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Best Poker Strategy Books

7,445 Views on 25/9/15

Take your poker learning offline and find out about the best poker strategy books that can help improve your game without a computer or software.

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To do justice to this particular topic it'd be great if there was someone out there who had read every poker book ever. That's pretty much no-one, or at least, that's certainly not me. However here are some of the books I have read along with my thoughts. Remember these are my own subjective opinions and do not necessarily represent the views of PokerVIP.com. (Ok great, now we are all covered from lawsuits!)
Best poker strategy books

Professional No-Limit Hold'em – Matt Flynn, Sunny Mehta, Ed Miller

I love this book. In my opinion this is really the perfect start for any poker player. The concepts in this book feel timeless, and the basics are covered in depth. You don't need any real poker experience to begin reading this book. These guys are also credited for writing the first poker literature on the topic of “SPR's” or stack-to-pot-ratios.
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Small Stakes No-Limit Hold'em – Matt Flynn, Sunny Mehta, Ed Miller

Written as an advanced sequel to the first book, more excellent and well-written strategy content. While the first book focused on any limit and made application to live poker, this book focuses purely on beating the $200nl online games. It has an advanced section in the back which introduces concepts necessary to beat the higher limit games. Highly recommended read.

Easy Game Volume 1 + 2 by Andrew “balugawhale” Seidman

If you've never heard of balugawhale then you are either a relatively new player or you've had your head under a rock for the last 10 years. Balugawhale was the originator of the “baluga theorem”. The two volumes proceed from very basic to very advanced. This is a nice second alternative if you've already read the first two suggestions on the list. Overall not as exciting or useful as various other strategy books, but still reasonably strong and a recommended read.
treat your poker like a business strategy book

Treat Your Poker Like a Business by Dusty “leatherass” Schmidt

If I could name one book as the most inspirational poker book every written, this would be it. The importance of this book is not about strategy content (there isn't too much of this), but it's about everything else that doesn't involve poker strategy. If you want to get organized and take poker seriously, or if you simply want to be motivated by one of the most inspiring stories in online poker history, this is the book for you. Highly recommended.

Let There Be Range by Cole South and Tri “slowhabit” Nguyen

Perhaps you even remember the huge hype in the community when this was released. It was supposedly retailing at several thousand dollars a pop and was the book to have if you wanted to know the secrets of crushing ultra high stakes poker. Even several years later you can find the book on Amazon for the modest price of $1,594.83.It's difficult to say whether it's partly due to the hype, but the book was ultimately a disappointment. Even down to the fact that the book is absolutely riddled with typos, giving the impression the authors care more about fleecing buyers than actually writing about poker. Having said that, it's still an interesting read. I can't say I agree with all of the concepts in the book, but it certainly contains content that will make you think.
the poker blueprint strategy book

The Poker Blueprint by Tri Nguyen and Aaron Davis

There was also a lot of hype about this book when it was released. The editing and writing style is a huge improvement on Let There be Range. I disagree with many of the concepts in this book yet still found several of the chapters inspiring. There is a really nice section which talks about the importance of aggressively trying to move up limits. A recommended read, although some of the strategy concepts should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Applications of No-Limit Hold'em – Matt Janda 

Wow! If you like maths and GTO this is the book for you. Really excellent read with detailed maths. Be advised that this book is really not for everyone. You really need to enjoy difficult maths for this to be a decent read. If you hate maths you will find the book difficult because a) you won't enjoy reading and b) you probably won't understand enough to know what is going on in the book. Mr Janda claims that the book is written in such a way that the concepts can be applied directly at the poker tables. This is a huge joke – the concepts are not even close to being in applicable format. This doesn't stop this from being one of the best poker books ever written. Highly recommended(if you like maths).
education of a modern poker player strategy book

The Education of a Modern Poker Player – Jon Billingham, Emanuel Cinca

Not as exciting as it could have been. Some of the concepts feel a little weak, and overall not super well written. Probably worth a read since the book was spearheaded by extremely popular and aggressive coach TwiceT who printed money for a long time with his LAG style.

The Mental Game of Poker 1 + 2 – Jared Tendler

An excellent read. The number one resource for working on and improving mental game. Book 1 focuses on improving our C game and dealing with tilt while book 2 focuses on improving our A game and finding the zone as frequently as possible. These are really must-have books for any modern poker player. Highly recommended.

Crushing the Microstakes – Nathan Willaims (blackrain79)

This guy probably just about falls into the category of poker legend. It's likely he is the biggest micro-stakes winner in all history. This book outlines his strategy. As he mentions himself in the early chapter, this is not a complete guide to poker, this is specifically a strategy to exploit lower limit opponents. Some of the concepts will not be applicable for players wishing to improve their game and move up.

The art of poker strategy book

The Art of Poker – Galvin Bay (mbml) 

Possibly not the strongest or most exciting poker guide ever written, the concepts feel painfully simplistic at times. However the coach is popular and is a certified winner at the mid-stakes games online. Probably a good book if you really want to start at the absolute basics.

Way of the Poker Warrior – Paul Christopher Hoppe

Concepts feel a little wishy-washy at times but this is an interesting read none-the-less. The author has competed in martial arts to a high level hence the book’s title. He draws similarities between this and poker, outlining an interesting mental approach to succeeding in both disciplines.

How to be a Poker Player – Haseeb Qureshi

This book outlines an interesting and philosophical approach to poker. It contains a number of concepts that are specifically applicable to regular tables; for example, regulating the frequencies of certain actions and leveling wars. It might be a little disappointing if you are a fast-format (zoom) specialist, but it’s still a recommended and interesting read. It deals with certain topics that are perhaps brushed over by other strategy books.

There are plenty of other books that I have never read which might also be worth a look. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Playing the Player – Ed Miller
  • The Course – Ed miller
  • Pokers 1% - Ed Miller
  • Don't Listen to Phil Hellmuth – Dusty Schmidt
  • Analytical No-Limit Hold'em – Thomas Bakker
  • The Poker Mindset – Ian Taylor, Matthew Hilger

Reading poker books is a really great way to improve understanding of the game along with our theoretical knowledge. If you've never picked up a poker book before, now is the time!

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I am of British nationality and go by the online alias w34z3l. I am considered one of the top consultants in the field for technical analysis (i.e. database work) and application of game theory concepts to various card games. I make a ... Read More

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