The Illustrated Guide to Texas Hold’em Review

Josh H
by Josh H  |  Owner and Editor-in-Chief

The Illustrated Guide to Texas Hold’em by Dennis Purdy

  • Focuses on how to play low-limit hold’em ring games
  • Our rating: 9 (out of 10)
  • Beginner advice
  • Year of publication: 2005


The Illustrated Guide to Texas Hold’em Overview

Dennis Purdy, a successful low-limit hold’em cash game player lends his thoughts and analysis in this original approach to teaching hold’em strategy.

Purdy introduces readers to the game with some informational essays at the beginning of the book and then leads into the actual gameplay situations. The book talks about fixed-limit games, which is what beginners used to start with. I hear that a no-limit version is in the works.

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What makes these example hands unique is the layout and structure. On the left page you’ll see a full 10-handed table graphic, your position at the table, and your hole cards.

Purdy then describes the hand situation and asks you to decide what you would do. On the right side of the page, you’ll see detailed analysis from Purdy on the proper way to play the hand.

Dennis Purdy's "The Illustrated Guide to Texas Hold'em" is an excellent book for beginners making their first steps into the world of poker
Dennis Purdy’s “The Illustrated Guide to Texas Hold’em” is an excellent book for beginners making their first steps into the world of poker

This highly graphical approach is a simple and original way for beginners to learn the game and intermediate players to cut down on leaks in their game. The price is very affordable compared to other poker books and the layout is filled with a ton of essential examples to reinforce strategy.

Thoughts on Dennis Purdy’s Illustrated Gyude

Overall, The Illustrated Guide to Texas Hold’em is an excellent choice for both beginners and developing players.

I have heard several comments from new players about how easy this book was to read. While they said that they had a tough time getting through more mathematical books from Sklansky, they got through Purdy’s text in one sitting. That’s the key of this book: it’s easy to understand.

The strategy is put into practical terms that beginners can follow. The large table graphic makes it easy for visual learners to put themselves at the poker table. Instead of a quick gloss-over of a solution, Purdy takes a whole page to explain why he’s right.

There isn’t too much math in “The Illustrated Guide to Texas Hold’em” so beginners will have no problems navigating the book. However, all important mathematical concepts are still covered

He doesn’t include a lot of math, but he gives you just enough to figure out the proper pot odds and outs of making your hand. For about $10, this understandable book is a good value to start or add to your poker library

The final score

Out of 10, I give The Illustrated Guide to Texas Hold’em a 9. In my opinion, it’s a great read for beginners or those who haven’t mastered the game yet.

About Dennis Purdy

Dennis Purdy started his professional gambling career at the age of 35. He quit his job and move to Las Vegas to try his luck and skills at the tables.

By the late 1970’s, Purdy has become an expert blackjack card counter. He was involved and even led several highly successful counting teams, before retiring in 1983.

Experienced poker and blackjack player, Purdy came up with the book that meets and even surpasses its promises

Apart from blackjack, he also got interested in poker and the result of this interest was The Illustrated Guide to Texas Hold’em.

With this book, Purdy tried (and mostly succeeded) to help beginners make their first steps into the world of hold’em. In 2006 he also published The Illustrated Guide to No Limit Texas Hold’em.

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