When I first started playing poker at a home game with some of the guys I worked with, one of them recommended I read a book called The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky. He lent me his copy, and within a couple weeks I had read it cover to cover. Within those pages, a wealth of information and insight which, to this day, has made me a better player.
Since then, I have read several other poker strategy and poker theory books, some of them fascinating and some of them as boring as reading the phone book.
So, when I decided to build this site, I wanted to provide beginner poker players with a list of books that will give a solid foundation of poker game theories and strategies.
- The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky – My first poker book, and the one I recommend to my friends who want to improve their game by reading and engaging and easy to follow guide.
- Hold’Em Poker by David Sklansky – Written by the same author who wrote The Theory of Poker, this book focuses specifically on Texas Hold’em – which is the most popular online poker game style.
- Super/System: A Course in Power Poker by Doyle Brunson – Doyle Brunson is considered a legendary player, and when he released this book in the late 1970’s, it was considered groundbreaking. It’s one part strategy and one part the Doyle Brunson poker story, which is actually incredibly entertaining and insightful.
- Harrington on Hold’em, by Dan Harrington – An incredibly popular poker book, Harrington on Hold’em is mentioned on every poker message board on threads related to strategy. Why? Because Harrington is a master of explaining strategy, even to novice players.
- Elements of Poker by Tommy Angelo – Less a strategy book than a book about the art of playing poker, Tommy Angelo has penned one of the most entertaining reads on the subject that I’ve ever read. I found myself chuckling at some of his anecdotes and when I was finished reading it, realized that it had introduced me to some new ways of thinking about my game.
- Professional No Limit Hold’Em by Matt Flynn, Sunny Mehta, Ed Miller – An excellent poker primer for the player who is just getting their feet wet playing no limit games. Incredibly concise and well-written, this book will help you develop the intuition you’ll need to succeed at this style of play.
- The Mathematics of Poker by Bill Chen and Jerrod Ankenman – More for the advanced player, and over dense sometimes, I recommend this book for poker players who also happen to be math wizards.
Of course, this is just a short list, containing books I’ve personally read only, so I’m probably missing a few amazing nuggets. If I’m missing a book that you think every beginner should read, by all means let me know in the comments section! My readers will appreciate the recommendations!