STRATEGY

Why You Should Read Poker Books to Improve!

Regardless if you play poker very casually at a friend’s house, or consider yourself a seasoned veteran, poker books are important.

You can quickly obtain a copy of various professional poker player’s books on just about every poker related topic possible. You’ll find topics ranging from life stories to body language. From basic hand rankings to complicated maths of constructing a defending range blind vs. blind.

Read Poker Books

Below are a just a couple of reasons you should pick up a poker book.

Something to read while traveling

Just like any other book, they can be entertaining and an excellent addition to your rucksack or holdall. When you have a commute to work or are traveling long distance, consider taking a poker book with you next time.

Invest in yourself

With costs usually starting at $5 and up to and above $50, it may seem like this is a costly investment. But it’s just that, an investment!

It’s a one-off cost that you pay to gain the knowledge of a player, who has already seen and done many things in poker. It’s much quicker and, by proxy cheaper than trying to discover these mistakes by yourself. Depending on the stakes you play at poker, this may be less than half a buy-in at your local casino, and greater than that it will begin to pay for itself. Once you have read, reread and committed the information to your memory your game will have improved. Thereby netting you a higher return of investment, or big blinds per 100 hands.

Much like a business sending its workers off to work-related courses, count poker literature as a work course. Pay the up-front fee and at the end of the course you’ll be more qualified. The plus side here is that reading poker books is going to be more fun than your latest course on workplace health and safety.

Mental state and discipline

Reading can help instill discipline and good mental state. This is helpful if you are playing poker professionally or just need to destress after a long day of work.

Getting into the habit of reading from a book can help slow down life. Relaxing away from the hustle and bustle of the major cities and jostling cars. Not only that but if you set a goal of x hours of poker a week but find yourself in a bad mood, perhaps playing is not a good option. So reading a poker book instead will help fulfill this goal without risking losing at the tables.

Easy to take anywhere

With the advent of media technology, you can get many if not most of the poker books in PDF format. This makes it easy, essentially weightless and above all convenient.

If you are going to take a tablet with you to live poker, then no harm having the PDF’s on there for good measure.

Now I wouldn’t recommend taking your physical, signed copy of Doyle Brunson’s Super System with you to the local casino. Not because it’s not useful, but because you’ll risk heckling and it may identify you as a more beginner player (by all means if you are a decent player already feel free to abuse this with some basic poker books to look weak).

Given there are so many books currently on the market, I’ll just list a few that I think are influential or useful in a particular area. We’ve covered most of these in our list of poker books you should read this year.

Poker Books to Read

  • Doyle Brunson’s – Super System, The book that essentially started it all! This book is now severely outdated regarding concepts and current game state, it’s worth reading. Even if just to see the insight of one of the best-loved old timers of poker.
  • Collin Moshman’s – Sit’N Go Strategy. One of the best books for any serious SNG players. Covering play with low, mid and high blinds including a section on how to manage a career in sit and go’s.
  • Joe Navarro’s – Read’em and Reap. This is one of the best books you’ll find about reading body language, specifically at the poker table. It also has input from Phil Hellmuth.
  • Jared Tendler’s – The Mental Game of Poker. Jared is one of the industry’s best mindset coaches, and this is evident in this brilliant book. You can follow the simple guides and instructions for hints and tips to improve your daily mindset and free you up to play your ‘A game.’
  • Gus Hansen’s – Every Hand Revealed. This charts the meteoric rise of one of the best live players to every grace this planet, as he wins the 2007 Aussie Millions. Now one of the biggest losers ever online, it’s an insightful glimpse into the psyche of the man himself.
  • Mathew Janda’s – Applications of No Limit Hold’em. No poker book list would be complete without a mention to one of the best mathematical brains in the poker literature world!
  • Dusty Schmidt’s – Treat Your Poker Like A Business. How to monetise your poker experience, correct bankroll management and when to play more tables all pop up in Leather Ass’ real gem of a book.
  • Jonathan Little’s –Strategies For Beating Small Stake Poker Cash Games. A solidly rated book for beginner or intermediate players looking to beat cash games.

There are so many different books on so many various topics. In differing games and formats, that will truely spoil you for choice.

Remember, reading poker books can be interesting, an investment and instill a decent mindset. What are you still sat here for? Go to your nearest bookstore or browse our shop, to get yourself some poker books now.


Greg has been playing poker for the last 7 years, you can currently find him on Cash Game tables from £20nl-£100nl under the username BarrattG1. He currently writes poker articles and does coaching of micro stakes Mtt and Cash players. He uses a generally sound mathematical approach to odds and poker and uses this in conjunction with meta-game to create spots to profit from.


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