In life, the best way to learn how to do something is often to read about it, whether that’s an instruction manual or a book written by an expert in that certain field. Well, poker is no different, as there are poker books for beginners, strategy books for moderate players, or in-depth analysis books for poker experts. We decided to take a look at some of the best books on poker on the market for those who fall into either of these categories. Check out that list below.

Any list of books about poker should starts and should finish with Doyle Brunson’s Super System, often considered the Bible of poker books. Brunson has long been the most famous poker player on the planet, and in 1979, he released one of the best poker strategy books still to date. In fact, it was so popular that he ended up releasing a follow-up book: Super System 2, featuring some of poker's biggest names, including Johnny Chan, Jennifer Harman, Steve Zolotow, Bobby Baldwin, Mike Caro (who will come up again later in this list), and his son, Todd Brunson. Super System has a bit of knowledge for everyone, ranging from casual beginner poker advice to the more advanced techniques that made Doyle Brunson one of poker’s biggest winners early on in his career. Quite simply, this is the best place to start for those who are looking for books to learn poker.

Dan Harrington was one of the biggest stars of the poker boom in the mid-2000s. While his biggest poker accomplishment was winning the 1995 WSOP Main Event, Harrington is arguably more famous for making his second and third Main Event final tables in back-to-back years in 2003 and 2004, right when poker really started exploding on TV. Since then, only Mark Newhouse has been able to do that. Harrington is notorious for having a tiger playing style, so this is the perfect book for players who tend to play more passively, or for players whose aggression has gotten them in trouble in the past, and are looking for some alternative strategies. Just like Brunson, Harrington released follow-ups to the original text, releasing Volume II: The Endgame, and Volume III: The Workbook. It should be noted that one of the most common criticisms of Harrington on Hold’em Volume 1 does not include some basic information about poker. As a result, this may not be the best poker book for novice players and could possibly be restricting the book' to a more limited audience

While he is one of poker’s more controversial stars turned book author, there is no question that David Skalansky and his book “The Theory of Poker” are deserving of being on this list. While many of his fellow peers based their games on feel and live reads, Skalansky was one of the first players to share their mathematical approach to the game. His book, The Theory of Poker, presents fundamental principles based on math that will be greatly beneficial for players who love to crunch the numbers more than analyze the physical tells of their opponents. Skalansky was also one of the first players to discuss hand ranges, breaking down starting hands into nine different categories. That list can be viewed in the table below. For those who prefer the latter strategy, the next strategy book will suit you better.

1AA, AKs, KK, QQ, JJ
2AK, AQs, AJs, KQs, TT
3AQ, ATs, KJs, QJs, JTs, 99
4AJ, KQ, KTs, QTs, J9s, T9s, 98s, 88
5A9s – A2s, KJ, QJ, JT, Q9s, T8s, 97s, 87s, 77, 76s, 66
6AT, KT, QT, J8s, 86s, 75s, 65s, 55, 54s
7K9s – K2s, J9, T9, 98, 64s, 53s, 44, 43s, 33, 22
8A9, K9, Q9, J8, J7s, T8, 96s, 87, 85s, 76, 74s, 65, 54, 42s, 32s
9All other hands not required above. 

Not all poker books are created the same, or for that matter, cover the same parts of poker. A perfect example of this is Mike Caro’s Book on Poker Tells, a book that focuses on the players, not the cards, in poker. While this book is Caro’s most famous, he has penned several books about the card game, including The Body Language of Poker, Master Hold'em and Omaha Poker, and Poker at the Millennium by Mike Caro & Mike Cappelletti, amongst others. Some of the tells that are discussed in this book are the speed of shuffling chips, double checking one’s hole cards, and their body positioning in the chair, and what all of this means about their potential holdings. Caro went on to write other books: Caro’s Most Profitable Hold’em Advice, and Caro’s Secrets of Winning Poker, but his bible of poker tells will always be the most famous of his poker books. For those who are looking to grind online on GGPoker or PokerStars, this book may not be of much use to you.

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You might know the title of this book without even realizing it, as “Greenstein” is often said when the fate of a pot changes after an ace comes on the river. For years, Greenstein would bring copies of his version of the poker bible, and sign them for any player who knocked him out at WSOP tournaments. The book itself is quite impressive, though it deals less with the poker strategy that you will find in many of the other poker books on this list, and instead is more of a story of the life of a high-stakes poker player. It is not one of the best books for beginners, you are better off with some of the other books on this list if you are a novice who is looking to grasp the basics of poker. Rather, it is better for those who already have the fundamentals down, and are looking to improve their game, or become more adaptable to the lifestyle of a professional poker player.

The most recent submission to this list, Jared Tendler, much like Mike Caro, went for a different spin with his poker book, focusing on the mental challenges involved in the game. Tendler realized that there wasn’t much new he could add to the strategy aspect of the game, with the emergence of GTO solvers and things like the Nash Equilibrium, so he choose to focus on the mental battles involved in the game. While it certainly isn’t one of the best books for beginners, it can provide a unique outlook on the game that can be torture at times for those with a weaker mindset. Much like some of the other authors on this list, Tendler went on to write more poker books. In 2013, he wrote a sequel to this book, aptly naming it The Mental Game of Poker 2, and in 2021, he branched out a bit from poker, writing “The Mental Game of Trading: A System for Solving Problems with Greed, Fear, Anger, Confidence, and Discipline.”

That wraps up our list of the best poker books on the market. Did we miss your favorite book on poker? If we did, let us know in the comments!