Favorite poker books

I am currently reading/studying Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book. I have read many poker books and even the SunTze “Art of War” version of poker. This Little Green Book really is a great book for gaining insight into the mind and “how to play” of a world championship player. Don’t know him and don’t have any financial interest in the book. It’s just a good one for anyone learning to play. Anyone else read it? :slight_smile:

My game really improved after reading Dan Harrington’s “Harrington on Hold’em vols. 1 and 2.” He was one of the original pro players who started with the illegal Texas ring games that included the legendary Doyle Brunson. Harrington had a very conservative reputation, earning him the ironic nickname “Mr. Excitement,” but he used his reputation to pull off some pretty spectacular bluffs. Despite his conservativism, his books speak to all styles of play, leaving the reader to choose his/her own style.

THE poker book was written by Doyle Brunson, in 1979, I believe. It’s titled “Super System,” and it is widely regarded as the “Bible” of poker.

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The Poker Players Bible - Krieger

I have Doyle’s book and it is great. When that book first came out years ago it was selling for large amounts of money. Still a great book today.

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The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky, great book, mentions a lot of Stud and a bit of draw while you’re at it, too. Plenty of great knowledge for beginners, it was the first poker book I read. Helped me tremendously.


I’m curious, are there any books or authors considered unorthodox or “out there”? It seems like the explosion of poker in the last several years should have brought up some unconventional styles.

Check out college level text on (or which has chapters on) “game theory”. Some interesting insight on math as it relates to games of chance in general. Helped me think out of the box a bit.

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Huh, cool – I love game theory and systems. Do you think it’s been helpful for other games too? Any recommendations? (I’m terribad at math, but learning is fun!)

No books in particular - I borrowed a buddies college text on quantum math that had a section on game theory as it relates to “chaos theory”. I ignored the formulas mostly and looked for some of the “Philosophy” that the author was conveying with hie/their theorems. It was very much “100’s class” level. This was many years ago…. sigh

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Read them all, especially anything by Sklansky.

Though the game has changed, Super System is still a must read too.

“Strategy in Poker, Business, and War” by John MacDonald [based on von Neumann’s games theory]
“Poker, a Guaranteed Income for Life” by Frank Wallace [philosophy of winning]
“The Education of a Poker Player,” by Herbert O. Yardley (code breaker’s personal memoirs) [draw and stud poker]
“Poker According to Maverick” uncredited [draw and stud poker]
“Total Poker” by David Spanier [draw and stud poker]
“Scarne on Cards” by John Scarne [some strategy, especially useful in detecting cheating in live games]
There are several good books by Sklansky and/or Malmouth on Holdem and several more on Omaha and Omaha Hi-Lo by Mike Cappelletti that are very much worth reading.
This should keep you busy for a while. When you finish, send me a message and I’ll pick you out some more.

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It might also be useful to subscribe to CardPlayer magazine, a bi-weekly publication based in Las Vegas. You can usually get free copies in casinos with poker rooms, but to get it at home, the price isn’t–or it wasn’t the last time I checked, at least–much more than the postage to mail it to you.

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