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Texas Hold’em For Dummies – Book Review


Texas Hold ’em is a simple yet tricky game that everybody is playing these days. This game is based on all those aspects that can make human life fun. May it be truth, trickery, skill, fear, misfortune, or success – Texas Holde ’em has it all.

To understand any game, you have to start from the basic level, and this book provides all the information that a player needs to play the game. Texas Holde ’em for Dummies introduces the readers to some fundamental rules, concepts and strategies. It covers all the basic betting, position, bankroll management, and math rules, making it a handy guide. 

What’s included in Texas Hold’em For Dummies?

In a game of both skill and luck, a player requires numerous strategies to experience success. That being the case, studying the following fundamental aspects mentioned in the book will help you to stand on the winning side of the table:

  1. Basic limit, no-limit, tournament, live and online rules. 
  2. Hands that you should or should not play from various positions. 
  3. Tactics to “play” other players. 
  4. Hand rankings.
  5. When to bluff? Who to bluff?
  6. How to use math in Hold ’em. 
  7. Tips to maximize your win with check-raising and trapping.
  8. Bankroll Management

These are some basic yet essential rules of Texas Hold ’em that need to be mastered if you want to become a winning player. 

Praise and Criticism

This well–written and well-organized book is an extremely informative guide for beginners. However, it can be equally useful for some advanced players who would like to refresh their knowledge, and in poker, refreshing basic information can be beneficial. 

No one can claim it as a definite bible for Texas Hold ’em, but it is undoubtedly better than other basic guidebooks available on the market. 

It might seem a little boring to some readers, who are looking for an entertaining and fun piece along with some strategies. This is because Texas Hold ’em For Dummies doesn’t have any exciting storyline but plainly focuses on some practical strategies. It’s not entertaining enough but written in a simple language that beginners easily understand. 

Some might criticize the book for forcing readers to play certain lines or hands, as everybody has a specific play pattern. However, if you will actually focus only on the logical implications of all the rules mentioned in the book, you cannot question too many strategies mentioned there.

The infographics used by the author are really cool and somehow make it easier to read and understand:

Texas Hold’em For Dummies – Book ReviewTexas Hold’em For Dummies – Book Review



In summary, I would recommend Texas Hold’em For Dummies to beginners because it explains all the basic rules and strategies of Holdem that any good player should be aware of. Simultaneously, I would advise any novice to leave some of the complex strategies and re-read them later when you have a little hold over the game.

For advanced or intermediate players, it could be a good refresher.

About The Author

Mark Harlan is a computer developer from Rawlins, Wyoming. He has a degree in Applied Mathematics.

Mark is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors; he also wrote Winning at Internet Poker For Dummies (Wiley).

You can see his poker tournament results here.


“When playing in a casino environment, protecting your cards is essential. This means you should always have control of your hole cards either by keeping your hands on them (not a great choice, because forgetting and letting them go is too easy), or by placing something on top of your cards as they lie at rest on the table.
The protector you use can range from just an extra poker chip in your stack, to your car keys, or maybe even your niece whom you were supposed to baby-sit for the day (if you can get her to sit still). Greg Raymer, winner of the 2004 World Series main event, uses fossils. I use a Polish zloty (a coin) because it can never be mistaken for anything else.”


Table Of Content


Part l: Everything’s Bigger in Texas:
Welcome to Texas Hold’em
Chapter 1: A Bird’s-Eye View of Texas Hold’em
Chapter 2: Ranking and Reading a Hand
Chapter 3: Just Tell Me How to Play: Texas Hold’em Basics

Part II: Texas Hold’em: Play by Play
Chapter 4: Beginning with Two
Chapter 5: Flopping ‘Til You’re Dropping
Chapter 6: Taking Your Turn
Chapter 7: Dipping in the River

Part Ill: Moving On to Higher Stakes:
Advanced Strategies of Hold’em
Chapter 8: Playing the Players
Chapter 9: Bluffing: When Everything Isn’t What It Appears to Be
Chapter 10: Maximizing Your Win: Check-Raising and Trapping
Chapter 11: Camouflaging Your Play and Dodging Traps
Chapter 12: Considering Mathematics
Chapter 13: Advancing Your Knowledge

Part IV: Casinos, Card Rooms, and the Internet:
Play to Play Hold’em
Chapter 14: There’s No Place Like Home:
Playing in Private Games
Chapter 15: Opting for the Internet: Online Games
Chapter 16: Harrah’s, Here I Come: Playing in Card Rooms
Chapter 17: Competing in Tournaments

Part V: The Part of Tens
Chapter 18: Ten Differences between Online and Real-World Play
Chapter 19: Ten (Or So) Common Mistakes
Chapter 20: Ten Ways to Improve Your Home Game
Chapter 21: Ten Bad Beats
Chapter 22: Ten Things You Can Do to Improve Your Hold’em Game

Book Details

  • Title: Texas Hold’em for Dummies 
  • Author: Mark “The Red” Harlan
  • Number of Pages: 288
  • Game/Theme: Hold’em
  • Live/Online: Both
  • Required Skill Level: Beginner
  • Format Available: E-book, Paperback
  • Free with Kindle Unlimited: No
  • Free with Audible: No
  • Publication date: September 15, 2006
  • Special Features: Hands, Infographics, Tables
  • Languages: English, German
  • Publisher: For Dummies

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