Best Texas Hold'em Books

Reading the best poker books should give you usable and practical insight into the game. Also, a new Texas hold'em player can absorb too much information. That's why I only include three books on this list, while limiting the selections to books which provides good general information. Once you master this information, you can delve into the arcane mathematics and higher principles of poker playing. As the professor told his eager student, master these books and come back for more.

Super/System by Doyle Brunson

Super/System by Doyle Brunson (and friends) was the first excellent book on poker playing. Most of the chapters in Super System are written by different players, though Doyle Brunson introduces the book, recruited the experts, and wrote the chapter on Texas hold'em. Doyle Brunson said he had to change how he played after the book came out in 1979. It's interesting to note Doyle Brunson won the World Series of Poker Main Event back-to-back in 1976 and 1977, so there might be something to that statement. While not heavy on the math of the game, it's an excellent primer for someone getting serious about poker playing.

Harrington on Hold 'em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments, Vol. 1: Strategic Play

Hold'em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments is co-written by Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie, a noted backgammon player. Dan Harrington not only won the 1995 WSOP Main Event. Harrington also made the final table of the 2003 and 2004 Main Events, after the number of players expanded into the high hundreds (2003), and then thousands (2004). Some people consider this the most spectacular feat in WSOP history, to beat those kind of odds, even if Dan Harrington didn't win either year. At the poker table, Dan Harrington is known for his solid, conservative style. He's played against the best players over several decades, so Harrington is familiar with all styles and proves it in this book, giving good insights and tips for various modes of play.

Still, I suggest Harrington's book on the merits of learning solid play first. Even the most aggressive players must first learn the fundamentals of the game, just as Pablo Picasso had to first become a master of the accepted forms of art, before diverging off on his own brilliant path. So if you plan on being a solid, conservative player like Dan Harrington or a poker aggressor in the style of Gun Hansen, it's best you read what Harrington has to say on the subject. If you want to win at cash games, consider reading Cash Games: How to Win at No-Limit Hold'em Money Games, also by Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie.

Theory of Poker by David Sklansky

 The Theory of Poker: A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How To Think Like One is a book for those who want to understand the theory of poker, as it applies to Texas holdem, seven-card stud, Omaha, razz, and all the other unique variants of the game. The reason David Sklansky's books are so well-received in the gambling industry is he writes about complicated subjects is easy to understand ways. Don't assume The Theory of Poker is a going to be brilliant, yet murky. The theories are laid out in clear prose and made as simple to understand as possible. No perfect book on poker exists, but The Theory of Poker is one of the essential ones.