I must own over 100 poker books, some written by top poker celebrities. On occasion, I have been asked to name my favorite book. Which is the best poker book ever written? Which poker book ought you take on your next trip to a casino for some fun or interesting reading?
After writing my third book, that thought garnered more than an occasional ponder. Maybe someday. . . Even though our poker world has grown from a handful of backrooms and riverboats, and the number of players has multiplied into the millions since the Gold Rush days, an annual awards night remains but a dream. Can we follow in the footsteps of the movie industry that has offered its golden Oscars since 1929?
Let me offer my own selection of “Best Poker Books,” What Makes a Great Poker Book?
Foremost is the book’s content. Is it worth reading? Does it leave the reader with vital information that will make her better educated in the game – a consistent winner? Is it an easy read? Or, on the other hand, is it boring or confusing to read?
My Candidates for Best Poker Book
● Poker – A Guaranteed Income for Life by Using the Advanced Concepts of Poker by Frank R. Wallace (1968)
● The Mathematics of Gambling by Dr. Edward O. Thorp (1984)
● Doyle Brunson’s Super System (over 600 pages of poker wisdom in collaboration with other top players)
● Winning Women of Poker – Secret Strategies Revealed including “The Nuts and Bolts of No-Limit Texas Hold’em” by Maria Ho; “Around the Felt” by Marsha Waggoner; “Strategy Differences Between Cash Games and Tournaments” by Jan Fisher; “The Importance of Position” by Susie Isaacs; “Don’t Tell Me You’re Card Dead!” by Linda Johnson; “The Art of the Bluff” by Barbara Enright; Poker Face and Tells” by Clonie Gowen; “Know Your Enemy” by J. J. Liu – and more
● Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players by David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth
● Harrington on Hold’em by Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie
● Poker for Dummies by Lou Krieger and Richard Harroch
● I include two of my own: Hold’em or Fold’em? – An Algorithm for Making the Key Decision (2012) and The Art of Bluffing (2015)
● Lou Krieger’s book, 52 great poker tips – one for each card in the deck – is tops in my mind
What makes Lou’s tips so great is the sound advice they offer, enhanced by his personality which spills over into his tips. As I read each of his tips, I found myself anxious to read on.
Highlighting Some of Krieger’s Tips:
Why it’s important to know and understand the odds; The odds and implied odds; Starting standards; Calling pre-flop depending on position; Hands you can play in any position; Calling a raise from the blind; Default programming; Folding before and after the flop; Finding the best game; The Front-Loaded effect; Classify and categorize your opponents; Playing with maniacs; Three ways to play winning hold’em; Counter-intuitive strategy; Record-keeping and note-taking; Playing multiple games online; Fit or fold; Playing and raising with a draw; Slow-playing; Don’t let your opponents read you; The gap between betting and calling; Raising – two ways to win; Raising can define your hand; Another reason to raise; Check-raising; Betting patterns; Looking for tells.
Unfortunately, we lost Lou when he died of cancer in December 2012 at the age of 67.
Could one of these be a candidate for the “Poker Book Oscar” – or should we give our statue a different moniker? Will the poker world one day have its own Oscar?