A panel of 56 top professional poker players have cast their votes on the poker books they believe have been the most influential throughout their career. Poker Hall of Famer, Dan Harrington’s, “Harrington on Hold’em, Expert Strategy for No Limit Hold’em Tournaments 1: Strategic Play” comes out on top.

Explore the best poker books by category:

Delve deep into the minds of the world’s most exciting, enigmatic and experienced poker players, and you will find Dan Harrington sitting on a throne in the Palace of Memories, handing out tips on how to win No-Limit Hold’em tournaments.


Let's Hear It from the Players' Mouths

We asked 56 players to vote for the poker books that have been the most influential during their career. 13% handed their top vote to Dan Harrington and his No-Limit Tournament bible, Harrington on Hold’em, Expert Strategy for No Limit Hold’em Tournaments 1: Strategic Play.

“Harrington on Hold’em is the bible of all poker books,” said the two-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner Andy Frankenberger.

“Starting with the Harrington on Hold’em series probably helped me out the most throughout my career,” said the three-time WSOP bracelet winner and 888poker ambassador Dominik Nitsche.

“At the time his tournament series was the most influential thing ever written,” said WSOPC gold ring winner Jason Wheeler, “I didn’t read too many books apart from Harrington, everything else I learned in battle.”

Three-time WSOP bracelet winner and author of Poker Tilt, Dutch Boyd had this to say about the Harrington Series:

"The Harrington series brought a lot of trade-craft concepts to the "public"... the idea that your strategy should change based on how many chips you have or how many players are left seems obvious to us now. And most tournament pros understood those concepts before Harrington published his series. But this series defined those inner tournament concepts better than anything released previously."

WSOP bracelet winner and 888poker ambassador Jackie Glazier loved it so much she couldn’t stop reading it:

"I think I probably read it a total of three times in the first year that I was learning to play poker. It gave me the confidence to make a lot of decisions at the table in that first year as a beginner. While much of the information is probably a little outdated now, I still think it is an excellent book for new players."

Inaugural Super High Roller Bowl winner Brian Rast on Harrington’s series:

"It was a landmark book in its time, which revolutionized tournament poker. These were great books that introduced concepts like M - and used hand examples to illustrate teachings. All-in-all excellent books that, at the time, broke new ground."

For some people, the Harrington book had an extra special memory attached to it. Here's Jeff Kimber to explain:

“I got him to sign my original copy on the morning of a WPT Bay101 Shooting Stars event and then knocked him out in the afternoon to collect the $5k bounty.”

Texas Dolly's Super System Enters the Mix

Not only did Harrington's first book in his three-part tournament series receive the top percentage of #1 votes, but it also received the joint highest total of overall votes with 22. Joining Harrington with those 22 votes was Doyle Brunson and the 1978 classic Super System: A Course in Power Poker.

"This was the second book I ever read, and I enjoyed it because it was more about the lifestyle of the game as well as providing helpful strategy," said Adam "Roothlus" Levy.

"Super System was the first poker book I read," said WSOP bracelet winner Nick Petrangelo. “At the time, I was selling my old golf clubs to take shots at 0.50/$1.00 while in high school. I remember reading a section on playing draws aggressively, particularly gut shots, and making a mistake nearly all students of the game make at some point: misapplying a concept.

“For a few days, there was no amount of big blinds, regardless of the scenario, that I couldn't get all-in with a gut shot. It cost me a lot of old sand wedges and putters, but it is my most memorable poker book lesson, and one that still resonates with me today. Now when I study something new, I try my best to grasp fully the new concepts I come across before putting them into play."

“He covered so many of the games and was a revelation when there was very little literature available,” said former EPT Champion Julian Thew.

"Doyle Brunson is the most historical poker player of all time," said the Flying Dutchman, Marcel Luske. "He started in the game when poker was illegal, competing with some of the biggest crooks in the game when shootings were normal. And, he is still in the game today playing with these smart youngsters with all of their electronic devices.”

"He is a living legend. He speaks through his silence in any poker game. He is the authority at the table no matter who he sits with. He is the captain and no player in the world would dispute that."

The Best of the Rest

We handed the judges a list of 129 poker books. 86 of them received, at least, one vote. With various books tied on the same number of votes, and with no easy way to separate them, we ended up with a Top 59.





Harrington on Hold'em, Expert Strategy for No-Limit Tournaments; Volume I: Strategic Play

Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie


Super/System: A Course in Power Poker

Doyle Brunson


Every Hand Revealed

Gus Hansen


The Mathematics of Poker

Bill Chen and Jerrod Ankenman


The Mental Game of Poker: Proven Strategies for Improving Tilt Control, Confidence, Motivation, Coping with Variance, and More

Jared Tendler and Barry Carter


The Theory of Poker

David Sklansky


Let There Be Range!: Crushing SSNL/MSNL No-Limit Hold’em Games

Cole "Cts" South and Tri "Slowhabit" Nguyen


Power Hold'em Strategy

Daniel Negreanu


Super/System: A Course in Power Poker II

Doyle Brunson


Applications Of No-Limit Hold’em

Matthew Janda


Moorman's Book of Poker

Byron Jacobs


Harrington on Hold'em, Expert Strategy for No-Limit Tournaments; Volume II: The Endgame

Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie


Kill Everyone: Advanced Strategies For No-Limit Hold ‘Em Poker, Tournaments, And Sit-N-Gos

Lee Nelson and Others


Play Poker Like the Pros

Phil Hellmuth


Elements of Poker

Tommy Angelo


Ace on the River

Barry Greenstein


Expert Heads Up No Limit Hold'em, Volume 1

Will Tipton


Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players

David Sklansky & Mason Malmuth


Harrington on Hold'em, Expert Strategy for No-Limit Tournaments; Volume III: The Workbook

Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie


Caro's Book of Tells, the Body Language and Psychology of Poker

Mike Caro


Reading Poker Tells

Zachary Elwood


The Yoga of Poker

Andrew Lichtenberger


Winning Poker Tournaments - One Hand at a Time

Jon Turner, Eric Lynch and Jon Van Fleet


No Limit Hold’em: Theory and Practice

David Sklansky and Ed Miller


Big Deal: One Year as a Professional Poker Player

Anthony Holden


Excelling at No-Limit Hold'em

Jonathan Little


Zen and the Art of Poker

Larry W. Phillips


Raiser's Edge

Bertrand Grospellier


Shut Up and Deal

Jesse May


The Biggest Game in Town

Al Alvarez


Devilfish: The Life & Times of a Poker Legend

Dave Ulliot


One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stuey "the Kid" Ungar

Nolan Dalla


The Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide

Michael Craig


The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time

Michael Craig


Kill Phil

Blair Rodman and Lee Nelson


Seven-Card Stud for Advanced Players

David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth, and Ray Zee.


The Mental Game Of Poker 2: Proven Strategies For Improving Poker Skill, Increasing Mental Endurance, And Playing In The Zone Consistently

Jared Tendler and Barry Carter


Tournament Poker for Advanced Players: Expanded Edition

David Sklansky


DUCY? Exploits, Advice, and Ideas of the Renowned Strategist

David Sklansky and Alan Schoonmaker


Championship No-Limit & Pot-Limit Hold’em

Tom McEvoy and T.J. Cloutier


Lost Vegas: The Redneck Riviera, Existentialist Conversations with Strippers, and the World Series of Poker

Paul McGuire


For Richer, For Poorer: Confessions of a Player

Victoria Coren


Positively Fifth Street

James McManus


Verbal Poker Tells

Zachary Elwood


Harrington on Cash Games; How to Win at No-Limit Hold ’em Money Games: Volume I.

Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie


Winning in Tough Hold ’em Games; Short-Handed and High-Stakes Concepts and Theory for Limit Hold ’em

Nick "Stoxtrader" Grudzien and Geoff "Zobags" Herzog


Winning Low Limit Hold’em

Lee Jones


Treat Your Poker Like a Business

Dusty Schmidt


The Tao of Poker

Larry W. Phillips


What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-reading People

Joe Navarro


The Education of a Poker Player

Herbert O. Yardley


Small Stakes Hold ‘em: Winning Big With Expert Play

Ed Miller, David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth


Professional No-Limit Hold ’em: Volume I

Matt Flynn, Sunny Mehta, and Ed Miller


According to Doyle

Doyle Brunson


Unmasking the Face: A Guide to Recognizing Emotions from Facial Clues

Paul Ekman


Mastering Pot-limit Omaha: The Modern Aggressive Approach

Herbert Okolowitz, Wladimir Taschner


Harrington on Cash Games; How to Win at No-Limit Hold ‘em Money Games: Volume II

Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie


Strategies For Beating Small Stakes Poker Tournaments

Jonathan Little


Easy Game: Making Sense of No Limit Hold'Em 3rd Edition: Adaptations

Andrew Seidman


The Godfather of Poker

Doyle Brunson


Heads-Up No-Limit Hold ’Em

Collin Moshman


Pot-Limit & No-Limit Poker

Stewart Reuben & Bob Ciaffone


High-Low-Split Poker, Seven-Card Stud and Omaha Eight- or-Better, for Advanced Players

Ray Zee


Amarillo Slim In A World Full Of Fat People: The Memoirs of the Greatest Gambler Who Ever Lived

Thomas 'Amarillo Slim' Preston


Phil Gordon's Little Green Book: Lessons and Teachings in No Limit Texas Hold'em

Phil Gordon


Harrington on Modern Poker Tournaments

Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie


52 Great Poker Tips: At Home, Tournament And Online

Lou Krieger


Poker Tilt

Dutch Boyd


Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker

James McManus


More Hold'em Wisdom for All Players

Daniel Negreanu


Read 'em and Reap

Joe Navarro


Way of the Poker Warrior

Paul Hoppe


Pass The Sugar

Joe Hachem


The Course: Serious Hold'em Strategy For Smart Players

Ed Miller


Hold'em Wisdom for All Players

Daniel Negreanu


Poker Tournament Formula

Arnold Snyder


How Good is Your Pot-Limit Omaha?

Stewart Reuben


Secrets of Short-handed Pot-Limit Omaha

Rolf Slotboom & Rob Hollink


Sit ’n Go Strategy; Expert Advice for Beating One-Table Poker Tournaments

Collin Moshman


Internet Texas Hold’em: Winning Strategies from an Internet Pro

Matthew Hilger


Life's a Gamble

Mike Sexton


Don’t Listen To Phil Hellmuth: Correcting The 50 Worst Pieces Of Poker Advice

Dusty Schmidt & Paul Hoppe


Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker I

Jonathan Little


Poker For Dummies

Poker For Dummies Series


Check-Raising the Devil

Mike Matusow, Amy Calistri, and Tim Lavalli


Middle Limit Holdem Poker

Bob Ciaffone

Of the 86 books that received votes, 28 of them were voted as the #1 pick by a judge.

Interestingly, Elements of Poker by Tommy Angelo had three #1 votes but only finished as the 15th most popular book because it wasn’t as popular across the board.

Books that received consistent votes, but were never considered good enough to warrant a #1 pick, were:

  • Harrington on Hold'em, Expert Strategy for No-Limit Tournaments; Volume II: The Endgame by Dan Harrington
  • Ace on the River by Barry Greenstein
  • Kill Everyone: Advanced Strategies for No-Limit Hold'em Poker Tournaments and Sit-n-Go's by Lee Nelson, Tysen Streib and Steven Heston
Lee Davy is a poker writer and live reporter who has worked for all the top names in the industry, including the WPT, the WSOP as well as 888poker.