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Harrington on Hold 'em: Expert Strategy for No-Limit Tournaments, Volume I: Strategic Play

(Harrington on Hold 'em #1)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  2,066 ratings  ·  77 reviews

Poker has taken America by storm. But it s not just any form of poker that has people across the country so excited it s No-Limit Hold Em the main event game. And now thanks to televised tournaments tens of thousands of new players are eager to claim their share of poker glory.

Harrington on Hold Em takes you to the part of the game the cameras ignore the tactics required

eBook Kindle, 381 pages
Published December 1st 2004 by Two Plus Two Publishing LLC
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Martin Georgiev
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Before starting this book I believed poker is just lucky draws, occasional bluffs and reading the body language of your opponents and while these things happen from time to time, the game has so much more to offer. In Dan's words "it's a game of memory, position, calculation, alertness and patience". The book teaches much of the strategic play fundamentals and my game has improved tremendously during the short course of reading it.
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: tight-aggressive players, conservative players, chess grandmasters who turn poker pro
This is probably the best of the poker books I've read lately. It fits my learning style - practical lessons complete with a whole series of hands, played all the way through, at the end of each chapter, explaining thought processes and mistakes along the way. Dan Harrington I think thinks like I do - his style is naturally on the conservative side, which is how I've found I generally play, and he's a very logical player, a former chess and backgammon champion before he became a pro poker ...more
Jun 27, 2007 added it

Well yes, I'm part of the poker craze, and yes I read up on my addiction. If you think poker is another gambling wasteland, then read this book. You'll learn how academic the game really is. Calculating odds, weighing risk vs. reward, and earning as much as possible are some of the topics. Sounds more like a business class than a poker book. If you do play poker, read it! You'll play better in tourney's immediately.

Terry Pearce
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Five stars for content, three stars for layout and ease of use. The problem pages could be much better laid out, in particular. It's an old book but not that old -- as a classic that people will buy because of the name, it could use a facelift. At the same time, you see why it earned that classic status. He knows what he's talking about.
Stephen Mettee
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Texas Hold 'Em, the chess game of poker.

I played a lot of poker during my six years in the National Guard. It filled up some of the hurry-up and-wait time.

When I moved to the Lake House, just up the hill from an Indian casino, Doug, one of my new neighbors, suggested we play in a $40 Texas Hold 'Em tournament since the casino was so close.

I didn't make it into the money that night (In each tournament only 8 out of 45 to 50 players get any return on their investment.)

Doug and I went back a

Dennis Littrell
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mandatory read for the aspiring tournament hold'em player

No-limit play is different from limit play; tournament play is different from ring-game play. In tournaments the blinds come marching irrepressibly around, and they get bigger and bigger. In a ring game, they march around but they stay the same size. What this means is that there is a certain urgency in tournament no-limit that doesn't exist in a ring game.

Harrington, one of the top players in the world, and a dead-on scientific and
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very well written and thoughtful book. You can't learn basics of poker from it, but once you know the rules, the book is easy to read and provides a lot of valuable knowledge. Every chapter ends with a few real-life exercises. I understood every chapter very well and I've learned a lot. If you're a beginner, I can guarantee that you'll become a better player after each single chapter of this book. After reading it, I can't imagine playing poker without reading a book like this one.
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this book and the other two companion volumes where they came out. It changed the way I played and I credit the read and Terra's of Harrington and immediately qualified to the World Poker Tour (Cyprus 2009). Rereading the books meant my biggest live cash in the World Poker Tour to date: WPT Paris 2011 ... 25th for $24,000.
May 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hard-copy
At its' time the best book on tournament Hold'em.
Eric M
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent and thorough covering of the basics as well as in depth explanation of a few different strategies. A must read
David Long
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Standard by which all other poker tournament strategy books must be measured. A classic.
Nov 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
you'll laugh you'll cry you'll go all in a lot less you donkey.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m a very new poker player, and found this book incredibly helpful. I have a much better understanding of the fundamentals of how and when to bet, and when to fold. There are extensive examples throughout, presented as problems “What should you do in this situation?” which really helps reinforce the theories presented.

It has improved my game massively, and would recommend it to anyone looking to gain a better understanding of poker.
alexander young
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read

This book breaks down each scenario that could occur in the early stages of a poker tournament. The authors teach the reader how to calculate pot odds which I never knew before (which are how much it costs you to be part of a pot). This book has inspired me to try a poker tournament at my local casino. I believe anyone can learn to play hold 'em with this book and practice.
Anthony Swad
Apr 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must-read for beginners and seasoned players alike

Easy to read. Great introduction to basic tournament skills. Some brief introduction to more advanced skills to prompt readers to more advanced readings. Affords solid insight into thought processes and tactics of a well respected champion and his not insignificant number of poker disciples. Can provide a solid foundation if studied, or help a more mature player refine their game on review.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I didn't finish the entirety of the book (maybe I'll revisit it later) but it has taught me a lot about Hold 'em in an entertaining way.

Deducted one star because of the atrocious quality of my (electronic) copy, several examples contained incorrect images (suits) which made them impossible to learn from.
Pedro Silva
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The abc poker strategy explained with (some real) hand analysis. This is a perfect startup to embrace all the important topics of poker. Maybe some points may be outdated, but it's still good enough to get all the volums and get in touch with the whats real matter in poker.

Its a "must have" for all poker aspirants.
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Great book for tournaments but not as good for ring games. Learnt a lot.
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poker
Great book that is a must for poker play in general.
The clarity of thought, crisp writing and great examples all makes it a great read.
Joe Moley
Jan 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Having always enjoyed poker and considered myself an "ok" player in general (i.e. usually won against my friends and the occasioanly tournemant cash), I felt my game wasn't really getting any better. I'd win some and lose some but my success was mostly related to luck and or "feelings" as the games progressed.

Reading Harrington's book elevated my game up at least 3-4 levels immediately. After reading, I cashed in two Vegas tourneys (winning one of them). I have consistently cashed in my local
Sep 29, 2009 rated it liked it
i think this was book was over my head as it was clearly aimed at an intermediate poker player. however, i thought it was well written and easy to follow, and i feel like i did retain some useful ProTips. i recently played a few online sessions and i used my fresh knowledge of pot odds to decide whether or not what to do on a given hand. he also covers the importance of position and what the players before you have done, so i would take that into account as well (fold in early position unless ...more
Kyle Thompson
May 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book to learn about Texas Hold 'em. Harrington really goes into the whole strategy of the game - position, when to bet/raise/fold, how much to bet/raise in certain circumstances and positions. He gives you a few overview/ workbook examples at the end of each chapter so you can practice what he just talked about. Right after I read this I implemented the stuff he talks about into my game and it has worked very well for me; I started to win a lot more than I lost. It still works ...more
Jan 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: tournament poker players
Best book about tournament poker in my opinion. Especially useful is his definition of M (stacksize relative to blinds and ante) and differnt comfort zones depending on your M. He advocates pushing allin simplay to steal blinds and ante at some stages of the tourney if your M is too low and this makes it difficult for an opponent to call because often times the push is for a big chunk of their stack, therefore the calling range is dramatically reduced. Good sections about heads up play and hand ...more
May 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
If you like to play tournament poker this book is a must read. Harrington taught me how to play winning tournament poker through this book. With concepts like "M" and pot odds being explained in detail, but also easy for a novice poker player to understand it's definitely worth a read for everyone interested in improving their game. There are a lot of examples and the chapters are fairly short making it an easy read even for light readers.
Peter Altice
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you play tournament No Limit Holdem, this is an important book to read and to understand. I think the easiest concepts in Holdem to learn is pre-flop strategy, which is covered in detail in here. Don't get me wrong, the strategy is generic and depending on the players, your personal table strategy could change. But this book covers a lot of basic and advanced strategy for tournament play.

If you play tournament Holdem on a semi regular basis, this is a good book to read.
Tim S.
Jan 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: instructional
HoH lays out a fairly basic strategy for playing NLHE tournaments that's easy to understand and will improve the performance of most amateur players. If you're already familiar with basic NLHE strategy you may be able to skip the first volume, which is mainly primer material, and move on the second, which contains more tournament specific strategies and concepts that are now absolutely vital to understanding the game and playing it well.
May 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poker
This book is a couple of years ago and today you see all the playes Dan teaches in this book used in as low as 5 and 10 dollar tournaments online. Due that the book is out of date it's still a great read and absolutely a must read for a novice tournament player.
Dan Harrington have with this book and his record at the tables proved to be one of the best tournament poker player on the planet.
Don Bernal
Feb 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
fantastic book on texas hold 'em; takes a beginner and amateur player to a higher level of playing; extremely focused on a tight, solid game; writing in clear and simple; the examples are a good introduction to thoughtful hand thinking; lacking on alternative - ie aggressive, loose - play, but that's not Harrington's forte
Jan 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Advanced Players
This is a poker book for people who are looking for advanced ideas. Harrington puts you into poker situations and shows the thought process throughout a particular hand.

Ill bet a lot of you have been disapointed buying poker books (especially no limit holdem)because they are all the same and half the book is begginer info that you dont need. This one is worth your time!
Apr 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Poker players
At the time, there were almost no books out on no limit hold 'em strategy. There were a million books on limit hold 'em. This one exposed me to a lot of ideas about NL that I actually applied in cash games, not just tournaments. His writing style is very easy to follow, and the quizzes are pretty thought-provoking.
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Goodreads Librari...: Please update details 3 16 Jun 14, 2016 02:14PM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Dan Harrington is a professional poker player who won the main event at the 1995 World Series of Poker. He is also an expert backgammon and chess player.

Other books in the series

Harrington on Hold 'em (3 books)
  • Harrington on Hold 'em: Expert Strategy for No-Limit Tournaments, Volume II: The Endgame
  • Harrington on Hold 'em: Expert Strategies for No-Limit Tournaments, Volume III: The Workbook
“All serious poker players try to minimize their tells, obviously. There are a couple ways to go about this. One is the robotic approch: where your face becomes a mask and your voice a monotone, at least while the hand is being played. . . . The other is the manic method, where you affect a whole bunch of tics, twitches, and expressions, and mix them up with a river of insane babble. The idea is to overwhelm your opponents with clues, so they can't sort out what's going on. This approach can be effective, but for normal people it's hard to pull off. (If you've spent part of your life in an institution, this method may come naturally.)” 3 likes
“Ace-king is a fine hand. Ace-queen is a little weaker, but still good. With ace-jack, you're already sliding rapidly down a slippery slope. With ace-ten, you've slid down the slope, fallen off the cliff, and lie in wreckage at the bottom with hands like ace-five and ace-six.” 2 likes
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