Review: Winning Low Limit Holdem by Lee Jones
This is one of the most well known and best books for people who are going to play low limit hold 'em poker. Lee Jones walks the reader through the basics of why low limit hold 'em plays differently than middle and higher limit games, how to play hold 'em poker and lots of examples of what cards to play and how to play them. The book is broken into three sections:
Section I: The Game
Here we are introduced to the game of hold 'em. The basic rules of the game, reading the board, odds, pot odds, and implied odds, and identifying the type (loose, tight, passive, aggressive) of game you are joining. If you are new to hold 'em this section is a great introduction (and a good primer to understanding the information we provide on this site).
Section II: Play of the Hand from Deal to Showdown
This is the meat and potatoes of the book, where lots of good information and advice is given about playing in a loose game, from pre-flop card selection through every betting round. Not only does the author cover what sorts of cards you should play and what position you should play them in, but he covers post-flop topics like how to play a flopped set, a made straight, draws, big pairs and many other examples from pre-flop to river.
Mr. Jones breaks cards into 4 categories: Pocket Pairs, Connectors, Suited Aces and Kings, and Big Cards, subsequent sections include what subsets of these 4 categories to play in which situations taking into consideration your absolute position (nearness to the dealer button) and relative position to other players (those that are especially aggressive or especially passive). He makes the very good point that although position isn't quite as important as it is in middle and high limit games it still plays an often underestimated role in the quantity of money you win or lose with a particular hand.
About the only advice we take exception to is his suggestion to raise only with AA, KK and AKs in early position. If you play this way you are giving way too much information about your hand and your opponents will pick up on this. Yes, you are still the favorite vs. any one of them to win with AA but there's no need to broadcast the fact that you have it--you'll only cost yourself money in the later betting rounds from people like AJo when the high card is a jack on the board. You should always be thinking about what kind of hands you want to force out and what kind of hands you want to keep in when you raise. With AA you should be quite happy to have A5 and A7 join you for a few betting rounds!
Section III: Miscellaneous Topics
Player stereotypes, bluffing and implicit collusion and playing in spread limit and jackpot games are discussed in this section. Overall there are some interesting pieces of information in this section, but by far the best reason to buy the book is the densely packed Section II where you'll find several hundred dollars of excellent advice in this $20 book.
Winning Low Limit Hold 'Em by Lee Jones is literally worth its weight in gold for beginning players and even for experienced players who are not used to playing in loose/passive and loose/aggressive games. A must-have for anyone who plays low limit hold 'em.