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On The Table Read, “the best book magazine in the UK“, discover the best books for beginners at Poker, to improve both your skill and your knowledge of the game.
Playing poker is part luck, part skill. Whilst there’s not a lot you can do to improve your luck – maybe keep your fingers crossed – there is something you can do to improve your skill, and that’s up your knowledge of poker.
One of the best sources of poker knowledge is books. There’s a whole plethora of different poker books out there for different types of poker player, and just as many books purely aimed at the social aspects like tells and picking tables to play at. We’re going to take a look at some of the best books for beginners.
Poker: The Real Deal by Phil Gordon
This book is solely aimed at beginners – if you’ve ever sat down at a poker table before, you may want to avoid this one. Poker: The Real Deal is a light read with some fascinating anecdotes and multiple scenarios that help you to learn the basics.
Most of the book is covering the most played version of the game – Texas Hold ‘em – and has covered the do’s and don’ts of poker extremely well.
Texas Hold ’em For Dummies – Mark Harlan
What beginners’ list would be complete without a dummies book!? This is a great option if you’re a complete and utter newbie to the world of poker, setting out a solid framework to help you learn the basics.
You get the basic rules of Texas Hold’em, some fundamental tips and strategies as well as some overarching concepts all shown to you. Mark then progresses onto some poker maths as well as managing your bankroll. An incredibly comprehensive guide that should be on every beginner’s bookshelf.
The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova
Whilst this isn’t an in-depth strategy book with endless tips, this is a book about a woman who became a sponsored player from a complete newbie in just under two years of playing. That’s right, she went from having a strenuous grasp on the rules to playing in high-ranking competition in less than 24 months!
This is an eye-opening read if you’re interested in poker, as it covers the link between playing poker and real life – sounds bizarre, right? Whilst not quite as comprehensive on the actual ‘meat’ of playing poker, it’s a nice little insight into the world of the game as well as what it takes to reach the top levels. It’s also an entertaining read that you can have on your bedside table.
Essential Poker Math – Alton Hardin
One of the key aspects of poker that can stump many beginners is the maths. Quite a few people learn the hands, the turns and the general flow of the game, then get stumped with working out poker maths.
Essential poker Maths is exactly what it says on the tin – an essential book about not just the fundamentals behind the maths, but real-life examples. If you’ve got a good grasp of the basics and want to up your game, this book may just be the key to reaching the next level.
Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book by Phil Gordon
Making his second appearance on this list, Phil Gordon has let readers delve into his mind and shows them exactly how he thinks when he’s playing. Phil knows what he’s talking about as well – he’s had 7 different final table appearances in WSOP tournaments and walked away with 2 WPT championships as well as plenty of awards.
You need to have a basic handle on the fundamentals to be able to understand this book – if you’ve got a grasp on basic concepts, the Little Green Book is an excellent primer for taking your game to the next level.
The book is full of short tidbits of advice, each one usually explained with a scenario and a couple of paragraphs. This makes it easy to dive into whilst you have a few spare minutes and is excellent for note-taking.
Master Micro Stakes Poker by Alton Hardin
Our last book on this list is specifically for micro-stakes players. Micro stakes is a really common and useful way to work your bankroll up for the bigger games whilst also letting you get your hands dirty learning the basics.
Alton Hardin is a well-known poker teacher and has a reputation for making poker concepts easy to understand for beginners. This book is no exception, covering everything you need to get going with Micro Stakes Texas Hold ‘em – you’ve got equity and value, reasons you should bet, the different positions and their power all covered and so much more.
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