Poker has inspired countless books on strategy as well as more literary journalistic efforts. Here’s a small sampling of some notable titles:
The Literary Side: Poets (and Others) At the Poker Table, by A. Alvarez The Biggest Game in Town, by A. Alvarez What do poker and Sylvia Plath have in common? A. Alvarez. The English poet, critic, and one-time friend of Sylvia Plath looks at high-stakes poker in Las Vegas. The Biggest Game in Town is a cult classic.
A Friendly Game of Poker: 52 Takes On the Neighborhood Game, edited by Jake Austen A collection of writings on poker with essays from Nick Tosches, Ira Glass, Richard Meltzer, and others.
Poker Nation: A High-Stakes, Low-Life Adventure Into the Heart of a Gambling Country, by Andy Belin. A look at the world of professional poker with plenty of helpful advice, including a section on odds. Super/System, by Doyle Brunson, et al. When you’re ready for your post-graduate degree in poker… This comprehensive look at the odds and probabilities of poker revolutionized the game when it was published in 1978.
Caro’s Fundamental Secrets of Winning Poker, by Mike Caro. Caro is definitely a distinctive voice in poker. This book is excellent for beginners and more advanced players. Lots of strategy and statistics to improve your game. Caro has also written an excellent book on tells.
Big Deal: A Year As a Professional Poker Player, by Anthony Holden. Holden takes a break from his life as a biographer and critic to pursue poker professionally, culminating in a seat at the World Series of Poker.
Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion’s World Series of Poker, by James McManus McManus’s account of the murder trial of Ted Binion and his own run at the World Series of Poker.
Amarillo Slim In a World Full of Fat People: The Memoirs of the Greatest Gambler Who Ever Lived, by Amarillo Slim Preston The title alone is almost worth buying the book. However, you will also find entertaining anecdotes and advice from a poker legend and winner of the World Series of Poker.
Scarne’s Guide to Modern Poker, by John Scarne Provides rules and some of the essential poker playing tips. The Theory of Poker, by David Sklansky This work and others by Sklansky are considered must-haves for the serious poker player. Sklansky breaks down and explains a variety of strategies. Poker for Dummies, by Richard D. Harroch Lou Krieger The Basics.
Thursday Night Poker: How to Understand, Enjoy, and Win, by Peter 0. Steiner better An excellent guide for the intermediate player. The Education of a Poker Player, by Herbert Yardley A classic. This is definitely old school, but very helpful and fun to read.