The Poker Player’s Bible

  • List Price: $21.95
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Date: November, 2004
  • Publisher: Barron’s
  • ISBN: 0-7641-5788-4
  • Order from Amazon.com

Poker is changing these days. In a big way. While some folks still have an image of poker straight out of the movies, where poker games are played by Mississippi riverboat gamblers with pencil-thin moustaches, fast hands, and a Derringer hidden up their ruffled sleeves, or by gunfighters of the old west ¾ men like Doc Holliday, Wild Bill Hickok, and Bat Masterson, that picture is 120 years old and aging.

The classic film The Sting, which starred Robert Redford and Paul Newman, gave us an image of poker played by 1930s Chicago mobsters: A round table, a low hanging lamp illuminating thick cigar smoke rising from ash tray, guys with shoulder holsters and snub-nosed 38s, a bottle of cheap Scotch on the table, and someone the size of a heavyweight boxer stationed by the peep-hole at the door.

Poker has been all of these things, and more. But in recent years poker has undergone a renaissance: A greening, if you please. Not only is poker flowering, it’s becoming a staple on television. The advent of the “lipstick camera” makes it possible to show the viewing audience what the competitors cannot see: each player’s concealed cards. This has turned poker into a spectator sport, made heroes of dozens of poker players who heretofore toiled in obscurity, and created a rooting interest in the game. Poker is all around you today. Seek and ye shall find, and in most of the Western world these days you don’t have to look very far either.

Why You Need This Book

This book explains the basic rules for the most popular variations of poker and provides a sound strategic approach so you can learn to play well in the shortest amount of time. Furthermore, it’s richly illustrated format makes learning easy, and fun too.

Many poker players have never picked up a book on the subject. But until you become aware of your mistakes it’s impossible to correct them. And don’t think your opponents will rush to your aid by pointing them out either. After all, your opponents want to win as much of your money as you’re willing to risk at the table. Whenever an opponent finds a leak in your game, he’ll exploit it for all it’s worth ¾ literally. After all, you’d do the same to him. Wouldn’t you?

Poker is famous for having its own lingo. Some of the phrases and expressions such as “The buck stops here,” “showdown,” and Kenny Rogers’ classic, “You gotta know when to hold’em, know when to fold ’em…” have migrated into general usage. While you’ll learn lots of cool poker expressions from this book, we’ve written it in plain English, and where card jargon is used, we’ve clearly defined the terms for you. If you’re going to become an expert poker player, you might as well sound like one too.

This book has something for everyone. Absolute beginners will learn to play relatively well in a short period of time because there is enough strategic information within these pages to jump-start much of your learning. Some of the concepts in this book are quite sophisticated, and even experienced players will gain new insights from having read it.

How to Use This Book

Each game in this book is a self-contained unit, containing most of the information you’ll need to know about that particular version of poker to set you well on your way to becoming a skilled, winning player. And information common to all forms of poker supplements these game-specific chapters

While you might not be ready to invest $10,000 to buy in to the main event of the World Series of Poker, you’ll find tournaments where the entry fee, not to mention the competition, is more modest. Casinos frequently hold tournaments where the cost to play is $50 or less.

Many have daily tournaments you can enter for a little as $10. You get to play against opponents at a variety of skill levels and all you can lose is your initial investment. Tournaments are a great way to learn new games because your can limit your losses to the cost of the entry.

How This Book is Organized

This book begins with the basics. It explains what poker is and how to choose the game that suits you best. Whether you decide to specialize in Texas hold’em, Omaha, Omaha eight or better high-low split, seven-card stud, or seven-card stud eight or better high-low split – the five most popular games played in cardrooms and casinos all over the world – or whether you’d like to learn and play all of these games, this book is for you. An overview of each game will help you understand the differences and similarities between these popular forms of poker and guide you in the right direction as you begin to learn and expand your poker playing skills.

You’ll learn hand rankings for all of these games, and if you didn’t know whether a flush beats a straight (it does) you’ll learn why and how hand rankings were developed and you’ll never confuse them again. This book will also teach you how to read your opponents and how to analyze your own hand and the possible hands held by your opponents at the table. You’ll learn poker etiquette too, and along with it you’ll become familiar with the mechanics of the game. Players in casinos want a smoothly flowing, efficiently dealt game, and knowing the game’s mechanics along with common poker etiquette will ensure that your game progresses smoothly.

For each of the five games discussed in this book, you’ll learn betting structures, what kinds of starting hands you ought to be playing and which starting hands to fold. You’ll also learn the importance of your position in the betting order, the odds and outs associated with various hands and drawing opportunities and you’ll learn some fairly sophisticated strategies too, such as implied odds, and semi bluffing. This book will show you how and when to check, bet, raise, and reraise, how to bluff and how to defend against an opponent’s bluff. You’ll learn when and how to disguise a strong hand by “slowplaying” it, and when and how to get a free card.

There’s a wealth of information for beginners and experienced hands alike, all easily understood and presented in a richly illustrated format. It’s guaranteed to take you from poker newbie to skillful player in the shortest amount of time possible.

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