Three Books That Helped Me Learn To Play Better Poker

I've been playing poker for something like 7 or 8 years now. Back when I was first learning, we didn't have cool programs like the poker training network; so I turned to books as a way to increase my knowledge, and improve my game.

Here are three books that I found particularly helpful:

  1. Small Stakes Hold 'em
    Winning Big With Expert Play

    This was one of the first poker books that I ever bought. And as it turned out, it wasn't even about the game I was trying to learn. I was playing no limit Texas Hold 'em, and this was a book about Limit Texas Hold 'em.

    None-the-less, I learned some very valuable lessons from this book .. the most important of which was when the "light bulb" went on for me ...

    Poker is about MATH

    My approach to the game has been entirely different ever since the day I came to that realization.

    I would highly recommend this as the first book someone new to poker should consider purchasing. And actually, along those same lines, I'd also recommend that anyone just learning poker (especially on real money sites) should probably start by playing Limit Hold 'em, before they rush off into the "sexier" world of No Limit Poker.

  2. Doyle Brunson's Super System 2
    A Course In Power Poker

    This one is like the "Poker Bible". I really don't know any serious players who haven't read this book. What I like best about it, is that it covers a variety of different games; beyond just no limit hold 'em.

    It may sound a little bit "snobbish", but I think to truly be a "Poker Player" you should be have at least a rudimentary grasp of as many games a possible. For instance, even with the World Series of Poker that's on ESPN all the time, everybody is so concerned with who won the Main Event. But, in my opinion, the real "best player in the world" on any given year is probably the winner of the $50K Eight-Game event.

    So the lesson I got from this book:

    Learn to play more than one game.

  3. Phil Gordon's Little Green Book
    Lessons and Teachings in No Limit Hold 'em

    I've had this book on my shelf for a couple of years. I'm actually re-reading it again right now.

    For me, this book is about the thought process of poker. Reading Phil Gordon's stories has helped me to examine my own game, and think about why I make certain plays, and what my opponents at the table may be thinking when they bet (or don't bet).

    I would consider this to be a "beginner's book". But if you like playing poker, this is definitely a well written little book; and an enjoyable read.

Obviously, I have quite a few other poker books up on my shelf, but as I thought about it earlier this morning, these are definitely the ones that I would say were worth every penny I paid for them.

How about you ...

Are there any poker books that you've read, which had a dramatic impact on your game?


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