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Small Stakes Hold’em – Winning big with expert play

Title: Small Stakes Hold’em – Winning big with expert play

Author: Ed Miller, David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth

Facts: The book contains 358 text pages and is published by Two Plus Two Publishing LLC. You can buy it from Amazon at $19.13.

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About the authors

Ed miller is a poker pro that makes a living playing fixed limit at low to medium levels. He is highly educated in physics and computer science.

David Sklansky is one of the biggest authorities in poker theory. He has written about 10 books about gambling and cardgames. That he is one of the co-authors to this book gives it an extra credibility. He wouldn’t put his name on something that isn’t good enough.

Mason Malmuth has written some other books together with David Sklansky, but also some books about gambling theory, poker and blackjack by himself. He is a mathematician that has been a full time gambler and gambling writer from 1987.


The book has an underline to the title and that is what the book is all about; “the definitive guide to crushing loose games and amateur opponents”. And when you start studying this book, remember that the aim is to crush the loose games! Therefore some of the advices rely on the fact that your opponent plays too many hands and goes to far with them. It is something that this book wants to take advantage of and at the same time the information offered prevents you from making those mistakes.

The authors start by explaining that this is not a beginner’s book. When you read it, you will notice that it’s very close. Of course, they don’t explain the basics about rules or reading the board. But they explain how a player, that is not that experienced, should play to become a long-term winner. The book advocates a very aggressive play. A player I know that has been playing low-level fixed limit online said that he thought this book is very good. He had been playing for some months and was already making a steady income off his play. The knowledge of these authors added an extra edge to his game. So, you should know something about poker before you go into this book. However, as soon as you studied the basic rules, board reading and know how to recognise the nuts, this could be the book for you. The aim for the authors has been to create a book to take over where the beginner’s book ends. In that they have succeeded.

The chapters’ structure is appealing. Starting off with gambling concepts, like where the money comes from and expected value. Taking you into the world of poker’s specific odds. Part two explains preflop play. Starting Hands for different types of games are discussed and also, common mistakes are highlighted. The authors use a lot of pages on preflop play because your preflop play is very important to help you profit and prevent you from loosing money on later rounds. After the preflop, they go into postflop play and teaching you when to chase your draws and when to lay your hand down. And then, they explain river play and in part five some miscellaneous topics. Like most of poker books that Sklansky has been involved in, there is a hand quiz-chapter and a question and answer section to be reviewed every now and then.

Small Stakes Hold’em might be the second or third book you study about the game. Or even the first, if you pick up the basics studying some online poker site. We recommend this book if you want to play fixed limit. After you have been playing for a while, go back and read it again. You will probably find yourself making some of the mistakes they are writing about.

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