The best books for learning poker

The best books for learning poker

Of those who decide to take up poker professionally, very few achieve relative success.

There can be many reasons for this, but one of the most common is that they don’t work long enough to learn all the necessary aspects to play poker competitively.

The reality is that poker takes a lot of effort, time, dedication and a lot of desire.

One of the best ways to learn is to turn to the best, poker masters who have proven that they really know what they are talking about.

Poker books are a great way to learn about the game, the strategy and the mindset.

Some are advanced, others will give you the basics to get you started, but all the ones listed below are some of the best you can find on the market.

So, if you want to learn how to play poker, improve your strategies and learn how the best players play, you should check out this selection of the top 10 books for learning to play poker.

Mano a mano

  • Author: Gus Hansen
  • Number of pages: 352
  • ISBN: 978-8497349949
  • Year of publication: 2010

In this first book, Gus Hansen, who is one of the best and most aggressive players in the world, will give us the chance to follow him from his first game to the final table for the title he won at the 2007 Aussie Millions Poker tournament.

The book looks at 329 hands played against 746 opponents. Every single hand played by Hansen in that tournament, both the good hands usually shown on TV shows and the bad, those cases where he got caught with so-called undesirable cards.

We will look in detail at the psychology behind the decisions made by the great player.

Why he bluffs, why he folds, why he bets more or less. All the subtleties, secrets and mistakes of a true poker pro.

The Theory of Poker

  • Author: David Sklansky
  • Number of pages: 352
  • ISBN: 978-8497344326
  • Year of publication: 2008

This book is not for the casual player or the curious looking for a book to pass the boring hours of the day.

This book is designed for poker geeks, for those players who love to play and, more importantly, to win.

Written by one of the best players in the world, David Sklansky, it describes the fundamentals of strategy, principles and general theory, as well as the thought process that a professional must possess.

A book that is sometimes considered the strategic dictionary of poker, as the concepts it contains can be applied to almost any situation that may arise.

They are all analysed and explained with practical examples and games step by step, hand by hand, and, like icing on the cake, there is a glossary on the vocabulary used in poker at the end of the book, a very valuable tool for novice players.

Super System Deluxe

  • Author: Doyle Brunson
  • Number of pages: 774
  • ISBN: 978-8493784010
  • Year of publication: 2011

It is said that when Doyle Brunson first published this book in 1978, his professional colleagues were not too pleased.

Having won the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event twice, Brunson used his enormous prestige to produce a bestseller.

In fact, one of the book’s titles, How I Won a Million Dollars Playing Poker, refers to the fact that Brunson was the first person in history to win a million dollars playing poker.

As well as containing pretty much all the poker knowledge, the book also has a narrative part that tells the history of poker, from the old school of the game to modern methods.

In one part we can also read a bit about Brunson’s life. In it, he talks about his beginnings as a basketball player and why poker became his refuge and then his profession.

The book also features contributions from some of the best players in their styles for the first time. It features Phil Hellmuth, Mike Caro and Jennifer Harnan.

Texas Hold’em poker: the power of strategy

  • Author: Daniel Negreanu
  • Number of Pages: 442
  • ISBN: 978-8493784003
  • Year of publication: 2011

If you came to this article looking for a book on how to win in Texas Hold’em, look no further, because you’ve found it.

Written by the best player of the decade according to the Global Poker Index (GPI) and winner of six World Series of Poker bracelets. In this book, Poker Kid reveals his secrets to winning at poker.

Accompanied by five top-class experts, he teaches his formula for success, a series of strategies that a new generation of players will appreciate.

A true guide, considered Daniel Negreanu’s masterpiece, where he shows examples of real hands and explains the strategies needed to win.

A book not to be missed.

Online poker: secrets of a great player

  • Author: Luis Valera and Raul Mestre
  • Number of Pages: 264
  • ISBN: 978-8499700694
  • Year of publication: 2011

Raul Mestre is a Spanish poker player who has won more money online. He wrote a book in 2011 in which he tells writer Luis Valera how he became a millionaire by playing online poker.

He tells us his story from the age of 22, when he only had 80 euros and lots of desire, to achieving a career full of success.

Raul explains his way of playing poker mathematically and analytically in the modality in which he specialises, Texas Hold’em, so popular in recent times due to the advent of virtual casinos and online poker.

Mestre tells us about his special style of play, some of the little secrets he keeps and the principles he uses to achieve success.

A good book to read.

Harrington on Hold’em

  • Author: Dan Harrington
  • Number of pages: 418
  • ISBN: 978-1880685426
  • Year of publication: 2018

We’re halfway through the story of the best poker book, chosen by more than 100 professional players in a survey conducted by online poker room 888poker.

A group of participants who collectively account for $131 million in winnings.

The first volume saw the light just as poker books were experiencing an incredible sales boom, selling over 300,000 copies, making it the best-selling book on the subject.

“Harrington on Hold’em” was followed by parts two and three, which received a similar reception, and then “Harrington on Cash Games” completed what was to become a huge guide for players from beginners to advanced.

Undoubtedly, since the publication of this book, winning at chess has become more difficult because of the number of players who have expanded their knowledge and improved thanks to it.

The true bible of poker.

Winning Low Limit Holdem

  • Author: Lee Jones
  • Number of pages: 290
  • ISBN: 978-1886070233
  • Year of publication: 2005

If you’re one of those people who think winning at poker is a matter of luck, then this book is perfect for you. It is the starting point for those who want to start a career in Hold’em.

For a decade it has been the guide to limit hold’em, even for some it remains so today and is one of the most recommended.

Written in a clear and simple manner that doesn’t make it a heavy read, it covers the basics of limit poker, and the new reissue adds much more valuable material, such as about online poker, and better organises the structure of the book.

In fact, since the publication of the book, Lee Jones became manager of Pokerstars, so he is no stranger to the business, which is why he devotes an entire chapter to the mechanics and strategy necessary for success in online poker.

My 50 unforgettable hands

  • Author: Doyle Brunson
  • Number of pages: 291
  • ISBN: 978-0957547438
  • Year of publication: 2015

In this book, Doyle Brunson talks about the best hands in poker history, the most famous, interesting and controversial.

From those that took place in his native Texas in the 50s, to those made famous by the influence of television.

All hands masterfully recounted. Lived out in detail, they open a window into poker history.

And who better to tell them than Doyle Brunson, one of the best players in history with 10 World Series of Poker (WOSP) bracelets, winning four in a row.

He is a member of the Poker Hall of Fame and was voted the most influential person in the world of poker by Bluff magazine in 2006.

A true legend worth reading more about.

The mental game of poker

  • Author: Jared Tendler and Barry Carter
  • Number of pages: 227
  • ISBN: 978-8494154706
  • Year of publication: 2014

It is well known and recognised that poker is not a game of chance, although it is true that you can play perfectly and still lose because of that part of luck, but it is not the part that rules the game, not even close to it.

When a player gains experience, he starts worrying about the mathematical part of the game, the analytical part. Then when he gains a little more, he realises the importance of the mental part, and that is what this book is about.

The book is also a guide to managing the psychological aspect of the game, to control what the authors call tilt, which equals anger plus bad play.

Jared Tendler has a master’s degree in counselling from Northeastern University and has helped professional golfers overcome such problems.

With the help of Barry Carter, journalist and poker player, Jared exports his ideas and experiences to help poker players improve their game by controlling the mental side of their game.

An excellent book which, although aimed at more experienced players, can be read by anyone, even if they are just starting out in the game.

Poker player mentality

  • Author: Ian Taylor and Matthew Hilger
  • Number of pages: 320
  • ISBN: 978-8494154737
  • Year of publication: 2015

Another book with an approach very similar to the previous one, aimed at identifying the attitudes and mental mechanisms you need to have.

It invites you to reflect, realise what mistakes you may be making in this aspect, and helps you to solve them.

It doesn’t matter what kind of poker you play, and it doesn’t even matter if it’s online or in person, the point is that if you play poker, you are bound to have at least one of the problems mentioned in the book.

Mistakes that have cost hands and whole games. The truth is, any professional who has spent enough time at the tables knows that this is a very important factor, and that it needs to be trained to improve their game.

Those emotional ups and downs that everyone goes through; reading this book will help you overcome them and greatly improve your game results.

And, as an added bonus, if you learn to identify some of these problems in your opponents, you can use them to your advantage.

A great book for any player, but mainly for those who have already spent their time at the tables, who will know how to get more out of what it says.

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