One of the best ways to become a better poker player is to read poker strategy books. Currently, there are over 400 poker strategy books which aim to help you become better at poker. New content is being released non-stop, and old content is becoming outdated. Today, we are going to take an in-depth look at the five best poker books that every poker player should read in 2019.
Every serious poker player is on a constant mission to improve their game. We are heading into 2019, and there is more information on the web than ever. If you want to become or remain a profitable poker player, you have to seek out information and study. A basic understand of the game is not enough! Reading the five books on this list will take your game to the next level, and turn you into a complete poker player.
#1 - The Best Poker Book for Strategy
The Theory of Poker: A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How To Think Like One
Poker strategy books are constantly becoming outdated, but this one is a gem. If you are serious about becoming a poker player, you have to read this timeless piece by David Sklansky.
Sklansky has written 14 books on poker and gambling, and has won three World Series of Poker bracelets. If there’s anybody you can trust on poker theory and strategy, it’s David Sklansky.
This incredible book goes into detail about strategy for a variety of poker games; No Limit Texas Hold’Em, Five-Card Draw, Seven-Card Stud, Razz, and even Lowball Draw!
To start off, you will gain a basic understanding on the game of poker. There is no better way to do this than learning about the theory behind different games of poker. Poker has a wide variety of games, but they all stem for the same general theories and ideas. Getting a good grasp on this is invaluable.
Next, David shows you how to think like a professional poker player. This will give you an in-depth lesson on poker strategy, putting a step above your competition. He breaks down the most important skills for any poker player; bluffing, playing in position, slow-playing, reading your opponent, and much more. These skills are crucial, and will give you the edge over a player who only knows if his starting hand is good or bad. Having a good understand of these strategies will be beneficial when you are ready to find your poker playing style.
The Theory of Poker is, without a doubt, one of the best poker books for strategy. It’s a perfect start to your poker journey.
#2 - The Best Poker Book for No Limit Texas Hold'em
Phil Gordon's Little Green Book: Lessons and Teachings in No Limit Texas Hold'em
Next on this list is an amazing book from none other than Phil Gordon. In his little green book, Gordon has a collection of notes from his career as a poker player.
This book specifically focuses in No Limit Texas Hold’em. As many of you know, hold’em is the most popular type of poker. If you are series about earning a living playing poker, then you should get serious about hold’em. Specializing in a specific type of poker is recommended, and starting with the most common type is not a bad idea.
In this book, Gordon will teach you how to develop your own personal playing style. He explains how he made it to the top, and all the challenges he faced. After reading this book, you will know more about poker strategy, how to prepare for the unexpected, and how to dominate your competition.
Phil Gordon’s notes are perfect for beginner and intermediate poker players. It will help you fall in love with no limit Texas hold’em, and develop a good understanding of the game. Each page will help you take one small step towards becoming a poker legend.
The Little Green Book is the book you need to dive into poker’s most common game type, and start crushing the field.
#3 - The Best Technical Poker Book
Essential Poker Math: Fundamental No Limit Hold'em Mathematics You Need To Know
Time to get serious! As I said earlier, a basic understand of the game is not enough to be a successful poker player. Taking it to the next level requires you to understand poker from a technical perspective. In order to do this, you need to pick up a copy of Alton Hardin’s infamous “Essential Poker Math”.
Hardin is a well known educator, and the founder of MicroGrinder Poker School. He preaches the important of math in poker. Math is the most important language in the universe, and is absolutely necessary to the game of poker.
In this book, Hardin will teach you when and how to apply mathematics in No Limit Hold’Em. Applying math will do wonders for your game. It’s impossible to beat the numbers. You will learn which starting hands are the most profitable, and which moves to make in certain situations. This knowledge will be very helpful if you are taking advantage of a poker hud.
By approaching poker from a mathematical perspective, you will eliminate a poker player’s biggest weakness: emotions. This book will help you understand that poker is about much more than luck. Trusting the numbers is a much more reliable strategy than trusting your feelings. Nevertheless, this book is only one of the weapons in your arsenal. Math is important, but not the only thing you should rely on! Combine this knowledge with other poker theory and strategy to become a complete player.
Hardin’s Essential Poker Math is the one and only book you need to turn to when considering poker from a technical perspective, and it will add a crucial aspect to your game.
#4 - The Best Poker Book for Mental Strategies
The Mental Game of Poker: Proven Strategies for Improving Tilt Control, Confidence, Motivation, Coping with Variance, and More.
We are humans, not robots! This is a very important fact to keep in mind when you are playing poker. Many experienced poker players agree that poker has two main parts; math and psychology. Jared Tendler and Barry Carter teamed up to bring you the best poker book for poker psychology, The Mental Game of Poker!
This book will take you on a journey of self reflection. It is by far the best poker book for evaluating your own personal strengths and weaknesses. Tendler’s book will help you form great habits, and eliminate bad ones. As I said, emotion is a poker player’s greatest weakness. By taking measures to control your emotion, your game will improve significantly.
After reading this book, you will get a glimpse at the minds of the other players at your table. By understanding what is going through their heads, you will be able to maneuver the mental battlefield, and win the psychological war.
I personally found this book to be very entertaining. Unlike other poker books, it is not technical, and does not put me to sleep! Tendler keeps you engaged throughout the book, and you will finish reading it in no time!
Jared Tendler’s The Mental Game of Poker is essential in developing well rounded poker skills, and the best poker book for approaching the game from a psychological perspective.
#5 - The Best Poker Book for Advanced No Limit Hold'Em
No-Limit Hold 'em For Advanced Players
After getting a good understanding of poker strategy, diving into no limit hold’em, mastering the technical and psychological aspects of poker, there is only one step left. Read and reread this absolute masterpiece by Matthew Janda!
Janda is an expert and game theory, and he is widely regarded as one of the best poker authors of all time. In 2017, he released his latest book: No Limit Hold’Em for Advanced Players. This book is already considered one of the best poker books by many experienced poker players. Consider all other books on advanced hold’em strategy as outdated. This is the only book you need.
Janda goes into in-depth explanations, emphasizing how to take a game theory optimal approach to poker. This book will show you how to approach specific situations from a completely different light. After digesting this information, you will have a completely different outlook on no limit hold’em.
This book is all about the details! It will help you take everything into account; your position, the stack sizes, your opponents behavior and tendencies. Poker is a game on inches. Even the smallest edge will make a huge difference in the long-run. By getting serious about advanced strategies, you will solidify yourself as a profitable poker player.
Janda’s guide is the top book for advanced poker players, and it is unmatched when considering up to date poker strategies.
Conclusion - Putting Your Knowledge to Use
This list represents what we think are the best poker books to read in 2019. If your goal is to become a well rounded poker player, these five books are all that you need.
If you want to put your newly acquired knowledge to use, we welcome you to test your skills on PPPoker. The PPPoker app allows people to create private poker clubs where players compete in real money cash games. For more information and a full review on PPPoker, please take a look at our guide. Or, if you’re looking for a club to join on PPPoker, click the button below.