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on 10 February 2001
Although many more advanced players praise this book, it is not for beginners. It is too mixed up with examples drawn from too wide a range of games. Getting a book that deals with just the game you are interested in is more useful. If that game is Texas Hold em I recommend Ken Warren A Winers Guide to Texas Hold'em which is much easier to understand and better written.
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on 7 October 1998
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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on 1 August 2016
The Theory of Poker.

Now this is THE book for any poker player, beginner, intermediate or pro. This has all of the theory's you need to beat your potential opponents.

I'm not going to give you a run down about what it covers as you can see from the description. What I can tell you however is how i went from being a bit of a fish in cash games / live tournaments, to placing and now i'm winning. It's helped a lot with judging when to call, when to fold and why. It's pretty much nailed it on the head here.

Unfortunately if you're looking to be pro online then i suggest another book. Online poker is a shark tank and full of bad beats here there and everywhere. Oh you got 4 of a kind on the flop? Ah soz bro i rivered a straight flush. gg.

Back on topic however this is one of the books you actually have to read if you want to be a semi-serious poker player otherwise you'll be that fish at the table. And NOBODY wants to be that fish.
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on 3 July 1998
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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on 12 December 2006
The theory of poker by David Sklansky is exactly what is it says on the cover.... The Theory behind poker.

If you are like me, by saying that i mean a poker player who understands that there is an actual hidden law to the game, then you will appreciate this book immensly.

The book and its ideas are all very well put forward, and contains invaluable tactics for Hold Em, Seven Card Stud and Razz. I should point out here though that the books complete focus is on Cash game poker, not tournaments. Most people reading will undoubtley know that there is an immense difference between playing in a tournament and a cash game.

I bought the book at the beginning of the year after finding myself running through a bad spell, and thought it would be beneficial to take some time away from the table and refresh my thinking on the game. I had been playing poker for around 5 years seriously.

The book is an excellent reference for situations you will find in the poker variants above, and also illustrates things like Semi Bluffing, The importance of a free card, and also when it is important to raise when you know you are beat in multi way pots.

Its a good read and the real beauty about the book is its simplicity, everything is easy to understand and all of the information in the book is of a very high level indeed.

A few reviewers have pointed out that the thinking in the book really does appeal to the higher end of poker players, and may not be much use in the lower levels, and i would agree with that, but if you are playing poker at a moderate to high stake, then really you should read this book ( if you havent already) ..

happy shopping..
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on 24 February 1999
Any person who needs to know "when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em" must pick up this book. Mr. Sklansky teaches you what the good players know. Ever wonder if you were wrong in folding that four flush? With the help of Mr. Sklansky you will understand.
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on 10 March 2005
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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on 19 February 2015
I bought this book after reading an article online of the top ten must read poker books of all time. This was regarded as one of the 'bibles'. I am average player and have been playing for five years. This book became a huge let down for me. I thought it would be aimed towards the popular holdem game of today but it was aimed at the variety of poker games. It does go into slight depths with the art of semi bluffing, the theories of various elements of the game, mathematics and odds. But I must say I did not learn much from this book and I have read far more interesting poker books. I think this book was designed for 'back in the day' poker. For beginners it does not hold the basics of poker and for more intermediate players the book maybe useful for the sections on odds, mathematics and generally gambling and bankroll management.
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on 13 July 2005
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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on 10 March 2018
The pages are out of order. I bought a used copy that is like new and I can only assume it was initially returned because the pages were out of order. It jumps from p32 to p65 reading "No matter how good a player is, if he plays supposedly did, the information he gave away....." p65 then continues up to p80 before reverting back to p49 which then continues to the end of the book. Several sections are therefore repeated, and I'm left without pages 32 to 49.
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