MUST READ POKER BOOKS TO SHARPEN YOUR GAME
While interacting with fellow players in discussion forums, watching a training video by a seasoned pro, or reading a blog on your favorite poker site are all excellent ways of improving your game, there are times when the digitally integrated millennial wants to step away from the laptop for a poker fix.
Fortunately, there is a wealth of terrific poker material available, with some of the game’s most respected analysts publishing books in traditional and electronic form.
Before we dive into the list of favorite poker books, note something Daniel Negreanu stated, in poker, one should ideally not separate the author’s achievements from their work. Unlike many other competitive pastimes, knowledge about poker has to play out as success on the felts. So do a little bit of background research on the author, before you settle in on that read.
Here is the list of the best poker books from beginners to pros that you can get your hands on in 2018:
- Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em by Jonathan Little
Want insights and tips from 17 of the top poker pros across the globe all in the one book? This is what Jonathan Little has put together in this book making way to one of the best poker books in the last 10 years.
This book skips the basics and jumps head first into more advanced topics making it a good read for professional poker players.
The book will make you rethink some of the ideas and strategies you have had ingrained in your play for years.
Flaunted as the new super-system of the poker world, the book has lived up to its hype!
- Essential Poker Math by Alton Hardin
This book breaks down the most important poker math to easily understandable bits that will get you thinking on the right track. There is no number theory in this book. But if you want the essential math foundations for your game when making tough 20 or 30-second decisions playing online, then this is the book.
- Unfolding Poker by James “Splitsuit” Sweeney
This FAQ styled book released by Splitsuit, an expert poker coach who has released tons of content over the years, is greatly helpful during your nascent poker days.
Splitsuit wrote this book in front of a live audience on Skype where questions were expertly selected and answered with input from a live audience. The questions answered include, “Making Money in tight games”, “When do I hold or fold overpairs”, “How to use my table image” and “Hand reading in fishy games” plus loads extra.
- Strategies for Beating Small Stakes Poker Cash Games by Jonathan Little
Jonathan little started out small with only a $50 online bankroll. But he has since amassed over $6.4 million dollars in tournament winnings over his career.
Discover the pitfalls and mistakes along with winning strategies that allow you to play out your weaker foe. You will definitely learn how to stop blaming bad luck and the real secret to dominating your games!
- Mental Game of Poker by Jared Tendler
Thought times are changing and players are working on their mental game, a lot of players still work on just their technical skills and as a result are vulnerable to tilting, motivation issues and lack of focus.
The psychology of poker is equally important, as are the technical skills. Get rid of that the ‘low hanging fruit’ by putting in the work on your mental game with this book!
This book is absolutely crucial and should be read by any player moving on from the beginner stage. Jared’s view on tackling tilt and other mental game issues is novel amongst other writers more cause it’s far more on the money and will actually help you cure tilt as opposed to just suppressing it.
You can even apply the skills you learn from this book to outside of poker!
- Applications of No-Limit Hold ’em by Matthew Janda
This book could potentially change the way you think about the game completely. It is written for advanced players so if you are brand new to the game, bookmark it for later.
Matthew discusses the important subject of how to ‘balance your range’. The benefit of knowing how to balance a range is knowing how to attack someone who doesn’t have a balanced range.
So, if you are a reasonably experienced poker player, grab this poker treasure!
- Every Hand Revealed by Gus Hansen
Gus is one of the best live players to have played the games, having made multiple mega cashes over his career. Find out how he played every single hand when he won the 2007 Aussie Millions out of a field of 747 players.
Further, find out how poker pros think and see how he played every single hand in the tournament, not only his best hands. The hands he discusses aren’t just glossed over. Each one has a detailed description that allows you to understand his thought process when making a decision.
The book shows you how to take calculated risks and know when to be more aggressive in strategy when it comes to bluffing, guessing, calling out large bets and more. The book is a combination of voice recorder notes that Hansen recorded himself during tournament play. After reading this book, you start to understand that Hansen is not this crazy poker player, but a calculated player who knows when to go for it.
Recommended read for intermediate and advance players who are looking for different strategies and ways to be more aggressive in their play.
Easy to follow and doesn’t require you slog through complex equations or math. What’s not to like about this one?
- Small Stakes No-Limit Hold’em by Ed Miller
Excellent book by Ed Miller who is a renowned poker author. Everything you need to know to beat the small stakes no limits cash games are contained in this book. It has been described as the ultimate poker handbook.
The book uses real-world hand examples to help translate high-level poker theory into easily understandable strategies that you can apply to your poker game.
Find out the 7 easy steps to No Limit Holdem success, how to deal with aggressive players, and how to maximally exploit the weaker players.
- Elements of Poker by Tommy Angelo
Even at 10 years old, this book has bundles of relevant tidbits which will help improve your game. Although poker strategy evolves, the mind-set, habits of playing solid poker have not.
A total of 144 elements of poker, each of which can add to the pieces of your poker game puzzle together and get your playing better poker.
“Bliscipline,” is a term coined by Angelo: a combination of bliss and discipline: “when you are at the table and you are so totally in control of yourself and so totally at peace in the situation that no matter what happens next, you’ll still have plenty of resolve in reserve.”
‘Bliscipline’ describes exactly what reading and applying this book will bring to your game.
- Crushing Low Stakes Poker by Mike Turner
One of the books of a three part series written by Mike Turner. This one clearly detailing how to play Sit ‘n Gos aimed specifically at low stakes.
Not a book for the complete beginner as it is assumed that you know some basic math and such as pot odds, implied odds and position.
Even if you aren’t a Sit ‘n Go player this book can s till help you out as a majority of the material will be directly transferable to cash games and tournaments.
A lot of the hints and tips in here were a revelation to me, and I now find myself better informed to read other players at the table and finishing in the money more often than not. I am now making plays based on the pot odds being offered to me weighed up against the chances my hand is good.
- Crushing The Microstakes by Nathan Williams
Nathan Williams, the all-time biggest microstakes winner, wrote a step-by-step guide which shows how to crush the 2nl and 5nl games.
Even years later, this book still provides a great deal of strategies which explain how you can follow in the footsteps the biggest winner at the micros.
If you are only just starting out as a poker player, I truly think this is one of the best investments you can make.
- The Course by Ed Miller
Ed Miller immediately dispels the delusion that The Course will instantly solve all your problems and make you a better player winning lots of money. Instead, Ed draws out the path and expectations you should have during your journey to become a better poker player.
The book is full of strategies that focus on your mindset and your play. It explains how you can’t control what other players do, and you shouldn’t worry about their actions either. Doing so is a distraction, and the book shows you how to overcome this and improve your play.
Recommended for mid-level to advanced players, as you will need some playing experience and knowledge of some strategies to fully utilize the book.
What you waiting for, grab one of these reads!