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Hold 'em Poker: For Advanced Players Paperback – October 1, 1999

4.0 out of 5 stars 185 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

About David Sklansky

David Sklansky is generally considered the number one authority on gambling in the world today. Besides his ten books on the subject, David also has produced two videos and numerous writings for various gaming publications. His occasional poker seminars always receive an enthusiastic reception, including those given at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

More recently, David has been doing consulting work for casinos, Internet gaming sites, and gaming device companies. He has recently invented several games, soon to appear in casinos.

David attributes his standing in the gambling community to three things:

1. The fact that he presents his ideas as simply as possible (sometimes with Mason Malmuth) even though these ideas frequently involve concepts that are deep, subtle, and not to be found elsewhere.

2. The fact that the things he says and writes can be counted on to be accurate.

3. The fact that to this day a large portion of his income is still derived from gambling (usually poker, but occasionally blackjack, sports betting, horses, video games, casino promotions, or casino tournaments).

Thus, those who depend on David’s advice know that he still depends on it himself.

About Mason Malmuth

Mason Malmuth was born and raised in Coral Gables, Florida. In 1973 he received his BS in Mathematics from Virginia Tech, and completed their Masters’ program in 1975. While working for the United States Census Bureau in 1978, Mason stopped overnight in Las Vegas while driving to his new assignment in California. He was immediately fascinated by the games, and gambling became his major interest.

After arriving in California he discovered that poker was legal and began playing in some of the public cardrooms as well as taking periodic trips to Las Vegas where he would play both poker and blackjack. In 1981 he went to work for the Northrop Corporation as a mathematician and moved to Los Angeles where he could conviently pursue his interest in poker in the large public cardrooms in Gardena, Bell Gardens, and Commerce.

In 1983 his first article "Card Domination — The Ultimate Blackjack Weapon" was published in Gambling Times magazine. In 1987 he left his job with the Northrop Corporation to begin a career as both a full-time gambler and a gambling writer. He has had over 500 articles published in various magazines and is the author or co-author of 12 books. These include Gambling Theory and Other Topics, where he tries to demonstrate why only a small number of people are highly successful at gambling. In this book he introduces the reader to the concept of "non-self weighting strategies" and explains why successful gambling is actually a balance of luck and skill. Other books he has co-authored are Hold ’em Poker For Advanced Players, written with David Sklansky, and Seven-Card Stud For Advanced Players written with David Sklansky and Ray Zee. All the "advanced" books are considered the definitive works on these games.

His company Two Plus Two Publishing has sold over 400,000 books and currently has 26 titles to its credit. These books are recognized as the best in their field and are thoroughly studied by those individuals who take gambling seriously.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Two Plus Two Pub.; 3 edition (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880685221
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880685228
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jason Randall Nash on December 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is simply the best Hold'em book ever written.
The first half of the book follows a traditional style. The authors cover opening hands, position, the "if you're checking a lot, you're a [bad] player" philosophy, calculating basic pot odds, and a variety of other topics essential to your game. This half of the book should be memorized. Don't kid yourself; if you don't know how to play a suited jack/nine from the fifth position, you will not win consistently playing Hold'em. Calculating pot odds separates the men from the boys, but you will need to get a copy of the Theory of Poker to truly cover that topic.
The second half of the book is a wealth of short essays covering topics ranging from how to play especially difficult hands to more general topics such a slow-play and the semi-bluff. I can't tell you how helpful this part of the book is. For a newbie, there is too much information here to absorb, but just reading the text will help you recognize when players are using these techniques against you. With time, you will learn how to use these techniques yourself.
The second part of the book also is an excellent reference for those times in a game when you just were not sure what the correct play was. Make a mental note when that happens and bust out this book when you get home. More than likely, you will find the information you need to make the correct play the next time. Keep in mind that when you're not sure how to play out a hand, your opponent likely has the same problems. If you learn from these difficult, often misplayed hands, you can gain a significant advantage over your fellow-players.
Bottom line: Read this book over and over again until you can recall it line by line while sitting at the table. There is not a better way to spend your time than reading this book if you want to increase your hourly take at the Hold'em table.
Five Enthusiastic Stars - HawkeyeGK
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Format: Paperback
Hold'em Poker is a revision of Sklansky's classic from 1976. It was the first authoritative poker book to actually give starting hands in hold'em. Sklansky arranged the hands into eight groups and gave recommendations on which ones to open with depending on position.

In this edition he has revised the groups and corrected some minor errors. For example, 7-6s was then both the #30 hand in Group 5 and the #53 hand in Group 8. That has been corrected.

In addition to being the first book devoted exclusively to hold'em, Sklansky's little gem is perhaps the best introductory book on hold'em ever written, and then some. Sklansky does a masterful job of introducing the reader to the game, pointing out how it differs from other poker games, narrows in on the community card essence of the game, and then, amazingly enough, gives the reader information and ideas of considerable value to even seasoned players. Even if you have been playing hold'em for some time, and even if you have read Brunson's SuperSystem, I still recommend that you spend some time with this book.

Sklansky writes in a deceptively terse style so that the ideas and concepts are plainly stated without elaboration. This has frustrated some readers because in some cases what Sklansky is saying is clear at first blush, while in other cases the text seems cryptic. There are three reasons for this.

One, Sklansky thought of himself primarily as a teacher and deliberately left out some explanations while inviting readers to work out the reasoning for themselves. Serious players who want to improve their game will benefit from this approach. Take out a deck of cards and deal out some hands if necessary.
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Format: Paperback
When I first bought this book i wasnt technically an advanced player. I understood the game, the rules, and many plays from just playing poker a lot. The problem with Hold'em is no matter how many books you read, you are destined to loose hundereds or thousands of dollars in the process of your Hold'em education. We have books like this one to give tips on how to cut down on the cost of your education. Honestly, if you're a regular player at the game of Hold'em you got to have this book for your collection. I say collection because all Hold'em players have a book collection :)
Must reads:
David Sklansky's - Theory of Poker
Doyle Brunson's - The Super System
The absolute must of them all
= Mike Caro's - Book of Poker Tells
This book gets more in to detail of things to do in certain situations or variations of Hold'em than it does about basics of the game. I really dont think anyone is going to get lost buying this book and being a beginner. You at least need to know what the basics of the game are, which can be learned by watching the World Poker Tour or World Series of Poker on TV. What David goes into more are Low limit, high limit, loose games, tight games, etc. and tips on what to do in certain situations against many or few opponents.
I cant really say too much more that hasnt been said in all the other reviews. There is a lot of good info in this book. The bottom line is, for this game you must be as educated as possible about every kind of play there is. If you learn one thing in this book that will gain or save you a pot that you wouldn't have walked away with, then it has most likely paid for itself right then and there!
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