Most Important Poker Books Ever Written

Choose Between Some of these Great Poker Books to Improve Your Strategy

I have selected these poker books based on different criteria, and not just because I like them. Some of them I have read personally, while for some I had to perform deep research to include them on this list. In essence, these are the books that can help you understand the game.

Some of these poker books are perfect for experienced players since they deal with more advanced strategies and sophisticated concepts. Some on the other hand are great for recreational and newbie players.

According to estimates that I found, there are more than 400 poker books written till date. This is why my research lasted for several days until I was able to come up with a true list.

All of these poker books can make a profound impact on your understanding of poker and can change your reasoning towards better. So, let’s take a look at them.


In 2008 Gus Hansen released the book Every Hand Revealed. It’s a very good poker book for players that compete at no-limit Hold’em tournaments. Gus Hansen is a three times WPT champion and one of the more unorthodox players that you will see in action. This book will guide you through the process of every tournament stage. It’s one of those poker books that will make you take a second look at the game and understand it more directly and to the point.


The Body Language of Poker: Mike Caro’s Book of Tells (1994) is one of many old school poker books. It’s an updated version of the same book released in 1984 and written by Mike Caro, who is one of the pioneers in creating poker strategies. He has been organizing poker seminars for 30 years now and has written countless articles on the science of poker. In this book Caro explains and analyzes the proper body language when playing poker. This includes voice inflections, facial movements, posturing etc. It was one of the groundbreaking poker books and probably still is today. There are 277 pages and photos throughout the book. It’s truly rich with information.


Poker Essays (For Both Hold’em and Stud Players) by Mason Malmuth (1996) – This one offers very simple concepts and is sort of a collection of different writings from Mason Malmuth. It’s not one of those poker books that talks only about strategy. It gives lots of advices about how to improve your poker play, suggests what improvements you can make and discusses the future of poker. Even after two decades after it was released it still has many truths in it. Most of Malmuth’s predictions about poker found in Poker Essays have come actually true.


Mason Malmuth was such a great poker writer that I have decided to include another one of this poker books in this list. The book Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players from 1993. This was one of the most read poker books in the 1990s. It’s a must for all players that want to get into Hold’em Poker on a more professional level. It’s a book that had a profound impact of the game mainly through the players that read it and become successful players. In this book Malmuth altered the game fundamentaly by breaking down a variety of different situations.


Winning Poker Systems by Norman Zadah (1973) – Here’s an oldie for you that you have probably never heard of. If you ask older poker players which book has had the biggest contribution towards poker theory, this is the one that they’ll name. When this book was released there was virtually no poker literature available, which makes this a groundbreaking poker book. Sadly, today it’s of little use because it uses examples from poker games that are not played today. But, it’s significant enough to earn its place in this list mainly because it had a profound influence on other great poker books writers as well as players.


Here’s another Hold’em related book, Winning Low-Limit Hold’em by Lee Jones from 1994. The 1990s was a very proliferating decade for poker writers, and this book was the best of its time. Even today players have it as their bible. It’s simple to read, it’s filled with advices about strategies, and it’s not a classic textbook. Jones uses a simple writing style that anyone can understand. You may know Lee Jones as one of the PokerStars Site Managers, perhaps the biggest poker site today. Jones had an amazing understanding of poker and new what an average poker player wants to read in a book so he delivered Winning Low Limit Hold’em.


Hold’em Poker by David Sklansky (1976) – David Sklansky has many poker books behind him, but this one is going to be really helpful to those of you that want to learn something more about Hold’em poker. It’s the first ever book written about Hold’em poker. It’s interesting how Sklansky saw the potential of Hold’em poker when it was only popular in some parts of America. Sklansky released an updated version in 1997 because of the outdated aspects of the Hold’em rules that he covers in the 1976 edition, so make sure to look for the 1997 one.


Harrington on Hold ’em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments, Vol. 1: Strategic Play, by Dan Harrington (2006) – Here something more up-to-date, Harrington’s view on Hold’em. Statistically, this poker book is one of the bestselling in the history of poker books. Harrington had a nice timing of releasing it right at the time when Hold’em poker was at its peak of popularity. This book has great credibility because Dan Harrington had no affiliation with anyone, and he wrote it with the help of a game theorist and master chess player, Bill Robertie.


SUPER/SYSTEM: A Course In Power Poker (Second Edition) also Titled: How I Made Over $1,000,000 Playing Poker by Doyle Brunson (1978) – When Doyle Brunson, a two-time world champion decided to give away his knowledge through this book, many people in the poker world were upset. It’s a book that is selling steadily even today after almost four decades. It has 600 pages of poker knowledge, and has many contributions by experts like Bobby Baldwin, Joey Hawthorne, David Sklansky, Mike Caro and David Reese. It’s an amazing book and one of those that was ahead of its time. It’s relevant even today.


The most important book according to my research is David Sklansky’s The Theory of Poker: A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How To Think Like One from 1994. It’s packed with 25 chapters of strategy fundamentals, it’s a pure textbook, and it has no entertainment factor, but has a lifetime of valuable information on different concepts about how to be a poker pro. If you truly want to be a poker pro, this is your bible.

There you have it! Follow us on Twitter for more updates on interesting poker articles and bonuses.

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