Best poker books

    • kalimann
      kalimann
      Basic
      Joined: 16.11.2012 Posts: 37
      Hi there

      I have been playing poker casually at micro stakes for about a year or two. Have been playing for a long time, but the cash games has started to go positive for me at the micro stakes. However, even though I have developed my own playing style slowly and gotten better at reading hands, I feel a strong need to get some more intermediate and advanced looks on hands analysis and strategies.

      I would there fore really like to get some hands on recommendations on what books to read. I only really play no-limit cash games, but I guess tournaments could get interesting in the long run. But tournament books are not the main interest right now.

      So what books can you recommend on strategies on no limit hold em cash games?

      Doyle Brunson Super System has been widely acclaimed while just as many so it's so outdated it's not useful.

      I researched through a lot of books, and lot of them are on this list http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/16617.The_ideal_poker_list_for_2012_and_above

      I was thinking of Dan Harrington's books, David Slansky's books and also Greenstein's Ace on the River even though it's on tournaments (I think?).


      tl;dr:

      What books on no limit hold em cash games should I buy, and why?
  • 19 replies
    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      Verneer's building a bankroll is fairly useful for microstakes cash games.

      Most of the books I have read by Sklansky etc. contain higher level thought processes that not only are not necessary but are possibly harmful at microstakes where level one thinking prevails.

      I don't think you need a book for microstakes. Generally just value betting thinner against fish, folding when passive fish raise, 3bet bluffing regs who fold to them too often (big majority of them), not overplaying top pair and general awareness of pot odds is in my opinion enough to beat the microstakes.

      Things that will help increase your winrates once you have these things down is analyzing equity in situations where you are unsure, and using more specific HUD stats to exploit opponents such as big differences between fold to flop cbet and fold to turn cbet, and any one stat where your opponent is getting out of line. just use logic to think about how to exploit weaknesses.

      Impatience and tilt are in my opinion the reason why most players get stuck in microstakes, I know if I'd controlled these things better, I'd be a good way further up the stakes than I am now. I'd like to think I've got things pretty much under control now but we'll see. :f_biggrin:
    • kalimann
      kalimann
      Basic
      Joined: 16.11.2012 Posts: 37
      Thanks for your answer, the reason I want to read some books is not necessarily to use it in micro stakes but just to get some pocket philosophy into my poker playing so I can develop a bit.


      Originally posted by metza
      Things that will help increase your winrates once you have these things down is analyzing equity in situations where you are unsure, and using more specific HUD stats to exploit opponents such as big differences between fold to flop cbet and fold to turn cbet, and any one stat where your opponent is getting out of line. just use logic to think about how to exploit weaknesses.

      Can you elaborate on equity and HUD stats?
    • TinoLaan
      TinoLaan
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.10.2011 Posts: 6,411
      Equity is simply the share of the pot that you own. Or how often you're going to win the pot.

      So say you have AA and your opponent has 22, you have 82.22% equity, or a 82.22% chance to win the hand.

      I recommend you get Equilab (link), which will help you understand equity more, and can give you a better feeling of how much equity specific hands have against specific hand ranges. One of the most useful tools for analyzing your own play :)

      HUD stats are the statistics displayed when using a tracking software such as Holdem Manager or PokerTracker. You can choose to use a so-called HUD (heads up display), which can display all kinds of stats about your opponents, such as how often they enter the pot, how often they 3bet, how often they continuation bet, etc.

      Especially when (mass) multi-tabling, this is very important, because your HUD will essentially be your eyes, since you can't possibly keep track of all tables at the same time. But if you're just starting out, you definitely don't necessarily need a HUD. But I would still recommend getting a tracking software, so you can at least analyze your own game.
    • patszerdonk
      patszerdonk
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.05.2011 Posts: 834
      If you like Brunson old book, then I guess you will like Dan Harrington's books even better.

      But if you are playing NL50 or lower (like me) I think verneer's "Building a Bankroll" is the best. Verneer is/was a theacher and he definitely know how to articulate his thinking.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,901
      Hi, kalimann,
      Welcome to the forums!

      If you haven't already, may I suggest that you post in the "Introduce yourself" forum?


      I've read most of Super System 2, Ace on the River, and Harrington's first book.

      I still have Harrington's M in my hud when playing tournaments.

      Other than that, the topic-specific articles on this site are more use to me than the books.

      On the other hand, "According to Doyle" is about his life on the Texas poker circuit in the late 50s, and while it doesn't teach you anything about HOW to play poker, it was a fun read.

      All the best,
      --VS
    • kalimann
      kalimann
      Basic
      Joined: 16.11.2012 Posts: 37
      @TinoLaan, thanks, that helped me.

      I downloaded the trial version of PokerTracker 4, though I haven't really used it yet as it seems a bit overwhelming to setup. I'll look into it.

      Originally posted by patszerdonk
      If you like Brunson old book, then I guess you will like Dan Harrington's books even better.

      But if you are playing NL50 or lower (like me) I think verneer's "Building a Bankroll" is the best. Verneer is/was a theacher and he definitely know how to articulate his thinking.
      ¨

      Have only glimpsed briefly through Super System but it didn't seem so deal breaking as people make it to. Harrinton's books seem deep though.

      Sorry, NL50? And what's the book about?

      Originally posted by VorpalF2F
      I've read most of Super System 2, Ace on the River, and Harrington's first book.

      I still have Harrington's M in my hud when playing tournaments.

      Other than that, the topic-specific articles on this site are more use to me than the books.

      On the other hand, "According to Doyle" is about his life on the Texas poker circuit in the late 50s, and while it doesn't teach you anything about HOW to play poker, it was a fun read.
      What do you think about Ace on the River?

      In your hud? Huh?
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,901
      Originally posted by kalimann
      Originally posted by VorpalF2F
      I've read most of Super System 2, Ace on the River, and Harrington's first book.

      I still have Harrington's M in my hud when playing tournaments.

      Other than that, the topic-specific articles on this site are more use to me than the books.

      On the other hand, "According to Doyle" is about his life on the Texas poker circuit in the late 50s, and while it doesn't teach you anything about HOW to play poker, it was a fun read.
      What do you think about Ace on the River?

      In your hud? Huh?
      Ace on the River was OK -- but it is not a poker instructional book, if I recall
      I don't remember all that much about it tbh.

      Yes, when I play NLHE tournaments, the "M" factor is in my HUD.
      "M" is basically the cost of a single orbit. If there are no antes, it is 1.5x BB
      When there are antes, though the cost of an orbit is significantly higher, and just going by how many big blinds you have left overestimates your tournament life expectancy.

      There is a PokerStrategy.com article that covers this.
      http://www.pokerstrategy.com/strategy/mtt/1557/1/

      Good luck,
      --VS
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,921
      Why would you need books when we have all the educational content you need right here in this website :)
    • Maloco87
      Maloco87
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.01.2011 Posts: 514
      I enjoyed Phil Gordans Little Green Book
    • ReStart37
      ReStart37
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.04.2013 Posts: 574
      Originally posted by HollyMichelle
      Why would you need books when we have all the educational content you need right here in this website :)
      I understand that but its annoying that "we" can only relate to pokerstrategy if we create a new account.Ive search videos and other articles and i cant see much cause of my status :/
    • kalimann
      kalimann
      Basic
      Joined: 16.11.2012 Posts: 37
      So I ended up ordering:

      "Harrington on...
      Cash Games vol. 1 & 2¨
      Hold 'Em vol. 1"

      Sklansky's
      "Theory of Poker"
      "No Limit Hold 'Em"

      So a lot of good stuff to get started with.

      Originally posted by Maloco87
      I enjoyed Phil Gordans Little Green Book
      Definitely looks good, might consider it when I've chewed through these. ^^

      Originally posted by ReStart37
      Originally posted by HollyMichelle
      Why would you need books when we have all the educational content you need right here in this website :)
      I understand that but its annoying that "we" can only relate to pokerstrategy if we create a new account.Ive search videos and other articles and i cant see much cause of my status :/
      Because books are the best format. And a collection of books seem more complete than a collection of articles. Not that I would talk about the quality of the articles, they seem like legitimately good quality.
    • gadget51
      gadget51
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.06.2008 Posts: 5,622
      I learned more in a week talking to other players on here and posting hands and watching vids and coachings, than reading books and I have 14 of those.
      Just my way of learning of course but we all learn in different ways often.

      Have fun,

      Mal. :heart:
    • maheepsangari
      maheepsangari
      Gold
      Joined: 08.06.2010 Posts: 2,163
      The Poker Blueprint is something that helped me a lot at the micros.
    • jbpatzer
      jbpatzer
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.11.2009 Posts: 6,944
      Originally posted by jbpatzer
      Samples of book now online.

      http://modernpokereducation.com/material.html

      :f_cool:
    • maheepsangari
      maheepsangari
      Gold
      Joined: 08.06.2010 Posts: 2,163
      Originally posted by jbpatzer
      Originally posted by jbpatzer
      Samples of book now online.

      http://modernpokereducation.com/material.html

      :f_cool:
      Looked at the contents, looks very interesting, when does it come out? Or is it already out?

      EDIT: Out Autumn 2013, read it on the home page :facepalm: , sorry!!!

      Looking forward to it :) .
    • kalimann
      kalimann
      Basic
      Joined: 16.11.2012 Posts: 37
      Anyone who's read http://jaredtendlerpoker.com/mentalgameofpoker/ ?

      It seems good on a not very discussed subject.
    • mute20
      mute20
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.01.2011 Posts: 563
      Originally posted by kalimann
      Anyone who's read http://jaredtendlerpoker.com/mentalgameofpoker/ ?

      It seems good on a not very discussed subject.
      I have this book and it is pretty decent. I think a lot of players including myself struggle with the mental side of poker.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,901
      Originally posted by kalimann
      Anyone who's read http://jaredtendlerpoker.com/mentalgameofpoker/ ?

      It seems good on a not very discussed subject.
      It isn't a book you can just "read". It is a book you must "do".

      I have the book, and put several of the suggestions into practice.

      The first part of my blog outlines the path I took.

      I still have more work to do, but for the moment I'm coasting along.

      Regards,
      --VS
    • fengege
      fengege
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.03.2009 Posts: 71
      +1