According to the oft-quoted saying, poker is a game that is easy to learn and difficult to master, and in the modern era of online casinos, this is certainly true. The digital age has opened up this pastime to a whole new audience over the past few years; people who might have thought twice about donning the tuxedo and entering a physical casino can be in a virtual one at the click of an app.

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There are also a wealth of resources online that can introduce you to the basic rules of poker and provide some opening strategies. This is well and good – the best way to get started is to dive on in, and the casinos themselves provide plenty of incentives for beginners. Across Europe, you can find sites that will provide bonuses such as free opening deposits, so you can play a few hands and get a feel for what you are doing without losing your own money.

Using poker books can help you in your gameSoon enough, however, you will feel you have mastered the basics and are ready to develop your strategy a little further, and when it comes to that, you cannot beat reaching for a good old fashioned book on the subject. Here are five of the best:

1) The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky

This is very much considered the poker player’s bible. With the most recent edition published back in the 1990s, it does not delve specifically into the world of online poker, and it is not what you would call an entertaining read, but despite these caveats, it remains the most comprehensive book on poker strategy ever written and is a reference that no serious player should be without.

2) Harrington on Hold ‘Em by Dan Harrington

The best selling poker book of all time, this publication has sold more than 300,000 copies. It was written in 2006, when poker was experiencing its first real boom in the digital era, and although former world champion Harrington has followed it up with subsequent books, this is a case where the original is the best.

3) Every Hand Revealed by Gus Hanson

Another former champion, Hanson is not everyone’s idea of the best poker tutor due to his highly unorthodox style of play. Yet this book has become a favourite among aficionados, taking readers through Hansen’s thought processes from the first hand to the final victory.

4) Hold ‘Em Poker for Advanced Players by Mason Malmuth

This guide to limited hold ‘em was published in the late 90s and really blazed a trail for poker in the 21st century. Malmuth invented many of the terms that are in common use today, and this book is an essential read if you are interested in seeing how poker strategy has evolved over the past 20 years.

5) Little Green Book by Phil Gordon

Anyone who thinks this book is simply cashing in on Gordon’s success is missing the point. The “Little Green Book” series has come out with some excellent and readable strategic guides on a number of topics, and this one is no exception. Great to dip into if you haven’t the time for one of the more meaty publications above.