Best Poker Books

Last Updated: 27 April 2020

The Best Poker Strategy Books

We have summarized the best poker books into several categories including Texas Hold'em books, tournament strategy books, poker workbooks, and free poker books. Simply click the name of each poker book in the lists below to read the full description. If you are interested in learning more about a particular poker strategy book, simply click the red "Read More" button, or if you wish to order a book, click the green "Order Now" button.

Poker books are a great way to refine your poker strategy away from the table. Compare the best poker books available online by price and content with this comprehensive list, which includes poker workbooks and even free poker books. Click to Tweet

If you do decide to order any of these excellent poker books, we would love to hear your feedback so that we can further adjust our listings based on additional points of view. You may also want to check out our recommended online poker courses, best poker software, or best poker training sites.

Best Texas Holdem Books

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  • #1: Optimizing Ace King$34.99 +

    optimzing ace king poker book

    While Ace-King is one of the most profitable starting hands you can be dealt, most players struggle to maximize their earnings. This is a problem when you consider you will be dealt this premium hand almost as many times (16 combinations) as AA, KK, and QQ combined (18 combinations).

    Other than open-raising AK, the correct play gets confusing. Should you 3bet against an early position raiser? Does AKs play differently than AKo? Should you 4bet it, or just call and see a flop? Post-flop things get even more challenging. Should you go for 3 streets of value with top pair? Should you give that check-raise action on AJ6? Should you barrel your gutshots?

    This book answers those questions and more! Optimizing Ace King breaks down +EV plays, exploitative counters, and solver-confirmed insights. Each chapter adds an extra building block to your entire strategy.

    In the modern era of NLHE, understanding and playing AK well requires skill and nuance. Optimizing Ace King will change your outlook and certainly help advance your poker knowledge giving you an edge to beat the competition.

    Bruce M.

    Start optimizing AK as a singular piece within your entire range and strategy.

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    2. Basic Version$34.99Order Now
    3. Royal Version$99Order Now
  • #2: Poker by the Book, Volumes I & II$9.99 to $14.99 +

    poker by the book

    Poker by the Book Volume I provides you with all of the essential elements you need to build a solid foundation in No-Limit Texas Holdem. It was written in a very straightforward and logical fashion, allowing you to build your poker knowledge systematically. It is a culmination of over 9 years of teaching people how to play and win at the game of poker and is one of the best poker books on the market today!

    Poker by the Book Volume II introduces some more advanced post-flop betting strategies to help increase your poker winnings even more!

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    2. Continuation betting
    3. Playing trips
    4. Playing hands out of position
    5. Taking notes, and
    6. HUD set-ups for online play
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    2. Poker by the Book, Volume I$9.99
    3. Poker by the Book, Volume II$9.99
    4. Poker by the Book, Volumes I & II$19.98   $14.99
  • #3: Unfolding Poker$20 +

    unfolding poker book

    Even though poker is a vastly complex game, it is not surprising that the same questions come up over and over again. This book takes the most frequently-asked poker questions and gives actionable answers that you can begin using in your next session

    Concepts covered include playing overpairs, deviating bet sizes, what to do when your continuation bets stop working, and more. Get answers to the poker questions you have (and even ones you haven't yet thought to ask)!

    This excellent poker book from James "SplitSuit" Sweeney includes:

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    2. 19 Actionable Answers: each answer is in-depth, but without using too much jargon or confusing concepts
    3. Extra Study Material: most chapters include links to related and expanded free content
    4. 2.5 Hour Audiobook: the complete audiobook is perfect for quick study sessions in the car

    I currently play live $1/$2 and $2/$5 and found topics in the book that aid me in making better decisions. Information in the book is clear and concise. I like that the book provides links if one wants to go into further detail on a topic. Definitely a worthwhile investment if you wish to improve your game.

    Bruce M.

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    2. E-Book$20Order Now
    3. E-Book & Audiobook$40Order Now

    Get advanced answers to poker's most frequently asked questions!

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Best Poker Tournament Strategy Books

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  • #1: Tournament Final Tables Workbook$69.99 to $399.99 +

    tournament poker workbook

    You have been playing well for hours and finally end up at the final table - and with big money up top it's time to focus. All of your off-table work is going to pay off in a big way as you apply pressure in all of the right spots.

    This is the workbook you do between sessions to ensure you get the most from every final table you make. Exercises are divided into 3 sections:

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    2. Your Range Exercises - The average poker player has never fully-explored their own ranges. By dissecting your ranges in a variety of spots you will be able to spot your leaks and issues with ease. Find situations where you fold too often, barrel too rarely, and miss +EV opportunities. Understanding your ranges will set you up to win!
    3. Their Range Exercises - The bulk of this workbook guides you through understanding and exploring your opponent's range. With guiding questions, expanded builds for common scenarios, and a layout that helps you navigate the technical aspects of hand reading - you will feel like a coach is working alongside you through each exercise.
    4. Range-vs-Range Exercises - These are the toughest exercises in the book! Each exercise will guide you through exploring range advantage in both single-raised and 3bet pots. Develop a feel for who benefits most from various board textures and future cards, and use that info to optimize your own ranges.

    The more I do this book, the more comfortable I feel at [the] tables or online, strictly because I feel as though my 'vision' is getting better.

    Tim, Poker Player

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    2. Full-Color E-Book$69.99Order Now
    3. E-Book + Software$129.99Order Now
    4. The Titan Edition$399.99Order Now
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Poker Workbooks

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  • #1: Hand-Reading Poker Workbook$69.99 to $299.99 +

    Their Ranges

    Knowing what your opponent holds is where the war is won. This section guides you through hands to help you visualize your opponent’s ranges and frequencies - all with guiding questions you can start using in your next session.

    Your Ranges

    This section helps you understand and find shortcomings in your own ranges. Are you bluffing too often, or worse, not bluffing enough? These exercises will help you objectively understand your own ranges on each street.

    Hand Reading Poker Workbook

    This workbook has just one goal - to help you become a better hand reader. With a variety of $1/$2 and $2/$5 exercises outlining a step-by-step process for assigning better ranges, this book is for serious students who know they need to study - but they aren't 100% sure how to study hand reading on a deeper level.

    Range vs Range

    When you play against stronger players you also need to know what you represent. The final section looks at range vs range situations to help you identify range advantage instead of just focusing on your own hole cards.

    The best No Limit Hold'em players can consistently put opponents on the correct ranges of hands. Very few players can do this naturally, and instead practice using workbooks just like this one. 

    This workbook has just one goal - to help you become a better poker hand reader. This poker workbook provides a variety of exercises that outline a step-by-step process for assigning better ranges, and is intended for serious students who know they need to study, but they aren't sure how to study hand reading on a deeper level.

    This well-structured poker workbook is divided into 3 sections:

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    2. Your ranges - understand and find shortcomings in your own ranges. Are you bluffing too often, or not enough? Learn to objectively understand your own ranges on each street.
    3. Their ranges - learn to visualize your opponent's ranges and frequencies using guiding questions you can start using in your next poker session
    4. Range vs range - when you play against stronger players, you also need to know what you represent. Learn to identify situations in which you have the range advantage, and how to use this to take pots away from your opponent!
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    2. Full-Color E-Book$69.99Order Now
    3. E-Book + Flopzilla$99.99Order Now
    4. Hand-Reading Masterclass$299.99Order Now

    Learn the process that all good hand readers already use!

  • #2: Polished Poker Workbook$13.99 +

    polished poker free poker book

    One of the biggest challenges with poker books is ensuring that you have correctly absorbed all of the knowledge they contain. Just because you have read a book does not mean you have fully understood it. The Polished Poker Workbook solves that problem by providing you with over 50 multiple choice poker questions to test your knowledge of the concepts covered in the free to download Polished Poker book.

    The Polished Poker Workbook also includes answers at the back, complete with a detailed explanation to further reinforce the concepts learned. There is also a scoring system, allowing you to verify your knowledge of the source material. This 100-page poker workbook is divided into chapters to ensure concepts are reinforced in a logical and system way:

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    2. Hand reading exercises
    3. Understanding combinations and fold equity
    4. Learning to play from the blinds
    5. 3-Bet calling ranges (including versus short stacks)
    6. 4-bet bluffing
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    2. Polished Poker, Volume IFREE Download 
    3. Polished Poker Workbook$13.99Order Now
  • #3: 6-Max Online Poker Workbook$69.99 to $399.99 +

    Their Ranges

    Knowing what your opponent holds is where the war is won. This section guides you through hands to help you visualize your opponent’s ranges and frequencies - all with guiding questions you can start using in your next session.

    6-Max Poker Workbook

    The best 6max players are great hand readers that put their opponents on correct ranges time and time again. But they aren't wizards or lucky guessers. They use a process that this workbook guides you through.

    Your Ranges

    This section helps you understand and find shortcomings in your own ranges. Are you bluffing too often, or worse, not bluffing enough? These exercises will help you objectively understand your own ranges on each street.

    The best 6-max hold'em players are able to consistently put opponents on correct ranges. Professional poker players aren't wizards or lucky guessers; they use a process that this workbook guides you through.

    Poker games are getting tougher, especially online. It is no longer about simply stealing more often, defending your blinds a bit better, or double barreling more bluffs. Poker has matured, and as it continues to mature your win rate will rely on your ability to assess accurate hand ranges and exploit range advantages using the most +EV plays.

    This workbook is for 6-max players to improve their skills between sessions. It contains 40 exercises hand-picked to help you dissect commonly occurring situations. Explore ranges more powerfully than ever before. Built specifically for online players; you will explore barreling, restealing, squeezing, thin value bets, and big bluffs using HUD stats and a step-by-step process. The 6-Max Online Cash Games Workbook is organized into 3 sections to give you a well-rounded hand reading experience where you will study:

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    2. Your Range Exercises - Understand and find shortcomings in your own ranges. Are you bluffing too often, or not enough? Learn to objectively understand your own ranges on each street.
    3. Their Range Exercises - Learn to visualize your opponent's ranges and frequencies using guiding questions you can start using in your next poker session.
    4. Range-vs-Range Exercises - When you play against stronger players, you also need to know what you represent. Learn to identify situations in which you have the range advantage, and how to use this to take pots away from your opponent!
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    2. Full-Color E-Book$69.99Order Now
    3. E-Book + Flopzilla$99.99Order Now
    4. 6-Max Power Pack$399.99Order Now

    Improve your hand reading skills in a few weeks without spending hundreds per hour on coaching!

  • #4: Math & Pre-Flop Poker Workbook$39 to $99 +

    math and preflop poker workbook

    The optimal way to improve is to practice technical skills the right way between poker sessions. Use this poker workbook to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Reinforce key concepts and formulas and internalize them through focused exercises.

    By simply completing a few pages of the Math & Preflop Poker Workbook each day, you will train your brain to quickly and correctly calculate pot odds, implied odds, ranges, break-even percentages, and even EV! By combining these skills with pre-flop specific plays like isolating, 3-betting, squeezing, 4-betting, and going all-in, you will see significant improvement in your results.

    This workbook has been super useful for making the math more accessible...

    Leo W.

    This fantastic poker workbook includes:

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    2. Over 1,500 questions - improve your technical skills by practicing numerous calculations
    3. Structured study - progress through topics in a logical order at your own pace
    4. Full answer key - learn to trust your calculations and be confident in your decisions
    5. Universal concepts - learn skills applicable to live or online poker, cash games and tournaments
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    2. Full-Color E-book$39Order Now
    3. Workbook + Premium Software$99Order Now

    Practice working through common preflop situations that can make or break your winrate. 

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Free Online Poker Books

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  • #1: How to Crush the Zynga Poker GamesTexas Hold'em +

    free zynga poker book

    This free poker book is ideal for newer players looking to learn the fundamentals. This simple poker guide takes you through the basics of the game, providing tips specifically for Zynga Poker (and other play money poker games) and low stakes home games! It is also useful for beginner online poker players looking to beat micro stakes cash games.

    Some of the topics covered in this 29-page FREE poker book include:

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    2. The importance of your position (relative to your opponents)
    3. Adjustments for pots that are unopened versus pots that are raised pre-flop
    4. How to play after the flop (board texture, continuation bets, and stack size considerations)
    5. Betting strategy (including optimal bet sizing)
    6. A list of common poker mistakes, and how to avoid them

    If you're a new poker player, the How to Crush The Zynga Poker Games free poker book is an ideal place to start your learning journey!

  • #2: Polished PokerTexas Hold'em +

    polished poker free poker book

    Polished Poker isn't some cheap leaflet; it's a whopping 174 pages! It was written by John Anhalt, a poker professional with over 10+ years experience, and creator of Leak Buster and Ace Poker Drills.

    Even though Polished Poker is free to download, it still covers a wide variety of topics that will help you improve as a player, including:

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    2. Aggression, psychological control, self-awareness, and avoiding tilt
    3. Bankroll management
    4. Combinations, probability, equity, expected value, and fold equity
    5. Understanding poker HUD acronyms and how to profit from these player statistics
    6. 3-betting, 4-bet bluffing, and understanding ranges

    You will simply not find a more comprehensive free poker book than Polished Poker!

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Free Poker Training

Follow this simple process to get the first module of the Road to Sucess poker training course for FREE, and start crushing online and live poker tournaments today!

  1. Register an account through with any of the following poker sites:
    1. Americas Cardroom
    2. True Poker
    3. PartyPoker
    4. Bwin Poker
    5. William Hill
    6. Boylepoker
  2. To figure out which of these online poker sites is best for you, check out our detailed online poker rankings.
  1. Make a deposit of any amount (although you should try to maximize the site's first deposit bonus). To avoid fees, consider using either of the following deposit methods:
    2. Skrill
  1. Email us the name of the site you joined along with your username, country and date of registration to . We will then send you a special code that will give you access to the entire first module of the Road to Sucess poker training.
  1. Watch free poker training videos and use what you learn to turn your initial deposit into a nice poker bankroll!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is poker a skill or luck? +

    Poker is most definitely a skill, but luck still plays an important role in short-term results. Poker is primarily a game of probabilities. Although you have no control over the cards (that's dependent on luck), you have full control over what you will do with the cards you are dealt. Not only can you choose whether to fold, call, or raise, but in no limit and pot limit games, you also get to choose how much you bet or raise, giving you opportunities to either drive players out of pots and extract maximum value from your winning hands. You can use poker workbooks to help you learn and practice the correct action in a variety of situations.

    Poker is also a game of psychology and deception. With skillful betting, you can trick players into folding weak (but winning) hands, or trap them into calling or even betting with strong (but losing) hands. 

  • What percentage of poker is luck? +

    poker luck vs skillThe exact amount of skill vs luck involved in poker is extremely difficult to quantify. In any given hand of poker, luck plays a major role. The best pre-flop hand in Texas Hold'em is AA, and the worst hand is an unsuited 72. And yet, 72o will still beat AA 10.78-12.40% of the time (depending on the suits). So, you can play the worst possible hand in the worst possible way and still win, or play the best possible hand in the best possible way and still lose. However, as you play more hands, luck will become less of a factor and making winning plays will result in profit and making losing plays will result in losses. Just as you can call "heads" and be right on 2 consecutive coin flips 25% of the time, your odds of being right 10 times in a row drops to 0.1%!

    Luck will always play a factor in every session of poker you play, but if you want to stop losing at poker then you need to focus less on luck and more on improving your skills! To the right is a graph showing the impact of luck on my results in a weekly cash game I play. The math behind the graph isn't 100% accurate, but the graph (or rather the dotted exponential trend line) nicely conveys how luck is a major determining factor for a single session, but declines over time. A key take away here is that luck is still a significant factor even after 20 session (about 100 hours of single table online play).

  • How do you win in poker? +

    There are two answers to this question, depending on whether you want to know how to win a hand, or how to win at poker in the long run.

    To win a hand of poker (no matter the variant of the game), you need to either have the best hand once all the cards are dealt, or make everyone else fold until you are the only one left.

    To become a winning poker player (i.e. to win in the long run), you need to learn to consistently make the correct decision at the poker table. Once you know what the correction decision is for each situation you face, you then need to vary your play so that you are not predictable (which ensuring that you are still making the correct decision the majority of the time).

  • How do you win at poker every time? +

    You don't!

    As we've discussed in previous FAQ answers, luck will play a huge role in short term poker results. As a result, you can play perfect poker strategy and still lose. Your goal isn't to win every hand, or even every session, but rather to learn to maximize your poker winnings in the long run. If you really wanted to win every time you play, then you should adopt a very tight strategy and only play against weak opponents who do not know how to exploit your sub-optimal play. This approach will increase how often you win, but decrease your winnings. The goal of poker is to win as much money as possible, not win pots or even individual sessions.

    For example, imagine it's the last hand of the night in a game of $1/$2 NLH. You've got $100 invested in the game, and have $105 in front of you ($5 profit). The first player to act raises it to $10, the next player raises to $30. Both players have just $40 left and everyone else folds around to you. You look down and see pocket aces. If your goal is to win sessions, then you should fold (because folding guarantees you have a profit on the session). But since your goal is to win money, you should raise. Sure, you might lose this hand which would turn a winning session into a losing one, but your goal should be to maximize profits and raising here is the best way to do that! 

  • Can you consistently win at poker? +

    Absolutely! Just keep in mind that luck still plays a HUGE role in short-term results. Rake and fees also play a huge role in your potential winnings, so try to play only on online poker sites with low rake and good rewards

    At its core, winning poker strategy is about making the mathematically correct decision as often as possible while exploiting your opponents' incorrect decisions. You want to provide your opponents with opportunities to make a losing play, and extracte the maximum value possible from each of their sub-optimal decisions. That is, if they call too much, then you want to both value bet against that opponent more often, but also bet as much as you think they will call with a weaker hand. 

    Always keep in mind that your goal is to maximize profits. That is, it's better to lose $100 in 80% of your sessions and win $500 in just 20% (for $20 average profit per session) than to win $10 every session! Although winning consistently is nice, the most profitable poker strategies tend to also carry the highest risk. As a result, profitable poker typically involves losing more sessions (and even losing bigger when you do lose), but also winning bigger when you win. This also happens in tournaments where playing tight to consistently reach the money can be profitable. However, playing aggressively to build your stack to increase your chances of reaching the big payouts is more profitable in the long run (but can also result in some very long barren stretches).  

  • How do I learn to play poker? +

    There are a variety of ways you can learn to play poker better:

    1. Read poker strategy books
    2. Take an online poker course
    3. Join a poker training site
    4. Complete a poker worbook
    5. Play online poker for free
    6. Read poker articles

    The best option(s) will depend on your budget and current level of knowledge.

  • How to play poker for beginners? +

    The best way for beginners to learn to play poker is to:
    1. Watch free online videos and read several free online poker lessonsto learn a good basic strategy. The main concepts you want to get comfortable with are:
      1. Pre-flop hands you should play, and when to raise with them
      2. Drawing odds, pot odds and implied odds
    2. Practice what you have learned by playing online for free. If you enjoy tournaments, then we recommend playing freerolls. Not only will you get to practice what you have learned for free, but you can also start to build a poker bankroll.
    3. Once you are comfortable with the basics, you may want to invest in more advanced poker training, and playing poker for real money (either live, online, or both).
  • How long does it take to learn poker? +

    Mike Sexton once famously described poker as "the game that takes a minute to learn but a lifetime to master." He was talking specifically about Texas Hold'em, which is one of the easier variants to learn.

    The mechanics of poker are quite simple. In every variant there are multiple rounds of betting, giving you the option to bet, raise, call, or fold. However, knowing when to take each of these actions, and how much to bet is where the difficulty lies. And you cannot simply memorize the odds and play a perfect strategy either, because the perfect strategy depends on your opponent. For example, if your opponent calls too much then you want to bluff less and bet for value more. If they fold too much, you want to do the opposite. This is known as an exploitive poker strategy (where you use your opponent's tendencies against them). 

    Poker is also constantly evolving, so you need to stay up to date on the latest strategies. In the past, simply following up a pre-flop bet with a bet on the flop (called a continuation bet or "c-bet") would win you the pot the majority of the time. Players have since adapted and now call more (sometimes with nothing), just to see what you will do on the turn (called "floating"). The current rage is GTO (game theory optimal) poker, but that too is constantly evolving. To maximize your winnings, you need to play a combination of GTO and exploitive poker (because even GTO players don't play perfect GTO), and you need to constantly adjust your strategy as your opponents adjust theirs. 

  • How do I get better at poker? +

    If you already know the fundamentals (which hands to play, drawing odds, pot odds, and implied odds), then you should invest in more poker training that focuses specifically on skills you would like to hone. If you are not sure which areas of your game need improvement, invest in some poker hand analysis software.

    Once you know which areas of your game need improvement, look for online poker courses that focus on those concepts. Poker workbooks are a great way to practice specific skills. Most importantly, you need to make sure you adjust your play to incorporate what you have learned at the table. Far too many players know the best strategy, and yet keep making the same mistakes anyway.

  • How do you get good at poker fast? +

    The fastest way to get good at poker is to purchase an online poker course. A good poker course will teach you the basics of the game, as well as some advanced strategies. Most poker courses vary in price from as little as $7 to several hundred dollars. Regardless of price, a good poker course will pay for itself in no time, because the cost of learning via trial and error is steep!

  • How do I learn online poker? +

    One of the best ways to learn online poker is to just play. Find an online poker site that allows you to play for free (using play money), or join a poker site with lots of freerolls (poker tournaments that are free to enter, but have real money prizes).

    This lets you learn the basics of how to play poker online risk free. However, you may want to improve your skills by reading strategy books and articles, or investing in a poker course before you play any real money poker online. 

  • How to win at online poker? +

    The basic mechanics of online poker are no different than live poker. It's just much much harder! The 3 biggest reasons that online poker is so much harder than live are:
    1. Good players play more tables. If you go to a casino with 10 pros and 40 casual players, then there will be an average of 2 pros and 8 casual players at each table. But online if each pro is playing 8 tables and each casual player is playing just 2, then there will be an average of 5 pros and 5 casual players at each table!
    2. Players can use all sorts of tracking software and printed charts to optimize their play online.
    3. Losing players know they're losing when they play online. In live games, nobody is tracking results, so losing players fool themselves into thinking they are breaking even, or only down a little. Losing players cannot fool themselves online because the money isn't going in and out of their wallet. That is, it's not mixed with other expenditures, so these players will know exactly how much they're losing and are thus more likely to quit sooner thereby decreasing the number of losing players playing online.
    To get better at online poker, you absolutely must invest in good poker tracking software. This will help you identify weaknesses in your game so that you can improve. Once you know your weaknesses, you will want to invest in poker strategy books, courses, and/or poker coaching.
  • How to beat bad poker players? +

    The biggest mistake you can make when playing against a weak poker player is using complex strategies. In general, you want to just play basic ABC poker: bet your strong hands for value, draw when you're getting the correct pot odds (or implied pot odds), and rarely bluff.

    You will want to vary your strategy depending on what makes your opponent bad. If they constantly call with weak hands, then you want to bet bigger with your made hands, and rarely bluff or semi-bluff. If they fold too much, then you want to bluff them more. If they bluff too much, then you want to call them down more with medium strength hands, and slow-play your made hands. Basically, figure out what makes them bad and then use that against them!

    Far too many "good" poker players try to out-play bad opponents. They'll think, "Okay, I know my opponent has two pair, but the river completed both the flush and the straight, and I've played my hand exactly like I would if I was on either of these draws. So, if I push all-in, he's got to fold!" They then push all-in with no pair, and their opponent thinks, "I've got 2 pair. I like 2 pair and I've won with far less. Plus, he could be bluffing and I HATE getting bluffed! I need to see it, even if I'm beaten." They call and the "good" player rages, thinking, "How can this idiot call here. How does he not think I've got him beat?!?!". Meanwhile, the players who are actually good are thinking, "What an idiot. Why would you EVER bluff that guy? He calls everything! Gotta love a guy who donates his entire stack to the worst player at the table!"

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