Poker Tips by George: Best Poker Books

By George Epstein
January 27, 2023

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?

poker books

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?

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Written By.

George Epstein

After a long and productive career as a leader in the aerospace industry, upon his retirement in the 1990s, George Epstein chose poker as his “second career.” George has been widely recognized for his many significant accomplishments and contributions to our society. These include pioneering and innovations in various materials, testing and manufacturing technologies for […]