When you’re trying to learn something, you will often find yourself nose-deep in a workbook, and for good reason. Workbooks put theory into practice, often with steadily increasing difficulty. They demonstrate understanding of the skills and concepts you have been taught. And they allow you to test out your new abilities in a safe, casual atmosphere where mistakes are encouraged as learning opportunities. You can learn on your own time, at your own pace.
For all these reasons and more, it is puzzling why there are so few poker workbooks. Poker lends itself so well to the workbook format. We encounter tons of different hands and situations, though often the same kind of spots come up again and again. Wouldn’t it be great to have an exercise book that could sharpen our skills by sharpening our pencils and getting to work?
We know you know where we’re going with this. After all, we published two poker workbooks over the last few months for the very reasons listed above. We took a look at what else what available, and collated in all into this list of what we consider to be the best poker workbooks for the money. Frankly, we could only find a handful of other books besides our own, so don’t blame us for starting this out with our two workbooks – the world just needs more of them! (Perhaps there are more in store from us?)
Workbook For Live Players
Practice and study spots that impact your winrate in live poker games. With 40 unique exercises, you’ll improve your hand reading, technical knowledge, and line creation in between sessions. Hands included live-specific bet/raise sizing and there are more multi-way pots to explore as well. Want to see how this workbook can be used? Check out SplitSuit’s free video going through a workbook exercise…
Workbook For 6max Players
Continue working on your 6max game between sessions. This workbook guides you through challenging 6max exercises to help you improve your knowledge of things like combos, blockers, frequencies, and more. All hands are from 50NL, but the exercises apply regardless of the exact stake you play. Build up your online game with hands ranging from triple barrels to preflop 3bets. Good luck!
Workbook For Tournament Players
Stakes: All MTT buy-ins
This workbook was co-written with Red Chip Poker coach Ben Hayles. Combining a technical look at hand reading with an in-depth dive into tournament-specific concepts, this workbook will challenge all multi-table tournament players. All hands are in big blinds (to make your life easier) and include payout tables so you can practice making those final table decisions without all of the pressure!
Red Chip coach Doug Hull’s poker math workbook is getting players of all levels to comprehend the game on a higher mathematical level that generates results. What exactly does that mean? His workbook is full of exercises that test key spots and skills that form at the intersection of math and strategy. Hull covers the math of important situations on the flop, turn and river, as well as pre-flop all-in math and fold equity. He even has a section devoted to exercises involving real hands.
With his trademark easy-to-read diagrams and layout, Hull has created a book that many a poker player has already worn down the cover on. Work through this entire book and you’re likely to come out a different poker player, with a mathematical edge that others will have trouble dulling.
One of the only affordably priced books from author and self-made poker player and author Tri Nguyen, this deep-dive into moves used to exploit regulars is unique in its topic and exercise set. What the book lacks in diversity (hands are at $3/$6, 6-max NLHE) in makes up for in strategic scope, covering many of the important ideas surrounding ranging and combinatorics at a time (2011) before these concepts had become commonplace with regular players. While the games have certainly changed, the exercises in this book can still keep your skills and your edge sharp.
Despite being now a decade or so old, you can still find Dan Harrington’s books in many libraries of serious poker players. At the time, his books were the closest thing you could get to an accessible textbook on intermediate and advanced strategic poker concepts. The third book in his “Expert Strategies” series for NLHE tournaments was unique in that (a) it is presented mostly as a workbook with exercises for the reader to complete, and (b) Harrington leaves his usual TAG style behind and loosens up a bit to exploit opponents.
While plenty of the concepts in this book are now gathering dust and/or no longer altogether relevant or a good idea, there are more fundamental concepts that are perennially helpful. Because workbooks are so scarce, we thought well to include it in our list despite its age.
If you’re a PLO player, you just found the needle in the haystack. As you might realize, PLO is a game where edges can still be pretty big if you are a well-studied player. You also know that, as one Amazon reviewer put it, “short-handed, aggressive plays are where the money is made, and that’s what this book will show you.”
Though things have certainly changed since this was published in 2010, it still has the distinction of being the most popular PLO workbook on the market. Applicable from the micro-stakes on up, it’s reasonable to believe that PLO players who have never cracked open this book are at a disadvantage to those who did.