I totally agree with the fact that learning can poker can be difficult, but poker books can help.
Yes, there are a select few who have an unnatural aptitude for the game.
Unfortunately, the rest of us have to rely on always learning, improving and playing to rise anywhere near their level.
So with that in mind, here are 13 books for you to read this year so that you may become a better all-around poker player.
1. The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky
David Sklansky wrote this book back in 1999, and even now 17 years later, it’s still hands down one of the greatest poker books ever written. Should you visit any serious poker player’s house, I guarantee you’ll find this on their shelf or their ebook. Slansky introduced theoretical concepts that were visionary for their time so much so that they are still relevant today. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, reading this book again will surely help improve your poker strategy. [amazon text=Buy on Amazon&asin=1880685000]
2. Super Systems 2 by Doyle Brunson
Similarly to Slansky, Doyle Brunson is one of the most experienced and well-known poker book writers on the planet. While the whole Super Systems series is worth reading cover to cover, we have chosen book two as it was published in 2012 meaning it has some of the best and latest theories within it. While the book is regarded by some as somewhat of a disappointment, I’m sure that if you dive deep into this book, you will improve your Texas Holdem Poker skills, at least, a little bit. [amazon text=Buy on Amazon&asin=B007E3FA56]
3. Ace on the River by Barry Greenstein and Doyle Brunson
If you’re looking to become a professional poker player that get’s to jet set around the world and enjoy what they do, then this is exactly the book you need to read. While Barry does cover some great poker tips and strategies within this book, it is much more about the modern life of a poker player. If you’re looking for a casual, easy to read book to stick on your coffee table or by your toilet, then this will do the job just fine. [amazon text=Buy on Amazon&asin=B007133IBC]
4. No Limit Hold’em Theory and Practice by David Sklansky and Ed Miller
It’s no surprise that there are some recurring authors on this list, with Sklansky being one of these! This book is the opposite of Ace on the River in the fact that this isn’t a casual read at all. Yes there is great theory, statistics and learning to be found, but you’ll find yourself going forward ten pages and then back five just to understand it. Then you’ll read it again before it all clicks into place. [amazon text=Buy on Amazon&asin=B002XQ2BTW]
5. Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em Poker by Jonathan Little and Phil Hellmuth
If you buy just one book on this list, then it should be this! Jonathan Little has bought together 18 pro poker stars to write this book. So really you get 19 great theorists for the price of one! The book covers everything you’d want to know about playing poker from your mental state to the end game. This makes this poker book suitable for beginners wishing to progress and professionals alike. [amazon text=Buy on Amazon&asin=1909457442]
6. Every Hand Revealed by Gus Hansen
Most poker books cover theory, ideology, mathematical processes and the holistic approach required to play poker. Some books give comparably little regarding an actual play-by-play. Gus Hansen’s book flips this completely on its head. The book reveals his ideas, thoughts and card by card decisions that lead him to win the Australian Millions. For each hand, not only does he describe his play, but also examines worthwhile alternative plays for a more in-depth look. [amazon text=Buy on Amazon&asin=0818407271]
7. Caro’s Book of Tells, the Body Language and Psychology of Poker Paperback by Mike Caro
Often referred to just as ‘Caro’s Tells’ or ‘Psychology of Poker’, this is Mike Caro’s book on how to read your opponents and their moves. If you’ve ever seen any pro poker players in action you’ll know just how important it is to be able to read not just a person, but their cards as well. Daniel Negreanu (incidentally next on this list) is particularly well known for this. While this is more for playing poker in the real world rather than online, just don’t expect to be a professional psychic after reading this. [amazon text=Buy on Amazon&asin=1580420826]
8. Power Hold’em Strategy by Daniel Negreanu
One of the most iconic books written around beating no-limit hold ’em games, which is especially useful for beginners. The powerful beginner strategy within this book will help you step up your poker game in a manner of minutes, and you’ll find out which poker cards you really should play, even if you wouldn’t have thought to. Similarly to Jonathan Little’s book, Daniel has rounded up a number of poker players for their input, so you’re getting a well-rounded and very informative book. [amazon text=Buy on Amazon&asin=B007E5U2RA]
9. Small Stakes Hold’em by Ed Miller and David Sklansky
While slightly outdated, this book still offers plenty of information to learn from. As the tagline “The definitive guide to crushing loose games and amateur opponents” suggests, this book isn’t meant for novices. So if this is your initial fore into the world of poker then skip this one for the moment, but if you deem yourself as an up and coming professional then you should start reading this now (if you haven’t yet). [amazon text=Buy on Amazon&asin=B003TXSRJQ]
10. Little Gold Book by Phil Gordon
The whole “Little Book” series by Phil Gordon is definitely worth reading, but the Gold Book stands out to us the most. Unlike some of the books in this list, the book concentrates heavily on the world of online poker. Another thing that makes this book stand out is the fact that it not only focuses on No Limits Texas Holdem but also Pot Limit Omaha. It might take a while to digest all of the information in this series, but trust us it’s worth it. [amazon text=Buy on Amazon&asin=B005UCW3EE]
11. Moorman’s Book of Poker by Chris Moorman
Moorman1, as he is better known, has amassed over $10 million in online poker winnings alone and back in 2014 when he wrote this book he was ranked number 1! In this book, he analyzes 80 tournament hands and the decisions that lead him to make his choices. If you’re looking to go heavily into the world of online poker, then this is the book choose. If you’re ever lucky enough to be seated at a PokerStars table with him, then you’ll have plenty to learn, just don’t be surprised if you lose. [amazon text=Buy on Amazon&asin=B00PFW065M]
12. Essential Poker Math: Fundamental No Limit Hold’em Mathematics by Alton Hardin
Alton Hardin is an ingenious person, and while he doesn’t necessarily rank as a high-level player, his maths, and IT skills are without doubt one of the best. This book on its own is definitely worth reading, however, if you’d like to get the most value out of it then I’d recommend signing up for his Udemy courses as well. If you’re looking to improve your poker mathematics skills and play poker as a way of making money online, then this book should profoundly help out. [amazon text=Buy on Amazon&asin=B012HMBC82]
13. 52 Great Poker Tips: at Tournament and Online by Lou Krieger
From the writer of the ‘Poker Players Bible’ comes another great book for playing Texas Hold’em Poker. This short and sweet book gives you tips on everything from start to finish. Beware it doesn’t go too in-depth so while it’s a great read it’s more useful for beginners rather than advanced players. Nonetheless, there will be at least one tip in there that you’ve likely hadn’t considered before. [amazon text=Buy on Amazon&asin=B00OZRQV9S]
Joker. Poker for Dummies
Are you tired of your friends getting annoyed about you always raving about poker? Then buy this book for them and they will learn what a great game it is, and the action that they are missing out on. If you’re lucky you might even be able to arrange weekly poker tournaments between them where you can empty their pockets. Be aware though, if your friends find this list you might start losing your stack very quickly! [amazon text=Buy on Amazon&asin=B004S82RYM]
Top Poker Books Conclusion
So the above are the best poker books available in our honest opinion. We’ve read them all and feel that they are all a great addition to any poker players library.
Don’t agree with our choices? Have something better to recommend? No problem!
Leave us a comment with your thoughts and theories and we’ll get back to you or even expand our list!