The Game Of Texas Hold’Em

Texas Hold’Em in a Cardroom

Texas Hold’Em Online

Winning poker

Tactics

Strategies

Putting It all together

Psychological Considerations

Where to go from here

Places to Play

Appendix I Hold’Em poker Variations

Appendix II Poker Tournaments

  Hold’em Poker, by David Sklansky, Two Plus Two Publishing, http://www.twoplustwo.com (1997). This book has originally been published in 1976 and went through several editions. It has been the first book on Hold’em poker written by a professional player, and its   strategies have been geared more towards professional-level, tight-aggressive poker games.

  A feature of this book has been Sklansky’s ranking of starting hands. Of the 169 possible  starting hands, he has identified 72 to be given consideration for play.  The 72 starting hands have been classified into eight groups that have been ranked with   Group b1 hands being the strongest through Group 8 as the weakest. The ‘Sklansky Hand Groups’ have been referred to frequently in discussions and writings on   Hold’em, so it would be useful to familiarize with the terminology and his reasoning for   ranking the hands the way  he has done.  Sklansky’s discussion of desirable flops have been applicable to tight games and  counter  intuitive to those moving up from low-limit loose poker games to high-limit tight games.

  Overall Hold’em Poker is a very influential book in the poker world.

  Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players, 3rd Edition, by David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth, Two Plus Two Publishing. This has been one of the most successful poker books ever been written. All Hold’em players must give this book a careful read and should ponder through the   reasoning behind all the examples. Earlier editions of this book have been geared toward strategies for professional-level tight aggressive games. However, the third edition has had significantly more material and had included discussions of  other kinds of games. The analyses of ‘wild’ games (extremely loose-aggressive) and short-handed games (1-3 opponents) have been valuable. It has not been uncommon for Hold’em poker players to find themselves at shorthanded games,particularly during mealtimes or when tables are started.

  Short-handed poker games could be fun because more hands would be playable, but strategy adjustments would be required  Rather than avoiding short-handed games, as several players do, it would be worth acquiring   the skills to profit from them. More Hold’em Excellence: A Winner for Life, by Lou Krieger, ConJelCo,  http://www.conjelco.com  (1999).

  This book has gone beyond the first one on Hold’em Excellence, which has been aimed primarily at beginners to tackle more advanced concepts.

  Discussions of game selection, seat selection, tells, and how to take advantage of the most common mistakes made by low-limit Hold’em poker players are included in this book. Strategies for loose-aggressive games have been discussed at length. Both of Krieger’s Hold’em Excellence books contain a color-coded ‘Start Chart’ to assist poker players in deciding whether or not to play their first two starting cards. The chart has weighed the factors of card strength and position, for determining whether a   hand should be played or folded. The four-color format will assist in reading and memorization. The chart will be a good resource for online poker players who could view charts while they play. Winner’s Guide to Texas Hold’em Poker, by Ken Warren, Cardoza Publishing, http://cardozapub.com   (!996).

  Warren’s book has been directed at low-limit Hold’em games, which he had defined as ‘games populated primarily by unskilled players.’ These poker games have been loose-passive in nature with most hands ending in a showdown. His book has been filled with practical advice. Since you would need the cards to win at showdown, Warren has advocated patient,  straight-up play that would let profits accrue from your opponents’ mistakes. The end of this book will have extensive charts on hands and probabilities that would be a useful reference.  Winning Low-limit Hold’em, 2nd Edition, by Lee Jones, ConJelCo, http://www.conjelco.com (2000).

  The strategy in this book has been targeted towards the typical $3/6 Hold’em poker game,  which has been one of the most popular in cardrooms and online. By ‘low-limit,’ Jones has meant loose games (passive and aggressive) where a large number  of poker players have paid to see the flop and often stuck around after the flop with weak, nearly hopeless hands. This would be a very readable book filled with solid advice on how to play your hands. Jones has also explained which strategies would be specific to loose games and why certain strategies appropriate for a loose game have failed in tight games. Worthwhile discussions in this book have included the concept of ‘dominated’ hands and strategy in spread-limit games. A dominated hand would be one like King, four, unsuited, which if it would hit the flop, would either always lose to a better hand or would not get any action.  Dominated hands would be kinds of trash hands that would be tempting to play in loose games,but should be avoided.

  Spread-limit games (a variant described in Chapter 2) would require a slightly different strategic thinking because of the possibility of seeing flops more cheaply than in a structured game. The quiz format at the end of each chapter would provide an interactive way of testing your  ability to incorporate the advice into decisions.