Five Books Every Poker Fan Must Read
In 1887, the first edition of John William Keller’s The Game of Draw Poker was published in New York, telling readers all about the card game that was sweeping the nation. Have you read it? This is just one of many poker books from long ago that you can access for free on the internet. Alas, none of these books deals with the “flop” games that are ubiquitous today. Here are five must-read books if you want to learn more about modern poker.
Super/System (Doyle Brunson, 1979)
It’s not the first poker book ever written, but it might as well be. Brunson was playing Texas Hold’em before just about everyone else; he and his cohorts took a deep dive into the strategies they used to make big money on this and other poker variants. For a more modern take, consider the updated Super System 2, released in 2004.
The Theory of Poker (David Sklansky, 1999)
Sklansky just might be the world’s foremost authority on poker, and gambling in general. He’s written several books under the Two Plus Two Publishing aegis, but this one’s the most important. It covers the theoretical foundations of both draw poker and flop games – and the theory holds up to this day.
Caro’s Book of Poker Tells (Mike Caro, 2003)
Mike Caro was one of several players who collaborated with Brunson on Super/System. Caro’s own highly influential book looks at the behavior of poker players at the table and how to use it to your advantage. There’s a lot more to it than just “weak means strong” and “strong means weak.”
Harrington on Hold ‘em (Dan Harrington, 2004)
This turned out to be Volume 1 of a three-part series; all three are worth checking out, but the original book on strategic play in tournaments should be first on your list. Harrington was the 1995 World Series of Poker Main Event champion and a former WPT champ as well.
The Mathematics of Poker (Bill Chen and Jerrod Ankenman, 2006)
If you’re not scared of a little math, this book will teach you more about poker than you ever thought possible. The authors use mathematical principles and toy games to break Hold’em down and generate useful strategies that pretty much all of today’s top players hang their hats on.