Good first poker book? (1 Viewer)


High Hand
Feb 24, 2020
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Hi all! Relatively new to the forum (and to poker as a whole really) and I've been getting more into both chips and the game.

While hopefully getting some my first set of decent chips soon, I've been looking at improving my game at the same time.

I'm in the vibe right now for picking up a book and reading it (to spend less time online anyway) so I was wondering if anyone had any good suggestions for a first poker book?

There are lots of decent options that I've found online so far (Theory of Poker, Every Hand Revealed, The Mathematics of Poker) but I was wondering if anyone had a good suggestion that could outline a lot of the fundamentals for a beginner that is ready to attack the game very fundamentally and theoretically (hence looking for a book instead of watching quick Youtube videos).

I'm not really daunted by thicker reads or heavy analytical work (chemist by trade), so I'll entertain any and all suggestions. I'm keen on especially understanding (1) the statistics of hands and odds (especially in no-limit hold-em) and (2) the psychology of game and players. There seem to be great books for both.

There is SO much stuff available free on the web, I would start there.

I have FOLDERS full of bookmarks on rules, games, strategies, tells, cash game vs tournament differences.....and much more.

Youtube has SCADS of videos.

Start on the web, and when someone mentions a book that they learned something from, make a note.

If you want a copy of my bookmarks, let me know VIA PM
If you really want a book, I would recommend something by Ed Miller. This is a good one that is a good balance of introduction and higher level concepts.
Professional No-Limit Hold 'em: Volume I

Depending on your desire for more tournament based strategy or cash game strategy, your recommendations may be different. The book I recommended is more cash game based.
As I've mentioned in other threads: The Theory of Poker by Sklansky is great for learning the game. Apparently he's coming out with a new version soon.
@asian bino will definitely PM you! To be honest, the idea of a book appeals to me not because I think it's the best way to learn poker, but because I want to read more anyway - poker just happens to be the newest hobby for me so I'm looking for poker books :)

@Shaggy I'm definitely more interested in Tournament more than Cash games right now, but I am keen on learning both and understanding the difference between the two. Essentially looking for a comprehensive, long reader that will serve well as a jump off point for future learning, whether it still be books or transition to videos, web etc. Thanks for the suggestion!

@surfik As mentioned above, I'm mainly interested in No limit right now, but very curious and keen on understanding what the difference between NL and PLO poker is, so wouldn't mind both.

@trigs Theory of poker seems to be a very common one, I may begin with that. There are two versions right now, the original and "applied to no limit" - would you recommend one or both?

Thanks for the input all!
@trigs Theory of poker seems to be a very common one, I may begin with that. There are two versions right now, the original and "applied to no limit" - would you recommend one or both?

I have not read the new version yet so I can't comment on it, but the original still stands up imho.
There 's some decent online stuff by a guy who has uploaded the so-called "PokerBank".
NOT to be read as the Gospel, but nice if you 've got to get started from somewhere (note that the guy is/was into online poker, which I would strongly advise against, for a truckload of reasons, especially for beginners or even experienced, yet computer-illiterate people like me).
After you think you 've understood some basic notions, start reading Dan Harrington's books in whichever order you deem necessary (Harrington on Cash, volumes I and II), or Harrington on Hold'em (meaning Tournaments, in that case), volumes I and II equally.
You won't be able to assimilate the information in those books unless you 're also playing in the meantime.
Good luck! :)
There’s a ton of books out there that are useful. I like Ed Miller and Phil Gordon’s little green book is obviously a classic for a brand new player. Once you go through a couple books, there is a lot of more in depth knowledge to be gained from videos online. But it helps to know what you’re looking for
I second the Ed Miller comment. Once you feel comfortable with the flow of the game read the course. It’s cash game based but the concepts apply to low limit tourneys as well.
Thanks for the suggestions all! Will be going through them and picking out something to start with soon.



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