Serious Poker - The Book
Serious Poker is a complete introduction to casino and cardroom poker, for everyone from complete poker novices to experienced players who want to take the game more seriously. It covers everything from the basics of strategy and cardroom rules and customs to more esoteric topics like tournament play, poker math, cheating, record keeping, and much more.
I wrote Serious Poker in 1998 (the first edition appeared in 2000), to fill a major gap in the poker literature. Until the appearance of the first edition, no single book collected all the information needed by beginners (and by many intermediate players with gaps in their poker education). New players were faced with a variety of difficult alternatives, ranging from learning as you go to trying to figure out what books they would have to buy to cover everything. The idea behind Serious Poker was simple: to provide a comprehensive book with coverage of all the topics a new player will need to learn about.
The second edition of Serious Poker was published in March 2002 by ConJelCo, and supplements the original text with a new chapter on online poker. You should be able to get it via your favorite bookseller (although most mainstream bookstores do a poor job of stocking gambling-related books, you can always special order it). To the right, a few of the usual suspects for poker books are listed.
I'm still planning to put some supplementary material related to the book up on this web page, although other projects have gotten in the way. In the meantime, visit my poker page at www.seriouspoker.com, which has lots of links, including links to my Card Player articles.
Back cover blurbs
The following folks were kind enough to contribute blurbs for the back cover.
I found Dan's book to be a real gem. Terrific information, very
easily read and understood, and a must-read must-have for any serious
Serious Poker hits home on issues ranging from strategy to attitudes.
It really had me thinking about things I had not focused on for quite
It has the best coverage of fundamental statistical and probabilistic
concepts underlying poker that I've seen... in a way that stays
Kimberg keeps the reader thinking -- constantly questioning moves, the
impact of luck, playing good starting hands, selecting the right
tables, and knowing when to quit.
What is Serious Poker?
There's serious poker and there's not-so-serious poker. How do you know which is which?
I'll answer the question in the next paragraph. But first, I have to editorialize a bit. There's no law of nature that tells you which poker games are serious and which aren't. In my book, I provide a few relevant points of comparison, so you can decide for yourself where on the grand scale a particular game stands. I'm sure there are people who would describe the kind of poker I play as non-serious. I'm equally sure there are people who consider their own games extremely serious, even though I might not. There's really no reason to get into arguments about where the dividing line is. It's "serious" if it's serious to you.
But that's no answer! I wrote a book called, "Serious Poker." What kind of game is the book about? The book is about poker as it's played in public casinos and cardrooms (or in private games that emulate casinos), for stakes (buy-ins) as small as $40, occasionally even lower, and with bet sizes from $1 on up. If that's the game you'd like to play, then Serious Poker will help you get your bearings.
Who am I to write a book about poker?
I maintain a brief poker bio here that says a little about who I am.