This book introduces you to the Fundamental Theorem of Poker, its implications, and how the theorem should affect your play. 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, semibluffing, and much more. That is, these are the ideas that separate the experts from the typical player. In many ways, this is probably the best book ever written on poker. Excerpt from the Book Theory of Poker : Check Raising Check raising and slowplaying are two ways of playing a strong hand weakly to trap your opponents and win more money from them. However, they are not identical.
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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.
Find another game. Jun 20, David rated it really liked it Recommends it for: poker probability crunchers, mathematicians, game theorists Shelves: non-fiction , gaming , owned , poker 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.
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.
This is, of course, a masterwork, so why only 4 stars? 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.
The Theory of Poker
Poker Life Podcast with Joey Ingram The Theory of Poker The game-theory optimal poker strategies of today are based on complex mathematical principals, but when Sklansky started playing poker in the s, a math-based approach to poker was unheard of. Poker used to have a stigma to it. These concepts are all essential elements of modern poker strategy, but Sklansky was decades ahead of his time in applying these fundamentals to the game in the s and 80s. Want to upgrade your poker skills? Get our free preflop charts and start playing like a pro before the flop.