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Learn to Play Hold 'Em with a Good Book or Two -- It's Easy

7 January 2004

Learning to play hold'em poker can be done by reading a good book or two, watching the game being played in person or watching a videotape or the World Poker Tour on television. Getting the right cards and knowing the importance of position, understanding "the flop" and knowing when to bet are another matter.

But for now, let's look at a handful of book designed to assist the beginner in understanding the game. They are:

"Hold 'Em Poker" by David Sklansky (113 pages, paperbound, $19.95). Originally published in 1976 and updated three times since then, Sklansky's book revolutionized the game in regard to understanding what are called "hand groups" (the two cards each player receives initially) today, and explaining "pre-flop strategy" along with slow-playing, check-raising and inducing bluffs, it prepared beginners for what many pros already knew. It is updated for today's double blind structure. It is illustrated, indexed and contains a listing for hold'em terms used by players and dealers.

"Winning Low-Limit Hold 'Em" by Lee Jones (198 pages, paperbound, $24.95). Published in 2000, it immediately gained popularity because it expanded upon many of Sklansky's concepts including playing pre-flop in early, middle and late position; how to avoid "trash" hands; and how to play when you flop anywhere from one or two pair to a straight or flush draw. His advice on how to properly play on the turn and river card are outstanding.

"Get the Edge at Low-Limit Texas Hold 'Em" by Bill Burton (284 pages, paperbound, $14.95) is a super resource for those making the transition from home poker to card rooms and casinos. His book contains 62 important chapters covering the basics and somewhat advanced concepts like how to handle bad beats; "tells," detecting cheating and collusion; and the importance of money management and keeping records. For those curious about entering tournaments; using computer software to improve your game and what you should do to mentally prepare for playing in a card room, the book does its job well.

"Hold 'Em Excellence (From Beginner to Winner)" by Lou Krieger (173 pages, paperbound, $19.95). A. Alvarez's comments about the book tells it all: "A shrewd and lucid introduction to the most sophisticated of all poker games. Everything you ever wanted to know about Hold 'Em but were afraid to ask -- both before and after the flop -- are worth more than the price of the book itself." His color charts are helpful for the beginner asking which cards were worth staying with, depending on position.

Learn to Play Hold 'Em with a Good Book or Two -- It's Easy is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com