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98 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, and for good reason: concepts herein are timeless
This book was written 11 years ago. Think about that for a second, and what it says about how fundamentally revolutionary the concepts Sklansky presents must be, that players still consider this book among the most important ever put into print. You'll still find this book on the bookshelves of every serious poker player, and I, along with most serious amateurs I know,...
Published on 13 July 2005 by terrimaka

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but probably avoid if you are only playing hold 'em
The Theory of Poker is a good book but if you are a relatively new poker player and are primarily playing texas hold 'em then you would be better off buying the Harrington series because while this book covers some important ideas, many of the examples and explanations are given in terms of other forms of poker such as Draw and 7 card Stud. If you are a recreational poker...
Published on 12 Mar 2010 by G. Watson


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98 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, and for good reason: concepts herein are timeless, 13 July 2005
This review is from: The Theory of Poker: A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How to Think Like One (Paperback)
This book was written 11 years ago. Think about that for a second, and what it says about how fundamentally revolutionary the concepts Sklansky presents must be, that players still consider this book among the most important ever put into print. You'll still find this book on the bookshelves of every serious poker player, and I, along with most serious amateurs I know, refer to it on a continuing basis. Other so-called "classic" books, such as Brunson's first Super System and even the first printing of both Jones' and Sklansky & Malmuth's books were outstanding in their time, but most acknowledge that they have since lost their applicability to the more aggressive modern game. Theory of Poker, however, stands as a shining exception to these other outdated books, and continues to be what I believe to be the most important book for any and every poker player. In addition, Sklansky discusses many different poker games, and not just hold'em which seems to be all the rage at the moment. Understanding how the theoretical concepts he discusses apply to different games really helps reinforce the underlying reasoning.

As written above, the most amazing aspect of the book is that it has not, in any way, become outdated as the game has continued to change. Even with the explosion of internet poker, I found myself constantly re-reading chapters, and Sklansky's discussion of things such as the "fundamental theorum of poker" are even MORE applicable in the online arena, where loose play is the norm, especially post-flop in holdem. My son recently convinced me (after much pleading) to give online play a shot, and I was stunned at how well the lessons from Theory of Poker adapted to the style of play I found...they really teach you how to extract the most from less-skilled opponents, while being able to properly fold hands that are beat. If you decide to give the online thing a shot, another review here had a good suggestion to check out [...] which had site reviews and sign-up bonus codes for most major sites. Is Sklansky's writing style the most entertaining or gripping? Assuredly not: this is anything but a page-turner, but it's the reader who can look past his occasionally dry writing style who will truly reap the rewards of the nuggets of wisdom contained herein. In my humble opinion, a must-read for poker players of all levels.
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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sklansky is a great poker teacher, but a poor writer, 14 Mar 2004
By 
A. Scott "Future Poker Legend" (Isle of Man) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Theory of Poker: A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How to Think Like One (Paperback)
There's no doubt that this is one of the most respected books on Poker ever written. The advice given is sound, and has influenced almost every top player and theorist who is around today.

However...

1. Sklansky is not a good writer. His English is often stunted, flows badly, and often gets lost in poker lingo, instead of explaining concepts in the clearest possible terms. Although he is writing about a topic that the reader should be interested in, Sklansky manages to bore fairly often. Sklansky also seems to have a distorted sense of self-importance that really comes across when he writes. Perhaps he was bullied at school.

2. The book is printed in a style which does not help the reader. Poor layout and ugly fonts, plus several typographical errors are unfortunate characteristics of every book released by Two Plus Two Publishing.

3. If you're only interested in learning about the fashionable game of today, No Limit Hold'em, this is perhaps not the best book for you. This book talks about the general concepts that will help you win at all forms of poker, and includes examples from less widely-played games, such as A-5 Draw Lowball, Razz, and Stud Eight or Better.

4. The book talks about some advanced concepts very early on and contains some unintuitive mathematics. Whilst it's probably one of the first books you should read, if you don't know how to play poker at all, don't expect any help from Sklansky. Try Poker for Dummies if you're an absolute beginner.

While this book is an essential part of any poker student's library, it probably shouldn't be your first book, and in it's current, slightly outdated form, it is overrated.
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101 of 107 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not suitable for low-limit online games, 10 Mar 2005
This review is from: The Theory of Poker: A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How to Think Like One (Paperback)
First, let me say that I own this book and have read it cover-to-cover a number of times. It is well presented and contains everything you ever wanted to know (plus much you din't know or didn't even want to know) about the mathematics and tactics of poker. I have given it a high rating as I believe reading it will make anyone a better tactical poker player
However, much as I feel that I am a better poker player after reading this book, the vast majority of online opponents that I have come across quite clearly haven't read it. Most low-limit online players are far looser than the poker experts Sklansky plays against and the subtleties of the semi-bluff or the meaning of a re-raise are completely wasted on them. This can cause the variance in winnings/losses per hand to be enormous and anyone with a less than infinite bank balance will suffer
While this book is unquestionably one of the definitve texts on the game of poker, it is not suitable for the casual online player. I'd recommend starting with one of the books aimed directly at online play and only purchasing this book when you feel you're interested and confident enough for higher-limit online or casino play
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transforming poker book, 12 Nov 2002
This review is from: The Theory of Poker: A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How to Think Like One (Paperback)
This book completely transforms the way you percieve poker. Before reading this book I was only a novice at poker, although I thought I knew how the game worked. But I was wrong. After reading 'The Theory of Poker', I now understand the most important aspects of being an excellent poker player. In Sklansky's book, he teaches you how to read hands and analyse your oponents, how the psychology of poker works as well as the art of bluffing. I found this particularly helpful when play Hold'em (my favourite form of poker) and Seven Card Stud. Sklansky also gives great examples of techniques when playing five card draw, five card stud, high-low split and others.
Overall I can definitely say this book will send you on you way to think and behave like a true poker player.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but probably avoid if you are only playing hold 'em, 12 Mar 2010
By 
G. Watson (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Theory of Poker: A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How to Think Like One (Paperback)
The Theory of Poker is a good book but if you are a relatively new poker player and are primarily playing texas hold 'em then you would be better off buying the Harrington series because while this book covers some important ideas, many of the examples and explanations are given in terms of other forms of poker such as Draw and 7 card Stud. If you are a recreational poker player, unless you have loads of time you will probably never play these forms of the game and while it is true that many of the ideas in this book are transferable across the different forms of poker, the Harrington books cover many (and more) of the same concepts but with specific reference to hold 'em which is much more useful to the average player who wants to improve. Clearly if you are looking to expand your playing options to other forms of the game then you could consider this book but my advice would be to become a very good hold 'em player before bothering, and by that time you will understand most of the concepts in this book making it redundant.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very intelligent book, 6 July 2002
By 
John Smith (Sheffield, Uk) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Theory of Poker: A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How to Think Like One (Paperback)
I can honestly say that the ideas expressed in this book are suitable for players all level, although advanced players can benefit greatly from this book. I'd have to say that this book is based more on intelligence to interpret ate the book rather than first hand experience.
David Sklansky explores all aspects of intelligent plays and gives a detailed analysis of the different types of mistakes to look out for, every play is cover and nothing is missed.
This book has presented me more platforms and ideas to implicate in my poker game, and I rate this as the most important Poker book to progress in the game.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid read for those interested in winning at casino poker, 7 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Theory of Poker: A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How to Think Like One (Paperback)
If you thought you knew before how to approach the game of poker, this book will completely change your mind. Sklansky paints a very businesslike portrait of what it takes to be a consistent winner at real stakes poker. From understanding raising, to caculating your odds for actually betting your hand, this book can give any weekend player a boost to the next level. The best part is that this book is not a one time read. To fully benefit, one must continue to study the tools provided within in order to eventually master the basic mathmatics that will make the average player become a powerful player. Already I am reaping the benefits, and I feel as if I am just starting to learn. The "Theory of Poker" is an excellent text for learning an age old game you thought you already knew.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor, 2 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Theory of Poker: A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How to Think Like One (Paperback)
A poor read, and written in an almost illiterate style. While Poker players are not famed for writing great texts, this surely should have been re-written at the proofing stage.

Have a few poker books, and must say this is one of my least favourite.

I'll summarise what Sklansky's Theory of Poker is for you. "Play the game as if you can see what the other player is holding". Excellent advice, and since adopting this perilious nugget of genuis, I've won a 2 World Series and have amassed a bank roll of over 13 million dollars, and have writen this review from the Presedential Suite in Ceasers Palace. Needless to say, I'm lying.

Avoid, avoid, avoid. You'd be better placed reading Kill Everyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To be studied, not just read once, 3 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The Theory of Poker: A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How to Think Like One (Paperback)
Have read this book and others by the same author. With much study and practice I have managed to use what I learned to earn a substantial amount of extra income each year playing 15-20 hrs weekly. There are no "secrets to winning" in this book, just solid information. It is up to the reader to understand and apply it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard going but on the whole an excellent book, 6 Oct 2000
This review is from: The Theory of Poker: A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How to Think Like One (Paperback)
Having played only a small number of comps at my local casino, I new I needed more of an edge over my fellow players. This book has helped a great deal as it covers just about everything needed, semi-bluffs, full bluffs, position etc etc. It has improved my game without doubt although it did take two / three reads!
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