Best Poker Books to read in 2021

Professional poker players are often not just experts in poker strategy but also successful writers of educational literature. They are ready to share their knowledge to help newcomers to grow and become successful players. Please find below our hand-picked selection of the best poker books written by authors from diverse countries. Choose the appropriate category and the level of complexity of the material — and start learning poker theory right now.

Books for beginners

Novice players should meticulously select their educational materials. Most manuals are not designed for people who lack an understanding of the basic concepts, terminology and rules. So we have selected the publications aimed at inexperienced readers who want to learn the basics of a good game from scratch.

Getting Started in Hold’em

It took Ed Miller only a year and a half to grow from novice to a professional poker player. He has gained considerable real-life experience and shows beginners the shortest path to success. Ed covers the most important basics of strategy used by seasoned players: starting cards evaluation, dominance, betting on value, tactics, semi-bluff, winning and pot odds and much more. The material is presented in a very comprehensive form.

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Easy Game

Andrew Seidman offers his readers a step-by-step guidance on making money on poker. The manual is equally suitable for online and offline poker players. The first volume introduces the reader to a basic strategy that allows you to earn up to $100 per hour. The second volume contains an advanced theory that teaches you to play successfully with high stakes. Even if you are an experienced player, you should not skip the first volume – this material needs to be read in full.

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Decide to Play Great Poker: A Strategy Guide to No-limit Texas Hold’em

John Anhalt presents the information in his own unique manner, casually acquainting the reader with his profitable strategy. He touches on many aspects that other authors omit, believing that the novices should study them independently. Anholt neither imposes his opinion on you nor recommends any specific styles. Attentive readers would understand themselves how to shape their individual approach.

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Topical collections

There is no universal gambling method. It is impossible to find books about poker that would introduce you to all aspects of the game. Some authors specialize in cache, while others prefer tournaments. Some are experts in psychology, others are well versed in mathematics. To understand poker theory in its entirety, you need to download several books. Choose those publications that match your theme and gaming preferences.

Texas Hold’em

The largest amount of theory has been written on this popular poker discipline. The main disadvantage consists in the fact that each author promotes their own vision of the optimal strategy. Some recommend an aggressive style, while others opt for a tight one. To unlock your own potential, you need to explore several techniques. We recommend downloading the following books on poker, themed “Hold’em”.

Internet Texas Hold’em: Winning Strategies from an Internet Pro

The unique manual is dedicated to the online format, which is rare among authors. Matthew Hilger is an experienced online poker player. The book covers a full range of aspects: drawing starting cards, trading postflop, tactics, bluffing as well as counting outs, probabilities and pot odds. An abundance of examples with game situations and explanations makes it easier for readers to master the material.

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Winning Low-Limit Hold ’em

Even though Lee Jones wrote his brochure in 1994, it has not lost its relevance since then. It is the best option for users who prefer low limits. Lee analyzes in detail the types of opponents that meet at cheap tables and teaches you to find the optimal tactics against each style.

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Omaha Poker

Despite Omaha’s popularity, few books are dedicated to it. It would be difficult for a beginner to find literature that is focused on the very basics of this discipline. A rare exception is Omaha Poker, written by Bob Ciaffone in 1997 and edited in 2006. The publication comes in handy for novice players: the author starts with the introduction of the Omaha poker rules. Setting out the strategy, Bob Ciaffone is guided by his own vast experience, which allowed him to win huge prizes.

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Poker Mathematics

Mathematics is the basic tool of the winner. Beginners normally have the greatest difficulties when mastering this section of the theory. The selection below includes poker books aimed at a wide audience. Visual materials and formulas will allow you to learn how to make calculations using the simplest possible methods.

Poker Math Made Easy

The manual covers the mathematical aspects of the game in detail. Roy Rounder teaches you how to count outs correctly, avoiding mistakes that arise when you take into account those cards that can bring victory to your opponent. Explanations for calculating probabilities are accompanied by tables and charts that allow you to do without software calculators.

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Mathematics of Poker

Bill Chen offers a more complicated material. In his book, he examines the mathematical aspects of the game in detail and does not stop at their practical application. Ben addresses the issues of game theory – a complex branch of mathematics that is necessary to understand the formation of an optimal strategy.

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Poker psychology

To study the psychology of this game, you need to read the works of Alan Schoonmaker. Alan is not only a player but also a professor of psychology. In the first edition, Alan teaches you to detect the psychological barriers that prevent you from being successful. By working on yourself and setting correct goals you will manage to change your attitude to earnings.

The second volume is the exact opposite of the first one. It teaches you to discover your strengths and develop them. You are your best friend in poker. Alan explains how you should start helping yourself to succeed on your own. Schoonmaker covers such topics as planning a game session, setting the right goals and finding ways to achieve them.

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Playing in tournaments

Dan Harrington, a professional who became a WSOP champion in 1995, offers a detailed introduction to the popular poker format. The Harrington On Hold’Em series consists of three volumes dedicated to various aspects. The target audience of this literature are players who know the rules and terminology of the game.

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Volume 1. Strategic Play

The first part is aimed at readers who have started learning strategy but had difficulties in understanding the theory. The author gradually introduces the basic concepts of strategy – the importance of the position, the choice of starters, the definition of the opponent’s style of play. A particularly valuable part is the zonal tournament strategy, which allows you to significantly increase your success in MTT tournaments.

Volume 2. The End Game

The second section is aimed at poker players who have either mastered the first part or skipped it because they were already familiar with the material. The book is focused on successful play in the later stages of the tournament when large prizes are at stake. You will learn many secrets of the strategy for the final table and playing one-on-one when competing for the first place.

Volume 3. The Workbook

The last volume is designed as a test that allows you to understand how well you have mastered previous books. Harrington describes 50 real game situations and shares his detailed reasoning with the audience. The Workbook allows you to consolidate knowledge with hands-on experience and proves the effectiveness of Dan’s strategic approach.


Books for advanced players

Users who have thoroughly studied the theory and started to achieve success need to continue to develop, continuously improving their results. Their goal is to stop being simply “experienced players” and become professionals instead. This collection includes difficult-to-understand poker books aimed at advanced players.

Applications of No Limit Hold’Em

Using the economy in Hold’Em is an integral condition of earning money. Matthew Janda, economist, used his professional knowledge in poker rooms and managed to earn $4 million. His work teaches you to understand and use economic concepts that can change attitudes to poker disciplines.

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Professional No Limit Hold’Em 

Former Microsoft employee Ed Miller is a poker professional and author of several popular books on this game. This publication explains how to become a professional poker player by changing your mindset and using effective techniques. The goal of the author is to make Hold’Em your main source of income.

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The Best Recommended Books

In addition to what was mentioned above, you should pay attention to the following best-selling poker literature. These publications are a must-read for every player!

Moorman’s Book of Poker

Chris Moorman’s manual is equally suitable for a beginner and a regular. The material is presented in a unique way that simplifies the understanding of the theory. The book allows you to obtain practical skills and learn to reason correctly at the time of decision-making. Together with his co-author Byron Jacobs, Chris analyzes diverse game situations. Byron expresses his own opinion, while Moorman analyzes his judgments, identifying their strong and weak sides. The author is one of the top money-making poker players of our time.

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Little Green Book

Legendary professional Phil Gordon has compiled a desktop guide for beginners. Despite the word “little” in its name, the publication includes extensive material on poker theory. The author introduces the reader to the strategy, starting with the rules and general notions and gradually moving on to the concepts of a profitable game.

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The Theory of Poker

David Sklansky is a professional offline poker player. He is not too familiar with the online format. Nevertheless, you should pay attention to his book since it is focused not on psychology but on mathematics, which remains identical online and offline. The main disadvantage is that the material is aimed at readers who prefer medium and high bids.

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Super System

The book describes the vast experience of the legendary poker professional Doyle Brunson, who played a record number of World Series of Poker tournaments and remained a highly successful player all throughout his long career. Doyle introduces the reader to the secrets of his success, examining in detail all aspects of the theory: from mathematics and psychology to bluff. Despite the fact that the material is designed for offline format, every poker player should read it to learn the secrets of the legendary professional.

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Remember that poker books are not the only way to learn the strategy of this game. As an alternative, you can read theoretical articles, visit poker schools and courses, watch video lessons and so on. 

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