“Harrington on Hold ’em” Review, Part 1

[RR] “Here you go, Iggy”, Roderick the Rock said as he handed Iggy the Improver a set of three books. “If you want to learn how to play No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em tightly, the Harrington on Hold ’em trilogy is what you really want to read. The three volumes cover Strategic Play, The Endgame, and The Workbook. You can borrow all three books at once because I’m sure you can get through them all by next month’s tournament.”

[II] “Thanks. Sure seems like a lot of reading though. Maybe I should just take Volume I for now”, Iggy responded.

[RR] “There are almost 1,200 pages in total, but it moves pretty quickly. None of Harrington’s concepts are particularly difficult, and many of the pages are examples. Like a good novel that you don’t want to put down, you’ll look forward to each new chapter. Even better, once it ends in book two, you’ll have a whole ‘nother volume to enjoy to reinforce what you’ve learned. Since Harrington was a chess master, let me use a chess analogy. You don’t want to read just Volume I because it would be like only learning opening moves and middle game play. If you want to win a tournament, you need to know how to play the endgame, too, and that’s Volume II. Volume III is mostly practice time, but it does includes some additional tips.”

[II] “Can I at least skip the beginning of Volume I?”

[RR] “Sure. You can jump over the introduction and rules of the game, but you should read the rest of Part One of Volume I. Even the simply titled Elements of a Hand, which lists eleven things to consider as you look at your hole cards, is a must-read. If you run out of time and can’t finish Volume III, that’s okay. It’s a bit lower quality than the other two books and nowhere near as educational.”

Title Harrington on Hold ’em (3 volumes)
Author Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie
Year 2004, 2005, and 2006
Skill Level Intermediate to Advanced
Pros Thorough explanation of how to play No Limit tournaments, adjusting for the size of your position, your chip stack, and your opponents.
Cons A little too tight for most casual players (who might get bored folding so much even if it works).
Rating 4.5 (out of five) for Volume I and Volume II; 2.5 for Volume III

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