If you’re a bookworm and a poker fan, we’re not going to have to tell you twice how much the written word can help your game. But if you’re not really the reading type, you might be rolling your eyes. Maybe you think practice makes perfect? The more you play, the better you’ll get. Well that is true to a certain extent. But by studying playing styles and techniques and experts guiding you through the game, you’ll be surprised at how much you can pick up. To cut a long story short, we’re going to tell you all about our favorite poker books.

Why should I read poker books?

Like we said in the intro, having an expert take the time to guide you through styles, strategy, techniques and scenarios is pretty much invaluable. It’s a great way to make you think differently about the game and learn to think about the wider context while you play.

But as well as them being very informative, poker books can also be a hell of a lot of fun. And fun is pretty much the most important thing when it comes to poker, in our book. So add one or two of these tomes to your reading list and add another angle to your game.

The serious one: The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky

Now The Theory of Poker isn’t going to be a huge amount of fun to read if you’re new to the game or you’re a casual player. Having said that, if you live and breath poker and want to take your game to the next level, this David Sklansky is a must-read. One of those poker books that’s considered a true masterpiece, this 1994 epic has 25 chapters that talks you through all the fundamentals of the game.

It takes you through all of poker’s biggest questions and debates and basically coaches the reader on how to think like a professional. This is for anyone who’s serious about poker. And if that’s you and you don’t already have it on your bookshelf, you’re missing a trick.

The classic one: Super/System by Doyle Brunson

Published in 1979, Super/System shook up the world of poker. It was one of the first books ever published on poker strategy, written by none other than the legend himself Doyle Brunson.

Always the showman, Brunson originally called the book How I Made Over $1,000,000 Playing Poker. An enticing title for sure, but that’s not the only reason it took the poker world by storm. It featured chapters on strategy over a whole range of different poker games and each section was written by a poker legend. Mike Caro takes you through draw poker, Joey Hawthorne talks lowball and, perhaps the highlight, the Texas Dolly himself Doyle Brunson talks no limit Texas hold’em.

Over 40 years later, poker players still swear by this book. It still contains essential information relevant to the game even now. The only downside? Poor Brunson reckons writing this book ended up costing him more money on the felt than he made selling the darn thing.

In 2004, a hotly anticipated sequel was published. Super/System 2 features well known contributors from the old days of 1970s Vegas, along with many huge names in poker since such as Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harman and Johnny Chan.

The fun one: The Professor, The Banker And The Suicide King by Michael Craig

If you want to read something more like a thriller than a textbook, this Michael Craig title is one of the best poker books to pick up. Published in 2005, The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King is all about how an amatuer ended up competing in some of the highest stakes games in the world. Billionaire Andrew Beal ends up pitting himself against a group of professional players known as The Corporation. They include huge names like Ted Forrest, Jennifer Harman, Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese, Gus Hansen, Phil Ivey… You get the picture.

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