When amateur poker player Mike Moneymaker won the “Main Event” at the 2003 World Series of Poker, he changed the game forever. He changed how the gambling public viewed poker, taking the game from the smoky back rooms of bars and small casinos into the mainstream.
Moneymakers showed recreational gamblers that anyone could beat the big boys for big money at the poker table. He didn’t teach recreational gamblers exactly how difficult it is to do what he did. He left out the little details, like how the game is played and the skills needed to be a poker player at the highest level.
In the UK, millions of UK gamblers enjoy playing poker online or in local poker clubs/casinos. Some UK online casinos have a substantial customer following using the casino’s access to top poker sites like PokerStars or WSOP.
Since some of these players are pretty talented and often relentless, they have a material advantage over recreational poker players who don’t truly understand the game’s intricacies. Before anyone decides to take up poker seriously, they should know it takes time to develop the right skills to be competitive at poker.
How does one go about learning how to play poker properly? You could start by taking to the tables and learning the hard way. The hard way is taking financial beating after financial beating until you acquire the trade tricks and can protect yourself. Before you jump on your favourite non-GamStop betting site to take your pulse, you might want to read what the pros offer.
With that in mind, here are five of the best poker-playing books from some of the best poker players the world has ever seen.
1. Super System (by Doyle Brunson)
There is no more prominent name in the game of poker than Doyle Brunson. The man has been a significant force in the poker-playing community for over 50 years.
In Super System, Brunson discusses the tried and true poker-playing strategies that made the poker legend a multi-millionaire. These strategies teach recreational players how to play sound and consistent poker. While the book was written in 1978, it still stands as one of the most relevant reads for poker players today.
After the success of this book, Brunson accumulated more of his knowledge and eventually wrote and released “Super System 2” as a great follow-up tutorial.
2. The Theory of Poker (by David Sklansky)
When this book was released in 1978, it was clear that Sklansky was well ahead of his time as a poker player. That would explain why he became one of the hottest poker players on earth in the 1990s.
Sklansky used The Theory of Poker to show that the game is centred more on maths and understanding odds than feelings and instincts. He covered forward-thinking concepts like the importance of understanding game theory, the value of deception, and calculating pot odds to earn total value on a bet. For Sklansky, the game was ideally suited for players who can think quickly, an advantage that can make millions of dollars.
3. The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win (by Maria Konnikova)
Without an ounce of poker-playing experience, New York Times author and psychologist Maria Konnikova recognized there is a psychology that comes into play when playing poker. Taking advice from top pros like Erik Seidel, Konnikova delves deeply into the mental aspect of poker. That includes how to read other players and stay focused during trying times.
As part of the book reading experience, readers are taken on the same journey that led the author from an amateur poker newbie to a poker champ, all within one year.
4. Harrington on Hold ’em (by Dan Harrington)
For over two decades (the 1980s-2000s), author Harrington was one of the top-ranked poker players in the world. When he made the WSOP Main Event final table in 2003 and 2004, he established himself as a poker legend headed for the Poker Hall of Fame.
In this book, Harrington covers poker fundamentals and the importance of understanding pot odds. He also offers information about the psychology of the game.
5. Life’s a Gamble (by Mike Sexton)
Before his death in 2020, Sexton had established himself as a great poker player and one of the most beloved pokers in the game’s history.
Life’s a Gamble takes readers on the same journey that made Sexton a high-stakes gambler who was fearless and relentless. The book discusses some of the most astonishing poker stories ever told. It also discusses Sexton’s involvement in creating the PartyPoker Network, which took place back in 2001.
In conclusion, you don’t want to be playing poker with the biggest names in the game without the skills you would need to protect yourself. These books and others like them are an excellent place to start working on your prowess as a poker player.
Markus lives in San Francisco, California and is the video game and audio expert on Good e-Reader! He has a huge interest in new e-readers and tablets, and gaming.