The Best Poker Audiobooks (Updated In 2019)

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Over the years I’ve transitioned a lot of my reading time from traditional books over to audiobooks. The audio format makes digesting information easier, quicker, and gives a deeper learning experience. If you are looking for more high-quality advanced poker guides but can’t stand reading – poker audiobooks are a GREAT option that I suggest you check out.

The following will be a rundown of what I think are the best, most comprehensive audiobooks for poker. I will try to show what can be expected from each book and help you decide if it’s the right book for you. An audiobook breaking down the basic rules of poker won’t be of much use to a seasoned tournament player…

Here are 7 poker audiobooks that I think go above and beyond to teach you different aspects of the game. Pick up the ones that are right for you and enjoy!

Optimizing Ace King: The Right Strategy For Playing Poker’s Most Complex Starting Hand

by James “SplitSuit” Sweeney & Adam Jones

  • Best for: Cash Games & Tournaments | Live Poker & Online Poker

Optimizing Ace KingThis book was co-written by James “SplitSuit” Sweeney and Adam Jones with one goal: to help you play Ace King better EVERY time it’s dealt to you. While a book about a single poker hand may seem limiting at first glance, the concepts & strategy laid out prepare you to play similar hands (AQ, KQ, etc.) far better too.

OAK, narrated by the author, gives you a +EV gameplan with AK. This includes understanding how the hand hits vs. misses flops, how to play it preflop (should you 3bet AK or call raises with it?), how to craft optimized lines with top pair, changing gears with gutshots, and what to do on various runouts. As one of the strongest hands you can be dealt in poker, it’s vital that your AK plays are calculated and precise – and OAK shows you exactly how to do that.

While audiobooks tend to be a letdown when it comes to charts, hand histories, and other necessary elements – OAK has a complete chapter giving you each link from the book so you can get the full-color charts, homework, and answer keys. Listen to a chapter per day and start playing AK better!

(or buy the ebook + audiobook + bonus training directly through me with the Royal Edition of OAK)


PRO TIP: You can listen to most audiobooks at 1.5x or even 1.75x speed while still being able to retain the information. This improves your efficiency and allows you to put your new-found knowledge to use at the tables significantly faster!


Exploitative Play in Live Poker: How to Manipulate Your Opponents Into Making Mistakes

by Alexander “Assassinato” Fitzgerald

  • Best for: Cash Games & Tournaments | Live Poker

Exploitative Live PokerThis book was written by tournament powerhouse Alex “Assassinato” Fitzgerald. Alex combines his exploration of player pool data with years of playing experience to teach you the most crucial aspect of live poker: exploiting the mistakes other players make.

At the end of the day, there are two major approaches to poker. You can take the GTO approach and work tirelessly to protect your ranges & frequencies. Or, you can take the exploitative approach and look for strategic errors in your opponent’s game and then take lines that punish those errors. Value bet thinner against players who hate folding second-best hands, and bluff more against players who fold too often. While many players are focusing too much of their study time on GTO solvers and creating perfect balance in their turn bet/3bet ranges – Alex focuses on the tried-and-true method of finding leaks, exploiting leaks, and stacking chips all the while.

At 7 hours long, this audiobook will keep you busy with a clear framework for understanding poker exploits, examples where appropriate, and developed lines that take advantage of player’s leaks. Live poker is full of players implementing awful strategies with no coherent reasoning – and now you’ll be poised to understand where they go wrong and how you can make powerful tweaks to take advantage.


Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker, Volume 1: Fundamentals & How To Handle Varying Stack Sizes

by Jonathan Little

  • Best for: Tournaments | Live Poker & Online Poker

This book was written by Jonathan Little, a professional player from Florida. Jonathan has won 2 WPT titles and was named the Season 6 WPT Player of the Year. He has earned over $5 million in poker winning.

The book is intended strictly for tournament poker players and in my opinion probably not for pure beginners. While a new player would probably learn from this book it may not make the best starting point.

I feel this book is intended for players that know the basics, know about position and table presence but need to get to the next level. Little teaches how to play “Small Ball” poker and teaches effective stack sizes.

Those things being said I don’t think this book is for professional or higher level players either, it falls right in the middle where most players tend to get bogged down.


Reading Poker Tells

by Zachary Elwood

  • Best for: Cash Games & Tournaments | Live Poker

Elwood’s audiobook about reading poker tells will get you in the habit of looking for the most common tells at the poker table. He also helps you to learn to watch the player’s actions after the tell is noticed to see if it is a tell or just a quirk. Sometimes extra blinking is just dry eyes, sometimes it means the player turned that flush.

Reading Poker Tells is a great book for beginner and intermediate live poker players as it helps them to begin to notice habits and what to look for in their opponents. While no tell is always 100% accurate this audiobook will help you notice them and puts you in the right frame of mind to interpret them.

Another bonus of this book is that it helps you to realize your own tells at the table and take steps to eliminate them or mix them up to confuse your opponents that are paying attention. Something many beginning players may struggle to realize.


Unfolding Poker: Advanced Answered To The Most Frequently-Asked Poker Questions

by James “SplitSuit” Sweeney

  • Best for: Cash Games | Live Poker & Online Poker

My own book is obviously going to be one of my favorites! I have been teaching poker for 8 years and I’ve produced numerous training videos on the game. This book is a great one for beginners and intermediate poker players alike.

Unfolding Poker explains concepts and situations using easy to follow using simple-to-understand jargon and clear examples. While most of what is found in the book is probably known by high-level players, it will help beginner-intermediate players begin to think on a higher level and make more informed plays.

In the book I’ll show you how to effectively change your bet sizing, and how to deal with your continuation bets not working in MW pots any longer, and answer questions about running it twice, short stacking, studying, etc. Concepts that the beginner may have heard about – but they haven’t implemented it into their game fully yet.

One thing that is great about the Unfolding Poker audiobook is it’s relatively short running time at only 2.5 hours. Don’t think for a second that means it’s a short book or doesn’t have the info of longer books. Through years of making videos I have managed to get my information across in a very concise way. You’ll find yourself giving the audiobook more than one listen.

(or buy the ebook + audiobook here and support this site)


The Mental Game of Poker: Proven Strategies for Improving Tilt Control, Confidence, Motivation, Coping with Variance, and More

by Jared Tendler and Barry Carter

  • Best for: Cash Games & Tournaments | Live Poker & Online Poker

This audio book to me is an all-around book. It can be used by professionals and beginners as it deal more with the mental side of the game. Anyone who has played tournament poker knows it can be a stressful ordeal. Moving all-in when you crushed the flop only to find you have to sweat the turn and river hoping the big stack that called you doesn’t make his flush.

The audiobook delves into how to deal with the variance of poker. The book also covers staying motivated and ensuring you are in the best state of mind when making big decisions, as well as realizing when you should maybe not be playing.

Beginners will get a lot from this book in that it will show them that the anxiety and stress they feel isn’t specific to them, everyone at the table is feeling it or has felt it. Professionals will be able to learn how to deal with downswings & tilt – plus how to mentally prepare themselves for a tournament or big cash game.


Strategies for Beating Small Stakes Poker Tournaments

by Jonathan Little

  • Best for: Tournaments | Live Poker & Online Poker

Little makes the list again with a book perfect for beginning tournament players. When starting out in the game it’s easy to get frustrated that you aren’t beating some of the smaller stakes games you’ll be playing in. Many players have success in small home games but can’t seem to win in a live casino game.

Little’s book helps you to identify the different types of poker players and gives you solid strategies to deal with them effectively. He also makes a point to have the player stop blaming their poor results on bad luck or a bad run of cards.

This book is one of the best for beginning players that are looking to get out and play in casino tournaments or online. While it doesn’t teach the absolute basics (rank of hands, how the button moves, etc.), you’ll learn to navigate smaller stake games you’ll encounter when starting out.


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SplitSuit

My name is James "SplitSuit" Sweeney and I'm a poker player, coach, and author. I've released 500+ videos, coached 500+ players, and co-founded the training site Red Chip Poker. Contact me if you need any help improving your poker game!

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