Small Stakes Hold ’em: Winning Big with Expert Play

The Poker BookstoreSmall Stakes Hold ’em: Winning Big with Expert Play

Latest Review Author: Edward Miller, David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth
Publisher: Two Plus Two Pub
Pages: 369
Pub. Date: July 2004
Price: $16.47

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Book Review

Since the majority of poker players do not have enough money or are not comfortable playing in high stakes games, the book “Small Stakes Hold ’em: Winning Big with Expert Play” was written to give advice for dealing with this specialized type of game. Players in small stakes games tend to be much looser with their money and their play, which can make it very difficult to decide what hands to play and when to raise. The same approaches that work with higher stakes games, when players are much more likely to be more protective of their chips, will not work as well in smaller stakes games.

The authors Edward Miller, David Sklansky and Mason Malmouth are all experienced, successful players and have written many books on poker. Sklansky is the senior member of the group and the most prolific winner and author. His landmark book, “The Theory of Poker,” was written in 1983 when poker was still something of a specialized game, at least in casinos. That is no longer the case as there has been a boom in the sport with extensive coverage on television and the development of the internet. The rules of the game are still the same from the time when Sklansky first started writing about it, but with so many more aggressive players, especially in small stakes games, the author and his co-authors thought it was appropriate to devote an entire volume to dealing with this particular type of poker.

Because the stakes are small, the authors recommend aggressive play, but only when the odds are in your favor. This is all quite standard poker strategy, but it is particularly useful in these games because the other players are more likely to call you when the stakes are not high. When you think you have the best hand, the authors’ advice is to keep raising the table as many times as you need.

Aggressive play when you think you have the best hand is just one bit of advice that they offer. What makes “Small Stakes Hold “em: Winning Big With Expert Play” a particularly valuable book are the numerous examples given by the authors on how to play specific hands. These examples are very specific. They tell you how much is in the pot, what your hand is and how you should react to the flop, the turn and the river cards. Each situation is analyzed thoroughly, with details about what to do and why. Sklansky’s first book in 1983 did this type of thorough analysis as well, including real-life examples from his career and players in other major tournaments. This book was written decades later and it is still a very useful way to explain the game.

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