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4 Great Poker Books Every Beginner Should Read

Published May 19, 2008 - RSS/XML Feed RSS

Many new poker players have developed their game through reading strategic poker books. Although many of these books echo the same basic information, a few of them have introduced techniques that can be considered breakthroughs to new and old players alike.   

When your hand goes sour and you find yourself riding that streak of bad luck, reading through a good poker book could be just what you need to get on the road to rediscovering fundamentals or pointing out probable vulnerabilities in your game. 
There is certainly no shortage of poker strategy books. For now, we’ll discuss four of the most popular books relevant to the modern game – books every new player should read before laying out a bankroll. 
The Theory of Poker
The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky is a book highly recommended by some of today’s best poker players. It discusses numerous concepts and theories that can be applied to nearly any form of the game, including “Hold ‘Em,” “Seven-card Stud,” “Five-card Draw” and many more. 
This book introduces the reader to the Fundamental Theorem of Poker, explaining how it should be implemented and how it factors into your play. Other key sections focus on the importance of reading the competition and understanding the arts of bluffing, semi-bluffing, deception, raising, and psychology. 
The Theory of Poker provides you with a number of terms that describe various situations in a real game, challenging you to think about how and why you make the next move. Additionally, the book gives examples of every variation of the game played in a casino. 
Much of the terminology used in this book may throw newcomers for a loop, but is priceless to the seasoned poker player. It offers an array of concepts that will separate the pros from the amateurs.   For this reason, many of the elite players contest that the Theory of Poker is the best book ever written on the game. 
Internet Texas Hold’em: Winning Strategies from an Internet Pro
The popularity of online poker has led thousands of players to rooms hosting Texas Hold’em. One book that has established a reputation for turning amateurs into winners is Internet Texas Hold’em by Matthew Hilger, the most successful book on internet poker. This book covers every aspect on the general game and includes specific topics relative to online play.  
Internet Texas Hold’em is recommended by the pros for both online and live play. The book gives a comprehensive overview of the game, touching on general concepts regarding odds and probability, bluffing, and knowing just when to raise. It also discusses various methods of deception, such as slow-playing and free cards, along with inducing your calls and bluffs. You’ll know Texas Hold’em in and out with techniques on how to begin a hand, as well as tips for playing on the flop, turn and the river.    
The book teaches proper strategy for online play, detailing how it differs from the casino environment to prepare you for the competition at any level. After reading the book, you’ll be equipped with enough knowledge to play in more than 200 real internet hands. 
Internet Texas Hold’em is the perfect solution for players who want to improve their skills or increase winnings. Whether you play for recreation or compete in big-game tournaments, this book is one that will continue to serve its purpose well into the future.  
Harrington on Hold‘em
Equipped with one of the best track records in poker tournament history, Dan Harrington has created the survival guide to No-limit Hold’em in Harrington on Hold’em. Harrington completed this book in collaboration with backgammon legend Bill Robertie. Together they deliver a gem that serves as an excellent guide for those new at No-limit Hold’em tournaments and seasoned veterans as well. 
Harrington wastes no time in getting right to the point, focusing primarily on establishing a solid foundation in the early stages of the game to build steady momentum. Harrington on Hold’Em is pure strategy, allowing you to dissect and digest every concept with comprehensive quizzes and visually designed sample hands. 
The most critical areas of the game compose the chapters of this book, presenting key concepts and table issues that may be relevant in your game. Unlike The Theory of Poker and many other works by David Sklansky, Harrington on Hold’em focuses more on straightforward strategies and players – as opposed to complex mathematical schemes. At the same time, the sophisticated nature of this book sets it apart from others on the market that appeal to the amateur player. 
Crafted by one of the kings of tournament poker, this book is recommended for aspiring players, as well those looking to take their game to the next level.
Kill Everyone: Advanced Strategies for No-limit Hold ’em Poker Tournaments
Many players have referred to Kill Everyone as the ultimate guide to tournament play. This book describes a tournament’s most crucial phases, from the early game where the main focus is to accumulate chips to the end-game where a player must aim to win it all. Not only does the book provide readers with comprehensive guidelines and real-table situations, but includes an in-game theoretic analysis as well.   The vast knowledge in this book will teach you how to play yourself out of the most compromising predicament, whether it’s in a tournament, sit-n-go, or cash-play game.  
Because of its complex nature, numerous Q & A forums and study groups have been created on the web to make sure readers understand the most important areas of the book. We recommend that you take your time with each chapter to ensure that the key concepts are absorbed. This will allow you to notice instant improvement in your game.             
Authored by poker experts Lee Nelson, Tysen Streib, Kim Lee and Joe Hachem, Kill Everyone is often compared to the acclaimed works of Dan Harrington and David Sklansky.
The Final Review
Over the years, poker has evolved with subsets and numerous individual games. As poker continues to grow, it is important for both new and experienced players to remain educated and take advantage of every available resource. Reading up on strategies and the game itself is a great way to prepare for the big one or polish up a few skills. The books mentioned above not only concentrate on Texas Hold’em, the most popular poker game, but many other variations that will help you to flourish on a much larger scale, taking you one step closer to becoming the ultimate poker player.
More interesting reads:
Improve Your Poker - Bob Caffone
Professional No Limit Hold’em: Volume 1 - Matt Flynn, Sunny Mehta, Ed Miller
Sit ‘n Go Strategy - Collin Moshman

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