Stan’s Lists – No Limit Hold ‘Em Books

[II] “What’s the next book I should borrow from your poker library, Stan?” Iggy the Improver inquired.

[SS] “I don’t know. Why don’t you decide for yourself?” Stan the Stat countered. “Here’s my list of all the No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em books I own (sorted by level and then rating):”1


Skill Level Author[s] Book Year Rating Notes
Beginner Brad Daugherty and Tom McEvoy No-Limit Texas Hold’Em 2004 3.5 Excellent introduction to No Limit Hold ‘Em for new Hold ‘Em players or those coming from Limit Hold ‘Em
Mike Sexton Shuffle Up and Deal 2005 3.0 Includes a basic training DVD and a good history of the World Poker Tour
Tom McEvoy and T.J. Cloutier Championship Hold’em Tournament Hands 2003 3.0 Advice on playing Limit and No Limit Hold ‘Em, especially preflop, plus an excellent collection of important World Series of Poker Main Event hands; see review
Phil Hellmuth Phil Hellmuth’s Texas Hold ‘Em 2009 2.5 More about Limit than No Limit Hold ‘Em; see review
Amarillo Slim Preston Amarillo Slim’s Play Poker to Win 2005 2.5 Sound, basic playing advice (2.0 rating) but worth reading for the stories (3.0); see review.
Lou Krieger The Poker Players Bible 2004 2.5 Decent introduction to Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha, Omaha Eight or Better, Seven-Card Stud, and Seven-Card Stud Eight or Better, primarily focusing on Limit games; see review.
Phil Gordon and Jonathan Grotenstein Poker: The Real Deal 2004 2.5 Introduction to Hold ‘Em, starting with poker history and mostly covering the Limit version; see review.
Phil Hellmuth Play Poker Like the Pros 2003 2.5 Beginner’s guide to Hold ‘Em (mostly Limit), Limit Omaha, and Seven-Card Stud; see review
John Wenzel The Everything Texas Hold’em Book 2006 2.0 More about Limit than No Limit Hold ‘Em; see review
Richard D. Harroch and Lou Krieger Poker for Dummies 2003 2.0 Mostly about Limit poker; see review
Dennis Purdy Illustrated Guide to Texas Hold’Em 2005 1.5 Misguided attempt at teaching Limit Hold ‘Em through repetitive sample hands; see review.
Ken Warren Winner’s Guide to Texas Hold’Em Poker 1996 1.5 More about Limit than No Limit Hold ‘Em; includes some seriously dubious advice
Beginner to Intermediate Daniel Negreanu Power Hold’em Strategy 2008 3.5 Mostly about small ball but also covers everything from a beginner’s tournament strategy to high stake cash games
Matt Maroon Winning Texas Hold’Em 2005 3.0 Thorough introduction to poker focusing on Limit Hold ‘Em; see review.
Doyle Brunson Online Poker 2005 1.5 Introduction to online poker as an attempt to get you play on Doyle’s Room; see review.
Intermediate Scott Fischman Online Ace 2006 4.0 Comprehensive introduction to online poker with intermediate strategy advice; see review.
Tom McEvoy Tournament Poker 2004 3.5 Detailed, tight approach to playing tournaments in 11 poker variants; see review.
Ed Miller Small Stakes No-Limit Hold’em 2010 3.0 How to beat $1/$2, 6-max online games (roughly $2/$5 live games)
Mike Caro Caro’s Most Profitable Hold ’em Advice 2007 3.0 A hodgepodge of advice (albeit a little too much about Limit Hold ‘Em)
Doyle Brunson Doyle Brunson’s Super System 2 2005 3.0 Update to the classic with lots of entirely new material (rate higher if you play the other games)
Tom McEvoy and T.J. Cloutier Championship No-Limit & Pot-Limit Hold’em 2003 3.0 Thorough, albeit very tight, strategy advice for tournaments, especially deep-stack ones; see review.
Gus Hansen Every Hand Revealed 2008 2.5 The thought process of a top pro as he goes through a large, big buy-in tournament
Erick Lindgren Making the Final Table 2005 2.5 Solid, wide-ranging advice in the context of the World Poker Tour; see review.
Stewart Reuben and Bob Ciaffone Pot-Limit & No-Limit Poker 2004 2.5 One of the few books that covers Pot-Limit Hold ‘Em
Doyle Brunson Doyle Brunson’s Super System 1979 2.5 The first significant Texas Hold ‘Em book (covers other poker variants). See review.
Intermediate to Advanced Doug Hull Poker Plays You Can Use 2013 4.5 Very well organized and immediately useful; see review
Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie Harrington on Hold ’em, Volume I 2004 4.5 Thorough explanation of M and how it should affect your play; see review
Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie Harrington on Hold ’em, Volume II 2005 4.5 Same as above for later stages in a tournament; see review
David Sklansky and Ed Miller No Limit Hold ‘Em Theory and Practice 2006 4.0 Excellent advice, both general and specific; see review
Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie Harrington on Hold ’em, Volume III 2006 2.5 Exercises and random tidbits only; see review
Advanced David Sklansky Tournament Poker for Advanced Players 2007 4.0 How to handle all the facets of a tournament, including theory and practice
Lee Nelson, Tysen Streib, and Steven Heston Kill Everyone 2007 4.0 A simple but effective, aggressive tournament strategy; see review
Arnold Snyder The Poker Tournament Formula 2 2008 3.5 Chip utility (similar to M) and how to use it during tournaments
Collin Moshman Heads-Up No-Limit Hold ‘Em 2008 3.5 Thorough explanation of how to play heads-up
David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth Hold ’em Poker for Advanced Players 1999 2.5 Good general advice, but specific information is about Limit Hold ‘Em
Advanced to Expert Ed Miller Playing the Player 2012 4.0 Specific plays that can be used against each major type of player
Eric Lynch, Jon Van Fleet, and Jon Turner Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time, Vol. 1 2008 3.5 Like Every Hand Revealed but with three online pros; 4.0 with the index provided in the review
Expert Ed Miller How To Read Hands At No-Limit Hold’em 2011 4.0 Putting your opponents on hand ranges
Tony Guerrera Killer Poker By the Numbers 2007 3.5 Highly mathematical; teaches you a process for calculating EV but leaves you lots of work to do


Author[s] Book Year Rating Notes
Zachary Elwood Verbal Poker Tells 2012 4.5 A master’s thesis on tells based on a lot of real-word research; see review
Zachary Elwood Reading Poker Tells 2012 4.0 Categorizes tells into “waiting-for-action”, “during-action”, and “post-bet”; see review
Randy Burgess and Carl Baldassarre Ultimate Guide to Poker Tells 2006 3.5 Categorizes players into five stages of tell usage; see review
Joe Navarro Read ‘Em and Reap 2006 3.0 Good list of tells, but how do you know when a tell is real or fake? See review
James A. McKenna, Ph.D. Beyond Tells 2005 3.0 Psychoanalysis of various personality types and how that applies to their poker styles; see review
Mike Caro Caro’s Book of Poker Tells 2003 3.0 26 tells, but how do you know when a tell is real or fake? See review


Author[s] Book Year Rating Notes
Steve Rosenbloom Best Hand I Ever Played 2005 4.0 Wide variety of entertaining and educational stories from 52 poker pros; see review.
James McManus Positively Fifth Street 2003 4.0 Very well written account of the author’s journey to and through the 2000 WSOP Main Event; see review.
Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback All In 2005 3.5 Significant history of the World Series of Poker through 2004
Annie Duke How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed, and Won Millions at the WSOP 2005 3.5 Annie Duke’s autobiography plus a few playing tips; see review.
Phil Hellmuth Bad Beats and Lucky Draws 2004 3.5 Almost 100 important and interesting hands from 1974 to 2004; see review.
James McManus Cowboys Full – The Story of Poker 2009 3.0 Excellent history of poker (not just Hold ‘Em)
Bernard Lee The Final Table Volume I: Poker Columns from the Boston Herald: 2005-2006 2008 3.0 Collection of the poker pro’s newspaper columns
Michael Craig The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King 2005 3.0 Fascinating insider’s account of super highest stakes poker; see review.
Ron Rose Poker Aces: The Stars of Tournament Poker 2004 3.0 Brief biographies and stories from a wide range of poker pros around the world; see review.
Amarillo Slim Preston and Greg Dinkin Amarillo Slim in a World of Fat People 2003 3.0 Amarillo Slim’s autobiography, including the 1972 WSOP Main Event and lots of prop bets. See review
Andy Bellin Poker Nation 2002 3.0 A brief history of poker and the WSOP, and random stories of poker around the U.S.; see review.
Anthony Holden Big Deal 1990 3.0 A writer spends a year playing poker, including the 1988 and 1989 WSOP Main Events. See review
Al Alvarez The Biggest Game in Town 1983 3.0 The story of the 1981 World Series of Poker Main Event
Mike Caro Bobby Baldwin’s Winning Poker Secrets 1979 3.0 Bobby Baldwin’s biography (3.5 rating) and some poker playing tips (2.0 rating). See review
Pat Walsh How to Win the World Series of Poker (or Not) 2006 2.5 Humorous look at poker from very low buyin home games to the World Series of Poker Main Event; see review.
Richard Sparks Diary of a Mad Poker Player 2005 2.5 Mix of poker history, strategy, and personal anecdotes; see review.
Barry Greenstein Ace on the River 2005 2.5 High level advice for more serious poker players
Dana Smith, Tom McEvoy, and Ralph Wheeler Championship Table 2009 2.5 Basic facts about each WSOP Main Event from 1970 to 2008; not as good as All In
Chris Moneymaker and Daniel Paisner Moneymaker 2005 2.5 The story of the amateur who sparked the poker boom2
Byron Wolford and Dana Smith Cowboys, Gamblers and Hustlers: The True Adventures of a Rodeo Champion and Poker Legend 2002 2.5 Stories from the early days of rodeo and poker. See review
Doyle Brunson Poker Wisdom of a Champion 1984 2.5 Entertaining stories from poker’s Road Gamblers era plus some high-level playing advice. See review
David Apostolico Tournament Poker and the Art of War 2005 2.0 Apt analogies between war and poker but very repetitive and high-level only; see review.
Larry Phillips The Tao of Poker 2003 2.0 Solid, high level advice that’s applicable to any poker variety but has no depth; see review.
Larry W. Phillips Zen and the Art of Poker: Timeless Secrets to Transform Your Game 1999 1.5 High-level playing advice based on Zen philosophy. See review

[II] “Wow. You’ve read all of those?”

[SS] “Sure have. Probably need to reread most of them though.”

[II] “Well, if you could bring the two poker tells books next time, I think those would be a good change of pace.”

[SS] “Sorry, those are already out on loan. Can you pick something else?”

[II] “Um, how about No Limit Hold ‘Em Theory and Practice then. That’s the easiest 4-star book on your list.”

[SS] “Sklansky. You got it.”


  1. Updates: May 22, 2018: added McEvoy and Cloutier’s “Championship No-Limit & Pot-Limit Hold’em”, Bellin’s “Poker Nation”, McManus’s “Positively Fifth Street”, Phillips’s “The Tao of Poker”, Hellmuth’s “Bad Beats and Lucky Draws”, Krieger’s “The Poker Players Bible”, Gordon and Grotenstein’s “Poker: The Real Deal”, McEvoy’s “Tournament Poker”, “Amarillo Slim’s Play Poker to Win”, Craig’s “The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King”, Duke’s “How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed, and Won Millions at the WSOP”, Lindgren’s “Making the Final Table”, Maroon’s “Winning Texas Hold’Em”, Purdy’s “Illustrated Guide to Texas Hold’Em”, Apostolico’s “Tournament Poker and the Art of War”, Rose’s “Poker Aces: The Stars of Tournament Poker”, Rosenbloom’s “Best Hand I Ever Played”, Brunson’s “Online Poker”, Fischman’s “Online Ace”, Sparks’s “Diary of a Mad Poker Player”, and Walsh’s “How to Win the World Series of Poker (or Not)”.

    May 15, 2017: added Doyle Brunson’s Super System, Bobby Baldwin’s Winning Poker Secrets, Poker Wisdom of a Champion, Big Deal, Zen and the Art of Poker, Poker for Dummies, Play Poker Like the Pros, Cowboys, Gamblers and Hustlers, Amarillo Slim in a World of Fat People, and McKenna’s “Beyond Tells”, Elwood’s “Verbal Poker Tells”, and Nelson, Streib, and Heston’s “Kill Everyone”.

    January 8, 2015: added Elwood’s “Reading Poker Tells” and Burgess/Baldassarre’s “Ultimate Guide to Poker Tells”.

  2. Although the subtitle is “How an amateur poker player turned $40 into $2.5 million at the World Series of Poker”, Moneymaker’s initial buy-in was actually $86.

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