The best poker books for beginner and struggling poker players

Who am I?

I’m the founder and lead instructor at MicroGrinder Poker School, arguably, the most prominent micro stakes poker school, and I’m fascinated by poker. I started playing poker as a hobby, and it soon became an obsession. I delved into poker theory, seeking to understand the game’s nuances. And as my game improved, I wanted to share my success with others. I’ve always been passionate about teaching, so I started MicroGrinder Poker School. Between my best-selling poker books and 35+ courses, I’ve helped over 80,000 poker players improve their poker game drastically.


I wrote...

Master Micro Stakes Poker: Learn to Master Online 6-Max No Limit Hold'em Micro Stakes Cash Games

By Alton Hardin,

Book cover of Master Micro Stakes Poker: Learn to Master Online 6-Max No Limit Hold'em Micro Stakes Cash Games

What is my book about?

Let’s face it, poker is getting harder to beat, and beginner and struggling poker players need modern and up-to-date guidance on how to beat the games. I wrote this book for every single poker player who has struggled to beat this game, as well as to help all beginning poker players reach success in the game of poker much quicker than I did. No Limit Hold’em is a relatively easy game to learn but a challenging one to become proficient at—this is where the difficulty lies. This book is about learning to take baby steps to improve your game, to the point where you are a competent and winning player. Think of it as your foundation. Without a solid foundation, your poker game will crumble over time. 

The books I picked & why

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Building a Bankroll Full Ring Edition

By Pawel Nazarewicz,

Book cover of Building a Bankroll Full Ring Edition

Why this book?

This is one of the first poker books I read when I started working on improving my game, and it’s an excellent book to start with. Honestly, I think the name says it all, building a bankroll. The book is structured in a way that covers all the basics without being overwhelming. The author not only covers poker strategies, but also covers important topics like variance and bankroll management that are equally important. While this book doesn’t get that much love in the poker community, I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Building a Bankroll Full Ring Edition

By Pawel Nazarewicz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Building a Bankroll Full Ring Edition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In January of 2010, while players complained about how difficult online poker had become, Pawel "Verneer" Nazarewicz wanted to demonstrate that, with the right approach, building a bankroll from scratch could still be done at the online tables. So starting at the micro stakes, he worked his way up the poker ladder turning $100 into $10,000 in 120 days. He accomplished the same feat a year later in exactly 100 days. In this book, Pawel shares the building blocks necessary for achieving long-term success at online poker. These teachings focus on seven fundamental concepts: - Accept Variance - Manage Your…


Easy Game: Making Sense of No Limit Hold'Em

By Andrew Seidman,

Book cover of Easy Game: Making Sense of No Limit Hold'Em

Why this book?

This book was groundbreaking when it was first released well over a decade ago and was a must-read for just about every poker player. In 2022, it’s considered a bit dated for tougher games, but for beginners and struggling poker players at the lower stakes, it is a must-read. Andrew Seidman covers a plethora of topics in an easy-to-understand manner. In fact, I regularly reference one of his coined poker terms, the Baluga Theorem, which I learned in this book to my poker students on a regular basis.

Easy Game: Making Sense of No Limit Hold'Em

By Andrew Seidman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Easy Game as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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


Crushing The Microstakes

By Nathan Williams,

Book cover of Crushing The Microstakes

Why this book?

Crushing the Microstakes has been around since 2011, and it’s still highly recommended. This is a no B.S., straight to the point, but also a comprehensive 200+ page micro stakes cash game book. Nathan is one of the biggest winners at the micro stakes, and he shows the strategies he personally uses to beat these games in this book. The book covers just about everything you’d need to know to start beating micro stakes cash games, from player types to post-flop strategy.  

Crushing The Microstakes

By Nathan Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Crushing The Microstakes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


How To Study Poker Volume 1: Techniques For Making You A Better Player Today Than You Were Yesterday

By Sky Matsuhashi,

Book cover of How To Study Poker Volume 1: Techniques For Making You A Better Player Today Than You Were Yesterday

Why this book?

Most poker books lack a precise and methodical methodology for studying poker—even my books. But at the same time, we all know we need to study to get better. Well, Sky Matsuhashi solved that dilemma with this How to Study Poker book series. He’s phenomenal at showing poker players how to study and learn the game simply and methodically. Whenever one of my students asks for a detailed resource on studying and improving their game, I recommend they read this book.   

How To Study Poker Volume 1: Techniques For Making You A Better Player Today Than You Were Yesterday

By Sky Matsuhashi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How To Study Poker Volume 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do you feel overwhelmed by all the poker content out there? Are you looking for a system of poker study that will help you master one skill at a time, while keeping you away from poker concept overload?

How To Study Poker is the first of it's kind: a poker book that teaches you how to work out poker strategies for yourself on and off the felt.

Inside you’ll find:
- Proven strategies for building all-important foundational skills into your game
- How to avoid lazy learning and to actively get the most from every piece of poker strategy content…


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

By Jared Tendler, Barry Carter,

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

Why this book?

One of the biggest hurdles for beginning and struggling poker players is their mental game and tilt. In fact, most poker players give up on the game because they can’t handle the swings in the game. And Jared Tendler’s book, The Mental Game of Poker, is probably one of the most well-known books in poker from pure beginners all the way up to the pros making millions of dollars a year. If you struggle with tilt and your poker mental game isn’t on point—this is a must-read book that you should add to your poker library today.      

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

By Jared Tendler, Barry Carter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mental Game of Poker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mental game may be more important in poker than in any other form of competition. It's one of the only games in the world where you can play perfectly and lose-again and again. Hundreds of poker players have turned to mental game coach Jared Tendler's revolutionary approach to help them play their best, no matter how badly they're running. In this book you'll find simple, step-by-step instructions and proven techniques to permanently fix problems such as tilt, handling variance, emotional control, confidence, fear, and motivation. With the games getting tougher, now is the time to take these problems head…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in poker, game theory, and baseball?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about poker, game theory, and baseball.

Poker Explore 26 books about poker
Game Theory Explore 16 books about game theory
Baseball Explore 103 books about baseball

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Essential Poker Math, Expanded Edition, No-Limit Hold 'em For Advanced Players, and Reading Poker Tells if you like this list.