poker or guide other people regarding poker.
Here are some of the best poker texas hold’em books any player – beginner or advanced – will benefit from reading.
The Theory of Poker, by David Sklansky
Budding poker players thought of Sklansky’s book as the gospel truth of poker theory. But that was the case back in the 1990s. The styles surrounding pro poker have changed a lot in two decades. Even then, Sklansky’s work is timeless because it unravels the most fundamental mathematical concepts that should go into a poker player’s decision-making. After all, it is a great book that tries to take a shot at theorizing the game.
Super/System 2: A Course in Power Poker, by Doyle Brunsen
If you want to pick one be-all and end-all look into how the pros do it, this book is the answer. The alternative title is ‘How I Won One Million Dollars Playing Poker’. Not only is this 600-page tome an index of basic and advanced poker strategies, but the two-time WSOP winner author also adds anecdotes and wisdom from his own pro poker journey in Vegas. Another plus is the contributions from other poker legends – Mike Caro, Joey Hawthorne, Bobby Baldwin, and David Sklansky, to name a few.
Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players, by Mason Malmuth
This book came out about the same time as Sklansky’s Poker Theory, but its approach is much more hands-on. What really kept the book alive is its prestigious status as the ultimate limited Hold’em guide. Although limit poker really took a nosedive about 20 years ago, the book still holds up because of its intriguing ‘Malmuthisms’, such as Malmuth’s signature ‘semi-bluff’.
Harrington on Hold’em, by Dan Harrington
The first volume of Harrington’s series, ‘Strategic Play’ is probably the most sold poker guidebook of all time. Co-authored by chess icon Bill Robertie, the book deals both with game theory and Harrington’s own poker knowledge as a pro champion. The topics and tidbits laid out by the first and second volume defined an era of poker meta. A generation later, poker players have internalized these concepts – to the point that we take most of them for granted now. But that still does not hurt the lustre of the book. Complete with three more volumes, it is a comprehensive poker guide for the ages.
The Raiser’s Edge, by Bertrand Grospellier
Many of the poker classics with huge sale numbers came way back in the ’80s and ’90s. As we may have mentioned, some of their importance has faded with an ever-shifting meta. On the other hand, though, you can get this book for an up-to-date primer on advanced Texas Hold’em. Some would argue that the focus is too narrow, but it is narrowed down to a very significant spot. That is to say, LAG or loose-aggressive style of play, and how to best utilize it.
Caro’s Book of Tells, by Mike Caro
An iconic part of poker is its psychological aspect. Many authors have tried their hands at the codification of the ‘poker face’. Ed Miller ‘Playing The Player’ is a recent example. But arguably, none of them has come as close as Mike Caro. In some 300 pages, Caro breaks down ‘tells’ or subtle behavioural tics. He categorizes them into 20 groups and goes over how to find and exploit each of them in great detail.
Every Hand Revealed, by Gus Hansen
This book encapsulates the perspective of Gus Hansen, one of poker’s most enigmatic personalities. You will be hooked to this book for the surprisingly methodical rundown on how a top tier poker player thinks. Gus Hansen became the Aussie Millions Champion in 2007 with a series of stellar plays, his fifth major title. In his book, Hansen goes through each hand from each round. He details how he deals with them, articulately describing the thought process behind a poker star’s decision-making.
Elements of Poker, by Tommy Angelo
Angelo’s gander at poker guide has all the usual elements – concepts, strategies, and the like. But the standout feature is his focus on stress management. This is the book for you if you want to keep your poker face without having to fake it.
One of A Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stu Ungar, by Nolan Dalla and Peter Alson
One might easily pass this book off as a sensationalist dramatization of Stu Ungar’s high-octane life. But alongside the mobs, the debauchery, the glitz of success, and the fall from glory, the biography also contains vivid analyses of Ungar’s most famous plays.
Positively Fifth Street, by James McManus
In 2000, McManus was sent to Vegas by Harper Magazine. He was to do a cover story on the murder of Ted Binion, allegedly by a stripper. One thing led to another, and he ended up winning the 5th place in WSOP. MacManus’ most spicy memoir comes with the added benefit of some masterful poker lessons.
Arguably, these books might be the creme de la creme of poker guides. Go through them and you can start aiming to be the lucky poker master too.
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