As one of the most popular entertainments of the gambling niche, legendary poker game has always been raising an immense interest of the media, inspired the directors to create top poker movies, and prompted poker enthusiasts to write comprehensive literary works. When it comes to the latter, many of the books written about it are in the autobiographical or documentary style. The subject of poker has been brought up in dozens of thematic reference books covering the ultimate range of the game: its tremendous history, theory, its brightest representatives, manuals for beginners, tips & tricks, and a dangling etcetera. Normally, such books make it to the very hub of the gambling literature due to the great number of admirers who want to hit it big in this legendary game. And by “normally” here, we mean the frequency that defines the enduring popularity of some highly competitive poker books that respond to researchers’ most urgent requests and inquiries.
With this article, we want to help you, dearest poker-faddist friend, peruse the best poker books covering all the colorful aspects of this remarkable game and lifestyle. Read ahead to discover a compilation of the brightest books about poker.
Following the common and true contention that theory, as such, is the origin and source of every subject, we commence our big list with a theoretical reference book on this terrific game. David Sklansky, a professional poker player and 3-time winner of World Series of Poker bracelet, elaborated on the techniques and rules underlying the game, using his own abundant expertise and beautiful mind to compose this excellent book. The Theory of Poker explores theories and concepts one can apply to any variation of the game. Sklansky’s study also comprises the famous Fundamental theory of this game and discusses such aspects as bluffing, deception, raising, and implied odds. The book was warmly received by dozens of veteran players and highly appreciated by many newbies who paved their way to big poker with this volume in hand. So, no matter what category of players you belong to – expert or novice players – The Theory of Poker will become the ultimate theoretical handbook, guiding you along the great poker circuit you plan to play your way through.
The mental background behind any action is the crucial aspect that determines the course this action will take. Indeed, it’s your manifold and complex psychological processes that define how well you’ll perform on an SAT exam or during a tricky poker game. This book scrupulously explores the player’s mental setting, i.e. mental game, and how it impacts the player’s performance. It features instructions for handling some of the psychological pitfalls you may stumble on while playing the game: fear, anxiety, emotional tension, and tilt. Surprising though it might seem, the book was written by a non-gambler, a mental game coach named Jared Tendler, who specializes in training poker insiders and mentoring their performance from the very initial stages up to the finals.
Phil Gordon, a prominent been-there-done-that poker prodigy, pulled the plug on his stinginess and decided to share his overwhelming experience with readers looking for some solid advice on the craft of playing this game. Little Green Book features hundreds of tips and tricks on how to delve into the game like a total pro. It also includes strategic suggestions from the priceless experiences of playing it big with such great celebrity gamblers like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Phil Ivey, and Hank Azaria. So, if you’re interested in getting to know about some of the most fascinating experiences in the history of the game as revealed by a true poker pro, then Little Green Book is the right choice for you. Every striving gambler searching for new knowledge and expertise should be sure to check this one out.
One can’t just play this game without applying mathematical techniques and tools to the gaming process. Math Ph.D. Bill Chen was one of the few poker-obsessed academics who set about compiling the full set of math rules and notions underlying the game. This is how The Mathematics of Poker, one of the leading books on the correlation between the game and math, came to be. The thing is that poker is best approached with quantitative analysis, allowing players to make effective predictions and carry out other actions in the game. The book uncovers the many peculiarities and mechanisms of these cunning techniques, aiding players who lack analytical thinking with the right mathematical background necessary for building and then conducting the appropriate game strategy.
This autobiographical book by Matt Matros, a three-time World Series winner, reveals the story of his rise to the tops of the poker ranks. Not only is it a fascinating story of a regular poker newbie becoming one of the world’s top game insiders, The Making of a Poker Player also features elements of a powerful strategy that players need to implement in the game to follow in the footsteps of the iconic book’s renowned author.
Did you know that applying philosophical thinking to your gaming strategy can multiply your chances of winning, as well as the pleasure you get from the game? Featuring a totally novice technique to enhance your performance in poker by applying the philosophy of Zen, this book offers you deep insight into how closely interrelated the gaming and spiritual sectors are. Larry Phillips, the acclaimed author of this esoteric book on gambling, introduces the reader to the complex and utterly useful subtleties of Zen practice and how to implement them in the game, and accentuates the importance of actually applying this global form of thinking to the gaming process.
This book by Mike Caro introduces you to the fine craft of understanding your opponent’s physical behavior and benefiting from it. It provides you with the ultimate guide to correctly interpreting the body language of your opponent, and explores the cunning tricks of discerning fear, relief, tension, and other common emotional states players experience over the course of the game. What’s also incredible about this vital guide is that it teaches players how to detect cheating and induced emotions.
The book lists the most common and widely spread poker-related behavioral patterns, shedding light on where they originated. Zachary Elwood also expands the scope of the matter the book deals with by providing the groundwork for the readers to figure out the complicated mechanism behind the game tells and how to memorize them. And, lastly, here you can get some ultimate tips on how to cheat and manipulate your opponents.
Written by poker insider Phil Hellmuth, this book exposes its creator’s personal secrets and cunning schemes for beating opponents. Here you’ll find the cornerstone recommendations for the widest range of poker games possible: Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Seven-Card Stud, and Razz. The book features an extensive range of rules and strategies for each of game types. Here the author enlightens which hand to play, when it’s the right time to cheat, and when you should raise. Hellmuth also backs you up with the special suggestions on how to interpret other players’ emotions and body language, which is especially helpful when you’re on the verge of losing the game.
After taking the prize of $1.2m at the Aussie Millions Championship, Gus Hansen got down to mirroring his success story in this my-winning-path book. Here, the five-time big winner reveals the schemes and tricks that aided him during the Aussie Championship, furnishing his enthusiastic readers with an in-depth analysis of the hands he played as well as his own know-how secrets of beating the opponent. Known for his rather eccentric and aggressive manner of playing the game, Hansen has been labeled “The Madman” of poker, and it must have been his peculiar style of playing that actually broke him through the ranks of “averages and regulars” right to the “tops and exceptionals.”
It wasn’t until just a few years ago that the notorious Loose Aggressive (LAG) style of the game became widely employed by the world’s most prominent players. Bertrand Grospellier’s The Raiser’s Edge deals with the nature of this top-notch poker gaming style, focusing mainly on its implementation in the tournament strategy. Apart from positioning the LAG style as its key and foremost target, the book also sheds a hell of light on some other important aspects one needs to keep in mind, such as the opponent’s nationality and their gender and age.
Unlike nearly every poker game, sit’n’go tournaments gained their popularity over the Internet first, and only afterwards were they employed by land-based casinos. Sit’n’go events largely diverge from the usual no-limit poker tournaments with the strategy necessary to hit it big at the end. Collin Moshman, an accomplished sit’n’go player, rendered his own killer strategy that he’d been employing for years into this must-read masterpiece. The book exposes the A-to-Z high-level plan of organizing the right and consistent set of actions you need to follow during a sit’n’go tournament.
Owing largely to this excellent gambling reference book, tournament poker gathered even more steam than it had before Kill Phil was released. The thing is that top tournament players decided to expand the secluded circle of the few successful players by expounding the sophistication and intricacy behind the tournament poker game. Blair Rodman, Lee Nelson, Steven Heston, and Phil Hellmuth created a simple yet effective strategy that would allow even a complete newbie to perform terrifically at a tournament game. The book also provides the latest trends in tournament poker that one should be familiar with before going big in the game. Basically, Kill Phil is the ultimate and complete handbook for beginners that can still be referred to by experienced pros.
Released in 1988, the book was the tour de force of poker literature of the 90s. Here Mason Malmuth and David Sklansky uncover the subtlest and most crucial hold’em poker cornerstones and other principles advanced hold’em players need to get the hang of. In this book, Malmuth even originated several game concepts like the “semi-bluff,” which then became one of the native elements of the game’s vocabulary that poker hold’em had lacked for so long. This work can also be viewed as a revolutionary one, as Malmuth caused certain alterations in the course of the game by providing quite a nuanced approach to a variety of situations.
Although not as widely known and appreciated among poker geeks as the books listed above, Winning Poker Systems has been acclaimed and praised highly by a handful of experienced veteran players lucky to have stumbled on this insider book. Norman Zadeh’s work is considered to be the one that pioneered the winning strategy system of the game. Zadeh was the first theorist to chart starting hands and accentuate the importance of their position. Notwithstanding its substantial outdatedness (it features games no longer popular today, like lowball and five card draw), Winning Poker Systems remains the classic icon of theoretical literature on gambling and has given rise to the tremendous legacy of gambling books we now possess.
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