Bring your highlighter and become poker smart! So many nuances of the game discussed here. Though Hold'em is just one of many forms he talks about, most information is transferable as he is talking in broad terms, using Razz etc to illustrate his point.
Sometimes you need to reread passages a few times as he's talking flops and hole cards with the presumption you can perfectly picture everything in your head, but great information and an eye opener.
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.
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essential part of any poker student's library, it probably shouldn't be your first book, and in it's current, slightly outdated form, it is overrated.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
If I'm honest, I bought this book a little too soon into my poker learning and it therefore confused me. However, once I had more experience I returned to the book time and again and it has helped me immensley. It isn't a fun read - it is more like a textbook - but if you want to understand the thinking behind winning poker players, this is an excellent place to find it. Buy, read, study, reread and profit.