Arguably the best book on the mathematics and game theory of poker. Lays out the Fundamental Theory of Poker, and then uses it with copious examples to walk the reader through exercises that will strengthen their game. A must-read for any serious poker player! A bit mathematical, but if you read it, play, read it again, rinse, repeat, you can become a very solid limit player. I've read mine about times, the spine broke on the first one so I had to buy a second one. The Theory of Poker.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky. Discusses theories and concepts applicable to nearly every variation of the game, including five-card draw high , seven-card stud, hold 'em, lowball draw, and razz seven-card lowball stud.
This book introduces you to the Fundamental Theorem of Poker, its implications, and how it should affect your play.
Other chapters discuss the value of deception, bluffing, raising, t Discusses theories and concepts applicable to nearly every variation of the game, including five-card draw high , seven-card stud, hold 'em, lowball draw, and razz seven-card lowball stud. Other chapters discuss the value of deception, bluffing, raising, the slow-play, the value of position, psychology, heads-up play, game theory, implied odds, the free card, and semibluffing. Many of today's top poker players will tell you that this is the book that really made a difference in their play.
That is, these are the ideas that separate the experts from the typical players. Those who read and study this book will literally leave behind those who don't, and most serious players wear the covers off their copies.
This is the best book ever written on poker. Get A Copy. Paperback , Fourth Edition , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 7. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Theory of Poker , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Theory of Poker. Jun 11, Stephen rated it it was amazing Shelves: reference.
In my opinion, the single best book ever written on practical poker theory and strategy. Clear, consise and very translatable from the page to the poker table. Highly Recommended at least for poker players. Jan 04, Jeff rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction , top-shelf , poker-games. This is truly the funda mental s. You'll learn all kinds of stuff if you've never really studied or thought deeply about the game. If you've only ever played hold'em tournaments with your friends, you'll learn even more.
If you've only ever watched World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker events on television, you'll be astounded by how much the commentators couldn't possibly attempt to discuss. Just about everything you need to know to get started is in this book--lacking bankroll management, very little personal psychological advice, etc--but those topics don't belong underneath the theoretical umbrella of this work.
If you want to understand the game of poker, start by reading this. Talk with other players--preferably people who seem better than you. Repeat these steps until you're done playing poker. Dec 02, Tony rated it it was amazing Shelves: poker. There is a reason every other poker book eventually says, read The Theory of Poker. If you are just learning the game and are going to read one book on poker, this isn't the one.
It's too complicated for beginners, who would only benefit by reading the book over and over again. That said, if you ever want to progress past the beginner stage, you must read this book. He has all of require There is a reason every other poker book eventually says, read The Theory of Poker. He has all of required chapters on pot odds, slowplaying, giving free cards, etc. Even if you just read his notes the power of semi-bluffing, you are guaranteed to become a better player.
Like most classic books, this is reference book that needs to be read periodically if you are serious about becoming a better poker player, because as one reviewer put it, all of your competition has read it and will use that knowledge against you.
Jan 01, Josh rated it liked it. Mostly read last year. RJ Bell recommended this as a book that fundamentally changed the way he viewed betting.
I found it to be an interesting read regarding how to play the game as well as how to view betting but it was mostly too technical to be anything but a novelty for me. Nov 09, Barrie Penman rated it really liked it Shelves: poker. Looks like a book for beginners as it covers many different games Jazz, Stud Omaha not to mention Texas Holdem etc. Sorry, it is better to learn one game well first. Even if you are past the fundemental stages, the book will only confuse. He jumps games from page to page making it difficult to find a fit one fit all strategy.
By the time you consider yourself a good player and knowledgeable in several games you will find some parts of the book too basic and require something more specialised like p Looks like a book for beginners as it covers many different games Jazz, Stud Omaha not to mention Texas Holdem etc. By the time you consider yourself a good player and knowledgeable in several games you will find some parts of the book too basic and require something more specialised like pure cash games, tournament play, Head to Head play etc.
Lots of sound helpful information throughout book and will benifit many playes at many levels. View 1 comment. May 22, Alex rated it it was amazing. You are not a poker player until you understand what Sklansky has to say. The pithy writing representing the concepts in this one book will not be mastered by the vast majority of players, who will waste far too much time trying to digest other books. Get what Sklansky has to say here, and you'll already be among a select few.
Don't get it? Find another game. May 24, Tally rated it really liked it. Highly recommend this book to anyone wants to learn how to play poker!! Jun 20, David rated it really liked it Recommends it for: poker probability crunchers, mathematicians, game theorists.
Shelves: owned , poker , non-fiction , gaming. This was the first poker book recommended to me by an avid nonprofessional poker player who happens to be a mathematician. David Sklansky is known on the poker circuit as "the Mathematician" and this book is considered one of the fundamental texts for serious students of the game, still recommended to new players despite its age.
Probably its most important contribution to poker theory is Sklansky's Fundamental Theorem of Poker : Every time you play a hand differently from the way you would have pl This was the first poker book recommended to me by an avid nonprofessional poker player who happens to be a mathematician.
Probably its most important contribution to poker theory is Sklansky's Fundamental Theorem of Poker : Every time you play a hand differently from the way you would have played it if you could see all your opponents' cards, they gain; and every time you play your hand the same way you would have played it if you could see all their cards, they lose.
Conversely, every time opponents play their hands differently from the way they would have if they could see all your cards, you gain; and every time they play their hands the same way they would have played if they could see all your cards, you lose. This book takes a very mathematical approach to poker, though it does not dive deeply into probability theory or even more esoteric topics I have seen some poker math books cover. But Sklansky gives very thorough coverage to some of the basic principles that every winning poker player must know: pot odds, implied odds, expected value, and how to calculate the probability of making a given hand, how to calculate the correct amount to put into a pot or when to fold based on your estimate of the probabilities of an opponent holding a range of various hands as well as the odds that he is bluffing , etc.
None of the math itself goes beyond very basic algebra, but there is a lot to calculate on the fly, which as Sklansky points out, even geniuses can't automatically do in the speed it takes to play a poker hand, especially as poker is a game of imperfect information. While the Theory of Poker expects you to become familiar with the necessary mathematical calculations to be a competent player and makes it pretty clear that no competent player isn't adept at them , Sklansky's advice is always aimed at trying to take advantage of the Fundamental Theorem of Poker.
It doesn't matter whether you win any given hand, or whether you get busted out of a game by a bad beat - it matters that you play correctly, which means a positive expectation over the long term.
This is, of course, a masterwork, so why only 4 stars? Well, it's a very theory-heavy book, and while I found the theory important and useful, I'd rate this as a book that every poker player should read and know, but it's a little short on practical tips for actually sitting at the table, beyond "Know your math and know your theory.
This isn't to say Sklansky doesn't talk about game play at all. Naturally he discusses the various types of players - tight, loose, aggressive, passive - and how to respond to someone who bluffs too much, bluffs too little, plays tightly, plays loosely, and so on. So this is a very valuable book. But it is, as I said, very focused on game theory, and thus rather dry. But it's definitely a classic everyone should read. Also of note is that this book covers general poker theory, as applied to any poker game, which is another reason I didn't rate it 5 stars.
The Fundamental Theorem Of Poker
His book, The Theory of Poker , is considered to be one of best poker books of all time. Sklansky is truly a pioneer in the realm of applying mathematical principals to poker strategy. At the time of its release The Theory of Poker was unlike any publication that had come before it. Sklansky has authored or co-authored 13 books on poker, and more than 30 years after its release, The Theory of Poker is still relevant and essential reading for the poker player. Now 71 years old, Sklansky still plays the game, makes World Series of Poker appearances and even streams on Twitch from time to time.
The Theory of Poker : A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How to Think Like One
The Theory of Poker
The fundamental theory of poker was put forward by professional poker player David Sklansky in the popular poker strategy book The Theory of Poker. David Sklasnky, The Theory of Poker. This particular poker theorem is different to the other ones described on this site, because it is a big general theorem as opposed to a smaller theorem that tells you what to do in X situation. Nonetheless, it is pretty straight forward, and it is a cornerstone of every winning poker player's game. No doubt about it; the fundamental theorem of poker always has been and always will be a concrete theorem in the world of poker. So there's no excuses for not learning this one. Imagine that the next time you play Texas Hold'em , all of your opponents' holecards will be turned up so that you can see them.
Fundamental theorem of poker
The fundamental theorem of poker is a principle first articulated by David Sklansky that he believes expresses the essential nature of poker as a game of decision-making in the face of incomplete information. Every time you play a hand differently from the way you would have played it if you could see all your opponents' cards, they gain; and every time you play your hand the same way you would have played it if you could see all their cards, they lose. Conversely, every time opponents play their hands differently from the way they would have if they could see all your cards, you gain; and every time they play their hands the same way they would have played if they could see all your cards, you lose. The fundamental theorem is stated in common language, but its formulation is based on mathematical reasoning. Each decision that is made in poker can be analyzed in terms of the expected value of the payoff of a decision.