10 Best Poker Books - Expert Recommendations Poker Strategy


Poker books provide knowledge about the game from the basic concepts for beginners to advanced techniques for experienced players to ace the game. And the best way to hold a grip on your game is by reading books. A good poker book can help players enhance their skills, learn new strategies, and enjoy the game more. It adds vision and direction to a player's game. Poker books act as treasure maps that lead players to victory at the poker table

Poker Book Title



The Theory of Poker

David Sklansky


Doyle Bruson’s Super System 2

Doyle Brunson


Caro's Book of Poker Tells

Mike Caro


Harrington on Hold’em

Dan Harrington


Poker Essays

Mason Malmuth


Hold’em Poker

David Sklansky


Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players

David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth


Winning Low-Limit Hold’em

Lee Jones


Every Hand Revealed

Gus Hansen


Little Green Book

Phil Gordon


There are a lot of poker books out there, but, only a few of them have topped the best-sellers chart. We’ve compiled a list of popular poker books that are a must-read for beginner poker players and anyone looking to brush up on their poker strategies.

The Theory of Poker:

The Theory of Poker is like a poker coach in book form by David Sklansky for poker players. It is a masterpiece incorporating all the basic strategic fundamentals, including bluffing, reading opponents, and pot odds. This book teaches about winning individual hands and making the best decisions in the long run. It is a guide to mastering the mind games involved in poker. This book is like having a mentor guiding players through the ins and outs of the game.

Doyle Brunson's Super System 2:

The Super System II book was originally released in the middle of 2005. It delves into online poker, poker variants, and strategies; including Texas Hold’em and Omaha Poker, two-player tournaments, and multiple-player tournaments. The online poker section of the book speaks a lot about the Doylesroom.com poker room but applies to all online poker rooms equally. This book is a treasure trove of poker wisdom coming from one of the game's legends. This book is like a masterclass from Doyle Brunson himself, with tips and techniques to improve players' games.

Caro's Book of Poker Tells:

This book is second only to Super System. Mike Caro, a well-known poker player & poker theorist, reveals all his secrets for reading players that made him rich at the poker table. It is a manual for learning what the opponents think based on their behavior at the poker table. It helps players how to spot subtle cues; like body language, facial expressions, betting flair, and speaking tells to predict their next move. Whether you play live poker or online poker, you have got to have this book.

Harrington on Hold’em:

Harrington on Hold'em is a poker strategy book that centers explicitly on Texas Hold'em tournaments. This book is by a seasoned pro, Dan Harrington who has given valuable insights and strategies through every stage of a tournament, including early rounds to the final table. This book includes everything from how to play different hands at various stages of a tournament to reading opponents and adjusting strategies accordingly. It helps players understand the dynamics of tournament play, make smart moves, and outwit the competition. 

Poker Essays:

Poker Essays is a collection of short articles filled with insights and strategies about poker. Each essay enfolds different aspects of the game, ranging from fundamental concepts to advanced strategies. This book is a series of conversations with a knowledgeable poker player who shares his wisdom and experience to help players improve their game. There is valuable information to learn from each essay in the book for a beginner and a seasoned player.

Hold’em Poker:

Hold'em Poker is the ultimate guidebook to master Texas Hold’em. It is packed with valuable insights, tips, and strategies to help players go through the game with confidence. This book helps players understand the basic rules and hand rankings to advanced strategies to become skilled and successful. It is like having a mentor who walks you through each step of the game, helping you become a better player and have fun at the table.

Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players:

This book is a master class for experienced poker enthusiasts who want to take their game to the next level. It dives into advanced strategies and techniques designed especially for Texas Hold'em, including topics like reading opponents, making sophisticated plays, and mastering the psychological aspects of the game. It is a playbook filled with insider secrets and expert advice to help players outwit their opponents, and refine their skills to become a formidable player at the poker table.

Winning Low-Limit Hold’em:

This book is a guide for beginners and casual players seeking success in low-stakes Texas Hold'em games. It provides practical strategies and approaches curated especially for playing at lower limits, where the stakes are not too high. This book acts as a guide in building a strong foundation in Hold'em and improving players' chances of winning consistently without taking risks.

Every Hand Revealed:

Every Hand Revealed is a book designed to explain a poker pro's journey to success including how a poker champion plays and wins the tournaments. This book is written by Gus Hansen, a professional player, who shares his thought process and decision-making in every hand he played during a major poker tournament that he won. Reading this book helps to learn how a top player analyzes situations, reads opponents, and makes winning moves. It is a valuable resource for players looking to improve their poker skills.

Phil Gordon's Little Green Book: 

What makes this book special is its readability. Instead of long chapters focused on single topics, this book covers hundreds of special topics in short well-headed paragraphs. His comments on poker psychology, playing monster hands, and as he calls them, “sobering odds” make this book well worth the small cost. Add in all his advice on tells, opponents’ playing styles, and stack sizes with this book is a tremendous bargain. Best of all, you can read the entire thing in a couple of hours.

Author Spotlights

Here is a list of some of the popular poker authors:

  • David Sklansky

David Sklansky was born and brought up in New Jersey. He is a renowned professional poker player, author, and expert in game theory. He earned three bracelets and 24 cashes in WSOP. He secured second place in the WSOP 7-Card Stud event held in 1989. The two highly recommended books on poker by Sklansky are Theory of Poker and Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players. His books are recommended as they provide clear, strategic insights into the game, helping players understand the underlying principles and make better decisions at the poker table.

  • Dan Harrington:

Dan Harrington was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is a professional poker player. He won the World Poker Tour Title, two WSOP bracelets, and approximately six million dollars in tournament cash. His books provide a strong foundation for players looking to improve their skills. He breaks down complex concepts into simple steps, including which hands to play, to adjusting strategies as the game progresses. His strategies stay relevant and effective over time as they are based on real-world experience.

  • Mason Malmuth

Mason Malmuth was born and brought up in Coral Gables, Florida. He is the owner of Two Plus Two Publishing which publishes books. His books include topics from basic to advanced strategies, explaining to readers how to think analytically and make smart decisions. His emphasis on mastering the fundamentals helps players plan the ever-changing nature of poker. His books are a valuable resource for players looking to improve their poker skills. 

  • Mike Caro

Mike Caro was born in Missouri, United States. He is a professional world-class poker player, poker theorist, consultant, and industry spokesperson. He is known as “the Mad Genius of Poker”. His books are popular for their proven, scientific pieces of advice based on his research. His book's emphasis on reading opponents' behavior and exploiting weaknesses adds an extra dimension to his teachings, providing players an advantage at the table. He shares his knowledge straightforwardly and engagingly, making it easy for readers to grasp complex concepts easily.

  • Doyle Brunson

Doyle Brunson was born in Longworth, Texas, United States. He was known as “The Godfather of Poker”. He won the WSOP bracelet 10 times and also the WSOP main event in 1976 and 1977. He won the title of World Poker Tour in 2004. Brunson shares his decades of experience and wisdom practically, making his advice accessible to players of all levels. His books cover topics like strategy and psychology, offering readers an understanding of what it takes to succeed in poker. 

  • Phil Gordon

Phil Gordon was born in EI Paso, Texas, United States. He is one of the finest poker teachers and authors. His books offer strategies and practical advice that are easy to understand and apply. His books enclose topics including basics to advanced strategies, offering readers with a comprehensive understanding of the game. Gordon's friendly and engaging writing style, combined with his real-life experience as a successful poker player, contributes credibility to his teachings. 

Honorable Mention

Here is a list of some more poker books that can help players learn more and enhance their poker skills.

Poker Book Title



The Mental Game of Poker

Jared Tendler


Harrington on Cash Games

Dan Harrington


Elements of Poker 

Tommy Angelo


Moorman’s Book of Poker

Chris Moorman


Optimizing Ace King

James Sweeney


Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em

Jonathan Little


Poker Math That Matters

Owen Gaines


Super System

Doyle Brunson


The Poker Mindset: Essential Attitudes for Poker Success

Matthew Hilger


The Psychology of Poker

Alan N. Schoonmaker


Winning Poker Systems 

Norman Zadeh


How to Apply Poker Books Knowledge in Actual Play

Understanding and learning how to utilize the skills learned from the poker books while playing the game is crucial. Here are a few tips that will help you to understand and play your game better:

  • Know Your Skill level: 

The first step is that the players understand their playing skills before they begin to put in the knowledge and learning they acquired by reading the poker books. 

  • Choose Games You Want to Play:

The players can opt for the games that best suit their playing styles and strategies and those they are good at. 

  • Put the Theory into Practice: 

It is crucial to learn to apply the knowledge and strategies, the players have learned from the books they read.

  • Continuous Learning:

Players must learn from new books or resources to stay updated and enhance their skills over time.

  • Adapt to Situations: 

It is important to adjust the game according to the specific game dynamics and opponent tendencies, as advised in the books.

  • Review and Reflect: 

After each game, players must review what worked well and what didn't, comparing it to the strategies outlined in the books.

How to Choose the Right Poker Book

When picking a poker book, it is essential to consider your skill level, preferred poker variant, and your learning style. Beginners can benefit from books like "The Theory of Poker" or "Harrington on Hold'em" for strong fundamentals. Intermediate players can check out books with specific strategies like "Small Stakes No-Limit Hold'em" or "Kill Everyone" for tournament play. Advanced players can explore more complex concepts from books like "Applications of No-Limit Hold'em" or "The Mathematics of Poker" to enhance their skills.

Additionally, reading user reviews to quantify the book's credibility and effectiveness, and seek recommendations from reliable sources. Finally, choose a book that aligns with your learning style.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best poker books for beginners?

"The Theory of Poker" by David Sklansky lays out essential concepts like probability and game theory. Dan Harrington's "Harrington on Hold 'em" offers strategic insights specialized for tournament play. For practical application, "Every Hand Revealed" by Gus Hansen takes beginners through real-game scenarios, guiding players in understanding decision-making processes.

Which books are best for advanced poker players?

"Applications of No-Limit Hold'em" by Matthew Janda delves into advanced strategies like range analysis and game theory. "Advanced Pot-Limit Omaha" by Jeff Hwang comes up with comprehensive insights into the complexities of PLO gameplay. 

Are there any books specifically for tournament poker?

Dan Harrington's "Harrington on Hold 'em" series focuses on tournament strategies, covering topics including stack sizes and blind structures. "Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker" by Jonathan Little provides practical advice on navigating various stages of tournaments, from early to late-game scenarios.

What is the poker bible, and who authored it?

"The Theory of Poker" by David Sklansky is referred to as the "poker bible" as it covers fundamental concepts essential for mastering the game. This book is widely regarded as a cornerstone text for players serious about improving their poker skills.

Are there any books that focus on the mental aspects of poker?

"The Mental Game of Poker" by Jared Tendler explains psychological factors like confidence-building techniques. "Peak Poker Performance" by Dr. Patricia Cardner provides insights into developing a strong mental game for sustained success at the tables.

Are there any recommended books for improving overall poker skills?

"The Course" by Ed Miller covers a broad range of fundamental strategies for tournaments and cash games. “Essential Poker Math” by Alton Hardin explains crucial mathematical concepts.

What's a good book for learning about game theory in poker?

“Modern Poker Theory” by Michael Acevedo is a great choice for understanding game theory concepts. This book offers valuable insights into the strategic variation of poker, helping players make more informed decisions at the table.

Are there any books that provide insights from a professional player's perspective?

“Little Green Book” by Phil Gordon gives insights into strategic thinking and decision-making processes from a pro's viewpoint. "Ace on the River" by Barry Greenstein provides a unique perspective on poker strategy and mindset making it a valuable resource for aspiring pros. 

Should I read multiple books to improve my poker skills?

Reading multiple books can provide diverse perspectives and a broader understanding of poker strategy. Combining knowledge from different sources can help you develop a well-rounded approach to poker and adapt to different playing styles and situations.

Are there any newer books that cover contemporary poker strategies?

“Modern Poker Theory” by Michael Acevedo provides insights into cutting-edge strategies and game theory concepts designed for contemporary poker games. “Exploitative Play in Live Poker” by Alexander Fitzgerald focuses on exploiting opponents' tendencies in real-time, suitable for today's dynamic poker landscape.


Poker books act as indispensable tools for players looking to enhance their skills. Books lay a roadmap for understanding the basic concepts of poker for beginners. As players progress, they can dive into specialized strategies designed for tournament play. These books provide real-world insights from professional players, helping readers apply theoretical concepts to practical gameplay situations. Poker books offer guidance on the psychological aspects of the game, training players to focus and maintain emotions while playing. Continuous learning from different books allows players to adapt to changing trends and stay ahead of the competition in the dynamic world of poker.

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