Winning Low Limit Holdem - Lee Jones

This book was first published all the way back in 1994, long before the poker craze hit.  It was revised in 2000, to bring it more up to date with the changing game of the day.  Even in 2000, there weren’t a lot of good poker books not written by Sklansky, whose works tended to be on the advanced side for newer players, so this book was warmly welcomed by the poker community at the time and for a number of years was considered one of the better works out there for players looking to learn the game of low limit Holdem.

One of the first things that stand out here is the fact that the first edition was written prior to internet poker being invented, and even at the time of the second edition, it was only in its infancy.  So this means that the game those days was good old fashioned brick and mortar card rooms, and the game of the day was limit holdem.

So the definition of low limit holdem in those days was $3/$6 or $4/8, a far cry from today’s definition which would be much lower stakes.  Those stakes today would be considered middle limit, but brick and mortar card rooms can’t run stakes much lower than this since the costs of running games are so much higher.

The most notable difference though between the material in this book and today’s game, whether online or at physical card rooms, is the way the game of holdem has tightened up.  Jones’ advice tends to work in much looser games than you’d ever see today, where players were much less likely to fold.  I played back then and let me tell you, it sure was easy to beat the games then the way players liked to call you with weaker hands.

Nowadays, you won’t find limit holdem games anywhere near this loose, even at the micro stakes playing for nickels and dimes.  When you add in the fact that almost all the holdem games spread back then were of the limit variety, and hardly anyone plays limit poker these days, especially at the lower limits, then it’s not hard to see how this book has become extremely dated.

However, in spite of that, it’s still not a bad book to be read by raw beginners who are looking to start out in limit poker, which isn’t really that bad of an idea.  I wouldn’t just read this book though, as while it will teach you some good things about how to play against looser players, most players these days are tighter, and while it does give you some tips there, you are really going to have to look elsewhere to get sound advice against most players of today.

So in spite of how highly regarded this book once was as a quality beginners book, it no longer warrants a strong recommendation, although if I you are starting out in the game it still may provide some benefits and insights.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5